Posted on Aug 1, 2012 in Spartan Mindset
The dream we’ve been told to chase our whole lives is farther than ever. As we slog through debt, inflation, and underemployment, we wonder why we don’t have access to the positions from which we could change the world. We have so much to offer, thanks to our education, our training, and our fresh look at the world. If you wanted a 9-5 with a middle class income, they tell you to get another degree. I’m fine without the extra 100k of debt, thank you. They tell you to apply for an internship. I don’t see getting some fatcat’s coffee and making copies as a leg up, sorry. They tell us that what’s wrong with us is a sense of entitlement, but the fact is that people who got bachelor’s degrees and did internships 30 years ago turned those assets into a good living. If we’re angry at not having the same opportunities as our parents, that’s because of our “sense of entitlement”. The fact is that the American Dream has failed us, and we need to abandon ship before we waste any more time on this futile obsession. We need to make a new path for ourselves and leave the old norms and practices behind.
There’s no reason to think that good manufacturing jobs will ever come back, or that office jobs will ever regain the esteem, benefits, and pay they once had. If you don’t believe me, read Seth Godin’s piece on the Forever Recession. For the majority of people, the path to a nice retirement by simply listening to your superiors is gone forever. Fittingly, the wants and needs of our generation are wildly different from those of our parents. We want sustainability and fair trade. We prefer free time and a comfortable living to high pay and the “prestige” of working 60-70 hours a week for some millionaire suit. We want a conversation worthy life. We aren’t afraid of adventure and getting our hands dirty.
In the forever recession, average people who do what they’re told will be outbidding each other in the race to minimize costs across the board. People who do average work will receive lower and lower wages in a desperate scramble just to keep a job. So, rather than do average work until you’re too old to work, without money for retirement or healthcare, do something extraordinary. If you can invest the time and resources in yourself to become more than just a degree and a list of previous jobs, you can employ yourself, pay yourself, and skip the rat race altogether. You don’t need any specific skills or talents, you just need to identify your passions and figure out what people will pay you for. If your passion is making music, figure out the steps to get your albums sold on bandcamp. If you’re a writer, figure out the steps you’ll need to take to publish and sell your books online. If you’re passionate about marketing, market yourself, and build your own clientele without permission from a corporation to go to work and take opportunities. With no superiors, you can choose how to use your talents, and determine the effect you want to have on the world around you. Do extraordinary work for yourself instead of depending on a boss to put average work in front of you for terrible pay.
It’s not going to be easy. It will take obscene amounts of planning and discipline to scrape together the funds and time required to make yourself extraordinary and launch yourself as a business, but it’s definitely possible. You’ll have to practice extreme time management, and know when to change your strategy. You’ll face your family and friends telling you that your dreams are too far-fetched and unrealistic. But those who really want a way out will take the steps to get there, trying and failing and testing new ideas until they’re exactly where they want to be. It’s not an easy journey, but this website is one resource in your quest for freedom and a new way of living.
If you want to go on this journey with me, subscribe for a constant inflow of new ideas and practical tips. If you have friends who need this advice, please share it with them. I wish you all the best of luck, and remember to never lose sight of your dreams.