“It’s not that I’m lazy, it’s that I just don’t care. It’s a problem of motivation alright. Now if I work my ass off and Innotech ships a few extra units I don’t see another dime, so where’s the motivation?” That line is from Peter Gibbons in the classic anti-day job movie Office Space. I always knew that I really liked that movie and I think now I know why. Here’s part of the interview:
I’ll be the first to admit that a big part of my motivation to work hard is money. It’s not that I love spending it or love having money, but I know that the harder I work now, the more likely I’ll be able to relax later. Early on in your career, your contributions to savings and retirement accounts make up a much larger percentage than when you’re older because you have less money saved up when you’re young. If my 401(k) is only worth 35k at age 25, I can increase the value by 50% by maxing it out with $17,500. That same contribution will mean a lot less when I have a 350k portfolio at age 40.
I’m also motivated to earn money now because I know that passive income streams like real estate require a lot of active income first. I’m not under the illusion that you can make money by doing nothing. It takes money to make money baby! Right now, I’m willing to work a day job that I’m not in love with and various other jobs so that I can eventually pursue my passion. I’m not even sure that I know what that passion is yet but I have a feeling it won’t pay me huge sums of money.
Day Job Blues
First, let me say this. Even though I bitch and complain about my day job a lot, it was still a great job. I was good at it and other people thought I was good at it. I got paid way more than I think I should have and my co-workers were awesome. The environment was even laid back enough to let me play ping pong and basketball whenever I wanted to. I know there are day jobs that are way worse than mine and I don’t know how people can put up with them.
One of the main things I don’t like about my day job though is that there is no correlation between how hard I work and how much I get paid. That’s why communism doesn’t work people. Why would anyone become a doctor if they can get paid the same wage being a camp counselor? I’ve always over-achieved and I’ve gotten into the habit of being rewarded accordingly. I knew if I did well in school I’d get into a good college which would in turn get me a high paying job. Everything worked out great for a while there.
But now that I’m working full time, I’ve hit a road block. Maybe it’s just the engineering industry but I have a feeling most fields are like this. In sales positions there are well defined metrics to see how you’re performing compared to your peers. If you’re selling a million dollars worth of products you know and everyone else knows that you’re doing an awesome job and you’ll be rewarded accordingly. But in other professions, like mine, it’s hard to show quantitatively that I’m a great engineer.
I Like Working Hard
In professions like mine, it’s more about making good impressions and working 40-60 hours a week so that people think you’re a hard worker. Working overtime just to prove your a hard worker is beyond stupid to me. I had bosses in the past who asked me to come in on Saturdays just because everyone else was doing it. I didn’t have any work to do so I would come in and sit at my desk for four hours and then go home. I even got paid for this time but I still thought it was a huge waste of my time.
Since I started working online full time the past few months I’ve felt rejuvenated again. I remember that I like working hard and I’m seeing a direct correlation between how hard I’m working and how much money I’ve made. Crazy how that works huh? Even though financial freedom is my ultimate goal, I’ve been more motivated to make a name for myself in the blogging/freelancing industry and build up my businesses. I want to have a blog that is viewed by millions of people a day and I’m going to keep working until I get there.
Figure Out What Motivates You
It doesn’t have to be money that motivates you. A lot of people are motivated by success, fame or power, yet money will most likely be a nice by-product of all the above. I think that’s the best part about being a motivated worker. No matter what field you end up picking, if you can make it to the top, money will be there waiting for you.
I don’t know if most people would admit that money motivates them but I think that’s a huge reason why a lot of people complain about their jobs yet keep working those same jobs. Why would you work a job you hate if not for the money? The whole point of this site is to examine ways to make money doing things other than a day job. There’s no allegiance in business so don’t think that if you bust your ass for a company they owe you anything. They could fire you tomorrow and all that hard work you put in would be forgotten.
When you work for yourself, it’s all on you. There’s a lot more pressure and frankly, it’s a lot tougher to make money this way but you will see a direct correlation between how hard you work and how much money you make. That’s what motivates me.
Readers, what motivates you to work hard at your day job? If you kill it for the company and make them a million dollars do you see any part of that?
-Harry @ the Four Hour Work Day