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.