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Working Hard for Someone Else is Pointless: Working Hard for Yourself is Great
It's the best investment you can make
“Deprived of meaningful work, men and women lose their reason for existence; they go stark, raving mad.”
- Fyodor Dostoevsky
First, I want to say welcome to our many new readers. We’ve been growing rapidly. I also want to apologize as I’m going to give away some of the secrets of capitalism that usually benefit my readers (Founders & CEOs) the most. That is, I’m going to encourage our workers to become one of us.
I’ve written many times about the diminishing ROI of both increased productivity and hard work and the importance of owning as much of your work through owning equity as possible. You can read some of my original posts below.
On hard work -
On why owning the product of your labor is so important -
While I still do believe hard work is noble and gives important purpose, not everyone can start a company. And sadly, more and more people are coming to the realization that yes, cost of living and lack of upward mobility has reached a point where working hard will no longer guarantee you a comfortable life.
This is a dangerous point for society to be in. We already see calls for universal income, deep vilification (really, it’s jealousy mascaraing as hatred) for the wealthy, and an entire generation rebelling against work culture, even while there are mass layoffs. It’s fairly clear something is broken.
Sadly, I’m not here to offer any solutions except one: start a business if you can. And then, as I do, pour all of your effort into it.
Do you feel like you produce significantly more than you are paid? Start a business.
Do you feel like you are capable of a lot more than I asked of you? Start a business.
Have you ever been bored and found your job repetitive? Start a business.
Do you feel like CEOs make too much? Start a business and become one.
Do you feel like your career is on the wrong track? Start a business.
Do you want a new and exciting challenge? Start a business.
Do you enjoy working hard but don’t feel it’s rewarded? Definitely start a business.
Besides having a family, you will never find more meaning in life than owning a business. It’s all encompassing. Nothing challenges you more than building a business from scratch. You need an idea, a plan, capital, employees, a product, sales, marketing, finance, and so, so much more. You need to find customers and convince them to give you their hard earned money. Your product not only needs to be compelling, you need to know how to sell it properly or else no one will buy it.
This is all immensely challenging and if you do it right, deeply satisfying and rewarding. And I’m not just talking about startups but small businesses too.
And here’s the best part. Every dollar you and your business generates proportionally belongs significantly more to you than some faceless corporation you work for. Additionally, your work will have dramatic impact upon the everyday operations of the company as well as its future. That is to say, as one of my favorite saying goes: “You keep what you kill.”
Which is to say, hard work for yourself or a you and a few investors actually does pay off. The American dream is still alive.
Don’t kid yourself. Starting and running my businesses have also been the most difficult, challenging, and demanding experiences of my life. But what you’ll learn alone from the experience is worth it. You’ll never be jealous of a Fortune 500 CEO again. In fact, you’ll pity them, knowing what their life is actually like.
Believe it or not but if you can come up with a good idea/product, now is a great time to start a business, especially if you have some capital available. If you’re getting tired of putting in endless hard work for little or no gain, any of the other reasons listed above, or any of the hundreds of other possibilities I didn’t list, give it some consideration.
It’s the single most rewarding thing I have ever done. Best of luck.
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