A few weeks ago, I was hanging out with my oldest daughter and one of her best friends. They had just graduated from high school and were talking about college. During the conversation, I pulled the “Dad Card” and asked them if I could give them some advice.
Here’s what I told them:
“You’ve just finished high school and you’ve done well. The game you played during high school was to get good grades, so you can go to a good college. You’ve won this part of the game. From this point forward, everyone will be telling you to get good grades in college, so you can get a good job. This is the game I was taught. I played this game for awhile until I realized that I hated it. Most jobs suck the life out of you. They tell you when to work, what to wear, what to do, and when you can go home. They tell you if you can go on vacation, when you can go, and for how long you can stay. You trade a significant portion of your life away to collect a pay check. And the worst part is when you want to retire, you can’t sell your job. You have no equity.
My suggestion is for you to go to college and look for opportunities to start a great business. Look for ideas you can turn into businesses. Look for mentors that can help you start and build your business. Look for problems you can solve. Look for inconvenient things you can make more convenient. Look for complex things you can simplify. Make getting a good job your backup plan. You are going learn and see so much in college. Use this as an incredible opportunity to find great business ideas.”
My daughter seemed to understand what I was sharing. She has witnessed my journey and I believe the understands the value of the autonomy I’ve created for our family. My daughter’s friend looked at me as if I was crazy. Her parents both have great jobs and the plan is to follow in their footsteps.
Considering technology today, it is far easier to start and build a business than it has ever been. Our children have incredible opportunities to create amazing lifestyles. The problem is… they don’t see this. They completely miss it, because they’ve been taught that you win the game by getting a good job. They’ve been taught to play a game they really can’t win.
Think about it.
How do you win the “get a good job” game?
You work for 40 years saving 15% of your paycheck in your 401k plan hoping you can retire in your 60s. Or you kiss the right rear-ends and climb the corporate ladder to get a high-level position! Is this really what winning the game is?
I quit my last job back in 90s. At the time, I was as a CPA for a large public accounting firm. I was on track to become a partner in the firm. This was the “HOLY GRAIL” for good jobs. Everyone thought I had won the game.
This is the game I won:
– The accounting firm told me where I had to work. One of my clients at the firm was 90-minutes away from our office. The client wouldn’t pay for us to stay at a hotel, so we had to drive every day. I spent 3 hours a day in the car driving to do work I absolutely hated. This was 15 hours a week and 60 hours a month – driving to and from work. Guess what? They didn’t increase my salary to compensate for this extra time I had to invest to do my job.
– They told me what to wear. (Business suit & tie)
– They told me how to look. No man bun, or hipster beard for me. 🙁
– They told me that I had to work 80 hours a week during busy season from January 1st through April 15th every year. Even though I was working the hours of two full-time jobs during this time, they would only pay me for 40 hours a week as factored into my salary.
– When I made partner, I would have to make a significant financial investment to buy into the partnership. I would also have to relocate to a new office. On a high level, this meant I would have to pay to work 80 hours a week and I would have to move away from my family and friends.
This is how you win the “Get A Good Job” game. You trade away your life. You trade away your family and friends.
This is the game we were taught to play. This is the game we teach our children to play. This is the game our children will teach their children to play.
Who do you think designed this game?