Business Should Be Fun

If It’s Not, You’re Doing Something Wrong

I believe one of the signs of a life well lived is the fact that you wake up every morning and jump out of bed because you can’t wait to spend your time focusing on something that makes every part of you – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually – satisfied.  This is going to be different for everyone.

Building a financial net worth that allows you to live any way you wish and enjoying your life are not mutually exclusive.  You can make money following your passion if you are wise and intelligent about it.  There is a man working for a major ice cream company that is paid hundreds of thousands of dollars as the head ice cream taster.  There are people who test roller coasters for a living.  I have arranged my whole life to allow me to sit in a beautiful office, read all day, and acquire stuff because that’s what I enjoy.  Something in me is satisfied when I pass a business and think to myself, “I own shares of that”, or shop in a store and know I am collecting my percentage of the dividends generated by the people around me handing over their cash at the register.

There are people who have built fortunes making bow ties by hand and selling them from the trunk of their car (seriously).  There are people who travel the world and get paid to write about it.  Find your bliss.  Follow it.  And find a way to make it self-sustaining.  Money isn’t the goal, it’s the by product.  To put in another way, you have to figure out how to monetize that bliss if you want to enjoy it indefinitely.  Don’t resign yourself to working for someone else doing something you hate so you can “someday” be financially independent.  You may need to do that for a few years as you figure out the details but it should be little more than a pit stop.  Instead, map out a plan to make money as you do something about which you are deeply passionate.

In my office, I keep an ever-expanding collection of Monopoly collectibles.  They remind me that having fun is part and parcel with investing; that adding things to the portfolio after identifying them, studying them, and waiting for a price I consider acceptable, is a tremendous amount of fun.  I love the idea that I have no idea when I wake up in the morning if, by that evening, we’ll end up owning shares of a power or water company, investing in an apartment real estate investment trust, or purchasing equity in a railroad.  If you run your financial affairs conservatively and with prudence, you can focus on the enjoyment of the game rather than feeling stressed like other people.  Sure, it requires a lot of patience but I strongly advocate it as being worth the trade-off.

  • I would have disagreed with you a year ago, but today I find myself much happier starting to build a career I actually enjoy. It’s slow going, but it feels so much better than waking up and hating my job.

    • That’s how everyone is until they experience it. The thing I hate most is someone who has been in their job for 25 years, hates it, and when they hear me say that, becomes openly and aggressively hostile. To accept what I’m saying means that they didn’t have to be in the situation they despised for so long, which is painful to hear. Most of the time, I move on because it won’t do them any good; they are just marking time until retirement.

      I’m still striving toward it every day. I can’t wait until I walk the halls of my chocolate factory, and shop the marble floors of my jewelry store. That takes time (and a lot of money), but the philosophy is the same as when Aaron and I coded those firm lines of html years ago. I’d rather make $60,000 a year and be happy than make $500,000 a year and hate my job. That’s just how I’m built. Wait … no, I’m built so that I’d find a way to do what I love and make it earn my $600,000 per year. That’s how I’m built.

      How are you enjoying the freelance experience now that you’re settling into it? I heard you say on XBOX the other day when you were playing with Aaron that you still get paid from Rider, which sounds awesome.

  • michaelclay29

    Very inspiring…thanks for sharing!

  • jt13

    Ok, so at age 39 I finally figured this out and quit my $135,000 job. I’ve always had an interest in trading and started day trading but after some pretty good losses I quickly figured out that a. I don’t have the patience to be a daytrader (counter intuitive I know) and b. I can’t compete against the computers at Goldman or the other algorithmic robots.

    So I’m kind of stuck right now. I found your blog by searching franchises and up popped an article you wrote on cinnabon. I’m the type of person that would be stoked to have $40,000 in passive or slightly passive income to do what I want instead of $100k doing what I hate. The problem is finding a way to get the $40k/year. I think my next step will be to try and research businesses for sale that I might have an interest in.

    Although most of the businesses for sale are gas stations and restaurants which don’t seem too profitable. So maybe franchise is the way to go. I don’t know. But I don’t just want to purchase a job and make $40k making sandwiches and end up working 60 hours per week.

    Like I said, I’m kind of stuck so hopefully I can figure something out so I don’t have to go back into the corporate world to the job I hate.

    Thanks for the blog and thanks for reading my comment.

    James