The title of this post Every day you work for someone else you are only helping to make someone else’s dreams come true is a saying I have quoted through my book and on Twitter. Over the last few years I have said it a lot and people always seem to like it, in fact it is probably my most retweeted message. Because so many people have mentioned it to me, referred to it and retweeted it, I thought I should expand and write about it more here on my blog.
Anyone that knows anything about me knows that I am a big advocate of free enterprise and self-reliance instead of large-scale employment but I don’t want people to think this is what I am all about. I am anti rat race and unhappy, mediocre lives but I am not necessarily anti “jobs”.
My grandfather was a volunteer firefighter for most of his adult life, from the age of 16 until he was in his fifties he worked closely with the Kent fire service. He risked his life night after night to save other people’s lives and property. He passed away a few years ago and recently I discussed with some family why he stayed in his job as a farm laborer for 60 years and remained within a few streets of where he grew up. The answer was the fire service, to keep his place in the brigade he had to live and work within a certain distance of the fire station. Being a firefighter was his life, he loved it and it defined him in every way. His day job on the farm was incidental, it was a means to stay close to his “real” job.
My grandfather used his job on the farm to make his dreams come true he didn’t care what the dreams of the farm owners were, his dream was to fight fires and save lives with his mates and that’s what he did. The fact he went days with little sleep and struggled to manage both jobs he still did it because he loved it.
It is very easy to get in a rut in life and stuck on a boring path that we don’t enjoy, a lot of people fall into a career or life path that they didn’t really choose. In the past I have found myself on a road that I didn’t plan and I wondered how I ended up there so I know how it can happen. The myth that life is just like that and you need to carry on regardless and get the bills paid is wrong. Nobody is going to be happy around you if you are not happy and life is not all about just getting the bills paid.
From my own personal experience I would recommend you make money by being self employed or starting a business doing something you love but I can’t discard my grandfathers choice to make money where he had to use it to pursue his other ambitions. Do what you love, life is too short not to, work on your dreams and not someone else’s.
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