Photo Credit: The Matrix (Warner Brothers)

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When I first watched the Matrix as a nerdy 10 year old it was one of my favorite movies because of the special effects.

Now a decade later I am finally beginning to realize just how accurate the Matrix metaphor is to the modern day world.

Much of what is considered “normal” by the average American is a web of lies and half-truths, some the result of malicious intent and some just the unfortunate result of ignorance, dogma, and tradition.

This post is a part of a series questioning the status quo and getting you closer to reality.

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Tynan’s post “Entrepreneurs Don’t Want Jobs” really resonated with me.

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.

Wow I could not agree more with that post. Through high school and college I worked several different fulltime jobs, mostly IT related, but the story was always the same. The work was tedious and rarely important. I got done with my work after an hour or two and just surfed the internet the rest of the day, counting down the minutes until I was allowed to leave. I was always late to work, mostly because I just didn’t give a shit. Oh and I got paid a max of $8.00 per hour which adds up to $56 per day for 7 hours of work.

To be fair some people do have really cool jobs that they love, but they are a tiny minority. If you are going to be spending 8 hours per day (1/3rd of your life) at your job, at least make it one you don’t hate.

After creating my own online business I now spend maybe an hour per day on it, which is now averaging $80 in daily income. I have the ultimate freedom to run the business however I want… if I fail or succeed I have no one to blame but myself. Oh and most of my 170+ customers tell me how awesome I am and how much time I saved them. Those fulltime jobs were a waste of my time and abilities. Even if you paid me ten times my current income I still wouldn’t go back to a regular job. The loss of freedom is just too great.

A recent Conference Board report found that:

“only 45% of Americans are satisfied with their employment situation, based on a survey of 5,000 households. Just 12% said they were “very satisfied.” That marks the lowest job-satisfaction rate since the organization first conducted the survey in 1987, “

There are lots of reasons why jobs are bad and getting worse: Increased competition from other countries (China), flat wages not keeping up with inflation, high cost of health insurance, and of course a terrible job market outlook.

Not to mention that most workplaces reward personal sacrifice instead of actual productivity. If you are productive enough to get all your work done in 2 hours instead of 8 hours you are still expected to stay in the office and look busy. Workers boast about their all-nighters of bullshit paper shuffling, and if you told them you got all that work done in a hour they look at you with disdain. Furthermore, innovation is usually looked down on in most companies as a challenge to established authority. You can’t rock the boat too much or else you risk ending up in the unemployment line.

When you work at a fulltime job the fruits of your labor are making someone else rich. Buh..buh..but if I work really extra hard then my boss will have to give me a 2% raise that doesn’t even keep up with inflation! Yeah sure they will – management probably won’t even notice the extra productivity. Or they do notice that you are very productive and as a reward for getting done early give you the ultimate insult of assigning you even more work to do with no extra compensation.

The main character of Office Space nailed it, the easiest way to get through the work day is to just look busy but barely get anything done.

Now I’m not saying that tomorrow you should go into your bosses office and take crap on his desk, but if you don’t like your job you owe it to yourself to at least try out some other alternatives on the side. Use your skills to generate some side income through either freelancing or an online “muse” type business.

Sure being an entrepreneur carries some risks – but that is why you can test out a business while still keeping your regular job. You just need to test the business inexpensively to limit potential losses. If you follow my muse testing outline and it doesn’t work, you are out maybe $200 and a couple hours of your time – you end up in the exact same position you are right now. If your business is a success you may very well be able to quit your job. You really have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

A man chooses… a slave obeys
– Andrew Ryan

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Filed under: Escape 9-5Seeing the Matrix

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