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An Open Letter to Frustrated 20-Somethings…

| May 7, 2013 | 146 Comments

Frustrated 20 year old

So I’ll be 25 this Saturday.

I’ve gone through a huge evolution in thought regarding careers, passions, the concept of “work” and life direction in the past 10 years.

My first job at the YMCA (at 15), I figured out within 2 weeks that I was great at “pitching” myself during the interview — and I’m a likeable guy…but the work was boring and tedious…and it showed. It’s hard to keep high enthusiasm during summer camp, trust me.

I thought it was the job that sucked.

So I moved through a series of other jobs hoping that I’d find one I liked: museums, retail, grocery stores,
restaurants…a ton of things. Each one had some element I liked — but within weeks I always felt like I was
literally an indentured servant working for pennies with no end in sight. The worst part about this was when
I’d see people who had been in these jobs for 30 years and were in a state of zombie-like compliant quasi-
misery.

Like moaning dogs laying on nails who are too lazy to move.

I remember during my training at Publix (grocery store), one of the assistant managers pointed to his boss
endearingly and said “Greg hasn’t missed a day or called in sick in 27 years.” As if this was some good
thing, a point to be proud of.

I just remember thinking to myself “What the fuck is wrong with these people?”

I quit that job faster than Kim K quits a marriage.

Eventually I came to the realization that I could job hop my whole life, I could go to college and get a
degree and hop around with that on higher paying jobs — but in the end, the problem wasn’t with the
employers…it was with me.

I had the problem. It wasn’t about getting a better PAYING job. It was about having a job period.

I was having a major case of cognitive dissonance between what I wanted my life to be and the options
I saw available. Part of this was coming because at a very deep level, I was afraid to admit what I really
wanted. I was afraid I’d be called lazy, impractical, idiotic, etc. I didn’t want to be ridiculed.
I’m not afraid anymore.

You know what I want? I don’t want to work. Like…not ever.

I don’t want to be responsible for showing up anywhere, simply because if I don’t show up, I won’t be able
to feed myself/my family (in the future).

I don’t want to be told I can’t do something, that I “don’t have any ‘sick days’ left”, that I won’t be getting
a raise or I’m being laid off. I don’t want to worry that I’m late or not meeting someone else’s standards,
and as a result, might not be able to keep supporting myself. I don’t want to be forced to stay in a specific
location and never get away because I have to clock in somewhere.

You know what I hate?

When people ask me “what do you do?”

What do I do? I don’t DO anything. I AM somebody. I can do so much. I’m not narrowly defined by skills I
use to make money.

What you do to make money is completely separate from what you do with your time. Ironically, many
people spend all that time getting more money.

Am I the only one who sees the sick paradox here?

If it were up to me, you know what I’d do?

I’d spend my life traveling, learning languages, practicing martial arts, reading, programming, eating good
food and (eventually) raising smart, open-eyed children. All the other shit can suck it.

I mean, can we just be honest here. It’s just you, me and this letter. If it was up to you, you wouldn’t go to
work tomorrow, would you? Even if you “like” your job, wouldn’t you much rather be doing exactly what
you want to do at the pace you want to do it?

And not because you’re lazy and don’t like putting effort into your pursuits — it’s because you’d rather put
your full energy into the things that really ignite you. Whatever those things are.

Now, 95% of people will say “But Daniel, you have to do SOMETHING for ‘work’. You can’t just be a
bum. You need to get a job or something and then do stuff on your free time.”

This is incorrect thinking based on the overwhelming cultural paradigm that says work should be placed
squarely at the center of your life, with any fun/recreation coming as an afterthought.

It’s the deferred life plan, where you save, save, save for 50 years, contribute to your 401k and when you’re
60 (that’s early retirement actually…), you hope to be able to finally stop working and live the last 20ish
years of your life in frugal quietude, clinging to a slipping middle class existence as inflation goes up and
your savings decreases.

At least now you have time to finally do everything you wanted to do…right?
Sounds bittersweet to me.

I propose another way.

We’ve seen what happens when work is your central focus. Working for work’s sake, spending all your
time making more money or obsessing about money instead of doing the things you really want to do
because you’re ashamed to actually admit what those things are for fear of being labeled different. God
forbid you don’t have “work ethic”.

What if you were to make your life and the pursuits that interested you – traveling, learning, physical
activities, art, whatever- the center(s) of your life and fit work in like a planet in orbit, designed to support
your life and pursuits without completely taking over?

What if your presence wasn’t actually required to generate the resources that support you, and you were left
to roam the earth freely?

What would you REALLY do with your life?

Have you ever considered that in a completely digitized society this is a very real possibility?

This isn’t a popular way of thinking, and if you don’t have any friends or role models living like this, it’s
hard to imagine that this is even possible.

But as I’ve met more and more incredible people through my blog — people who are living that “fictional”
life — I realize that it’s not only very possible, but that there’s a formula to creating these circumstances. It’s
not luck, and it’s not voodoo or “positive affirmation”.

In the past 12 months I’ve gotten increasingly closer to this reality.

Are you one of the few who believes a better way is possible, not just for people in books or in the news,
but for YOU?

Leave me a comment below and let me know.

Daniel DiPiazza teaches young people how to stop doing shit that they hate and break free of 9 to 5 boredom by starting their own businesses at his blog Rich20Something. Click here to join his tribe of hungry young entrepreneurs and get free coaching.

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  • http://twitter.com/DanaLeavy Dana Leavy-Detrick

    There seems to be a very distinct line drawn here between “work”, and everything else that’s fulfilling on a personal level. I think one of the keys here (and it’s tricky, don’t get me wrong), is to strike that balance, between doing something that fulfills you personally, and something that makes use of the talents you have to be able to be a contributor. And it’s not only one singular thing. If you can afford to “be doing exactly what you want at the pace you want,” then that’s great, but having been there, it’s also not much of a reality for people in their 20s struggling to stay afloat. There is a middle ground though.

  • Ryno Lawson

    Great letter. Its something few of us a striving towards.

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Hi Dana and Ryno! Thanks for the feedback!

    I think most likely the first key is discussing what one
    considers “work” and how that relates to purpose. Those two can
    intersect, but are (in my opinion and experience) often mutually
    exclusive. In the way I use “work”, it’s is defined as any compulsory
    task that must be done to generate revenue and sustain life regardless
    of enjoyment. What you do to generate revenue doesn’t necessarily have
    to correlate to or align with your purpose. It’s nice when it does, but
    it doesn’t always have to.

    Tim Ferriss is an interesting case study in this line of
    thought. He started a supplement company that was very successful, but
    felt his purpose was something completely different (wanted to become a
    tango dancer) – so he figured out how to automate that supplement
    business to keep the revenue coming, and traveled the world to become
    much more fulfilled in his actual purpose — then wrote about it. So in
    this case, he traded “work” for purpose. Letting go of work did not
    dilute, but enhanced his capacity to feel his purpose. It wasn’t a
    slackening of focus, but a redirection of his energies.

    If your purpose as an entrepreneur is to help people and
    make lives better for those around you (and this is a process that you
    enjoy immensely) then you may not see it as work – and that’s a
    beautiful thing. Now, if you focus on this goal at the exclusion of
    other things, people may begin to see you as a selfish or even
    narcissistic. But how is one to become the best version of themselves
    without at least some brief periods of completely inward focus? Yes,
    giving is crucial – and one of the key components to a happy life. But I
    think it’s perfectly healthy for one of your primary focuses in life to
    be self-satisfaction. As long as that doesn’t force you to be negligent
    of others, why would that be wrong?

    I mention diversions like traveling, programming, martial
    arts, etc as examples of things that many people don’t have time to
    fully involve themselves in because they are caught in the matrix — I
    know these aren’t the bedrock of life though. You don’t have to possess
    my vehement anti-corporate slant to realize that there are some definite
    limitations imposed by that structure – and that you could quite
    possibly be missing out on some fundamental experiences if you “keep
    your head down” and work for 30 years. Even if it’s work you enjoy.

    We are all more than what we DO for a living, but we so often define
    ourselves with that criteria, rather than going out there and deciding
    who we want to be…then designing our lifestyle around this picture of
    ourselves.

    Now, let’s also draw a distinction here. Some people believe that you must
    also RENOUNCE material objects/wealth or downplay the fact that they make you feel good because “life isn’t about money”.

    They are absolutely right, life is about love and enjoyment. Money is a
    tool though, and it can help you to create the circumstances to foster
    enjoyment if every other area of your life is also in line (for
    anti-examples, watch any show on Oxygen with super-rich, super-unhappy women).

    My proposition is that we can find a way to both make a LOT of money and
    free up our time. Not spend all the time working for the money, all
    along neglecting our actual purposes.

    When I get to the point

    where I don’t have to actively “work” anymore, my time will be primarily
    spent using the freedom money has given me to make the enormous
    creative impact on the world that I know I am capable of. When I say
    creative, I don’t necessarily mean artistic — I literally mean “to
    create”. Building something that wasn’t there before in service to
    others. Ever wondered how ancient philosophers
    could create so much material for the world to enjoy centuries later?
    Plato didn’t clock into his 9 to 5 and write “The Republic” on the
    weekend. He had much more control over his time than the average 21st
    century man. We forget this.

    Essentially
    we are trading something very real (life/time) for something very fake
    (currency) and we’re always on the losing end since our time on this
    earth is finite but technically, the amount of money out there is
    infinite. We will always run out of time before the world runs out of
    money. So the key for us is to figure out how we can manipulate our
    environments to produce more of this imaginary currency without
    sacrificing the time (which is the real currency). That’s the game. Most
    of the time, we go at it the
    wrong way, trading it 1:1, as if a certain amount of money could equal
    even a fraction of your time. “I make $30/hour”. So you’re saying your
    life, these next 60 full minutes of respiration, are worth $30 of
    imaginary bits? I’d say there’s literally no comparison between the two.
    It’s apples to potatoes. Completely different. We have to set systems
    in place to make the currency come out without the time going to waste -
    because before you know it, the time will be gone…and the
    currency…that was never even there to begin with.

  • Work to Live

    Although I can admire your candor. I am a 47 year old entrepreneur, for the last three years, who wished that he would’ve started his business 10 years ago. My word of advice is to stop focusing on what you can’t do and start DOING what you can.

  • Awakened08

    Grow Up! – the only instructional thing you said was that you are the problem.

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Precisely! Just do SOMETHING! Don’t be so paralyzed by your own fear that you sit in complacency.

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Not having a good day?

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    And I’d also have to agree- it doesn’t matter when you start. Everyone I meet seems to tell me that they wish they would have started earlier. So the only answer to “when” is “now”.

  • michaelpeggs

    Inspiring post Daniel; it’s fear and complacency that keeps us where we are rather than daring and doing. Powerful message and thanks for sharing

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    My pleasure, Michael. Thanks for reading!

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Thanks for reading, Ryno!

  • http://twitter.com/artemiswins Alex Cantrell

    Hey, I really appreciate your message. I too believe that our cultural obsession with having to work is a relic of past times, the kibbutz mentality, where we legitimately did need everyone to shovel and build, usually as part of a larger entity/corporation, in order for the gears of civilization to grind smoothly. However, I think we did it. We´ve achieved a society of remarkable efficiency and surplus, and we honestly have more workers than we have work, and technology will only continue to infringe on the mindless zombie labor that has kept the classes occupied for a few hundred years now.

    But i´m not sure if individual entrepreneurship is the answer, and not because I do not value entrepreneurship, innovation, taking life into your own hands, etc. I aspire to do so myself. But that is because I am a lucky individual. I am lucky in every single way. I am a white male in USA with a great education and a supportive family. I have been given the resources and taught the skills that I need in order to do something like start a business or think far enough outside our box to think to do so. However, this is not the case for huge huge majorities of the world, not because they´re in any way less intelligent or capable, but because they havent been afforded the same socioeconomic opportunities.

    So if not entrepreneurship, then what? Sadly (as it is a course well traveled) I believe it comes down to policy and governance. Economic policies dictate that everyone MUST still work, everyone is embedded in this market system as ´equal´ actors. What policy can change this?

    Heck, I dont know, that´s a problem that political scientists have been musing over since Epicurus. But I have lately become very intrigued by the idea of a Guaranteed Basic Income, which I dont feel like explaining so you can read about here :) http://www.usbig.net/whatisbig.php

    But youre also right, because the answer to massive global problems is the combined effect of millions of local answers. Thats why I love social entrepreneurship, which I do see as a ray of light in this capitalist cloud…

    Best wishes!
    Alex

  • Drew Little

    Cool post, Daniel! I know exactly the journey you went through to get to where you are today. Our current economic system isn’t designed for everyone to engage in a form of autonomous work that’s aligned with our talents, values, and purposes. It’s designed for people to work to live instead of living to work (inspired work, i may add).

    This motivated me to create an alternative. Would love to hear your thoughts on it.

    http://Producism.org – The Evolution of Capitalism

  • Justin Crowe

    Great post Daniel. I’m in the middle of figuring out an income so that I can make art all the time. Art that no one has to buy in order for me to survive. haha. I am fortunate to not feel stuck at a job (at the moment) and I am trying to maintain that position. It is great to hear a story from someone who has pursued a similar path. What types of income/business have you generated in order to do what you love?

  • http://twitter.com/ellimac509 Camille Lumbang

    Awesome post! This is really inspiring…

    One must be able to know what he really wants in his life… and must be brave enough to step out from his comfort zone and enter in his courage zone… and eventually fulfill his sacred purpose! <3

    I'm now preparing to enter my courage zone! :)

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Meet you there, Camille! Glad you enjoyed my letter!

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Hi Justin, thanks for reading. Right now I have two things going. I coach SAT/ACT college entrance prep and I web design. Beats the hell out of working at Longhorn Steakhouse a year ago. Art full time? BRING IT ON.

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    I will definitely check this out, Drew. Thanks for reading!

  • http://www.facebook.com/takoda.hotah Takoda Hotah

    Stop reading my mind!!! I’ve even found that traveling the world can be done for relatively cheap if you are willing to sacrifice a few amenities. The problem becomes, how can we get the time to make a decent income AND have a flexible work life.

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Absolutely Takoda – the real currency is time. Sorry to have read your mind and thanks for reading ;)

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Hi Alex,

    I agree and often struggle with the idea that not all the things I talk about in this letter are possible under every circumstance and governance. As limiting as it is at times, I can only speak from my experience in the “first world” (I hate that term) framework. Thanks for reading, man!

  • Nalini

    Your letter has struck a chord with the thoughts that keep running my mind! Life is short and its high time one tailor make it as per ones liking and aspirations and enjoy every bit of it. Cheers!

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Absolutely, Nalini – let’s take our TIME back. Thanks for reading and glad you enjoyed ;)

  • Nwams

    It’s like you are living in my head!! This is what I talk about with my boyfriend ALL THE TIME. Great article, I will check out your blog.

  • James

    Exactly,

    If I could wake up tomorrow, with all the freedom in the world to do whatever I wanted, I’ll still work at my startup, (just maybe on a beach or something) I do it because I want to, for intrinsic motivations, to change the world.

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    boom

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Glad you liked it ;)

  • phantom samuari

    I found this to be interesting, though I have several parts that lead me to ask questions.

    First off, I was a camp counselor for the first two years of college and I was enthusiastic the whole damn time. Sounds like you may just not be cut out for working at a camp, or maybe your camp sucked.

    That’s really neither here nor there, though. What raises the biggest question for me is the list of jobs you said you had. “Museums, retail, grocery stores, restaurants.” These for the most part sound like summer jobs or part time jobs, not the kind of job the average person would want for a lifetime or an extended period of time.

    You don’t want a job, you want a career. Something that you do that makes you happy or something you enjoy.

    I don’t make all that much money at my job, but I absolutely love what I do. Sure, there are times were I feel like I’m working or that it’s a job and not a career. But for the most part, I’m happy and am proud of what I do.

    The hours at my job do suck, and I sometimes find myself wishing I had more free time, or at least time when my other friends were off, to do more adventurous stuff.

    You suggest a new lifestyle: “What if you were to make your life and the pursuits that interested you – traveling, learning, physical activities, art, whatever- the center(s) of your life and fit work in like a planet in orbit, designed to support your life and pursuits without completely taking over?”

    What would happen? You would be broke. If you can support yourself doing these things, good for you and that’s impressive. But it’s going to be really hard. I would suggest finding a career in something you’re passionate about, and it won’t feel quite like work.

    “What if your presence wasn’t actually required to generate the resources that support you, and you were left to roam the earth freely?”

    Then you wouldn’t have basic services, you wouldn’t have society as we know it and the economy would be an absolute mess.

    If you have a trust fund or something, maybe you can roam the earth freely. But if not, you need a find a way to support yourself.

  • http://twitter.com/dahlia_green Dahlia Green

    Daniel! This is beautiful. Totally spot on. I have also been working ever since a wee young teen and couldn’t fathom (post college) working for a corporation 9-5 as I felt I had put in enough early mornings and long days to be in places I had no desire to be. Instead I wanted to learn how to start a business so I went to startups. I moved from Alaska to work for a NYC based startup (Amusemi.com – that networks other startup professionals) and it has been incredibly inspiring watching all of these entrepreneurs make a sustainable living with the use of technology. Cheers to risk taking and double cheers to those who strive for autonomy.

  • http://twitter.com/RajNATION Rajiv Nathan

    I can’t wholeheartedly agree with everything, but I definitely like the direction you have here.

    To your point of people asking, “What do you do?”, I hate that question as well. I’ll say “tell me about yourself”.

    Many times I’ll actually ask (and this really throws people for a loop), “What have you learned today?”

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Hi Phantom – thanks for the feedback.

    Let’s talk about some of the things you brought up. All really good questions and points.

    Regarding summer camp – I’d say my overall experience was good, but if you didn’t feel completely drained and overworked at times…than you’re a much stronger individual than I!

    “You don’t want a job, you want a career. Something that you do that makes you happy or something you enjoy.”

    >>>Yes, many of the things I named were “jobs” not a career. When I graduated from college and I looked at my friends getting their first “real” careers, I felt very much like one of the little kids I used to watch at summer camp. I felt like I was at the side of the pool with my water wings on — everybody was saying “come in Daniel, the water is nice.” But in the deep end, I saw other people drowning. Sure I could learn to tread…but I didn’t even want to get into the pool.

    >>>The word “career” implies that you’ll be doing one thing for a long time, possibly your whole life, and that that thing will, in some ways, define your identity. Even people who love their jobs often feel that they can’t leave because “this is who they are”. I reject this and choose not to even get involved in the cultural construct of career = identity. I know many will say “that’s not true, you can always change directions”…but let’s be honest, how many people do you know who just “fell” into their line of work and stayed there for 20 years because the pay way OK and they were *pretty* happy? Too many.

    “I don’t make all that much money at my job, but I absolutely love what I do. Sure, there are times were I feel like I’m working or that it’s a job and not a career. But for the most part, I’m happy and am proud of what I do.

    The hours at my job do suck, and I sometimes find myself wishing I had more free time, or at least time when my other friends were off, to do more adventurous stuff”

    >>>Why not find a way to make more money, have more time and be completely happy, not just “for the most part”? It’s possible. Why wish to spend more time with your friends when there are ways that you could design your life that would actually allow that?

    “You suggest a new lifestyle: “What if you were to make your life and the pursuits that interested you – traveling, learning, physical activities, art, whatever- the center(s) of your life and fit work in like a planet in orbit, designed to support your life and pursuits without completely taking over?”

    What would happen? You would be broke. If you can support yourself doing these things, good for you and that’s impressive. But it’s going to be really hard. I would suggest finding a career in something you’re passionate about, and it won’t feel quite like work.”

    >>> You said it all right there. It’s going to be REALLY HARD. Hard things are gatekeepers of the sacred. Why do you think universities continue to require organic chemistry for pre-med students? It’s a weed out class. If you don’t REALLY want to be a doctor, you’ll quite there. And THOUSANDS do every year. (I actually wrote an article about this: http://www.rich20something.com/lessons-from-fight-club-the-hard-fist-of-rejection/)

    >>>The bottom line is, it’s GREAT to find something you can get paid for that also aligns with your interests…but more often than not our interests and passions don’t always intersect with the things that could give us the best lifestyle. For instance, if you passion is helping people, you might want to become a social worker. That might fulfill one end of the need spectrum (passion) but certainly not the other (lifestyle/money).

    >>>What ends up happening 8/10 times is that people CONVINCE themselves that their passion or their lifestyle needs are differnt than what they truly are in order to find something that FITS and settle for that. “Well this KIND of works, I like it and the money is decent.” Sound familiar?

    >>>What I’m saying is, figure out how you want to live FIRST, then decide what to do to achieve that lifestyle without sacrificing your time.

    >>>Broke? Hardly. That’s the old way of thinking. That’s the “starving artist” line that society ingrained in our heads to keep the blinders on. I now know that this isn’t true. At first it was just from reading people’s stories…which is somewhat removed from real life. But then I started meeting REAL people…becoming friends with these people…doing all different things, NOT starving…living well…and FREE…that’s when I knew it was possible.

    “What if your presence wasn’t actually required to generate the resources that support you, and you were left to roam the earth freely?”

    Then you wouldn’t have basic services, you wouldn’t have society as we know it and the economy would be an absolute mess.

    If you have a trust fund or something, maybe you can roam the earth freely. But if not, you need a find a way to support yourself.”

    >>>Again, this is old thinking – and it’s not your fault. I used to think like this too. But everything is done on the internet now. I know because I’ve done it. Even going on to Elance and grabbing a simple web design job for $1,000 that takes you 10 hours is still $100/hour FROM HOME. Can’t beat those numbers.

    >>>And this is just the tip of the iceberg. You don’t have to be a “techie” anymore to find something that works, provide value for people and make a living.

    >>>Thinking about things like trust funds are just easy psychological escapes that validate negative self-belief that “he can do it….but I can’t”.

    >>>Once you start meeting people who’ve done it…all your preconceptions melt away.

    Hope you’re well, my friend.

    -DD

  • phantom samuari

    Appreciate your response. Definitely some good points.

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Interesting little tidbit – when people used to ask the rapper Common what he did, he’d say “respirate”. LOL. Thanks for reading, Rajiv!

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    That’s awesome, Dahlia…and you’re right, it’s super inspiring (and validating) when you see others doing what you want to do. Then you KNOW it’s possible and it’s just a matter of “how” not “if”.

    Thanks for reading, my friend!

  • adhmork8

    I agree with your sentiment here, but one question: How does one get there?

  • Ethan

    Great article that really resonated with me. Would love to join you in the pursuit of a better lifestyle Daniel!

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    My pleasure

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Let’s do it! See you on Rich20Something!

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    That’s the question of the century, isn’t it? There are infinite options. Writing, making products (books, apps, courses), creating software, consulting, teaching a skill, monetizing a site, doing freelance design work….the list goes on and on and is only limited by your capacity to believe it will work.

  • Pingback: Top 5 for Entrepreneurs & Business Owners – May 7, 2013 | CEO Blog Nation Beta

  • Kate

    Well said Daniel. Love your work! I’m 25 too and just left the Finance world based on a similar frame of mind. So tell me.. What’s your ‘formula’ :) ?

  • Gabriel

    Independent thinkers are scarce, that and courage to pursue a vision are rarely seen. I completely agree, and I am scared and excited about what is to come, because I have chosen this road. I am 21 and planning on success. Thanks for your letter, it feeds my fire.

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Thanks for reading, Gabriel. Keep the fire burning!!

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Hey Kate, great to hear from you. There’s definitely more than one formula that works – but I’d say the first key is figuring out what you have inside you, that can be turned into something tangible, and that others value. There’s no right answer to this question. For me, my first venture after I broke away from my job was SAT coaching. I’d worked for Kaplan (test prep company) before, I knew the material and I knew how to network with schools to get myself in there and form classes. When I worked for Kaplan, they were charging parents $100+/hour….but I was only getting $18. That didn’t seem right — I was the one delivering ALL the services. So I set rates that were much lower than Kaplan, but still REALLY high compared to what I was used to…and boom…off to the races. That’s just one scenario.

  • http://twitter.com/xangocat Cat Parker

    I’m excited to see hope for this generation…You guys GET IT!

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    love this

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Speaking for myself here, I don’t know if I get all of “IT”, but I get SOME of it. LOL ;) Hopefully I get the part that counts!

  • Danial Tahir

    Hi Daniel,

    I got goosebumps when I read your line ‘but, Daniel..’ didn’t realized until end of the article that we share the same name. Anyway, I observed in my country lot of people immerse themselves in ‘work culture’ because they were not exposed to other alternatives, they are selling their time instead of rewarded for creating value. Other alternatives inculcated in their mind are farmers or manual labors (which I dont mind so much in recent times because if done well you can get a killer toned). Starting this year, I told myself to put myself first and challenge authority! And guess what? nothing happens. All the bad things you imagine are just that, imagination. Am checking out your blog after this post. Keep up the good work!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=502332414 Melodie Moore

    I love this and completely agree in a new way of being

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Awesome to hear from you, Daniel! The most effective fear-buster I know of is to absolutely run through ALL the worst case scenarios and feel how you would feel if that actually happened. The Stoic poet Scenca said “Set aside a certain number of days, during which you shall be content with the scantiest and cheapest fare, with course and rough dress, saying to yourself the while: ” Is this the condition that I feared?”

    Basically set aside some time to live as you’ve feared – go with cheap clothes, scant food and if this is your worst case scenario — say to yourself, “is this it? Is this what I was afraid of?”

    You’ll realize quickly that not only is that stuff NOT as bad as you feared, but it usually doesn’t happen.

    Thanks for reading, my friend. See you on the blog!

    DD

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Awesome, Melodie – thanks for reading ;)

  • Kelly

    Wow. You could have replaced your name with mine and this could be describing my life right now. I’m 29, was laid off from my bank job that I hated, my EI runs out next month and I’ve been worrying about paying the bills but I’d rather throw myself out a window than work in a boring dull office again. And all I hear from anyone my age or older is that I need to get a job, even if it sucks.

  • Beryl Too

    Daniel, I feel like you just put my life story on this page. I’m 22, finished university recently, and I can’t seem to find something that fits. True to your word, everyone’s expectation is to get a 9 to 5 job, and sadly, that is what our definition of ‘successful’ has become. Up until now, I still don’t have an answer to that question, “What do you do?”

  • Farhad

    I just turned 50, & i agree with you. Do whatever it takes to fund the pursuit of your passions. Whether it is living in a cottage by the sea / lake & eating fish, or wanting to travel to outer Space, go for it ! Just stay away from the mundane.

  • Paul

    So right on point. I think the existing paradigm has to be changed…this belief that one has to work all day, with rest coming far behind so as to save for when you retire. And like Nalini said, life’s short. It’s best spent doing what you love, when you feel like, without any worries of someone looking over your head.

  • LocalSearchHQ

    It seems that the combination of information technology with the latest in
    manufacturing techniques will make it possible for tiny enterprises to
    flourish. As more and more people change their lifestyle to adapt to their
    ideas on preserving the environment, their consumption pattern will shift to
    local products. Great times for small ventures and local initiatives are in the
    offing.

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Absolutely. It’s a good time to be alive!

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Thanks for reading, Paul – and agreed. Who came up with the work 5 days / 2 days off schedule? I want to punch them.

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Well, Kelly you OBVIOUSLY have no WORK ETHIC. Now get off your butt and work. Work, work, work, regardless of whether you like it – and do it for 30 years.

    Sarcasm intended.

    Seriously though, in my opinion, the term “work ethic” is a term older people use to describe struggling with something you hate, for in indefinite amount of time (possibly forever) because it’s what you’re supposed to do.

    Let’s never do that again.

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    That’s what I hate hearing the most, Beryl. Sigh!

    Thanks for reading!!

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Ah, see – we now have proof! Thanks for the feedback, Farhad. Hopefully myself and others on Under30 are on our way to do what makes us happy, not what others think we should do.

    DD

  • http://www.alisonelissa.com/ Career Coach, alisonelissa.com

    One paragraph in this post really struck me. “I’d spend my life traveling, learning languages, practicing martial arts, reading, programming, eating good food and (eventually) raising smart, open-eyed children.”

    I used to think that way too- that the complete goal of my time was to find as much personal enjoyment in life as possible. I would make charts planning out hour by hour how I would fit in a long bike ride, a yoga class, and time to learn piano.

    So I can totally relate to what you’re saying, but I can also point out that over time I left that mindset behind.

    Here’s why.

    Life is not really about honing our own physical and mental state into some sort of perfect nirvana.

    Life is about being of service to others.

    After graduation I never got to have a week that went the way I planned- filled with all those activities geared toward my own growth and improvement. And I am so glad that I didn’t. Because a life like that is ultimately empty. Lonely. Unfulfilled. (Have you seen the movie About a Boy? Check it out if you haven’t.)

    I’m behind you on living life on your own terms. I’m behind on being a savvy entrepreneur and leveraging your time so that you can have fun experiences. But I think it’s a childish mindset to think that happiness lies solely in pampering ourselves. (As in that’s how kids view the world- it revolves around them, their education, and their extracurriculars.)

    Spending the majority of your time in service to others is actually where it’s at as a grown up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/shaq.abid.9 Shaq Abid

    lol i think our generation feels that way

    because we are the luckiest generation yet

    but if we don’t produce, distribute and profit

    good luck roaming around with your EBT card for food

    the truly hustlers in my opinion are the baby boomers, men who worked for 30 years non-stop, stacked every penny, saved their incomes, invested wiseley, kept their expenses to a minimum

    there is no shortcuts, crying won’t make things happen faster

    our generation produced the most amount of”bambacionni”

    or BIG BABIES

    Hustle go get what you, and respect your elders, dont neglect prayers, and keep your karma working for you

    peace

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    I’d definitely agree there’s a lot to learn from that generation, but I wouldn’t say that our generation is full of babies. I think we are simply becoming more aware of our options. Thanks for reading, man ;)

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Great points and really thoughtful response – thanks for sharing!

    It wasn’t my intention to assert that you should be self serving at the exclusion of service to others…because you’re right, at the end of the day, helping others IS where it’s at.

    I mention diversions like traveling, programming, martial
    arts, etc as examples of things that many people don’t have time to
    fully involve themselves in because they are caught in the matrix — I
    know these aren’t the bedrock of life though.

    Now, what I do fundamentally believe is that you can only help others after you’ve helped yourself. If you’ve taken time to develop yourself and enrich your life financially, spiritually and emotionally through some “selfish” time, then it’s only natural that you’ll have much more to give later in life.

    Even the time I spent on my entrepreneurial ventures in the past year, while self-serving to a financial extent, have come full circle and allowed me to talk about the process, thus helping others. There’s no way that you experiences can not help others.

    So take the long bike rides, learn the piano, fully settle into yourself, and then give that back.

    That’s my .02 anyway ;)

    Thoughts?

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    @AlisonElissa:disqus Also, I know what you meant so I’m not coming down on you in particular – just language as a whole. I’m extremely careful about using phrases like “grown up thinking” etc. Not because I’m opposed to healthy growth and maturity that shift perspective, but because often I see these trite platitudes like “grow up” and “get real” thrown around by people with negative worldviews as reasons for people to NOT do things, NOT pursue dreams and stay on the sideline. More often than not, when someone says “grow up” it means “that idea is stupid”. So I try not to use that type of terminology.

  • Michael

    Love this article, Daniel! Thank goodness I’m on my way to the same lifestyle. Most people are living life in reverse (Working hard to save for the years when they’ll be living on half of what they make now). Great article!

  • http://www.alisonelissa.com/ Career Coach, alisonelissa.com

    Thanks! (And you’re doing an excellent job fielding comments btw.)

    Okay, I think you’re assuming that I really value the leisure activities I previously mentioned. I do not. You may also be assuming that because I have an interest in learning to play the piano it will one day become an income source for me. Nope. I’m terrible at the piano- like I’m on the 2nd grader’s book.

    My top three priorities in my life are my health and well-being, my loved ones, and my clients. I devote a sh**-ton of my time and effort to these relationships. And you know what? I do not feel caught in a matrix. I feel alive, connected, valued, and loved. I would easily, happily trade 100 hours of biking for one hour of being of service to a client.

    My hobby may be playing sports, but my true strength is my ability as a counselor. That’s what I love and where I’m of the most service to the world.

    (Side note: If you are paying to do something that you love or are doing it solely in a ‘safe’ way, like singing in the shower, it is probably a hobby. If you are getting paid to do something that you love, or can see a way to be paid, it is probably your career. A career will involve taking risks, being vulnerable, and meeting challenges. Also feeling proud of yourself when you succeed.)

  • http://www.alisonelissa.com/ Career Coach, alisonelissa.com

    I hear you, sure. And I’m all for dreams and getting off the sidelines!

    At the same time, in my experience, grown-ups are sexy. My definition of a grown up is someone who takes responsibility for their life, shows up authentically, is dependable, and is capable of putting up with temporary crap for a long term gain.

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Thanks! This is fun for me – it’s not even WORK ;)

    Yep, totally get you on hobby vs life purpose. If you’ve done your “80/20″ analysis and found that most of your happiness is coming from those 3 relationships, then by all means pursue those with the lion’s share of your energy. Which was really what I was getting at – less energy on things you couldn’t care less about, the majority on things you do. Everyone’s particulars will be different.

  • Tay

    This was just great. Everything I’ve been thinking over the years in one post. I think about these same things daily. We get so stuck on clinging to that job we have simply to support ourselves. There is sooo much more to life. Fear is usually what keeps us from exploring what truly makes us happy.

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Agreed on the grown-ups are sexy…nothing less attractive than a grown man or woman acting like a little kid. As long as in the process of maturing, you don’t get “old”…if that makes sense…?

    I really appreciate your feedback, and bringing different perspectives to the mix.

  • http://www.alisonelissa.com/ Career Coach, alisonelissa.com

    No problem, nice to have a little dialogue! :)

  • Nichola

    I feel like I wrote this myself, it’s amazing to find other people out there who feel the exact same way. I just want to travel, learn anything and everything about the world, meet people, have adventures, discover the unknown, talk about topics that are interesting not mundane and then write all about it, because I love to write. Seriously, best thing I’ve read in a long time.

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Just saw this! Thanks for reading, man!

  • Nicky

    Looks like someone with a very closed mind. Must work in the corporate sector for 50+ hours a week…

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Nichola! Thanks for reading! This started as a Facebook rant that turned into a blog post – and I’m glad you were able to relate. I think the best strategy is to enrich ourselves, and then find ways to enrich the lives of others ;)

    Cheers!

    DD

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Exactly, Tay. But fear of something that hasn’t even happened yet is, by definition, a false belief. Once we break out of that, entirely new worlds of possibility open up. Thanks so much for reading!

    -DD

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Hey Michael -

    You’re totally right – lots of backward living. And it’s hard not to fall into the trap because, after all…that’s our culture.

    See you at the top, amigo.

    DD

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    I’m all for positive growth and maturity that lead to an improved perspective and worldview – but 9 times out of 10, what someone means when they say “grow up” is “that idea is stupid” or “you can’t do that”. Both of those notions, of course, I reject.

  • jscam87

    Best laugh I’ve had in awhile. Somebody who hasn’t (spelled chosen not to…) held onto a job his entire life is making money COACHING? “What is fucking wrong” with perfect work attendance? The best was…

    “What if your presence wasn’t actually required to generate the resources that support you, and you were left to roam the earth freely?” Did someone actually read that without laughing? So, by all means, sign-up for this “TRAINING”. You will actually prove him right, in that he does nothing to generate the resources that support him, YOU generate the resources that support him, and if you can find a group of bigger fools, you can do it too!
    Hard work is, by definition, hard. Since the author has never explored that aspect of life I don’t understand his sudden wisdom or what would make him an authority on anything other than selling his membership list and getting his affiliate marketing cut. Well written article but, like palm reading, telling you what you want to hear. Best of luck to everyone because on this path, luck is the only thing that will help you…

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    LOL. Talk about not contributing anything constructive. You’re making this a personal attack on me. But actually, I’m happy you’re here. When people start shit-talking, that’s when you know you’re actually spreading your message far and wide.

    First of all, let’s get a couple things straight:

    Obviously you don’t know a thing about coaching, or what it entails. Coaching is the process by which you help people to take their performance to the next level, based on things you yourself have done before. I’m 24 and have started two-profitable service based businesses – an SAT prep company and a web design firm — I’m independent and work from home most of the time. Many people would also like this lifestyle, so I help them figure out how to do it. No smoke and mirrors there.

    How many businesses have you started? I’m guessing none – you’re writing this on your lunch break huh?

    Next – Umm, when did I say anything about money for the coaching? It’s me operating a group of like-minded individuals and offering guidance and advice based on my experience. I don’t even have any paid products to offer. At one point, I might. If people want them, fine. If they don’t, fine. The coaching will always be free. Next.

    ” ‘What if your presence wasn’t actually required to generate the resources that support you, and you were left to roam the earth freely?’ Did someone actually read that without laughing?”

    Umm…you’re damn right people read that without laughing. I wrote that without laughing. You obviously don’t have a clue how the new economy works do you, genius? Look around you, dude. While you slave away in your dead-end 9 to 5 misery reading books about not killing yourself and being Microsoft Excel’s bitch, the person who is your boss (or your boss’ boss) is somewhere on a ski-trip. Why? Because he’s figured out how to leverage YOU to do his work while he does what he wants. What I’m communicating is that entreprenuers from all walks, with all different ideas and talents can take their ideas and breathe life into them — then run them online so that they don’t actually need to be present for the work to get done, and the money to come in. If you don’t get that, you’re an idiot.

    “Hard work is, by definition, hard. Since the author has never explored that aspect of life I don’t understand his sudden wisdom or what would make him an authority on anything other than selling his membership list and getting his affiliate marketing cut.”

    I’m not “the author” >> my name is Daniel DiPiazza, and if you are going to speak to me, address me as such. And before you talk about all the hard work that I don’t know about, search google and check my resume, numb nuts. I traveled the world and graduated college by 20, wrote and directed SAG films, fought mixed martial arts professionally, won natural bodybuilding shows on a national level, worked for the White House driving the president from Air Force One and started writing for the Huffington Post. THEN I started two profitable businesses. And I just turned 25.

    What have YOU done?

    I’m done with ya. Don’t forget to clock out.

  • Bridget

    So True…. I wish I could have work but no necessarily show up at a job, travel the world, volunteering where there are needs, helping people across different countries, meeting and interacting with cultures etc and yet still contribute my own quota to the world without being defined by an 8 to 5 job.

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    It seems logical to work less, explore more, no?

    Thanks for reading, Bridget ;)

  • Megan

    I turned 25 in February, have a job that pays well, and completely HATE it! I keep telling myself that the money isn’t worth it. This is also why I am currently looking for new jobs with forward-thinking organizations. I would rather be able to afford survival and be happier than be able to afford luxury and be miserable.

  • http://twitter.com/ialamin Ibrahim

    Daniel,

    I’m a little later in my 20s than you but I had the same realization right around 24. I realized early on my life goal wasn’t to necessarily be a multi billionaire but to have the freedom to do things I really liked such as travel, eating and spending time with great people (not surprisingly me and you have several of the same interests) and creativity with my career and as an entrepreneur has helped me achieve that.

    I applaud you for writing this and you’ve obviously touched a lot of people with your words.

    I’d love to learn more about your journey.

    -Ibrahim

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Hey Ibrahim,

    I’m glad that you saw something in here that you can relate to – and it’s not always easy to admit that we feel this way. Thinking like this isn’t “popular”. Thanks for reading, my friend ;)

    DD

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    I always thought if I got a job that paid me a ton of money, I’d be set for life. Weird how that doesn’t always work out, huh?

  • http://twitter.com/MrG_J Greg Johnson

    Killed it!!!

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Haha! Glad you enjoyed it, Greg.

  • Abbey D

    This is so timely for me. I just started a business and it made me realize… I HATE the 9-5. My boss keeps telling me to stick it out and I’ll “work my way up” but I don’t want to be her! I love my biz and am hoping that soon I’ll be done with the rat race for good.

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    LOL. I totally get it. It’s like “work my way up to what??”

    Thanks for reading!

    DD

  • herenow

    All I have to say is “who are you”. I mean, finally I can breath knowing there is someone out there as crazy as me. Not lazy but crazy about wanting more simple joy from life. Thank you.

  • Adri

    A) This is so amazing that I had to leave a comment, and I normally stay FAR FAR away from the comments section.

    B) THANK. YOU. FOR. THIS. — The Sub-30 Millennial crowd is an increasingly buzzworthy topic of discussion, for all the wrong reasons (Screw you, TIME magazine). Our daring to question why we have to work away a dull life is met with disdain from older generations who found themselves trapped by the same situation. I am not lazy because I want to enjoy the next 30 years of my life! I’d gladly do my current job for the next 30 years if they’d let me take a laptop home/wherever the WiFi can reach (crossing my fingers about a beach in Bora Bora).

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Haha! When you can get the “non-commenters” to comment, that’s when you know you’ve written something good. Glad you liked it, Adri…and it’s the truth. I’m so sick of people calling us LAZY just because we’ve figured out the game early and DON’T WANT TO END UP THERE. Thanks for reading, my friend.

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Muahaha! I am Daniel DiPiazza! Seriously though, I just had this welling feeling inside of me and I KNOW other people are feeling this way…but nobody says anything. I had to say it. And as you can see from the comment section, you’re definitely NOT crazy, and you’re not alone either.

    Let’s do this.

    DD

  • Lia

    I understand your position as someone who also has not lived in a “third world” country. However, anyone can not have a job, live in a tent on someone elses’ property, and be their gardener or something. (That’s the back-up plan to my back-up plan’s back-up plan). It’s allocation of resources that prevents this, and people not thinking out of the box. (Which really, is inside the box…in a third-world-country…basic barter system – trade agri-infrastructure/labor for housing.) I think it’s we with all these “1st-world” -excuse the political inaccuracy- resources with which we can be the social ecopreneurs that remove the barriers to entry, and improve the communications between people so these sort of things happen all the time in every country, for any and every class of citizens. Entrepreneurship can happen for anyone, we just think it always requires huge profit and innovation, but I’m sure there’s quite a few Farm-hand Joses who have been doing it this way just to survive since Day 1.

  • Lia

    Awesomeness.

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    LOL! Thanks, Lia.

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Agreed, Lia. Thinking “outside the box” is becoming more and more common as a new breed of entrepreneur arises. Especially in countries like America, where regardless of where you are on the social ladder, you still have huge advantages. If your goal is to become an entrepreneur – at this point there’s really no excuse not to. Thanks for the thoughts ;)

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    lol

  • Tatiana

    Great article. Makes me feel a lot better knowing I am not the only one who was afraid to admit I didnt want to work the rest of my life. My goal is to come up with a way to make money work for me as opposed to me working for money.

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Hey Tatiana- thanks for reading. You’re definitely not alone..and It’s totally possible to figure out a way. Join my tribe and we’ll brainstorm: http://www.rich20something.com/tribe

  • Angelica

    Hell yeah. Preach on. I’ve been working towards this mentality from the second I stepped foot in an office. I hated my life, hated every day I was at work. So I researched every single day. I researched and researched the coolest companies I could find with mentalities like this – ones that allowed me to travel and allowed me to eat bomb food. I now have a food blog AND I leave in 3 weeks to be a CEO for G Adventures- a travel company. Not only do I write about food on a daily basis, I’m about to get paid to travel. I’m living that fake life, I just wish more people realized that they can do it too.

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    EXACTLY. Angelica, YOU GET IT. The “fake” life is real – but it takes sacrifice to get there. But not the type of sacrifice where you give up your body and mind for 30 years at a dead end desk and finish completely drained…the type of sacrifice where you knowingly, willingly go through hard shit, bent on getting out of it with battle scars and the ability to give your greatest gifts to the world.

  • http://twitter.com/Candyjewel Candice Nicholson

    I LOVE IT! Thanks for writing this Daniel. It’s very much in line with Robert Kiyosaki’s principles. We’ve basically still been given old-school advice even though the world and the economy has changed drastically. I find that there is an extreme lack of mentors, especially females, in my city (Cape Town) that have adopted the new and improved school of thought. So, I’m out to set a trend! Thanks again, this keeps me motivated.

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Hey Candice – you’re definitely right. We are running on OLD SCHOOL thinking. Time to switch it up and make progress for our generation. By the way, got your email. Talk soon!

    DD

  • Mayuri

    Thank you Daniel, This has been quite a read for me.. . I am 2 years older and am in awe of you. I never really understood what was meant for me.. worked random jobs here and there and never really enjoyed anything.. I love art. I studied art and forever want to practice art. In my final year I decided I had to figure out a way to support myself financially so that I could practice art at ease ie. not worry about selling my art to pay the next bill. So I started a business and I loved creating and building it (its in the art field) but now I feel as though I have become its slave? I have obviously done something wrong. ( I still love it though?) I just recently started a blog about trying to change my life and I am doing so with 30 day challenges.. small changes but an effort non the less. Thank you for your letter it has somewhat put my mind back on track and hope to figure this out!

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Thanks Mayuri!

    What’s the link to your blog? I love challenges.

    Also – re: being a business owner – it’s very easy to become a slave to your own work and being more trapped than you were before. So starting it is the first step, the next step is to figure out how to remove yourself as much as possible while maintaining or increasing income.

  • Kristen

    I love your writing and your message. One point I’d like to point out is that this work-centric society you highlight is very American. Although changing, many European countries have this mindset, without the abandonment of the work week. People leave work at 5, and when they leave, they leave. No checking emails or checking in with colleagues after you’ve put dinner on the table or have your children occupied with a computer screen. Although we need more leaders + entrepreneurs, we all can’t (and shouldn’t) fill those shoes. For those of us fortunate with the skills and resources to make an interest-based life a possibility, that’s wonderful, but we all have a commitment to the betterment of our society. The answer is more than just making things happen for yourself; it’s standing up for the type of society you want to live in. I hope that we all can pursue our dreams and the life we want to live, but our society isn’t set up that way. Greg probably received 2 weeks max paid vacation, and that would be considered a good benefit by American standards. We need Gregs to make the world go round, so couldn’t we make their existence a little more enjoyable. If we can only stand up for our own self-interest with the ignorance of how our society will continue to affect us, I think we’re the zombies.

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    SO WELL STATED, Kristen!!! Ok, so two things here:

    1.) You’re absolutely right – this is very American-centric way of thinking. When I lived in Greece, there was such a difference in the way people viewed and valued their time.

    2.) Totally right – not everyone will be able to do this – we need people at desks to a certain extent. The point is that anybody CAN. Also, we’re in luck because most people don’t want to do this. The self employed lifestyle has a whole different breed of headaches and worries that people aren’t prepared to deal with. That’s why only 13% of the population is self employed.

    Thanks SO much for the feedback!

    DD

  • Tasha

    One day, I woke up and decided that I was tired of giving corporate America the best part of my day! Seriously, 9-5 (on a good day) M-F. So I quit my job. Now i am building a business with things that I love at the center. And now that Im no longer miserable, I guard my happiness like it is the most important thing in the world. Because to me, it is.

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Very, VERY well stated, Tasha!

  • HR_TX

    Really great message that resonates with me. Basically what has been rattling around in my brain for over a year.

    I have been ready to quit my 9-5 job and move on to actually living my life but its a difficult leap to make. I just turned 26 a couple of months ago and that is when it really it me. I woke up and my first through was: “What the hell am I doing killing myself for this job I hate? What is the point? I’m miserable 8 hours a day, 5 days a week(sometimes more) and for what?”

    I’ve also been of the mindset that I don’t want to quit unless I have something else lined up but the issue is when I get home from work I’m so drained that I don’t really have the motivation/energy to work on something else. I feel like I need recharge myself for the next day of frustration ahead.

    I really feel like making that leap is one of the most difficult things to do. Its obviously not easy to get started and grow a business but making that leap from “comfortable” aka easy, 9-5 job to starting on your own can be scary even though it is also very exciting.

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    “I’ve also been of the mindset that I don’t want to quit unless I have something else lined up but the issue is when I get home from work I’m so drained that I don’t really have the motivation/energy to work on something else. I feel like I need recharge myself for the next day of frustration ahead.”

    This is such a powerful observation.

    It’s really easy to get overwhelmed by all the things that have to be done for a new business, and let’s face it – we have a finite amount of energy. Sometimes you just need that 2 hours before bed to relax. You’ve already been grinding for 8 hours.

    I think the first step is getting crystal clear about what needs to get done, then attacking it incrementally, rather than just saying “there’s so much stuff to do and I’m already so tired!”

    What does “so much stuff” consist of.

    Write it down into painfully small bites, then start knocking it off.

    ex. ) “Buy domain name”, “spend 15 minutes researching competition”

    Make the bites so small that you can’t possibly fail, then build confidence as you complete more and more tasks on the list.

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    BTW, thanks so much for reading!!

    -DD

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  • http://twitter.com/amberjadams Amber J. Adams

    Always nice to know we aren’t alone in our thinking!

  • Loving life in the matrix

    wow, just wow. So if every twenty-something thinks like you, who is eventually going to do the sh**tty stuff which needs to get done – like cleaning hospital rooms? Like pick up garbage? Dirt and garbage aren’t virtual my friend.

    Seriously it’s rather arrogant of you to assume there is a ‘better’ way. Rather than talk about a ‘better’ way, you should say a ‘different’ way. Not everyone feels like you do, Daniel, whether they are 20, 30 or 60. Some people enjoy what you would consider to be boring office jobs. DIfferent stripes for different folks, right?

    More power to you if you can make a life where you don’t have to do the dreaded M-F,9-5 routine. Just know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    For sure, and I agree that this isn’t for everyone. I’m not trying to convince people who don’t feel this way – I’m only trying to connect with people who do. Absolutely right on dirt and garbage being real. My dad is a garbage man at Waste Management. I had to deal with that at home enough as it is, so for me, different IS better ;)

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    Not at all, Amber. Thanks for reading! ;)

  • http://twitter.com/Rich20Something Daniel DiPiazza

    And thanks for reading, by the way!

  • http://collegeinfogeek.com/ Thomas Frank

    I never feel bad about taking a stand and saying one way is “better” than another – because that’s my opinion. It’s Daniel’s opinion that this method of living is better with respect to the criteria he talked about – ability to do what interests you, freedom, etc. We don’t need to bring in the nobility and necessity of other forms of work. And it should be a given that other people will realize that and have their own opinions.

    Blogging is always a funnel; even if a lot of people see your message, less will understand it, even less will agree, and even less than that will take action (and even LESS will succeed). That’s how pretty much everything works, really.

    Obviously not everyone can become a globe-trotting digital nomad – you don’t need to preface your blog posts with a disclaimer like that. Hell, most of my friends from high school who are now doing all the dirty jobs don’t even know that blogs can be anything other than an online diary.

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  • Azure

    Yes! I am living this life, and you can too! It takes first
    of all guts to do it, not to be afraid of remaining as an outcast who can see
    outside of the box, when nobody really understands you. And there are two
    things you will have to confront from this type of life. The good one is: not
    many live like this. The bad one is: not many live like this. So there you have
    it, two sides of the same coin, that can make it feel wonderful yet at the same
    time very risky. The real entrepreneurs thrive on taking risks, and this is the
    reason why I got to be one.

    How I got to live like this? I was working at one of those menial jobs I used
    to find and then get sick of it all, this time it was at Macy’s part-time
    winning $400 a month. I am from Puerto Rico, an island where the salaries are
    three times lower than in the US, and it is considered as a third world country
    in fact… At the same time I was studying at the University of Puerto Rico my
    8th year in a B.A. in which I never finished to figure out what I really wanted
    to study. I was very poor, had some support from my father but not all of it,
    and many were thinking I was lost or something. I just had dreams and a sense
    of vision others deemed they were unrealistic. But it all changed until I asked
    God to help me find a better way of life, the life I wanted with the best
    friend ever possible. While encountering myself like you did at 24 yrs old I
    used the Law of Attraction to live this life. It finally worked at 25 yrs
    old I met my now former fiancé of 5yrs.
    He had the same dreams as me so we teamed up and co-founded our small home
    business. I do all the hobbies you wish to do plus I am self-instructing myself
    on Physics with the mentoring of my fiancé, just to keep my mind busy and get
    better ideas for the future of our business. We have a small amount of
    customers, but our salary is $120,000 a year and it is still growing. Now we
    live in the U. S. with lots of free time and no health issues. We are becoming
    more famous in Puerto Rico and also doing the amendments to change it into an
    American small business with a branch in Puerto Rico, instead. So we could
    possibly attend customers in the U.S. while at the same time attending our
    first customers who were all from P. R.

    Hopefully, in a few years I won’t have to ignore my immediate and extended
    family nay saying and raining on our parade every time they call us. I am the
    only one in my family who got to be a young successful entrepreneur and could
    live at the U.S. without the help of someone. Basically to do this dream you
    want to do, never listen nor interact with anyone who will never support you on
    your goals. Oprah did this, and she confessed it was her only way to succeed.
    Luckily my fiancé’s mother is supportive of us both. Yet my family isn’t, they
    are the superficial middle class types who think only doctors and lawyers win a lot and get rich. This is a typical
    third world country way of thinking.

    After I had told this life I am leading now to my only girlfriend I have she
    felt envious of me after she found out of how many possibilities there are to
    live better, that it is not all work and study. But living like this is great!
    I got frustrated for never having finishing anything before in my university,
    but I now think of at least finishing my goals I have with my fiancé. He has
    always been my only best friend and my only real family; to top it up we live
    together and live as husband and wife. We can get married but we are more
    spiritual than religious, so we don’t mind doing a ceremony, nor it is the best
    time to do so, due to my situation with my family. Latinos are like this: Once
    they are invited in your marriage, they think they can destroy it! But the good
    thing of moving to the US is there are much more open minded people who respect
    individuality and privacy. Hence where all successful businesses made what
    America is today, making more jobs for the community.

    So as you can see, it is very solitary and you must be very independent,
    sacrifice a lot and work hard on your own by yourself, being away from people
    for many hours, yet still remain as a good leader and have realistic
    expectations, along with good money and time management, topping it up with
    good persuasive and social skills. I would describe it more as living like a Buddhist
    nun or a monk with altruistic ideals. You are apart but active in society at
    the same time, to a certain extreme, that is unusual and uncommon to society
    and non-conformist for the populous ordinary people.

    You just have to get used to it, to feel unwanted yet still looked for some
    help. And there will be at some moments a feeling of gloomy sadness like the
    one Batman shows in the stories because of this solitary life, but at the same
    time you can also feel a high contentment when you make the effort of
    appreciating the chances of living like this and most people notice it in you
    making them want to feel this way too. The best word to describe it is: feeling
    free like a bird.

    So if you have a chance and the opportunity, then take it! And don’t look back.
    Because as the saying goes: “the higher it gets, the harder it falls.”

  • mermeid6

    Three easy steps to change your thoughts. A positive mind is a key to your success. Follow these steps to a positive mind and the success you want.

  • Daniel DiPiazza

    “not to be afraid of remaining as an outcast who can seeoutside of the box, when nobody really understands you.”

    ^^^^ THAT ^^^^^

    This was an amazing post. Thank you SO much for sharing, Azure!

  • Daniel DiPiazza

    Glad you enjoyed the read. Thanks ;)

  • Nicole

    I am lucky enough have someone sponsor my life for the past 2 years and guess what? I wake up everyday at 7am working on projects until midnight everyday so everyone can be as fortunate as me. I get what you mean another way. How it is now is terrible. We need to evolve.

  • Daniel DiPiazza

    What are you working on?

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  • CameronNehrer

    This is great! I’m right there with you Daniel.

  • ashley acuna

    Amazing letter. I couldn’t agree more. And it is great to hear that there are other people out there who feel the EXACT same way.

  • Avram R

    Just came across this and can’t tell you how much I agree with your sentiment. I HATE the question “what do you do?”. Even when I’m proud and feel like sharing about my work, what I do does not accurately define me as a person.

    Cool story:

    When I was in college lucky circumstances put me at a table with a couple Phillies ball players. I’m a normal kid, feeling a little intimidated and Jimmy Rollins looks over at me and asks “So whats your story?” thought it was the coolest thing ever that he wanted to know me as a person, some 20 yr old college student who had no business hanging with them. We talked and bullshitted for the next hour or so. That’s how I try and get to know someone to this day: get to know their story, who they are as a person is way more valuable than any one thing they do.

  • BashirOsman

    “Like moaning dogs laying on nails who are too lazy to move.

    I remember during my training at Publix (grocery store), one of the assistant managers pointed to his boss
    endearingly and said “Greg hasn’t missed a day or called in sick in 27 years.” As if this was some good
    thing, a point to be proud of.

    I just remember thinking to myself “What the fuck is wrong with these people?”

    I quit that job faster than Kim K quits a marriage.” LMAO

  • http://www.standardexcellence.net/ Ryan H

    Wow is this getting published in Forbes or Fortune or something? I think it would sell. Thanks for saving me from my (all too regular) Wednesday mental breakdown!

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  • Daniel DiPiazza

    Thanks for reading, @CameronNehrer:disqus!

  • Daniel DiPiazza

    Haha – yep @ashleyacuna:disqus – you and me, same boat!

  • Daniel DiPiazza

    Such an interesting perspective – even though it’s a subtle change.

  • Daniel DiPiazza

    HAHAHA!

  • Daniel DiPiazza

    My pleasure @FoaRyan:disqus. Please…DON’T JUMP!

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