question time: would you do anything for money?
These guys* would probably do owt for cash 🙂
I met up with a few old friends the other day, some who I haven’t seen for quite a while. Everyone seems to be doing very well for themselves which is always nice to see, however I could not help notice that my world view has started to differ quite drastically from some of them. I’m not sure whether this is a new phenomenon or it has always been baked into our own personalities, it’s been too long for me to remember if I’m perfectly honest, but now I’m into all of this FI malarkey, it was most definitely noted.
One interesting thing came up was of one of our friends who wasn’t actually present being offered a job for double the salary, who then turned down that offer. I was like… “Yea, rock on man, don’t sell out just for the money, stick with doing what you love (presuming he loves it).” 1
However the general consensus was that he was an idiot!
One comment in fact was along the lines of “If you doubled my salary, I would pretty much do anything”. I know people say those sort of things casually when they don’t have to make the decision for themselves so it’s to be taken with a pinch of salt, but I think the intention and motivations behind it is all too real. This comment was very telling because it was from someone who is almost definitely on a high London salary already. He either hasn’t worked out the concept of enough just yet, or is running a very spendy budget and so could therefore do with the extra income gain a bit of breathing room, or maybe a bit of both. I think this is the conventional wisdom most people run their professional lives by, which I also think is a shame.
So my question to you today is:
Would you do anything for money?
I’ll answer it for you myself first, and you can probably guess the answer and that is a big resounding NO. One of the best things about being FI or even just being on the path and having some savings in the bank is that it gives you the power to walk away from something you don’t feel is right for you or your principles. The brilliant 1950’s advert ermine linked to here says it all: savings allow you to walk tall, because you can walk away.
scammers, con men and hustlers need not apply
It baffles me that there are people out there who continually do morally wrong things for money. I’m not talking about those that are desperate and down and outs, I’m talking about those that already have large swathes of cash, and may have already been caught breaking the law, and yet still repeat offend. I am sure there are many psychological issues that can be blamed here but on pure logical reasoning it often just does not make plain sense. There are people out there who go to a great effort devising creative schemes and recruiting large teams to implement their dastardly plans to con people out of money, and I often just think, for all that effort why not just set up a legitimate business? OK there is a bit more red tape and hoops to jump through but these are clearly motivated individuals so why the hell not? 🙂
There was a classic example I caught briefly on a watchdog or similar type of programme where a “businessman” had set up a cold calling company pretending to be Sky and flogging (fake?) insurance on their sky boxes. If you have the skills to set all of that up and work out all the training and logistics, why not just set up a real call centre FFS!?
Maybe some actually thrive on the con, that is the whole point. They are getting one over on society, those barstards. Weirdly, I can kind of relate to this, it is one of the reasons why I have liked gambling (getting one over on the bookies) and there is an element of it to FI, “cheating” the system by which everyone else (society) runs their lives and making work optional. However they are at completely different ends of the moral compass, I am sure you will agree!
(don’t) show me the money!
Going back to my friend who turned down the job I can think of a few reasons why you might want to do that. The main one is that you love what you do already, so why change? It is a very small minority of us who have found something like that so once you have found it you probably want to keep it within your slippery grasp for as long as possible. I came across an old Paul Graham article on the very subject this week which has some excellent points on this. Take a read if you have the time as there are a lot of themes relating to FI in there, but this particular section stood out to me:
…and it’s hard to get paid for doing work you love. There are two routes to that destination:
The organic route: as you become more eminent, gradually to increase the parts of your job that you like at the expense of those you don’t.
The two-job route: to work at things you don’t like to get money to work on things you do.
I am guessing my friend, who has been at his job for quite a while now, has managed to get himself at least someway down route one there (the organic route). I also know his job allows him a lot of flexibility so if he ever did want to try route two then I am sure that is always available. This also brings us onto the fact that with the double salary he will most likely be doing near enough double the work. Not guaranteed but the adage there is no such thing as a free lunch definitely applies here. And never forget double salary doesn’t mean double take home pay!
He definitely sounds like someone that FI would be interesting to, maybe I should get back in touch soon! 😉
So what would you do for money? How far would you go and how hard would you work? How far would you bend yo’ principles fo’ the green?
Let me know what you think! 🙂
*This image is trademarked and all of that junk. Copyright for Universal Pictures (I presume). If you want me to remove it then get in touch! Thanks!
- Actually I think I just said “Good for him” as I am admittedly rather English and not a cool California surfer dude. ↩