Play like you’re in College.

October 10, 2006          Comments (7)

Hi! I’m in Delaware.

Wilmington, Delaware, Inc. to be exact. The incorporation capital of America.

I’m here on business with E&Y. I focus on the sexy world of hedge funds and private equity funds. It’s insane how much money gets thrown around. You should see the size of my hotel suite. It’s 4 times the size of my entire NYC apartment. And my apartment is not that small.

These hedge fund managers are getting paid millions of dollars. Often, for being wrong. What a gig. I don’t know many other jobs where you can make, not earn, so much money for not doing your job well. Weathermen can be wrong.

No matter how many times well-tanned, whiter than white teeth, Mr. Sam Champion is wrong; he’ll still have a job.

Most anti-preneurs seek job security. Everyone from teachers to doctors to truck drivers wants and demand job security. In fact, it’s a big deal when a professor or teacher gets their tenure. It’s customary to celebrate such an accomplishment.

But is job security really a good thing? There is a reason why college basketball is so much more exciting than the NBA.

I believe college athletes have something to prove. They are hungry, determined and are filled with a burning desire to get to that next level. They want to collect their pay day. They want it so badly that that treat every single play as if it were a tryout.

College basketball is what separates the men from the boys. Either they are going to play basketball professionally or not. They know NBA scouts are watching their every move with a microscope.

Once they make the NBA, they don’t have to worry. Something happens to 95% of all people. Whether it’s the guaranteed contract for $100 million for 6 years or a guaranteed contract for $75k for one year; the same thing happens.

I think complacency and the ‘it doesn’t matter’ attitude happen. I’ll still get paid, I’ll still have a job and I’ll still have health insurance and benefits whether I put the pedal to the metal or not.

Job security is a license to get lazy. It means you don’t have to treat every single day as it were a tryout.

What if your paycheck always depended on your performance whether you were the CEO or the janitor?

If you owned a company would you rather have salaried or performance based employees?

This world would be very different.

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  1. I have thought about making a way for employees to be paid based on performance and not security. However I think the problem is finding enough employees willing to take that risk.

    Most people don’t want to take risks and that is why we are the bosses. As much as we would like for people think like us they don’t and they want to be safe.

    There must be some happy medium that would encourage creativity, hard work, and a proactive environment.

    Comment by Aaron — October 11, 2006 @ 12:04 am

  2. I think the idea of “job security” is more an excuse for the anti-preneurs to not venture into entrepreneurship.

    Many people tend to be content with rocking up to work at 9, leaving at 5 and receiving there regular paycheck every week or two.

    Entrepreneurs possess a special drive to succeed and excel all the rest. It’s great! Entrepreneurs are the people that actually fuel our economies of this era and are the ones that provide the jobs to everyone content with a regular “job”.

    The big thing which I can’t understand why regular employees can’t see is that… ok, you work for someone else. If you want to make more money, you have to work more hours. Not harder, but more hours in most cases.

    If you follow the path of an entrepreneur, if you want to make more money, you work harder or smarter. Sure, in the short-term you will probably end up working longer and harder than job slaves, but in the long-run you will have time and financial freedom.

    But I guess it’s a good thing that not everyone is cut out for or even wants to follow the entrepreneur life.


    Comment by Nathan Waters — October 11, 2006 @ 1:56 am

  3. I agree with the idea that most people get comfortable once they know that they have security. We as entrepreneurs, however, must seriously avoid this trap. Many of us are literally a month away from not having enough money in the bank. Just because business is coming in, we must play by “the fundamentals.”

    Comment by Michael Anders — October 11, 2006 @ 10:59 am

  4. Aaron,

    It’s great to meet you! Thanks for reading my blog and commenting! It’s hard to get the ladder to happen even with all of the positive feedback I’ve been getting. As long as people are reading, though, then I’m happy.

    Anyway, I totally agree with your comment. I just believe most people, not all, get very lazy when they are guaranteed something. This applies to work, relationships, anything.

    What corporate America does and some wise companies do is offer salary plus bonus based on performance. This definitely works in some cases, especially if the bonuses are huge.

    But then, people become strictly driven and motivated by money. Money gets real old or at least going to work for money gets real old. I rather love what I do and be motivated to work my ass off because I’m passionate about the mission of the company. Then, there will be more money than anyone knows what to do with.

    If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. I really believe that. There is also profit sharing but once again this makes employees strictly focus on revenue and squeezing as much money as they can from customers.

    That certainly is not the best strategy for long term growth and value of the company. If you treat your customers how you’d like to be treated, you’ll get there money.

    And also it’s ironic because you can interview people and they will swear up and down and talk the talk about how great they are but when it comes down to it they want to be paid upfront or guaranteed as opposed to putting their money where their mouth is.

    People also have different situations and circumstances. Some people just can’t afford the risk because they have major financial commitments such as a mortgage, family, etc.

    Thanks again for reading and commenting!

    I’d love to chat more with you.

    Best regards,


    Comment by Adam Gilbert — October 11, 2006 @ 9:17 pm

  5. Nathan,

    It’s so great to meet you! Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog. I really appreciate it and expect more great comments from you in the future!

    I totally agree with everything you wrote.

    Trading hours for dollars is certainly not the life I want to lead. I only live once. Why the hell would I do someone else’s work in life. I know I was put on this planet for a reason. Anti-preneurs have a viewpoint and will defend it.

    Entrepreneurs have a viewpoint and will defend it as well. Everyone has ideas and beliefs and, of course, everyone defends their own beliefs and ideas. Sadly, many people want to take the risk, or wish they could but are so dependent on that paycheck they can’t.

    I love the saying, “if it was easy everyone would do it.”

    Thankfully, being an entrepreneur is extremely difficult.

    I always wondered with all of these people like Trump, Kiyosaki, etc., and books coming out left and right, promoting financial freedom, that no one is going to want to work for anyone else. Seriously, I really do. American productivity must be at an all time low. Everyone must just day dream all day.

    Once again though, 95% of people will never do anything about their dreams.

    Also, there is nothing wrong with working for someone else, just make sure you like what you do. Tolerating work or just passing time is insane to me. I don’t know how people do it.

    But then again, everyone is different and has different values, ideas and beliefs.

    We only live once!

    Keep readin’ and writin’ on my blog!


    Comment by Adam Gilbert — October 11, 2006 @ 9:31 pm

  6. Michael,

    You are the man. Living the real life of a bootstrapping entrepreneur! I am jealous, I really am.

    I don’t have as much entrepreneur credibility as I’d like, at least in my own head, because I must admit I still have a very safe, great, well paying job.

    Someone is not a true entrepreneur until they wake up and do what they want, when they want to do it. Hopefully, working on your business is what you want to do.

    Although, I’m not there just yet, I’ll be there very soon! But for now, I eat, sleep and dream about entrepreneurship and business.

    I don’t know what that feels like just yet, with regards to literally being one month away from not having enough money in the bank but…

    I can say 2 things:

    1. You are the man because you are taking a risk and obviously, with your passion, you will make it.
    2. When I’m in that position and I’ll be there soon enough, the thought and the fear would propel me and drive me and motivate me like nothing else. That is a real fire under your ass. Failure is just NOT an option.

    Many people can’t focus in tough times and desperate times. That is why most, almost all go back to the ‘safe’ and ‘secure’ world because they can’t think rationally under such stressful times.

    Keep it up man. And keep reading and commenting!


    Comment by Adam Gilbert — October 11, 2006 @ 9:44 pm

  7. Hey (again) Adam,
    I know we haven’t chatted much since you first made contact, but I thought I’d post here as the conversation is very close to home for me.

    My income will be 100% performance based: In 9 days time (24th October) I am quitting my well paid job to go it alone as a full time entrepreneur. I still have piles of student debt and my head is just about to go under financially so this is a very scary time for me. I have taken a 3 month mortgage holiday and I have pockets full of business opportunities and given myself the time to follow through. I have given up everything to follow the entrepreneurship dream. If I fail, I will loose everything (including my flat) and have to return to a salaried job. I would love it if you would follow my next few months over on my blog, your encouragement and advice is much needed.

    Keep up the good blogging, I always check up on your ponderings.


    Comment by Matt — October 15, 2006 @ 5:19 pm

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