Hello Rebel, and welcome back to my life.
I’ve been seeing a lot of people struggling to manage a career.
Why is it so hard? What in our lives makes it so difficult to find stability in our jobs?
It’s definitely not that people are lazy. Everyone I see working at it is working twice as hard as previous generations have had to work, but somehow achieving a lesser result.
Careers used to be this much easier thing. You went to the factory or the office for forty hours a week and you did your job and then you retired with a pension.
Maybe that wasn’t sustainable and it died out because the economy can’t support that level of worker stability for very long.
But considering the widely growing gap in income inequality, and the business practices we see today, I think it comes more from a desire in all levels of society to “get more.”
Advertising makes us think we need to get more and more “stuff” to be happy, but at the same time, we can’t pretend that everyone is equally capable of “getting more.”
If you are poor, or working class, or even middle class, you are not as capable of getting more for yourself as a billionaire is.
When everybody is playing the same game with the same rules, the people who start out one foot from the finish line are going to beat the people who start at the starting line, every time.
And then the problem gets bigger when THOSE people change the actual rules of the game to give themselves even more advantages.
When you’re already at the top of the pile, the only way to “get more” is to take it from the people underneath you, and so we get more part-time workers, less retirement benefits, less employer-provided healthcare.
And the hyper-wealthy reduce taxes on themselves so there’s less unemployment benefits and less societal effort to help sustain and support people who are in trouble.
Whether you think these things should be government-mandated or not, their removal from societal norms has definitely made more things worse for more people.
We have to stop telling people to pull themselves up by the bootstraps even as we make it impossible for them to get boots in the first place.
When someone is literally struggling to survive, it’s impossible for them to think in terms of the future, to build something that will get them out of trouble and KEEP them out of trouble.
I have some personal experience with this. My entire career would not have been possible, except that after I was let go from my last nine-to-five job, I was on unemployment for about a year.
That help gave me the breathing room to keep building my career, and now my company, so that next year I might pay as much in taxes as I received the entire time I was on unemployment.
So that sounds like an example of the system working, except it doesn’t work that way for so many people, because employers refuse to employ them in the first place.
Because they’re seen as someone who will suck a paycheck out of the company, rather than contribute value to the thing the company produces.
I used to work for a charitable organization that would hire anyone. Absolutely anyone. Your job was secure as long as you did it and didn’t, like, embezzle from the bank account.
It was considered the role of the executives to find work for employees to contribute to the success of the organization.
That was an executive’s entire job. And if they didn’t do that, they were replaced. And that organization did and continues to do great.
I feel like that used to be fairly normal. I feel like CEOs and Executive Boards used to be interested in building a bigger company for a PURPOSE, not just to pad their own wallets.
And I feel like somewhere along the way, they started seeing employees as an expense, rather than the entire point of the company’s existence and the reason for the company’s success.
And I think that’s wrong. And gross. And as Legacy continues to grow, I think the most important thing I can do is to make sure that never, ever happens to us.
I don’t think it’s okay for me to hire someone to produce something once and then sell a million copies of that thing without sharing the results of that success with the person who did the work in the first place.
I want to do everything—all of it—better than it’s ever been done before. I want all of us to do it better than it’s been done before.
I want that to become the new normal. I want us to make the new normal something that helps people and makes their lives and their jobs easier, and doesn’t try to squeeze them for every dollar in their wallet and every minute of their life.
I want to take every person I can get my hands on and make their work not a struggle any more. That’s really all I want to do.
And meet Peter Jackson. Mr. Jackson, seriously. Six years later, nothing’s changed. Please, gimme a call. Let’s do lunch.
Thank you for watching, Rebel. I will see you on Monday. Byyye.