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The Mandatory Rant on Work Ethic in Your 20s

The following is a guest post from my friend and blogging buddy, Martin of Studenomics, where he shows you how to reach financial freedom by 30 without ever having to say no to a good time.

“I can’t sell my five tickets. Looks like I won’t be on the upcoming wrestling show.”

A friend from wrestling posted this on Facebook a few weeks back as he tried to garner sympathy from classmates and coaches. The rule at the gym is that you must sell 5 tickets to be on the card. This forces us to hustle and promote. It also guarantees an audience of 300-400 people for us to perform in front of. If we don’t sell tickets, we won’t have a crowd. How fun is a wrestling show in front of nobody?

There are obvious exceptions. If you’re the best wrestler in class, train hard, or do your absolute best to sell tickets, you might still get on the card.

I usually sell anywhere from 10-15 tickets through promoting on Facebook.

This guy was just giving up. There was a week left and he just gave up. He didn’t even bother. Then he started posting nonsense about video games and movies he was watching. He clearly wasn’t giving it his all and I honestly can’t respect those that don’t give it their all.

“I can’t make it to class because I can’t afford the membership.”

This same classmate followed up with this message a few weeks later.

This guy claims he wants to make it big and go to WWE. He claims that he’s serious.

I think not.

If you can sleep in until noon every single day and brag about being great at video games, you have time to find a job or make some money. I don’t give unsolicited advice, but this guy in question has repeatedly asked me for help. I’ve tried to help him. So have others. I believe he has even found a few job offers. I guess he was too busy to accept them.

You can’t be mad about the results you don’t get with the work you don’t put in.

You have to put the work in. Motivation is more than just posting quotes on social media. You have to get off your laptop sometimes.

I’m all for passive income. I made close to $100k last year with my condo and I could live off this money. But this income wasn’t exactly passive. I had to save up for the downpayment, stress about tenants, hope that the value would go up, and somehow survive without losing my pants. Things worked out in the end, but a lot of it was due to luck and timing. But guess what? Luck favors the prepared!

You can’t be sitting at home and complaining about results you’re not getting. You have to do something. Do anything. When you’re busy working and meeting cool people on your journey, you won’t have time to whine about how you’re not getting what you want.

This is the best time to be alive.

Think about the resources that are available to us. I use my smartphone to meet girls, learn Spanish, respond to emails, deal with comments, and so on.

When else have there been more resources available to young folks? We don’t even have to put on pants to apply for jobs. My parents had to bus or ride a bike across town to just apply for jobs 20 years ago. Now we can apply for jobs while swiping away on Tinder. So what’s your excuse?

Why are you not getting what you want?

When can you slack off?

When you plan for it. When you deserve it. After a long week. After you get the important tasks done. Whenever. You don’t have to be working 24/7. You just have to work when it matters so that you can slack off whenever you want. I won’t lie, I enjoy going out for drinks on Wednesday nights. This just means that I might have to sacrifice weekends to get work done.

I’m all for relaxing. I can’t tell you how to live your life. I have friends that work so much harder than me and I’m not even slightly jealous of their work ethic because I couldn’t imagine pulling it off.

All I’m saying is that you can’t be afraid of work. You also have no right to complain until you’ve given it your all. So get out there and make things happen. You’ll never save any money or get in shape if you’re not willing to put some effort in.

Question for the readers: how do you respond when a friend whines to you about not getting results when they’re clearly not trying?

“Building a business from scratch is 24 hours, 7 days a week, divorces, it’s difficult to hold your family life together, it’s bloody hard work and only one word really matters — and that’s surviving.” — Richard Branson

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4 comments to The Mandatory Rant on Work Ethic in Your 20s

  • Dave Lalonde

    This is great! I love what you said about not being afraid to work hard. People fear failure, but they have to understand that failure is what makes you grow.

  • People at the top get there because they not only dream big (that’s easy), but they act big to accomplish the dream. Even though our kids are small, we teach them that they have to work hard to do something. Often my soon-to-be five year old wants to give up the second something proves challenging. I think the problem is that many parents would step in and either allow him not to do it or take over, and while I can’t say that we’re 100% in compliance with this, often we will encourage him to finish, and when he does, the pride he feels is tremendous. I hope that this lesson carries forward for him later in life.

  • @Dave There’s no reason to fear failure. The heartbreak goes away eventually and you come back stronger.
    @MB Well said. You also have to act big. You can’t just dream and wait for things to come to you.

  • Great post, Martin! It pisses me off when people I know complain about their situation, mostly about how broke they are, but choose not to take any job! You really can’t be picky about which jobs you take if you’re absolute in dire need of employment. And if you’re not in dire need, then stop complaining!