This evening, Digg directed me to an article by Steve Pavlina entitled 10 Reasons You Should Never Get a Job. This article conclusively proves that Steve is a clueless, arrogant moron.
OK, maybe that was a little harsh. I don't actually think Mr. Pavilna is a moron. He has plenty of useful and interesting things to say and he seems to be doing well enough for himself.
However, the article is positively dripping with arrogance and disdain. His basic premise is that "jobs" are for cowardly, brainwashed chumps who've sold their souls to "the man." I don't know how Mr. Pavilna makes his living (judging from the "donate" link on his page, my guess is by begging), but I sure hope it isn't through motivational speaking. I don't know about you, but I usually find that people who go around using terms like "brainwashed" or "slaves" are somewhat lacking in the knowledge and credibility department.
Of course, he is not, finally, wrong. Mr. Pavilna is certainly correct that having a traditional 9 to 5 job isn't the route to financial independence. Not that this is a shock to anyone. Everybody who's ever had a job know that the big boss gets all the money and the freedom to do basically whatever he wants. There's no question about that.
What would be really good is if Steve could tell us something useful, like exactly what to do to make money on your own, or how to go about it. See, that's the problem, isn't it? The answers to those questions are different for everybody. It's easy to spout platitudes about how "your real value is rooted in who you are, not what you do." The hard part is figuring out how to convert "who you are" into enough money to live on. Should I do contract software development? Write novels? Blog and wait for money to magically start rolling in? Figuring that out is easier said than done.
Not that I'm trying to discourage anyone. By all means, listen to Mr. Pavlina and go out and build yourself some kind of business. It's a lot of hard work, but the people who are successful at it say that it's worth every bit. I hope to do it myself someday in the foreseeable future.
I just get annoyed by the tone of the article - a combination of self-congratulatory arrogance and touchy-freely pseudo-inspiration. Building a successful business is hard, and not everybody is lucky enough to succeed the first time like Steve did. It can involve significant risk, both financial and psychological, and I don't think Steve is doing anybody any favors by trivializing such concerns as brainwashing and excuse-making.
But, as Dennis Miller says, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.
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