Work: Doing Something You Don’t Want to Do

If we think about work in terms of its relation to a job for employment we could define it as “Doing something you don’t want to do.”  There are two reasons for this.

  1. Someone is paying you to do the work so that they do not have to do it
  2. If someone wanted to do the work for pleasure then the owner wouldn’t need to pay for it to get done

This is a very simple concept, but important to think about as we hear people preach to us that we should follow our dreams and only take a job that we love.  This sounds great and is something to strive for, but I do not see it as a failure if it cannot be achieved.  It is important to separate oneself from their job.  If you can create your own identity outside of work, then you can still pursue your dream, while working a job you don’t love.

This is actually freeing to realize that anyone can work towards their dreams and happiness no matter what their job is.  In this case the term work can have a different meaning.  In the case of working to the betterment of oneself and their goals can be defined as fulfilling.

For example it can make plenty of sense to do work that you do not love, but earns you enough money and time to pursue the things that you do love.

The curse of free Time

It would be wonderful to have plenty of money so that we could quit our jobs and do whatever it is that WE want to do, not what we MUST do.  However, one of the benefits of doing what you must, is that you have less time to worry about what you would rather do.  Of course there are many things we could name right now that we would like to do with a little more time, but if given unlimited time we would suddenly struggle to fill the time right away.

Hopefully as we adjusted we would find fulfilling things to do, but it can be scary at first.  The secret is to realize that just because we have to do things, doesn’t mean we can’t be more efficient and find ourselves more free time to do the things we really want to.

Having freedom and choice is wonderful, but in an odd way for those that don’t have it, things can be easier sometimes.  If you don’t have choice, you can blame unhappiness on life’s circumstances.  If you have unlimited choice and are unhappy you can only blame yourself.  Again it is much better to have the choice, but understand that effort is needed to make the most of it.

The glory being an employee

This website questions the standard work model, and encourages one to think about different ways to earn a living.  It can be easy to see working for a living as the enemy on this site and many other websites or blogs promoting entrepreneurship.  But there is not a one size fits all for everyone.  So let’s go over some things that people don’ think about when running their own business.

The buck stops with You

If you work a job with set hours and there is a major problem you simply report it to your supervisor or owner.  If you are not feeling well you can call out sick for work, while the owner will scramble to make sure the store is staffed.  At the end of the fiscal year you will receive a neat W-2 statement to enter into your taxes.  I know doing taxes is an awful experience, but have you ever thought how awful it is for the owner to have to create the W-2’s for all employee’s with all of the precise numbers?  This is 10x worse than just entering in your tax information.

Now I know we think big companies just pay people to do this, and that is correct.  It does cut into their profits, but in the end is worth it.  However, if you are starting your own money without large venture capitol then you must do almost all aspects of running a business yourself to give the business any chance for success.  If your business grows substantially through the years you can enjoy hiring out for these unenjoyable tasks, but generally this could be many years away.

Rewards come at a Cost

As outlined before a business can be very lucrative and rewarding.  It is easy to see websites or business on the internet where the owners proclaim they make money in their sleep.  Passive income sounds like the dream scenario.  Where people are mistaken Is that this does not happen over night.  Many of these people work incredibly hard in the first few years getting the business going.  It isn’t impossible to imagine they are working 80 hours a week.  So while some of the future income comes while they are asleep, a lot of the initial work they did went unpaid.  In a way the passive income in the future is delayed payment for the work done up front.  This is still a great model, but understand it isn’t something you just setup in a few days and sit back with your feet up on your desk.
Another thing to note is many of these successful web business owners continue to work very hard.  Having a successful web business relies on traffic.  This is something that can dry up fast if new fads or technologies take hold and the owners site becomes less relevant.  Therefore, they must constantly stay ahead of the curve.  Even if they are not creating content, they are thinking about it.  So I would imagine many of these web owners are working much longer than they let on, but not out of malice.  The good news is they are proud of what they do, and want to put out quality content.  This can be very satisfying and cause them to work more than they even realize, because they are doing something they enjoy.

How all this relates to job Holders

Many people are marveled at owning their own business and are told how great it is to not have a boss and do everything you want.  Further imagining how happy you can be with this choice.  However, as discussed above there are many frustrating and stressful parts of running your own business.  Just as there are awful parts of holding down a job, but there are also very enjoyable parts of working as an employee as well.  The secret is focusing more on the good parts about your job than the bad.  Now if it is mostly bad, then it may be time to move on from the job, but you could work for another company just as well as starting your own.  There is no best choice, they both have their benefits.
In closing just remember the grass is greener on the other side can apply to being a business owner or an employee.  I am sure people in both camp find themselves wishing they were in the other from time to time.



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