I am, by most accounts, a pretty boring guy. I like routine.
I go to the same place for lunch almost every single day, and order the exact same thing. I’ve eaten the same toast and peanut butter breakfast every single weekday for years. I wear the same jeans each weekend. When I go to the usual restaurant with the usual friends, they can usually predict what I’m going to order. I am pretty much the exact opposite of spontaneous.
There’s a couple reasons why I think I’m so predictable. Firstly, that’s just the kind of guy I am. I figure out what I like, and I’m generally pretty loyal to it. Why would I take a chance with something new when I know I like the status quo? Secondly, somewhat related to the first point, I like my life. I like my job, I like being able to disguise penis jokes as a financial blog, I like my friends, and so forth.
It seems like everywhere I go on the internet, people are singing the praises of the unconventional life. There are people, (I’m not going to say who, but it rhymes with Man vs. Debt) who have an entire blog dedicated to doing all sorts of wonderful things, travelling to all sorts of wonderful places and making a difference in people’s lives, gosh darn it. Their tone is often like Jim Nantz’s when announcing the Masters, like they’re constantly in awe of all the wonder around them.
I shouldn’t just pick on Baker, because there are plenty of people who are just as guilty. Have you ever gone to one of those retire early blogs? Some do a nice job of talking about the steps needed to accomplish financial independence, but they’re vastly outnumbered by those people who cannot wait to throw off the shackles of (gasp!) having a normal job. Retirement will be better than blow jobs and cheeseburgers, once they finally manage to scrape together enough capital.
It’s the same thing with those people who talk about making money online. Build niche sites, they say, and watch the passive income roll in… at a rate of tens of dollars per month. Build a blog and update it daily they say, and within a year you’ll be able to live off the gravy train of text ads and staff writers. Take it to the next level and you can start raking in serious cash. Whoops, was that Google stripping your ragerank? NOT FAIR!
The common theme among all these types of blog is simple. They’re selling a dream. The dream is of financial independence, but without the 40 years of working your ass off and sacrificing to get there. If financial independence is something worth working hard for decades to accomplish, we all know people are going to try to take shortcuts to get there in a year or two. Hell, why do you think Yakezie is so popular? Oh wait, I forgot. Selflessly helping others.
The point is, all these blogs have a common purpose. They’re selling a dream. The dream is financial independence, and the time frame is short. Everybody who isn’t satisfied with their life is drawn to the dream and the freedom the dream provides. Work online in my pajamas? Oh boy.
Here’s my message for everyone who reads this blog who has given into the temptation of the dream. Stop. Stop with the bullshit. Stop with the lies you tell yourself. Stop with the grand visions of online supremacy. Stop with the dreams of early retirement. Just stop.
Instead, embrace the normal. How about, you find a real job you actually like, and do it? Or, if you’re 100% sure of the entrepreneurial route, run a business that isn’t solely online. These people are young, well educated, and they’ve only often worked for someone else for a few short years, and yet they’re sick of it all already? Really? Real life sucks sometimes guys.
Can we, as an entire group on the internet, put a stop to this crap? I know, the economy is bad, and bosses suck, and big faceless corporations regularly drown cute puppies. There are all sorts of paths you can take that don’t involve the Fortune 500. There are thousands of different jobs you can get and there are thousands of different businesses you can run. Here’s the deal though – there’s no shortcuts along that path. There’s no quick route to riches if you do things the old fashioned way.
I hate to break it to you, but you’re probably not that good at blogging. You’re not good enough to become nearly as successful as the people pushing the dream. If you’re lucky, you’ll make a mediocre living, assuming Google doesn’t strip you of what it gave you in the first place. You’re not going to be travelling the world while making your millions telling people how they can make their millions blogging. I know the Kool-aid is delicious, but you have to stop drinking it.
Probably a full 95% of my readers are happy with their normal lives. They do normal things like go to work, play with their kids and randomly make hobos fight and post these fights on Youtube. If they’re smart, they’re saving as much of their income as possible towards that elusive goal of becoming rich. If they’re really ambitious, they’ve even got some sort of side hustle. All they need to do is repeat this for 40 odd years, and they end up with a pretty decent nest egg.
That is the way you’re most likely to become wealthy. It’s boring. It’s unglamorous. It’s akin to eating the same Subway sandwich for lunch every single day. It’s a hell of a lot of work, but it represents the best chance you’ve got. Throw away all those grand dreams and embrace the normal. And while you’re at it, tell Baker he’s a douche.