We spend a huge majority of our lives at work. Most people say or think “I hate working” several times per day. Even the most hardworking among us have definitely sat down at their desks and thought about how much they hate “work.”
In fact, approximately 90,000 hours according to this blog post. Surely, the numbers will range from person to person, but certainly we should get this part of life right? Certainly we should be happy in our jobs?
Unfortunately we don’t get this right. Most people are just not happy in their jobs. According to Forbes, 52.3% of Americans are unhappy at work.
When you take the current amount of employed US individuals (153,918) and multiply it by .52 (percent of unhappy workers) you get 80,037 unhappy workers.
When you multiply that number (80,037) by 90,000 hours (average # of hours worked in a lifetime) you get 7,203,330,000 hours spent doing jobs we don’t love over our lifetimes.
That is over 7 Billion hours spent in jobs we hate, doing tasks that don’t serve to give us pride or move the world forward.
To be frank? This is an outrage. No one should have to spend 90,000 hours of their lives doing work they don’t love. It’s a tragedy. Not only for our own happiness, but also for the world at large. We cannot make a real and lasting difference in our communities if we are unable to live out our passion, or at the very least do something we semi enjoy.
The good news is that with the changing economy new things are happening. I believe strongly that we are headed in the right direction.
By encouraging those with the passion and ability to become entrepreneurs it will pave the way for everyone to be happy in their jobs. Companies that want to employ people will be forced to pay well, or risk losing them to other agencies that will, or losing good employees who decide to work for themselves.
With the advent and subsequent rise of freelancing (up to 55 million people in 2016 at 35% of all US workers) the old way will be gone. The days of sitting around in an office with nothing to do is not the way of the future. We are way more advanced than that as a species are we not?
We will start to realize even more that paying for work completed makes WAY more sense than paying someone hourly. Trading hours for dollars is ridiculously antiquated and will eventually fizzle out like the dinosaur it is.
That all being said, let’s see what other options are out there if we choose to go the way of the future and not do the traditional 9-5. How can you potentially avoid a mountain of student loan debt, but still position yourself for success?
Here are 8 options other than a traditional job:
#1: Passive Income
#3: Start Your Own Business
#4: Join a Startup
#5: Become a Missionary
#7: Get Really Good at Poker or Another Game
#8: Become a Dabbler
#1: “I hate Working” Get Passive Income
Passive income is for sure the number one idea here to never have to tell yourself “I hate working” ever again. Say goodbye to hating work, and hello to Pina Coladas by the pool. Well, not tomorrow, but ten years from now? Highly possible.
I love passive income. As I have mentioned on other blog posts on this site, my site www.fiberguardian.com makes me passion income every month. It’s not enough to write home about, but it is the definition of passive income because:
Every month I get money from a site that I no longer touch.
The passive income dream is to build enough of a portfolio that you can could potentially spend a month not working at all and still get enough income that month to cover expenses.
That is my dream anyway, and I know its possible. To say that I am obsessed is an understatement. Once I finally realized it wasn’t a pipe dream, that Pat Flynn wasn’t suggesting something only a few people ever achieve, I was hooked.
I don’t have anything invested in a 401k or anything like it. Maybe I am crazy, but I don’t think so. Instead, I am investing in myself and my assets now in order to grow my passive income portfolio.
Creating my own assets instead of trading hours for dollars is odd and something not everyone does. But I feel so much freedom in doing so that I have to keep going.
Here are a few ways you can get started with passive income:
- Brainstorm your skills and assets and figure out what you can create that might help others.
- Check out Pat Flynn at Smart Passive Income (link above). His podcast was the first I ever listened to and it’s one of my favorites. Definitely worth checking out.
- Start a blog
- Make an online course on Udemy
- Become an author on Amazon. You can write books and get generous royalties from Amazon. It takes a LOT of work to become a full time authors, and while it’s my goal to one day be a full time fiction author that lives at a beach house with a large passive income stream I don’t see it happening soon. It takes time and hard work.
- Affiliate marketing
- Rent out a room on Air B and B.
- Here are some more ideas, not all of which I endorse, so do your due diligence.
Imagine the following conversation:
“I hate working every day.”
“Because someone told me I have to do it!”
“Why not try freelancing?”
“Wow what a great idea!”
Freelancing is a legitimate way to find freedom from the confines of the 9-5. Sure, you don’t get health care, but you are in the drivers seat. You get to accept or decline work as your schedule sees fit.
I personally love freelancing, and I wouldn’t trade the flexibility for anything because I hate working too. From working with clients on their book launches, doing audio work, finding keywords, etc. Freelancing is fun.
Does it give me health insurance? No, but that’s just one thing I have to deal with. We all have to make our own personal sacrifices and work through our decisions.
For me, working a 9-5 is so stressful that I am sure I would need that healthcare eventually. Working for myself has its own stressors, but not having a boss tell me what to do is the way to go (for me).
Here are some ways you can start freelancing:
- Take an honest assessment of your skills. What skills do you have that could benefit others? What have you done that might be beneficial to do for someone else? Example, I launched books, now I help people launch their books.
- Are you a designer? You can jump into design in all sorts of ways from book cover design, to website design.
- Just ask, find a company you like and ask if they hire freelancers. You can even offer to work pro bono for a couple projects to get some experience. Place value on yourself and invest in the project. Kick ass with it and make it some of your best work and you will be able to use that later on.
- On our Podcast one of our guests Justine Hulsey shared that she treated every film project in college with great care. She wanted to be able to utilize those projects as part of her portfolio in any potential interviews. She learned early on from a professor that it was important to value yourself and your work, and then leverage that work later on for your own benefit. Definitely worth considering as you jump into freelancing.
- Build a website, start working on your own personal brand, and list the services you offer there. This can act as a great starting place for anyone that is interested.
- See this complete guide for more freelancing strategies.
#3: Start Your Own Business
Starting your own business is not for the faint of heart. But if you have some serious chops and a backbone, you can certainly make it work. You’ll never hate working again if you do what you love.
You can follow these tips on starting your own business or see here for tips on promoting your small business. It is definitely a high risk, high reward type investment. And not only will it take up money, but it will also take up a lot of time.
My wife and I would love to open a bagel shop one day, but not yet. I am not ready for that quite yet, but maybe you are? Maybe you are in the exact right spot in your life and you are ready to take the leap?
Ask yourself if you would rather spend your life wondering what if?
Still though, 8 of 10 new businesses fail within 18 months. It isn’t something to take lightly, but what if you are part of that 20%? What if you could be the author of your own future and stop taking orders from others?
I say go for it, what do you have to lose?
#4: Join a Startup
Start ups are risky too of course as they fall into the same 80% failure rate mentioned above. However, the risk is minimal compared to investing a large amount into starting your own business.
Medium risk medium reward. Surely, it might fail, but you won’t have invested much more than your time. But if it succeeds and you were on the ground floor? Hello COO.
The good news is that you can find a startup job even with no technical skills. It surely won’t be easy, but if you can make it through the early stages and the company succeeds you will most likely be in a position where you can guide the company with your own ideals.
Hopefully as you rise you will vow to never forget the little person, and will always seek advice from those beneath you? Maybe? Please?
#5: If you Hate Working for the Man and Want to Work 100% for God Become a Missionary
One career option is to become a full time missionary. You will probably spend your life living paycheck to paycheck, but if you are feeling called to go into the mission field, don’t let anyone stop you.
I have never felt particularly called to jump into the mission field full time, but if God calls you to this it might be a good idea to listen. It’s hard to hate working if you are doing God’s work right?
It may not be culturally acceptable or even understood to quit a stable job to serve some far away ministry, but it is an option, and one to strongly consider.
If you are on the fence? Try a short term missions trip and see how it feels. I believe that while God does want us to get outside of our comfort zone and try new things, He also does not wish for us to be completely miserable either.
The more heart we can put into something, the more honest passion and love, the better the end result.
#6: Invest So you Can Quit Your Job and Stop Working
I know next to nothing about investing, and I don’t practice in myself. Someday I plan to do so, but not yet.
That being said, Nick Loper from Side Hustle Nation has some great investing tips. He is someone I go to a lot for advice on passive income and self-publishing, and you won’t go wrong by checking out his stuff.
Good luck as you invest, but with all things I would recommend starting out slow. Don’t drop 10k on a new business idea on Kickstarter even if you do think muffins that bake themselves are cool.
#7: Get Really Good at Poker or Another Game
People get paid to compete if you are really good. If you are a superstar athlete you could be paid millions. You won’t find yourself telling anyone that you hate working if you are competing in something you love and are good at.
I’m guessing you aren’t a highly paid running back for The Dallas Cowboys or you probably wouldn’t be reading this right?
The cool thing is that there are a ton of games out there that pay. If you can get really good at poker, you could rake in extra money on the weekend. If you dominate noobs while playing Halo you could join a professional team. The former was a dream of mine for a time, and while I was good, there was always a 7 year old kid out there that crushed me.
The point is, if you are super dedicated to something, you can make money off of it somehow. Just crack the code for that specific genre and reap the benefits.
Keep in mind though that for this to work, you need to be really freaking good at something. If you don’t have a knack for it, don’t do it. Also, be ready to quit while your ahead because there will always be that 7 year old kid that will learn to outsmart and outclass you somehow…
#8: Become a Dabbler
A great option to consider is to try some or all of the above and see what you like. Take a year and do missionary work. Freelance on the side for a few months and try it out. Spend your weekends playing poker and see if you can win any fake money tournaments.
The key is to not become stuck in a job you hate.You need not hate working for the rest of your life. If you can find a job you love, you will never again come home and say to your wife “Honey, I hate working so much…” while you turn into a blubbering mess. Instead, you are going to come home and teller her how much you love your job and how you can’t wait for the next Monday.
Okay, okay, we may never love Mondays, but dabbling for awhile can be the best way to find your true passion. Figure out what it is you really enjoy and really like to do. Spend the time early on to figure this out. Once you do, jump into it with all you have in you.
Never feel stuck.
For more, grab my bestselling book on gaining traction and getting unstuck. It will show you how to get unstuck from anything sticky that is holding you down. Don’t spend your life at a job you hate, come back to the light and get into something you love.
Best of luck to you my friend,