Just like anything else in life, working a 9-5 day job has its ups and downs. I think that the downsides tend to outweigh the benefits but a majority of people in the US still work a job that requires them to sit in an office for a minimum of 8-9 hours a day. So there must be something pretty attractive about it.
You might think they are in it for the money(like I am), but most people working day jobs won’t ever get rich. Most millionaires are small business owners or self-employed and it’s very rare to find someone that’s a millionaire mid level manager.
At its core, this website is about quitting your day job and finding a job that lets you work less and live more. It might be a job that lets you work from home or you might still have to go into an office, but the important thing is that you work for yourself. Odds are, you won’t make as much working four hours a day but you’d be surprised just how little money happiness requires.
One of the reasons I started this site was because I only worked about 4 hours a day at my day job but I had to be there for 8 hours every day. The rest of the time was spent in meetings, browsing the internet and basically just wasting time. I mean I used to play ping pong every day at 3 pm for a while there.
Who Do You Depend On?
One of the things I hated about my day job was how dependent I was on everyone else to get my work done. I worked for a huge company so everyone was very specialized in what they did. In order for me to do my job, I needed several different inputs from other people who needed inputs from other people. It seemed like nothing was ever anyone’s responsibility since you could just blame someone else. I absolutely hated that. I’m all about owning up when I make a mistake and it just seemed like no one would ever do that.
I think my view of corporate life might be a little biased since I’ve only ever worked for one company(and it was a very large one) but it seems like my sentiments are pretty common among the cubicle types. I think working for a smaller company would be a lot more rewarding since it’s almost like you’re working for yourself. When there are only a few employees, your absence will be felt more and your impact will be more tangible. There were whole days where I did literally nothing and no one would notice(I’m serious, I went in one day and did nothing just to see if anyone would notice). Now that I’m working online, there are still days when I don’t do any work, but I get to fill that time up with whatever I want.
Depend on No One
Since I quit my day job I’ve had to rely on myself to get things done and make a living. It’s been tough and if I would have started from scratch with my online endeavors there’s no way I’d be making very much right now. But since I knew we’d be moving and I would be forced to quit my job, I’ve been preparing for months to make the temporary jump to full time online entrepreneurship.
The best part about it all has been the direct correlation between how hard I work and how much money I make. At my day job, I could have worked overtime every week and at the end of the year gotten maybe a 1% higher merit raise than someone who put in the bare minimum. That’s definitely not the case anymore because if I half ass it, then I will get paid accordingly. And if I go all out, then I’ll also be paid accordingly.
Making the jump to a four hour work day isn’t something that I decided to do over night. I have been saving hard for four years, building up my passive income streams and side businesses to see what it would be like if I didn’t have to work my day job. I didn’t rely on anyone to help me with all that either, I did it all myself.
Motivated by Incentives
I think it’s human nature to respond to incentives. When you’re little and you get all A’s on your report card your parents will probably reward you with money or gifts. That incentivizes you to work hard and get good grades. There are countless examples like that in life and although the rewards aren’t always monetary, there is usually some type of incentive at the end of the road. But when you’re working for a mega corp with 100,000 employees what incentive do you have to work hard? If you bust your ass and make the company a bunch of money will you be rewarded accordingly? In my experience, the answer is no.
This might seem like a very trite point of view but I don’t think I should waste my energy making someone else money. A lot of us Gen-X’ers say they want this or want that but it’s really up to you to go out and get it. I’m not going to rely on someone else to give me a job or make me money, I’m going to go out and get the job myself and make as much as I can for myself.
Some people are happy working for someone else but not me. My side hustles aren’t motivated by money, in fact I think they’re motivated by the opposite. I want to be able to live and work on whatever I want and not have to worry about how much money I’m making. It’s hard to find a passion that aligns with making good money but once you do your incentives will start to change. Although you’ll want to make money, you now have a certain sense of pride in seeing your business succeed and working for yourself. That’s what I’m after.
Readers, how dependent are you on other people at your day job? Do you see a result between how hard you work and how much money you make or how much recognition or pride you get?
-Harry @ The Four Hour Work Day