When I was young, I travelled across the country and took a job without really asking what my responsibilities were or how much I would be paid. And I worked 14 hours a day with a half day off every other week. And I learned so many things that permanently improved my life.
BUT, I had to quit after nine months because I was working so hard I had burned off all my body fat and was starting to burn muscle. I was peeing protein. I broke down. I also was not making enough to cover the very, very basic costs of living: food, extremely basic clothing, and the ability to go to a doctor. Sometimes my employer couldn't pay my salary, so I would be left figuring out how to pay for the groceries to fuel 14 hours a day of labor.
I see both sides and find the original post deeply insightful. But, at the end of the day, while I could go an work epically hard and change my life forever, I could not STAY.
Currently my biggest problem with this whole issue is being in a position where I'm surrounded by people who are very able to do jobs but aren't willing the turn any job into a business. They want a job, not a business. For me, it becomes problematic because I could actually help these people turn their passion into a business, but I'm unable (and pretty much unwilling) to turn that passion into a job for them.
I think there is a completely different mindset that one comes to the table with. One of the employee and one of the entrepreneur. One thing is that society has changed from the late 20th century and now favors entrepreneurs, but people (for a lot of good reasons) just want to be employees. Being responsible for one's situation in life, being responsible for a whole business, I can imagine that it's scary and a huge load of un-necessary.
On the other hand, personally only want to work with non-employee individuals. I think the idea of creating micro-businesses that support each other is pretty cool and can lead to some innovative stuff and general wellbeing of the participants. Although I can understand their motives, being surrounded by people who just want to plop themselves into a job, collect their wage, and go home is pretty horrifying to me.
A lot of times people are presented with a container, not a job. It becomes their life's mission to fill that container with awesomeness. Other people just see a container that doesn't hold a job for them and so they move on.
I think the reason for this is because most adults have children. Many (like myself) are also taking care of their parents. There are a ton of great entrepreneurs who are great business people and terrible spouses and parents. Some are also terrible bosses. Most of us don't want to emulate that. Also, tons of very rich people who work 80 or more hours per week are rich but depressed. Just paying for the anti-depressants will eat up your money. That doesn't feel like a good life. Some of us like to read books, play an instrument, participate politically, explore adventures in nature, discover natural plant medicines or even have friends. Having a good life, instead of a slave for money.
Many employees (such as myself) were very willing to buy into extra time into learning about things that both helped the school and myself: techniques, understanding literature and science experiments, social studies ideas for kids. When it came down to giving up your weekend and the only thing the principal cared about was grinding test scores, I quit. Becoming a robot isnt' worth damaging yourself and your family. I'm glad I changed. My wife says, "You're so much easier to be married to!"
I think your point is well taken, William. I have worked with people in classes with really great information that is practical and helping us to do a top notch job. In one of the classes, the delivery of the instructor was less than scintillating, but the techniques were super cool, very effective and fun. Some of the others in the class would say, "I don't care, man. I just want to party!" Hey, I like to have a good time too, but when you're in an opportunity to increase your ability to do your job well, and you just throw it away, it's hard to feel good about that. I wanted to ask the guy, "Could there ever be a time in which you were willing to invest energy in learning how to be more effective at your profession?" I don't think he would have understood the question, nor wanted to.