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May 14, 2007

Did You Know The Word 'Boss' is Dutch for 'Baas' which means "Master?"

"Getting a job is like enrolling in a human domestication program.  You learn how to be a good pet."  Gee, I wish I could take credit for this irreverent but spot on piece of wisdom, but I can't.  Nor the historical context for the word 'Baas."

That honor belongs to Steve Pavlina, a 'no holds barred' entrepreneur and world-renowned blogger who apparently does very well as a self-styled businessperson (with a very inspirational and unique background.)  While he sugar-coats nothing, makes broad-brushing statements (and some may be uncomfortably tickled by the strokes), he's accurate.  (While I don't share his brashness because I understand the flipside of each statement...there is something to what he says.)

Here are a few jewels from 10 Reasons You Should Never Get a Job that are applicable across the working world and especially for lawyers.

3. Lifelong domestication.

Getting a job is like enrolling in a human domestication program.  You learn how to be a good pet.

Look around you.  Really look.  What do you see?  Are these the surroundings of a free human being?  Or are you living in a cage for unconscious animals?  Have you fallen in love with the color beige?

How’s your obedience training coming along?  Does your master reward your good behavior?  Do you get disciplined if you fail to obey your master’s commands?

Is there any spark of free will left inside you?  Or has your conditioning made you a pet for life?

Humans are not meant to be raised in cages.  You poor thing…

4. Too many mouths to feed.

Employee income is the most heavily taxed there is.  In the USA you can expect that about half your salary will go to taxes.  The tax system is designed to disguise how much you’re really giving up because some of those taxes are paid by your employer, and some are deducted from your paycheck.  But you can bet that from your employer’s perspective, all of those taxes are considered part of your pay, as well as any other compensation you receive such as benefits.  Even the rent for the office space you consume is considered, so you must generate that much more value to cover it.  You might feel supported by your corporate environment, but keep in mind that you’re the one paying for it.

Another chunk of your income goes to owners and investors.  That’s a lot of mouths to feed.

It isn’t hard to understand why employees pay the most in taxes relative to their income.  After all, who has more control over the tax system?  Business owners and investors or employees?

You only get paid a fraction of the real value you generate.  Your real salary may be more than triple what you’re paid, but most of that money you’ll never see.  It goes straight into other people’s pockets.

What a generous person you are!

5. Way too risky.

Many employees believe getting a job is the safest and most secure way to support themselves.


Social conditioning is amazing.  It’s so good it can even make people believe the exact opposite of the truth.

Does putting yourself in a position where someone else can turn off all your income just by saying two words (”You’re fired”) sound like a safe and secure situation to you?  Does having only one income stream honestly sound more secure than having 10?

The idea that a job is the most secure way to generate income is just silly.  You can’t have security if you don’t have control, and employees have the least control of anyone.  If you’re an employee, then your real job title should be professional gambler.

10. Becoming a coward.

Have you noticed that employed people have an almost endless capacity to whine about problems at their companies?  But they don’t really want solutions – they just want to vent and make excuses why it’s all someone else’s fault.  It’s as if getting a job somehow drains all the free will out of people and turns them into spineless cowards.  If you can’t call your boss a jerk now and then without fear of getting fired, you’re no longer free.  You’ve become your master’s property.

When you work around cowards all day long, don’t you think it’s going to rub off on you?  Of course it will.  It’s only a matter of time before you sacrifice the noblest parts of your humanity on the altar of fear:  first courage… then honesty… then honor and integrity… and finally your independent will.  You sold your humanity for nothing but an illusion.  And now your greatest fear is discovering the truth of what you’ve become.

I don’t care how badly you’ve been beaten down.  It is never too late to regain your courage.  Never!

Another shining example of unadulterated brilliance is 10 Business Lessons From A Snarky Entrepreneur.

  1. Think for yourself.  Unplug yourself from follow-the-follower groupthink, and virtually ignore what everyone else in your industry is saying (except the ones everyone agrees is crazy).  Do your own research, draw your own conclusions, set your own course, and stick to your guns.  When you’re just starting out, people will tell you you’re wrong.  After you’ve blown past them, they’ll tell you you’re crazy.  A few years after that, they’ll (privately) ask you to mentor them.

Also read 10 Myths About Self-Employment and 10 Stupid Mistakes Made By The Newly Self-Employed.  Steve has just been bookmarked for me.


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