You will disagree with one or more of these. Watch for my note at the end about that.
1. Stop thinking about money
The worse your financial position, the more important this is.
I have lived in poverty most folks in the developed world can’t imagine. When you’re scrounging change from couch cushions to buy milk, it’s hard not to take work you hate just for the pay, or to work with jerks because they have money.
The bad mental association of working for jerks, doing work you hate just because it pays is a good way to mess up your relationship with money.
The sooner you stop thinking about money, the sooner you will start working with inspiring people, doing things that make you try harder.
Corollary: don’t work with people who put money first, either. You’ll know them by their actions, not necessarily their words.
2. Stop planning
Life is like sailing: you can’t choose a direction if you’re not moving. At the dock, a rudder is useless. Once you’re moving, that tiny part of the boat controls the whole thing.
Some planning is necessary. You’ve probably done too much already. I spent years at the dock, waiting for the wind and tide to spontaneously sweep me toward the paradise on the far shore.
When I finally shoved off, sometimes rowing, sometimes sailing, sometimes bailing like mad, I made progress. I’m not in paradise yet, but we’re miles closer than when the boat was sitting at the dock, waiting for the perfect idea for the perfect plan.
The time when you’ll know the least about where you’re going is right now. Make your plans based on that concept. Every inch closer, you’ll be learning, adapting, changing. You only need enough plan to get away from the dock, and a clear destination — though that may well change, too.
3. You don’t want a job
It’s the title of my 10th book because I believe it. A job is a way for someone else to make all the decisions — and all the money.
Don’t trade your entire life for just getting by.
You can do better on your own.
Want a free copy of the digital version of the book? Just ask. You deserve better than working for Mr. Waturi in the advertising library in “Joe vs. the Volcano.” If a free copy of my book will nudge you toward less madness and more joy in your work, I’m all over it. Like I said, just ask and it’s yours.
I struggled for 35 years with jobs I hated for employers who ranged from pretty good to completely insane and downright abusive. My whole life, I’ve only had 2 jobs that paid more than I made the past year being self-employed. (I work about 2 hours a day, spend most of my time writing, or playing music, or being with my family.)
Take your life back.
4. Generosity is your greatest asset
Do not give this lip service, then expect repayment for every “gift” you give. Give without thought for repayment. Give all your knowledge to those who need it. Give your services to those who deserve them, but can’t pay. When you can, give your financial support to those who need it, especially by paying for products or services which are worthwhile.
5. “Smart” is not the best metric
How smart you are, or I am, or anybody is, means nothing. Not a thing.
Love is the best metric.
If everything you do in business (and, frankly, in life) is based on unselfish principled love for others (and a healthy love for yourself) then you’ll start and end every day a little better than the one before.
Note at the end
Which one of these bugs you the most? Which one makes you think I’m crazy off-my-rocker nuts wrong?
That’s the key. Change that, and watch the logjam break loose.
Then come back and tell me about it.