I was scrolling through Pinterest this morning when I came across this image. This picture summarizes every reason why a lot of the ‘get money’ and ‘rise and grind’ entrepreneur types seriously get on my nerves. I’ve been a successful entrepreneur for four years — aka I put a roof over my head, I’ve grown my business each year, and I’ve been in the black the entire time all while doing all these other responsible things adults need to do like get health insurance, therapy, retirement accounts, investing, etc. Yet when I see pictures like this, I bristle with revulsion.
Let’s break down every annoying bit of these “people with jobs are idiots somehow” meme…
1) The Title: Stay ahead of the competition
I have news for you baby entrepreneurs or internet people who’ve sold a t-shirt and now have delusions of grandeur. Your competition is not people working a 9-5 job who have never been entrepreneurs. Those are your freaking CUSTOMERS and posting crap like this will alienate them because guess what? Most businesses fail. And most people have jobs! To start from the basis of seeing other individuals who are not even in your specific niche as competition reflects a level of narcissism that’s honestly confusing more than anything else.
2) Watch webinars while they watch Netflix
This one makes me chuckle probably because my fiancé is one of the world’s most sought after webinar consultants in digital marketing. I’ve seen a lot of webinars. I’ve read a lot of webinars. I can assure you that there are some Netflix shows that are WAY more valuable than a webinar depending on your niche. For example, I write sci-fi romance. Would a sci-fi fiction show that allows me to study the beats in sci-fi fiction serve me better than watching John Doe explain the principles of business I should have learned years ago? Yes, it would.
Down time is critically important for entrepreneurs and creatives since we suffer from burnout more than many other professions. Maybe the guy watching Netflix to avoid burn out is doing better than the person who spends every waking moment thinking about their business (but not actually doing anything since watching a webinar is still consuming content and most webinars are designed to sell you something.)
3) Go to seminars while they go to concerts
I don’t get it. Do seminars happen every single day and only when concerts are in town? It’s unclear to me why you can’t do both and it’s also unclear to me why one is superior to the other. Many seminars especially in the self-help/business niche are again, designed to be elaborate sales pitches. Concerts on the other hand can be relaxing, fun, and for many influencers a time to create good content. One of my fun side-hustles involves designing and selling t-shirts. If I spend my time at a concert, I can covertly observe what clothing is popular, what t-shirts I see and get ideas for my business. Any experience is what you make of it.
My down time point still stands here too. Not to mention that many concerts would be way less expensive than seminars. I’m not saying don’t go to seminars or networking events. I’m saying that a $400 ticket to see Beyoncé is going to cost you way less than the $2,000 required to go across the country for a major networking event. Most concerts aren’t even in the $400 range! How is spending $40 to see Beres Hammond cheating you of business growth?! It isn’t.
While only one is tax deductible (maybe, I’m not a tax expert and this isn’t financial advice), one may be more valuable to you than another depending on your niche, your strategy, and your specific needs as a business owner. And again, there’s no reason on God’s green earth why you can’t do both and attending concerts has never been directly linked to failure and stagnation as either a professional or an entrepreneur.
4) Go to the gym while they go to bars
Is it normal and healthy to go to the gym in the middle of the night? Sometimes, I guess, but I really wonder what the purpose of this is. I typically work out first thing in the morning, leaving plenty of time to socialize in the evening. I’m not really a bar person, nor do I think that going to the bar is better than going to the gym, but again, I don’t see why someone can’t do both. The people with 9-5s who some entrepreneurs think they’re better than somehow have the time to go to both the gym and the bar on a daily basis.
The point here is that there is no “either or”. I exercise every day and even if I choose not to go to the bar daily, I certainly have the time to do both.
5) Work on your side hustle while they go to bed early
I run two successful Amazon bestselling pen names including countless social media accounts and email lists associated with them, sell audiobooks, run ads on a YouTube channel, and sell t-shirts on a major online platform, plus I write this blog. On average I go to bed at 8:30 p.m. It’s not terribly difficult to work on your side-hustle AND go to bed early. Again, there’s nothing wrong with not working on a side-hustle. Or not going to bed early.
You have to question the superiority complex in someone who needs a side-hustle looking down on someone who might not. For example, I don’t need the money from my t-shirts. I enjoy making them and designing t-shirts and learning about print-on-demand in the eCommerce space. If I decide not to work on it for five to six months, I’m not missing out on anything. If you’re making a good income and you don’t need or want a side-hustle, why should you work on it? Go to bed early instead of burning out. You’ll be better off in the long run.
6) Do what you love and travel the world while they slave away at their 9-5
This really cinches this pyroclastic flow of contradictions and nonsensical logic. Be a workaholic who works dead in to the night, never doing anything fun, and focus exclusively on gains physical and financial, but somehow also travel the world while other people are working. So will you be working, or nah?
People who “slave away” at their 9-5 jobs often travel the world. In fact, some of the best traveled people I know work 9-5s that pay them enough money to travel to Caribbean carnival celebrations all over the world, or interesting locations across the United States. I’m doing what I love as a writer. Someone else might be doing what they love as a software engineer, a bartender, a café manager, a teacher, a swim coach, a banker, a lawyer, or a freaking farmer. The presumption that “the hustle” is the only thing pleasurable gives off the distinct impression that a fulfilling life wasn’t part of the equation when this graphic was created.
This whole post reeks as if it appeals to the type of wanna-be entrepreneur lacking in grit and filled to capacity with get-rich-quick schemes and appealing to people who only want to sit around and look down on others. Of course all these contradictions will appeal to you if you aren’t actually walking the walk, but if you’re filled with propagandized notions of entrepreneurship.
Well, I’m a small business owner, and so is my fiancé and we both say this is complete nonsense. Looking down on 9-5s is totally inappropriate and isn’t justified by any negative things about entrepreneurship a person might have heard in the past. We aren’t competitors anyway, we’re comrades. But that’s another story. 😉