Episode-1418- How Can I Find a Better Way to Make a Living

I am not sure why but I have been hit up with a ton of emails lately asking for career and business advice.  I guess something is stirring up the natural desire for liberty at a higher level and many are seeing their employment for what it is, indentured servitude.

Jobs are not inherently bad things.  I had many jobs over the years.  Some people don’t want to be entrepreneurs they just want a better career and a better place to work.

I find it hard to advise people on this stuff.  Yes I spent a lot of years employee but I have been an entrepreneur for most of my life as well.  Even when I  had a j-o-b I still had some sort of a side business.  I started my first real company in 1998, it is often hard after all those years to advise on both the entrepreneur and employee side of the fence but I will do my best to do so today.

For anyone that wonders if this is a survival topic, I will just say this.  Most preppers get into survivalism because of a fear that something could go wrong and cost them their incomes, their savings, their homes and their happiness if they are unprepared.

Great but if you are miserable now, how happy do you really think you’ll be eating MREs in the apocalypse?  Or, will it matter that only you lost your home due to a lost job and everyone else still has theirs?  Does it make sense to worry about the collapse of a dollar when you barely have any dollars?

Join Me Today to Discuss…

  • Start with what is good about your current job/business/income
  • Then yes dig into what is bad about it, what you hate
  • Next ask yourself what do I really love to do (focus on doing not the thing)
  • Now find the things that let you do the things you love to do (product)
  • No identify the obstacles to doing what you want to do
  • Develop a plan to leverage what you have to get what you need
  • The key really lies in personal development and confidence
  • No one will give it to you and luck is only what you make of it
  • Those who create reap the greatest rewards and fall the hardest
  • In the end you have to make the choices for yourself

Resources for today’s show…

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK (866-658-4465) and you might hear yourself on the air.

Also remember we have an expert council you can address your calls to. If you do this you should email me right after your call at jack at thesurvivalpodcast.com with expert council call in the subject line. In the body of your email tell me that you just called in a question for the council and what number you called in from. I will then give the call priority when I screen calls.

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50 Responses to Episode-1418- How Can I Find a Better Way to Make a Living

  1. Michael Thorpe

    Can’t wait to listen to this one!

  2. Oh now I remember why I quit listening to you. You are so full of yourself…lol. Youre the best, the biggest, you know everything, you made the most money, you were the best teacher, much better than anybody else. Yuck…can’t take you more than about 20 minutes.

    • Modern Survival

      So why are you even here? Be gone and find something more to your taste.

    • Snarky a bit much? Why bother even posting?

      I just don’t really understand the negativity, especially a person pointing out somebody out being negative, in a negative way. I literally just can’t understand the thinking behind it. Two possibilities come to mind.

      A. The person would want these things to change and they think they’re giving constructive criticism. (This post is quite far from that possibility, in my eyes, or probably just about anybody else).

      B. The person has some sort of emptiness they’re attempting to fill by spreading their negative opinions and reactions to others.

    • Oh look someone who will never be successful as long as they continue to hate success in others. You cannot become that which you despise, and it appears you detest hard work and actual success.

    • Coming soon!

      Troll-be-gone TM another fine product from Insidious Industries Inc.

  3. Hey, Laurie, apparently you aren’t making a career of spreading joy and happiness and kindness. Why are you here if you so detest it? Incredible. And sad.

  4. Oh boy will I be working on this specific problem. Podcast on it next week and a heck of a lot more in the very upcoming future.

    • “Read your list outloud….”

      Reminds me I’ve been away from the house for a week, I am reading my mantra list of 10 things that are my goals and what I feel I am and should be. I need to append the list with 10 more things that I am grateful for as well.

      Fastest way to being happy and finding opportunities, is allowing yourself to be happy, and allowing opportunities to find you, and allowing yourself to find opportunities. Opportunities ONLY come when you have your head up high enough and in the right frame of mind.

      • Ideas are cheap and easy.

        People willing to create and execute those ideas, are few and far between. Oddly enough it would seem everyone CAN be a creator and executor.

  5. Love these Jack. I’d love to hear anything you have to say about business. Maybe even a business idea roundtable with you and some of the expert council members? I don’t know if that would work, but its interesting.

  6. Suzanne Traskos

    Do you think your mensa IQ and extreme memory have anything to do with your success?

    • Modern Survival

      I think intelligence is an asset yes. But I know people smarter than me that are less successful and I know plenty that IQ wise I am ahead of who are worth tens of millions.

      One of my best friends is no where near as IQ smart as me but he is a hell of a lot more business smart and he is worth about 60 million dollars. If you tell him a phrase or a fact he likely won’t remember it in 5 minutes. But if he meets you today, talks to you for 5 minutes he will know a few personal things about you in that time. You will just tell him, that is how he is. You may see him then 5 years later, he will remember you and that one or two things.

      I care about people but this man cares about the individual at a level I can’t. I have my limits and some call one of them Aspergers, it causes me to lake empathy on some things. This man will take a DEEP interest in you as a person in the first five minutes you meet. It isn’t fake and it isn’t for personal gain. He does it with a waiter, a store clerk, you name it. IQ wise he isn’t dumb but he isn’t close to being a member of Mensa. He is I’d guess high average.

      But he is a master at business, people care and he is extremely genuine and trust worthy. He continues to create companies and build businesses and employ people yet he could have just quit and retired with his family to the Caribbean years ago.

      So if you are smart it can be an asset, but if you are good looking it can be an asset, if you are funny that can be an asset, if you are deeply caring about people, if you just have a dog hard work ethic, etc.

      So I feel like my memory is a huge asset for being a podcaster but I chose podcasting to match my strengths. Does that make sense?

      • Jack,

        your friend has an high EQ, Emotional Intelligence. Something we all can improve on.

        • Modern Survival

          Interesting nit pick here. You said something we all CAN improve on. I am thinking more something we all should try to improve on. I don’t know that I can ever be more like Neil in that way. I have come about as far as I can, I worked very hard to teach myself to be empathic to the best of my ability as a limited being. At this point I may be getting more pessimistic and going in reverse. Trying harder at this point to be empathic may result in going in reverse! It may be best that I just accept this limit and do my best with it.

          We all have limits. I am also a very good martial artist but even if I trained my ass of if I got in the ring with real pros I would get KILLED. Why? Well just like I have Aspergers I also have a left eye that is LEGALLY BLIND. As soon as a gifted opponent knows that he and his trainer can devise a plan to take me down and damn but it will work.

          I was a great soccer player as a kid, played for the JU Jags, this is a BIG deal but I would never have been good enough to go pro. Trying to do better in soccer than I did would have been nothing but a waste, I had my limits there and part was that weak ass left eye.

          We all have areas we are really strong at and some we are very weak at. I do think we are successful if we work on areas we are weak at BUT we also must focus on where we are strong and know when we have reached a limit in our weakness.

          My weaknesses are mostly that I lack some compassion and empathy and that I have shitty organizational skills. So I work with and hired smart people with great empathy and organizing sills to compensate for my weaknesses. The hard part was finding the empathetic person that wouldn’t crumble when I was tough on them.

          Does that make sense?

  7. Jack, everything you said today rings true with me. Been there, was doing really well, with commerical rabbitry, sheep dairy, and wool and mohair ranch, but my demise came from trusting promises, short term debt, and greed….meaning I was expanding fast….(watching you spreading yourself as you are is a reminder.of burning the candle at both ends)…, and I wanted more faster. I was good at tweeking to get what I wanted, to a point. I was doing what I was good at and loved, my perfect life. But in my determination, I misjudged some crooks and made promises I , alone , couldn’t keep…..then I lost everything on a technicality, a really, really weird story involving wrongful penalties by the IRS. They wouldn’t talk or work with my lawyer or book keeper because someone told them I was a “right wing radical who didn’t believe in paying taxes.” They weren’t my taxes, but they put a lien on the ranch just the same and the dominoes fell. I had started with $5K and the bank, at, the end said I had assets worth $250K in just four years. from that. Nor so much today, but back then….it was. Two other times I was doing something others wanted in on, but in the first case, they couldn’t keep up with my standards of quality that made me successful, and in the second case , I was a risk taker but my partner wasn’t, so it was too frustrating for me. I preferred the friend to the partner so sold her my part. A fourth time I did well was starting a gift shop on borrowed $84 dollars, and ended up closing in four months because a daughter -in-law was killed in a wreck, so I closed the shop to take care of the three very young grandchildren. Never did get to start over, but now I’m doing permaculture for its own benefits, not monetary profit, and I’m still doing what I’m good at , and love. Thanks for reinforcing my memories, and if you’re right, I’ve lived my life well. But at 77, I don’t intend to start anything new….Permaculture will keep me busy for quite a while. I hope on my last day, they find me with a shovel in my hand. Enjoying the pdc, by the way.

    • Sounds like good story and good (meaningful) memories.

    • We’re having the same problem with our State’s tax board. Not my tax debt, but trying to garnish my wages and put a lien on our property for taxes owed by my father in law. We’ve sold the property and the “debt” is basically paid off, but we lost all of the profits on the sale. We’ll have to hire a tax attorney to get it back.

      Total insanity.

  8. One of your best on making a living and you did make the right choice Professor of life!

  9. Wow. I am completely wowwed man. This is the second podcast I have listened to you (the other one was with the guy from The Permaculture Orchard / Miracle Farms) but I really want to know; are all your your podcasts this great?
    I dont even know what to say but thank you so much for this. I am 17 (also called in yesterday) came up with an entire business plan, got my certification requirements and even registered my business, but then decided I am making enough money landscaping all day. This has given me the support to truly pursue what I wanted (in the mean time while I finish high school / turn 18 to intern on PermaEthos perhaps : ) ) but in any case, I will start looking for farmers markets right now to start offering my goods.. And take from the only other podcast i listened to and charge a lot for it to bypass the shitty customers : ). Thank you so much man, you have no idea how helpful, meaningful and valuable this is, to me, and I am sure many others.

    Great work, hope you keep it up and I wish you the very best.

    Jake

  10. Jack,

    Thank you for this and all podcasts! Really enjoyed hearing your advice.

    Adam

  11. Whenever I hear someone say how much they hate their job it reminds me how glad I am that I love mine. If you asked what I dislike it would be so petty that I would not even mention it unless pushed. Only bad part is that an assignment can end with no notice at all. But you prep for that and a new assignment is a new adventure.

    Which brings me to two points. First is it may be better to consider having an “assignment” (or client, gig, whatever) than a “job.” Since 2008 I have had six major assignments and I don’t know how many smaller gigs. At first getting laid off felt terrible. But later I realized at each layoff I had another “assignment” in days. (once hours!) You just have to have the attitude of an NFL place kicker or AAA ballplayer. Keep your network and keep faith in your ability. The lousy jobs don’t seem as lousy.

    Second, you might take until well into your career to find your place. Out of college I got a dream management job. Held the faith for 2 training years, loved first 2 years then hated the last 3. I mean H-A-T-E-D. Second happiest day of my career was the day I was let go. Always wanted to be in banking, took another year and an effective 50% pay cut but I got in. Loved some, hated the rest, but kept building and learning.

    I eventually “backed” into something even better, got laid off, took a year and got back into something I never thought I would love. If I told you what it is and said how much I love it you would think I am nuts. My boss told me how much she loves it and my reaction was “she’s crazier than I am!” I’ve had people on other forums tell me I at least partially inspired them, and I didn’t even try.

    Point is, your career may not find you until mid-life, but it will never find you if you give up.

  12. Hi Jack,

    Today’s show was kind of an extension of Friday’s Listener Calls show where you ended with going into the lyrics and their meaning that should be taken to heart by anyone! An interesting aside. I do not recall your mentioning who wrote My Way – it was Frankie Avalon, who wrote it specifically for Sinatra – and just gave it to Sinatra — and as a result Avalon’s recording company was really pissed.

    The only times I have worked for anybody else since age 22, other than my business clients of course (and fun to work with), was in the military and to learn about a business I wanted to go into.

    Now at age of 69, while I could be retired, but already living where I would want to be anyway if “really retired”, here in the US Virgin Islands representing companies to other businesses and government entities with pragmatic environmental solutions. I love working to develop such solutions that TRULLY BENEFIT ALL worthy entities – people and Nature, NOT, just the corporate bottom line.

    That is why I am extremely proud to be a founding member of PermaEthos – which is just a fantastic concept of how to revitalize local; better than organic farming; much more profitable than conventional monocrop farming; will create many more satisfying ways of making a living – let alone creating entrepreneurial opportunities through the element partner concept; PLUS enhancing and expanding local economies and communities! Kudos to Version 3.0

    With all the research I am able to do that is related to my clients, and for my own account, I find it truly amazing so many people either do not have meaningful work or any work at all.

    Like you said, Jack, in my words “find a need and fill it.” – of course, making sure that there is enough of a market for it.

    One final caveat, I did not hear you mention. Over the years I have heard many people say that if only they could make a living at something particular they enjoy doing – but when they try to make a business of it they begin to hate what they used to love doing – so they need to work that out so they can keep it enjoyable.

    As always the Best,
    John “Caribe”

    • Modern Survival

      On your final comment it makes me think of an awful movie, “Hope Floats”. It was pre Dorothy and the girl I was dating at the time insisted on seeing it. And she said something typical of a young girl, something like, “but hope really does float”. My response was well shit floats too, but fine let’s go see it.

      The movie was beyond being a turd! But there was one scene in it where some guy was just a work a day redneck type and the girl thought of him as sort of a looser. She ended up at his house and he was a cabinet and wood working master. His house was beyond beautiful and she asked why he didn’t do it for others. His response was just that, “you mean take something I love and consider beautiful an turn it into something I hate”.

      My real opinion, the truth is it is just another place to write a great be red shapie BS over. Just another excuse.

  13. The guy who said he’d be fine living in the country living a meager lifestyle, but needed a little money to do it, reminded me of this Office Space quote:

    “Lawrence: Well, what about you now? What would you do?
    Peter Gibbons: Besides two chicks at the same time?
    Lawrence: Well, yeah.
    Peter Gibbons: Nothing.
    Lawrence: Nothing, huh?
    Peter Gibbons: I would relax… I would sit on my ass all day… I would do nothing.
    Lawrence: Well, you don’t need a million dollars to do nothing, man. Take a look at my cousin: he’s broke, don’t do sh*t.”

    • Practical Parsimony

      Nickbert,
      Everyone wondered why I did not sew in a garment factory because I am a great seamstress. I can tailor, draft patterns, and I sew superbly. My response was that I love sewing and did not want to learn to hate it. People can take your joy and stomp it in the ground when they commission something to be made. Besides, I was a schoolteacher who just wanted to learn to use commercial machines so I could do a better job sewing. I know that the common advice is to do what you love to make money, but it would not work if I were forced to sew things I did not want to sew when I did not want to sew! I did make lots of money from sewing and designing, but I did it on my terms and made it how I wanted.

  14. Fantastic Podcast Jack! Some great encouragement there, and reflection on my position where I am. Thank you!

  15. Jack,

    Excellent Podcast. I’ll be listening to this one again. Thanks for your wisdom and motivation!

  16. Dennis Whittinghill

    Jack,
    I left corporate america to start my own business and would love an episode on a bunch of different business ideas. I am trying to diversify my income to ensure stable income. I have one main business and I am looking for other little ways of bringing in money to my urban homestead.

  17. That little voice in your head is the most powerful influence on your life. Using it to turn your attitude from negative to positive is key. I tried to tell someone getting married that saying “I sure love you” multiple times a day can keep your head in the right place for a lasting relationship. With stars in her eyes, she said that it wasn’t necessary to say it because she knew it. Sadly, they didn’t make it.

  18. Funny how this podcast came out just a couple of days after I listened to a really good podcast over at the Permaculture voices website. http://www.permaculturevoices.com/podcast/permaculture-voices-podcast-025-the-myth-of-the-perfect-job-with-john-kitsteiner-2/

    I find the hardest thing to do is to take the time to know myself. Others have designed our lives to be so busy that we keep turning the wheel without stopping to think about what we are actually doing and why we are doing it. thanks for another good episode!

  19. You said to comment if we wanted an episode on “30 businesses that could be established with little to no capital on a part-time basis”. Yes, I would like to hear this!! Please?

  20. Richard Hauser

    Just a note, the thing you mentioned about people getting promoted above their level is called the “Peter Principle”. I first heard about it when we bought the board game 40 years ago that came out after the book. We just hired a HR manager and I asked her if she’d ever heard of it and she never had.

  21. “I am not sure why but I have been hit up with a ton of emails lately asking for career and business advice. ”

    LOL. Not sure why? Maybe, just maybe, it’s because people listen to what you preach all the time about liberty, individual leadership, being responsible for one’s own situation in life etc. Seems like they don’t just switch on your podcast for background noise, but they take it seriously and get active. I think that’s great.

    I always like to hear your angle on matters of business. In fact I have been trying to listen to your old business podcast but it seems the RSS feed is set so that only the last few episodes can be downloaded when using a podcast client. That’s bummer. I’d like to listen to the entire series eventually.

  22. Jack, are you an ENTP personality type on the Myers & Briggs?

  23. Jack, I’m calling you out on the 30 businesses…. not because I don’t think you can do it, but because I want to hear it!

  24. Jack,

    I too would love to hear more business ideas if only to stimulate my mind to think creatively about the opportunities that surround us.

    I find myself often frustrated trying to think of ways to make money outside of my regular job. I suppose I am like many others in that respect. The biggest problem for me and some of the people I have talked to is in regards to “Business Savvy”. Sometimes I think I elevate it to a mythical unattainable level and talk myself out of taking a risk. I really want to understand Business concepts on a level where I can actually make plans and feel confident about the financial aspects.

    So, where do I start? Should tertiary education be a consideration or is there some website? Your old business podcast perhaps?

    I think a great many people may benefit from a deep podcast or even a series about the ins and outs of entrepreneurship. When I think about being able to set up a successful “side hustle” or full on home business I just feel a sense of yearning in my chest with no idea of how to proceed. Also kind of pathetic, I’m going to go do something manly outside and ignore my problems…

    Thanks for all of your work,

  25. Fore those looking into going their own way check out the stuff that Dan Miller puts out. He also has a podcast.

    http://www.48days.com

    especially http://www.48days.com/48-business-ideas/

    I found his information to be helpful.

  26. Loved the show, please do the 30 business ideas.

  27. Jack,

    I got to say, this is probably the best BUSINESS oriented podcast you have done. While I do very much enjoy your permaculture related work, it’s always excellent to hear your thoughts on “striking out on your own”. After I finished listening to it, I hit the rewind button and started over again……
    As a machinist, I got a chuckle out of that last bit that you threw in there about the myriad of products a machinist could make. I’m on my way there. Not as fast as I want, but I’m certain that, in time, it will become a reality (I’ve already got most of the equipment, which puts me 20k ahead of most people)
    Keep up the great work!

  28. Great show, Jack. I’m definitely implementing your “20 things I like about my job” strategy — started by listing them out last night and reading them aloud this morning as soon as I got up. While I was making the list, I was struck by how many positive things my job actually has, even if the major thing I don’t like is that it offers very little opportunity to engage my creativity. Now, the goal has become to leverage all of those positive opportunities within my job to get something going that engages my creativity as well.

  29. I really really enjoyed this podcast. I just started listening in April and feel like I have grown as a human enormously in the last few months. I made some really important life decisions recently about my career and where to raise my family and this podcast just reaffirmed that the decisions I am making in my life are correct (for now). It was very reassuring to feel like this at the end of a podcast like this.

    It’s the first podcast of yours that I am sharing with my wife. I think she needs to hear it.

    Thanks very much.

  30. In my experience, I think what prevents most people from finding the better way for themselves to make a living is fear of failure and fear of going against society’s popular wisdom. When I’ve discussed with various coworkers leaving the corporate world for entrepreneurship, most actually have positive remarks to say about it… even when I mentioned the possibility of doing so outside the country. I know there’s the possibility that a few are just humoring me, but most I think are genuinely interested. When I ask if they have any plans to go into business for themselves, very few say yes. Most cite a number of reasons for not doing so, but I find most of them sound more like excuses to justify their fears than impassible obstacles.

    I can’t criticize them too harshly, as I confess to having regular moments of doubt as I move forward with my plans too. But I just know I’ll deeply regret it if I never take a chance, and I’ll probably feel more like a failure if I don’t even try than I would if I failed in making the attempt.

    – Nick

  31. Hey jack.
    I am trying to get some small business enterprises going where I’m at to generate some extra income. I’m doing this as low to no cost as possible. I want to use free resources like craigslist to sell the products I produce and services I offer. I just completed Geoff’s online PDC and want to offer consultancy and education services as well as making compost and other products for a local region. My question is what online presence should I focus on? Should I spend a little money to get a domain name and basic web site to showcase these things? What are the best ways to set up that online presence?Are there free resources to do this that are worth a damn? Should I just offer these things through craigslist and not worry about a website yet ( allow one business venture to grow and fund the next)? I probably just answered my own question but just wanted to get your thoughts.

    PLEASE do the business show. I miss 5 Minutes With Jack. Good stuff.

    Thanks Jack

  32. Jack, hell to the yes, do the 30 business ideas show. I love brainstorming and I bet you will launch 100 businesses across America from the people who listen, maybe even more. And it will create additional ideas when people hear your ideas – there’s nothing bad can happen from calling you out on this challenge! Just do it!

  33. I don’t know how I missed this show, but it’s great. Thanks.

    PS
    Thumbs Up on the 30 businesses ideas.