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Jobs? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Jobs!

Steve Sipress and Gene Simmons

Steve Sipress and Gene Simmons

Jobs this. Jobs that. Jobs, jobs, jobs. It’s practically all anyone’s talking about these days!

“Americans need more jobs,” are the words on every politician’s lips. And Americans are agreeing!


Our Land of Opportunity long ago turned into a Land of Complacency and Servitude. Am I the only one who’s disgusted with all the talk about every American’s right to “a decent job?”

In my mind, “The American Dream” has always meant freedom: owning one’s own business, controlling one’s own destiny, the pursuit of happiness, the opportunity for financial success.

But the vast majority seems much more concerned with job security, fair working conditions, gainful employment and livable wages.

When did The American Dream become “settling for the status quo?”

Many of the most successful entrepreneurs I know came to the United States from other countries, filled with hope and dreams, excited about the fact that even though they arrived here with virtually nothing but the clothes on their backs, they could one day own their own businesses.

But for most people born right here in this country, the standard goal seems to be to get a good job (even if it’s something you hate doing, or working for a boss or company you hate), with good benefits, including a good retirement plan so they can stop working someday and try to get by on about two-thirds of what they barely got by on before.

The first time I met rock star and mega-entrepreneur Gene Simmons, he shared how amazed he was that most Americans save up their money to blow it on nice cars, electronics and vacations before they’ve reached financial freedom – and then never reach that point; that it’s perfectly normal and expected for people to work only 9 to 5, Monday to Friday, wasting their weeknights plopped on the couch, remote control in hand, then “blowing off steam” (and often, blowing their paychecks) on the weekends, without ever investing any of their time, money or effort into building a business that could one day lead them to freedom and autonomy.

As Simmons says, “If the sun rises, that’s a day for making money.”

Is he a little bit extreme? No doubt. But there’s one thing he’ll never need: a job.

Look. I’m not saying that all jobs are horrible. There’s a time and a place for having a job, such as when you’re just starting out and have no marketable skills or experience, or you haven’t yet turned a business into a reliable source of income or when you’ve failed in a business and have to start over (I should know – I’ve been in all of those situations!).

But for anyone with entrepreneurial spirit, a job should only be a temporary necessity – not a long-term goal.

I took a few minutes to list all the jobs I’ve had in my lifetime – some for just one day, some for several years – and here’s what I came up with (and there are probably a few more here or there that I can’t remember):

  • Paper boy
  • Tennis club maintenance worker
  • Golf caddy
  • Beer vendor (Madison Square Garden)
  • Newspaper sportswriter
  • Movie theater usher
  • Cafeteria worker
  • Dishwasher
  • Waiter
  • Garbageman
  • Stableboy
  • Dairy farmer
  • Berry picker
  • Gas station attendant
  • Fast-food server
  • Route salesperson
  • After-party cleanup crew member
  • Bartender
  • Factory floor sweeper
  • Radio show producer
  • Newspaper editor
  • Television sportscaster
  • Executive assistant
  • Word processor
  • Data entry clerk
  • Legal secretary
  • Receptionist
  • Law clerk
  • Telemarketer
  • Inbound call center salesperson
  • Warehouse worker
  • Door-to-door salesperson
  • Sales trainer
  • Sales manager
  • Stockbroker
  • Insurance agent
  • Mortgage broker
  • Options trader
  • VP of sales
  • General business consultant
  • Local Advertising consultant
  • Internet marketing consultant

I’ve also owned nearly a dozen businesses of my own.

With almost all the “jobs” I had, everything was all about ME:

  • How much money I made
  • What benefits I had
  • Whatever I had to do to keep my job
  • Whatever I had to do to please my boss
  • My own “job satisfaction”
  • etc.

But in the businesses I’ve owned, I’ve provided FAR more value to society:

  • Providing products and services that people want and need
  • Re-investing profits to pay more suppliers and vendors
  • Paying rent, utilities, taxes, etc. – far more than just for me personally
  • Employing workers
  • Often sacrificing my own income and lifestyle in order to meet all of the above obligations

So take it from someone who’s had jobs and owned his own businesses: America doesn’t need more jobs – we need more entrepreneurs.

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