Entrepreneurs Who Still Manage To Suck At Life

I’ve just got done reading an article over on John Chow’s blog about why you suck if you don’t want to become an entrepreneur. I was left so cold by this relentless drivel that I felt compelled to write my own piece on the subject.

The basic gist of the article, when I break it down in to three points is this:

1. The farmer’s son will grow up to be a farmer, and the banker’s son will grow up to be a banker.
2. It’s the farmer’s fault that his son takes this “unsuccessful” path.
3. Everybody should chase the American Dream of being an entrepreneur since money and financial freedom are at the core of happiness.

And from these assumptions, I’ve developed my own assessment of the guest poster:

1. He thinks people without father figures have no right to grow up to be anything at all.
2. He doesn’t need farmers. I’m guessing he spunks in his coffee and eats his own bullshit brand cheeseburgers for lunch.
3. He’s young and naive, or young and shallow. I can’t decide.

There is nothing I hate more in an entrepreneur than the attitude that they’ve found the only path leading to happiness in life. It’s complete and utter bullshit. You don’t have to be rich, famous and wiping your arse with dollar bills to be considered a success. The sheer idea that quitting college and setting up your own business is the BEST option for youngsters just leaves me shaking my head and itching for a facepalm.

Personally speaking, that’s exactly what I’ve done. I dropped out of college at 16, quit my day job as soon as I could and started my own business. Well whoopty fucking doo for me, unfortunately my autobiography would never make for the soundest advice to other young adults out there. Because everybody is different and there are many ways to skin the cat we call life.

I know through answering emails that I have people reading this blog who come from vastly different walks of life to myself. I’ve spoken to other affiliates and entrepreneurs. But also to lawyers, web designers, journalists, car mechanics and even hair stylists. Many people are interested in getting in to affiliate marketing – or simply reading about it – but it doesn’t mean we as affiliates are anymore likely to end up happy and successful.

And yet many entrepreneurs, young and naive like this guy, will talk down on those hard working individuals who haven’t plied their craft in to building something for themselves. Most of the people I speak to about affiliate marketing don’t even want to! They’d just like to make a bit of money on the side while they chase their dreams of becoming a doctor, a musician, an actor…or whatever.

I’ve yet to find a qualified professional with a degree or an academic background who’s felt the need to turn round to me and say “Damn Finch, I wish I’d dropped out of school at 16 like you”. Or even better yet, as this guy seems to be suggesting: “I wish I’d studied at home on the Internet instead of going to university.”

He paints a picture of doom and gloom for any kid born in to a farmer’s family. And yet he completely neglects that a farmer’s son doesn’t grow up idolizing the corporate banker or the successful entrepreneur. He grows up proud to be what he is. His dreams and interpretations of success defined by those around him. There’s a little thing called “appreciating where we came from”. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a successful entrepreneur, there are people out there who are just as happy living under completely different circumstances.

Yes, we should all aspire to gain more “financial knowledge” or whatever this dude is smoking. But financial knowledge, or being sensible with money – as I’d like to assume he’s trying to imply – doesn’t depend on how much actual bloody money you have. I know people who have had thousands handed to them and they’ve blown it recklessly. At the same time I know people surviving on pennies and pounds who couldn’t be any happier with the direction they’re heading.

It all comes down to personal ambition and more importantly, staying humble enough to appreciate that your own journey isn’t the only one that matters. Or works.

The sheer notion of “money = success” is enough to tell me that the guy who posted this nonsense hasn’t really lived. It’s the juvenile talk of a young entrepreneur who understands how to make money, but has no understanding of it’s worth. I make more money than all of my friends but no matter how many notes I add to my bank vault, I’d expect my success to be judged by how happy I am in an empty room.

Some people are born to be entrepreneurs. Some people are born to be team players. But until you show me such a thing as a one man economy, it’s pretty clear that one can’t exist without the other. I don’t think it truly matters what you choose to become, only that you get up in the morning with a reason to be.

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About the author


A 29 year old high school dropout (slash academic failure) who sold his soul to make money from the Internet. This blog follows the successes, fuck-ups and ball gags of my career in affiliate marketing.


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  • Awesome post. I feel like this logic is some how even more prevalent with the unsuccessful affiliates trying to make it. They are the most judgmental about the boring “muggles” outside our world of fast money and scam websites.

  • Thanks for taking the time to dispel that kind of bullshit life advice. On this planet, there are over 6 billion ways to be happy. You’re a success in my books if you have found yours.

  • Nice post. My 2 cents:

    1)Those are not his original ideas. The whole stuff about financial knowledge and how school of life is better than actual school comes from the “Rich dad” Robert Kiyosaki. And that guys tends to simplify an awful lot.

    2)My uncle is a farmer and he is making way more money than a small entrepreneur let alone a top executive. In fact, most farmers nowadays are entrepreneurs.

  • I could not agree more Finch. I have friends that have followed in their parents footsteps and couldnt be happier. I have friends that dont have one entrepreneurial bone in their body and make more at their day job than 90% of affiliates and couldnt be happier.

    I have friends who are six figures in debt chasing titles through the education system and they couldnt be happier. Personally I have rejected the education system and corporate America, and I could live a lot less stressful life if I were to conform but I do what I do and I couldnt be happier.

    It’s all about how you play your life. We all get one chance at this. You have to do whatever you need to make yourself happy. No use living a miserable life and wasting away trying to impress people who dont care.

  • Great Post! Too often I see young kids (I feel weird saying that as I’m only 26) thinking that they’ve figured out how everything in the world works according to their narrow view. Money most surely isn’t happiness. All too often I daydream of leaving my job as a high-paid web programmer and just opening a tiki bar on a beach somewhere.

  • Well said.

    I was in Kenya a few years ago and at one of the camps was a local tribesman who had been educated in England but had returned to his village to live simply among his people. He would come to the camps like the one I was staying at to give quick talks on the local people. He was a smart educated guy who made an informed decision about how he wanted to live his life. He probably doesn’t make $500 / year but he seemed very happy. And he’s probably the most successful person I’ll ever meet.

  • Ok Ive just popped over to look at his blog. John Chow looks like a Chinese Frankenstein/ Chinese Ant McPartlin in his video.

  • happiness means different things to different people.
    some of my happy moments were:
    * the first $100 i made off affiliate marketing
    * completing an indie CD with my band
    * financial freedom to a certain extent
    * walk in the park on a sunny day

    I just think its a balance and if you focus on one thing too much, there is always sacrifices to be made

  • Fine sentiments, but sadly out of place in modern Britain.

    And now back to perusing narrowboars on ebay.

  • Awesome post Finch.
    After hanging out with the “grandfather” of internet marketing and getting a Top down for the last few months (and why he is ‘washing’ his hands of it.) I am so glad to see someone call b*llshit on un-healthy beliefs.
    Not everyone should be an Entrepreneur AND that does not mean you are not a success if you are not. I still say the greatest success is not dollars, but what legacy you create and leave. Is the world a better place because of you and your actions or did you just come, take and go? I know few share my belief, but so what. It’s my life, my destiny and my beliefs that I have to be at peace with not your opinion.
    “The poor long for riches, the rich long for wisdom and the wise… that seek peace of mind”

  • nice post. having just spent a weekend on a farm, i am quite envious of certain aspects…I think it’s more about understanding a healthy balance between ‘work’ and life – you have to be able to enjoy those things around you as well, inspiration comes from the strangest places sometimes! Definitely disgree with the guy who said that certain lifestyles suck, and totally agree with your sentiments – to each his own!

  • Nice response and detailed post.
    I agree. Not everyone wants to be an entrepreneur. Everyone has different goals and dreams.

  • I think one of his comments sums it up:

    “My happiness is having a bunch of beautiful strippers on my lap at the same time, and in my case….Money does equal happiness. Yours different. This article is meant for people who want to take from life as much as possible like me.

    I also helped a few of my friends get out of debt because I’ve made extra money. I took my parents to Vietnam for a month because I got money. We could have stayed longer, but damn was it hot. Also, that stripper slept with me because I have extra money. And because of those things, I’m broke again and have to work full time at the pharmacy. True story.

    But I will bounce back again because I have financial knowledge, or at least I think I do.”

    Young and naive is a bit of an understatement. But hey, gets the Dude his links. But man, you should never go to Chow’s site, what were you thinking?

  • Great Post. Where I live, Farmers are some of the richest people (landowner farmers that is, not tenants) so that guy is wrong there for a start.

    We all need people to be farmers, otherwise we’d either starve or have to grow our own food/raise our own livestock.

    And how do you define a successful life? By cheating and conning people out of their life savings(i.e. bankers and the sub prime mortgage fiasco)? Give me integrity & morals any day.

  • I agree with the importance of farmers. Without them, thousands of sheep would be left without sexual stimulation.

  • I was watching deal or no deal and one contestant was so happy to take a small offer but the show promised him they would hook his home country (third world) up with a basketball court.

    You’re right. Having money makes life more comfortable but too much isn’t exactly a neccesity.

  • Well said. Not everyone is going to find happiness and success as an affiliate marketer, just like not everyone would be happy as a doctor, lawyer, teacher, plumber, etc. Without sounding too ‘new-agee’, we all have our own paths to follow. It’s a big mistake for someone to think that their way is the right and only way for everyone.

  • I am studying to be a doctor here in Mexico, this is my last year (my seven year). And I do not want to be a doctor anymore, not because of affiliate marketing, where I live almost the doctors are frustaded, that they do not make enough money. But also are some doctors who just work in a poor hospital and give triple their month salary to buy meds for kids with leukemia. Everybody has his pad.

    You say in your article that nobody has said “I wish I’d studied at home on the Internet instead of going to university.”, I was tempted to say “I wish”, but thinking more about it, I learn a lot in university, that I couldn´t live now with all that knowladge. And I always have the option of working as doctor as charity.

    Cool post.

  • Very well said! It’s true that everyone has diff happiness and goals in life. I know plenty of people with little income who are super happy with their family and life.

  • Interesting…

    I can take a little from both you and Chow and how you view things.

    For me my dad was a highly paid consultant. I never wanted to do anything but play music and write novels n crap when I was a teenager.

    So I was already mindfuked about money and how I thought I could make it. Plus I didn’t want to go my dad’s route.

    It lead me to be an entrepreneur, but at first I had no sense of how to actually make money because of how I was raised.

    Now take another guy I know. His dad was a successful builder. So he quickly and easily became a successful entrepreneur when he grew up.

    …Now about happiness and what not…

    A lot of these guys talking about money, money, money… All they do is WORK and never get to enjoy it.

    So I’m like… Who cares if you have $80 million dollars? I know you’re doing 80x more work than me.

    Max amount of money while decreasing work… that’s my philosophy.

    Live below your means, be debt free, and enjoy the simple things in life while dropping some occasional coin on something cool.

    But hey, I guess overall… whatever floats YOUR boat is right for you I guess.

  • […] Entrepreneurs Who Still Manage To Suck At Life – This is another great post by Finch Martin. Some good stuff in here about starting a biz, being an entrepreneur, etc. Tags: freemium, mail chimp, paypal, Week In Review Posted in Week In Review Tweet ADVERTISEMENT […]

  • Disagree, if you dont think like an entrepreneur you are my employee. Economics is very simple and an 800 word rant will not change the way the world works.

  • Chow needs to check himself on that post. I see the point he’s trying to make but the way he went about it was pretty offensive. Plus, he obviously doesn’t know much about farming or how well it is doing right now. I have some farmer relatives that are making an absolute killing right now. It’s like Christmas all year long 7 figure style.. Proving you don’t have to wear a suit to be successful and just because you grow up in the country working your ass off on a farm doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t know jack about money. However, I do agree with him that you definitely need a sound understanding of money and investments to get mega wealthy in most cases. I disagree that money = success. I know plenty of people who have plenty of money that are unhappy. Success is much more about attitude and determination than where you come from, although being born with a silver spoon in your mouth can obviously put you ahead of the game.

  • Your argument has its merits but on the subject of college your wrong in many respects.

    For the highest performing percentage of the student population would generally be best served diving headfirst into business and learning on their feet.

    For the other 98% of students, college is treated as a big long vacation to piss away their parents hard earned money.

    Sure there are a few people out there actually interested in learning for the sake of learning, but lets face it, college sells itself as a money-making scheme…that seriously underdelivers.

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