“Only in our dreams are we free. The rest of the time we need wages.”
– Terry Pratchett
Why most people never make more than $9 an hour
I have a client who pays me almost $300 for an afternoon’s worth of work. Whenever I finish working for them, they throw in a bonus. It’s great and I love helping on their projects.
However, they generally only have one task a month. This means that I have to find other sources of income too. And whenever I go on sites like oDesk it amazes me at how cheap some of the clients are.
The other afternoon I saw a guy offering $10 for a 3,000 word eBook. You could write your own title and make more than that.
While that kind of money is insanely low, a lot of guys don’t realize that working for $10 an hour isn’t much better. A man working for low-wages gets burnt out after a few days.
Your passion goes from a fun activity to something you dread.
Do you really want to spend 40 hours a week doing menial tasks?
Would you rather work less and make more?
I thought so.
From my own personal experience I’ve discovered three common issues that trap people in the world of low-wages.
Problem one: You work for the wrong people
I have never heard of anyone who enjoyed working for a miser. If you work for someone who cuts corners to save money don’t be surprised when they throw you under the bus.
The worst bosses that I’ve ever had were the cheapest. It wasn’t the pay that made them unpleasant (I do pro bono work all the time), it was their mindset.
Cheap people are dialed into the world of scarcity.
A lot of super frugal employers never even do well. They’re afraid of taking risks and usually end up with a lot of low-quality ventures. Tightwad Internet marketers often end up making pennies a month because they’re so concerned about spending as little as possible.
Look at the guys working 100 hour work weeks as they try to squeeze every cent out of their terrible products. Cranking out plagiarized eBooks that sell less than 300 copies, and pumping out generic content that nets $1.60 a month.
Your returns are tied to your investment. Put nothing in, get nothing out.
Problem two: You fear your potential
A lot of people are terrified of failure. They’ll talk themselves out of any opportunity for advancement.
If you read a lot of self-help books it’s easy to forget this. But, from what I’ve noticed, the vast majority of the population is scared to pursue their goals.
I get messages and emails all the time from guys who tell me “I’d do [some activity], but I don’t have enough [education/experience/free time].”
Additionally, there are millions of men who meekly give up on their dreams.
If you want to get different results you can’t keep doing the same thing. Innovate or stagnate.
Problem three: You are lazy
Sometimes the problem is you. I know that no one wants to hear this, but its true. If you’re phoning it in and coasting, don’t be surprised when no one offers you the opportunity to advance.
The people who tend to complain the most about their misfortune and bad situation are usually the ones who do nothing about it. They’re the folks who want the entire world to change around their needs, without having to actually do something themselves.
Before you blame leftists, capitalists, women, or men, go look in the mirror and hold yourself accountable.
The easy solution
Here’s a quick little cheat sheet on how to earn more and be happier. It takes all of 30 seconds to read, but has changed my entire life:
As the old saying goes, “Show me your friends. I will show you your future.” When you work for broke employers with frugal mindsets, don’t be surprised with your meager pay.
2. Set a goal and follow through.
Compromise is futile. The only thing that you get from giving up is a sense of failure and self-loathing. I’ve quit on my dreams multiple times. And it’s never went well.
3. Do something.
Sitting around and waiting for the universe to throw you a freebie isn’t too effective. If you’re depressed or unhappy, make a change. Blaming others might be fun as a short-term stress release, but it has no lasting effect.