On becoming an owner

sheisty people make a living convincing vulnerables to quit their job, move to a village in Thailand, and currency-hack their way to freedom.

this philosophy never sat right with me. you shouldn’t have to travel thousands of miles to live the life you want.

i also don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a job. in most cases, your boss is not the problem. it’s something else — the Thought Police.

job security is a lie

in the past i wrote that job security is not correlated to a company’s profit margin, colleagues’ affection, or your office politic-ing ability.

my argument was that job security is inside of you; it’s the skills you bring to the table. nowadays i’m not so sure.

as 2020 demonstrates, you can be a perfect employee yet still be destroyed by Black Swan epidemics or internet trolls who hate you.

employees are in danger

imagine you had a Tumblr blog in college, say 10 years ago. one day you “reposted” a funny joke about gay people. two years later you graduated, and forgot the blog even exists.

unfortunately, there are now armies of individuals who will hunt down that repost and pressure your boss to fire you. and your boss will probably comply, because he doesn’t have a spine.

the only way to avoid this army is to never piss them off, which worked OK until mid-2018. since last month, however, anything and everything is now a “trigger.”

on financial independence

why do you work anyway? do you think you owe something to the world? my money’s on: “you need to eat and have a roof.

so you keep working for someone who would fire you in an instant if the right wrong people sent them 50 angry emails. interesting.

now define financial independence. this term is oft bastardized into “being rich” or “having F-U money.” i disagree.

let financial independence be the ability to eat and have a roof while also saying and doing whatever you want.

this definition is intentionally broad because “eat” and “roof” and “say whatever” and “do whatever” mean different things to each of us.

for me:

  • eat -> steak, 2x /day
  • roof -> 800-1200 sq feet apartment
  • say whatever -> tweet “Kung-Flu” and other jokes
  • do whatever -> wake up without an alarm, drink coffee, lay in parks

the thing is, the above would not be possible if i had a boss. no matter how good i am at my job, or how much that job paid me.

reason being, my “say whatever” ambitions are beyond the scope of what the Thought Police allows. and that’s why i had to become an owner.

becoming an owner

once every blue moon, while drinking with optimistic employee friends, we say something like “one day i’d like to start a company.

what we’re really saying is we want our job title to be “CEO.” which means we’re succumbing to our ego. which is stupid.

i’ve never wanted to be a CEO. way too much stress. things go well? credit to the team. things go wrong? it’s all your fault. sounds like a lose-lose.

but you know what’s really cool? owning a money-printing machine. not operating it. not hiring people to operate it. not building it. just: owning it. then using the machine’s output to eat, live, say, and do whatever you want.

but how?

as the adage goes: “if it was easy, everyone would do it.

throughout my life, 2 types of people have recited this to my face:

  1. successful folks with a scarcity mindset (afraid of competition)
  2. unsuccessful folks who project their personal insecurities

in either case, it makes more sense to focus on learning new skills. because “learning” is simply the process of converting something that was difficult into something that is easy.

since we’re most comfortable doing easy things, the best way to live a comfortable life is to learn a lot of skills and ignore people who tell you otherwise.

but what?

which skills should you learn to become an owner?

to answer this question, consider what year it is. if it were 1903, i’d want to understand physics and aviation. just 15 years later? systems thinking or carburetors. another 10 after that? weapons manufacturing.

in 2020 it seems obvious that computers are essentially to everyday life, and a very near future will put humans into 2 groups:

  1. those who tell computers what to do
  2. those who are told what to do by computers

assuming you’ve seen at least 1 episode of Black Mirror, it’s high time you begin earning yourself a slot in Group #1.

it’s time to learn to code.

putting it all together

what do the Wright Brothers, Henry Ford, and Einstein all have in common? they could eat, live, say, and do whatever they wanted.

not because they had a “good” job, or because nobody hated them, or because they made a lot of money.

these individuals — like many before them and many since — achieved financial independence through a deadly combination of ownership and high leverage skills.

you cannot cancel people who invent what’s in your pocket, compose what you listen to, engineer what you drive, or control your ability to communicate.

it’s time to own.

my pitch

i’d write this post no matter what. when i believe something, i share it. but in this case i do have an offer.

if you’re intrigued by achieving financial independence through telling computers what to do, today i’m rolling out a platform dedicated to that cause.

it’s called Founder / Hacker, and it is perhaps my most important work to date.

View Course

through this ecosystem i’m committing myself to help 100s (thousands?) of people like the old me, transition from employees to owners.

not to get rich, not to absolve your ego (although both may occur). but to live the life you want, without fear of being cancelled.

learn more here.