Many months ago, I had come across a book, The Four Hour Work Week, and I was quite unimpressed by it and its author. Recently, a blogger that I follow read the book and was advocating for it. Not for the processes in the book exactly, but more along the line of “getting your due.”
My personal employment situation is different than both the Four Hour author and this blogger. I work for a company and I develop and maintain their internal software. I’m not a consultant, so the blog author’s primary arguments about “you are paid $50/hr, but your employer gets paid $150-$300/hr for the work you do” don’t resonate with me. Even so, I have held those jobs in the past, so I know what it’s about.
I know myself well enough to say, I’m not cut out for running a business. I know because I’ve tried. There’s a lot involved. The blogger says that for the difference in what you get made vs what you could potentially make, you could hire the people that can make it happen for you. Not a salesperson? Hire one. Not an accountant? Hire one. And I guess you could keep justifying that a lot. After all you’re making 3-6x what you were making before.
At least you’d be making that much if you were perpetually busy. Scott Adams recent book has a very wise observation that there is an upper bound on what you can make if your income is dependent on your labor. And that’s the upper bound. There is no lower bound. And when you start from scratch, you don’t have the luxury of a backlog of work and pay.
Bottom line is you have to be of the entrepreneur mold. And there shouldn’t be anything wrong with not being of that type. You should still be able to be successful by being the best you can be in your field.
With that position – my position – stated, I must say that I believe the teachings of the “four hour work week” are detrimental for young workers. If you find this works for you, then you are already that type of person. I don’t believe just anyone can become “that person”. I know I couldn’t live with myself like that. I’ve also learned in my time that I don’t want to be associated with people like that.
Which then brings me back to my inner conflict with a blogger I enjoy reading. I guess I need to wish him well, because everyone has to find their own way. My way has worked well for me. Could I have more? Probably. Would I also have more stress in my life? Probably. Would I trade more money for more stress? Absolutely not.