Wage Slave or Crazy Entrepreneur?

Eric Allam of 52 Reviews posted an interesting comment on my post “Top Ten Reasons to Remain a Wage Slave,” which is a spoof off of a couple of Steve Pavlina’s “list of 10” posts. Eric linked to a post on his blog, “BusinessPundit lays out 10 misconceptions of entrepreneurship, reveals his hypocrisy,” in which he rebutted criticisms Robert May of BusinessPundit.com had leveled at Steve Pavlina’s post. (Whew! I’m outta breath!)

So, Eric, I actually had already read your post. And then I subscribed to your blog.

I can see where Rob is coming from, and I agree with Eric as well. I worked in a very entrepreneurial company for a long time, and I learned a lot. Back then, I toyed around with the idea of striking out on my own, but I never really wanted to go for it. It was just an idle fantasy. Then I got laid off, and it took more than 2 years for me to understand how special that place was.

If you can find a great job that makes you happy, do stick with it. And if you’re the creative sort, like me, and you can find a job that lets you stretch yourself and lets you make mistakes and lets you take control over your own life and supports you in that… I certainly wouldn’t talk down to you for staying there.

Most jobs do not give you room to grow. Most jobs do not let you make a difference. Most jobs do not put you in initiative-driven teams working for good bosses that focus on results and let you be comfortable and fulfilled in your work. And most software engineering jobs do not expect you to sell your time; they expect you to sell your soul.

And Eric, you make a good point. For many people, it is about money. It’s about the fear of being poor, as Pam Slim recently reminded me. They’re willing to sell their souls, if necessary, because they believe it is most likely to keep them sheltered and fed. But I didn’t even remember the connection until you pointed it out.

I didn’t realize any of the connections between all these posts until I sat down to write what you’re reading now.

(Is this what Steve would call “synchronicity”? And what would happen if I re-listened to his podcast #8, “Overcoming Fear”? Which says nothing about money, but which I just now happened to notice in the left column of his website.)

And here’s the real shocker: I was not thinking about any of these things when I wrote “Top Ten Reasons to Remain a Wage Slave.” Rather, I was just trying to be funny. And between quips like “You can be just as miserable without motivation” and “Just think of how bad things could get if you actually became successful as an entrepreneur,” I hope you can see the tongue-in-cheek. But everyone who commented on it or linked to it treated the piece as completely serious. I’m sure they understood the sarcasm, but I wonder if anyone realizes how heartily “Ten Reasons” still makes me laugh everytime I read it… Who doesn’t like having their belly rubbed! ROFL!

[Some time later…] That felt good. I needed that.