If you paid me fifty times what I make now to work at a regular job, I wouldn't do it.
Over the past few weeks I've informally asked some of my other entrepreneur friends how much they'd have to be paid to work a normal job in their industry. None of them quoted any reasonable figure. Some of them didn't want to answer the question because it was so uncomfortable to think about.
When Justin Frankel, creator of Winamp, quit AOL, he was offered a job by Microsoft. They asked what he needed to work there, and he responded with a written offer. In his list of necessities were things like a private jet, the ability to work remotely 100% of the time, and all boat rental fees to be reimbursed. It was a joke, but he sent it to them anyway. That's how abhorrent the idea of a real job was to him.
If you have a job, you might think that the grass is always greener. But you're wrong. No one on this side of the fence thinks the other side is greener. With a quick Google search, I could find you tens of thousands of blogs where people talk about how much they hate their jobs and how much they'd love to start their own business. I dare you to find entrepreneurs, even poor ones, who wish they had their old jobs back.
That's not to say, of course, that all jobs are bad. I know a good handful of people who have jobs they love and have no desire to be entrepreneurs. This post isn't for them-- they're happy with what they're doing already.
This post is for people who have that drive for freedom, that goal of being independent, who are wondering whether it's worth it or not.
Not because you'll make more money. You may or you may not. Not because it's less work. It's probably more. It's worth it because you have something so valuable that most of the world can't even conceive what it might be like to have: freedom.
Freedom trumps everything. If I wasn't constantly faced with people whose jobs prevent them from having freedom, I probably wouldn't appreciate what an exhilarating and amazing a thing it is to have. It would be like trees, so natural and ordinary that they don't get a second thought, despite their magnificence.
I would never get a job again. There's no better way to completely decimate your freedom, which I rank as life's crown jewel. If you offered me a billion dollars to be in an office, I'd take it. And then I'd quit after earning a month's salary so that I could have my freedom back.
If you have a job that you don't like, I hope you think about it. Because if it's not a stepping stone to something better, or feeding children that would otherwise go hungry, you're making a mistake. You may not even realize the mistake you're making if you've never tasted real freedom.
Q: If you're an entrepreneur, what would it take for you to get a regular job instead?
ToFind.Me is better now! Rough geolocating and a much better coordinate scheme. I'll write a full post on it later this week, probably. This is my favorite restaurant in Tokyo, which I can't find online in any way: http://ToFind.Me/+M95RS3B39. It's called Alaska. Check it out...
Heading to China this Thursday, then SF, then LA a few days later, then Austin, then Boston... crazy schedule for the holidays.
I buzzed my head with the shortest guard on the buzzer today. I look like I'm terminally ill, but man is it convenient.