Should You Work Long Hours For Someone Else?

Why would you work long hours for someone else when you can invest that time into your own projects?

This is something that has been on my mind for a while now. I guess it’s from random conversations with friends over the years.

I’ve met every character possible and have been known to be a huge one myself.

The thing is that I’m all for working hard and being proud of what you do. I just don’t understand the idea of working insane hours for someone else. Why devote 10-16 hours helping someone else reach their goals? Why not use some of this time towards your own ideas?

Let’s take a step back…

Where’s this coming from? This isn’t another post about starting a business and quitting your job. I just wanted to ask some questions and dig a little deeper. Don’t worry, I’m not going to start blogging on how to blog like other lazy personal finance bloggers. The goal of this site will always be financial freedom by 30.


The other day a buddy came down to visit. Before we finished off a case of beer and had a blast, we talked about work. This guy’s life is pretty much dedicated to work. His day looks something like this:

  • He wakes up at 6.
  • Takes the bus to work for an hour.
  • Works all day hustling for commissions (no guarantees).
  • Takes the bus home on that same long commute.
  • Eats dinner before bed.
  • Repeat.

I couldn’t imagine not going out during the week. People stay in on Thursdays? I also don’t get the idea of working for someone else for so long.

I applaud his extreme work ethic. More folks should be willing to hustle all day to achieve their goals instead of complaining.

I just can’t help but think of it from a different point of view. You know where I’m going with this, right?

Should you work long hours for someone else?

I don’t think so.

I just don’t see why you would want to spend all of your time on working for someone else. There has to be something of your own that you want to work on. Anything? Something?

I do believe in holding a part-time gig, freelancing, and keeping your options open. However, you should take some time for your own projects. I don’t feel that you should risk it 100% in either direction.

If you spend 100% of your energy and time on your own projects, you could end up broke. Also, if you spend all of your time towards working for someone else, you’ll be screwed when you lose the gig and have nowhere else to turn.

You owe it to yourself to devote some time to your own creative ventures.

Before we move on…

What about lifestyle?

We’ve already chatted about lifestyle extensively. So I’ll just throw this out again:

Don’t forget that you don’t have unlimited time on this planet! Remember about those close to you and try to see what the world has to offer.

It’s important that you factor in lifestyle into the equation.

What happens when you work for yourself?

There’s the chance that nothing happens. Zero. You could see zero results (profit and recognition).

You can spend all of your time, money, and energy, only to see zero results. This has happened to me before. Imagine working on something for months and then getting paid nothing for it? This doesn’t happen when you work for someone, but it certainly does happen when you work on your own projects.

On the flip side, lots of freaking amazing things can happen when you devote time to your own passions. From helping others by building community all the way to handsome profits.

I don’t have to tell you about Mark Zuckerberg and countless other stories of those that devoted all of their time to projects that inspired them. You get the point.

The whole point of this site is to gain financial freedom by 30, all the way from college through your 20s.

How do you gain financial freedom? There are many strategies, ranging from investments to working crazy hours.

What are some of the most common ways to make a ton of money in your 20s?

Aside from working long hours, there are many other ways to make money. I’ll just list the most common ones:

    • Earn a degree that pays well and guarantees work.
    • Start working after high school and saving like crazy.
    • Start a business and hope it does well.
    • Start freelancing.
    • Get into trades.
    • Work your way up the corporate ladder.
    • Make some wise investments.
    • Marry rich.

I’m sure that I missed something here. The point is to remember that there are many ways to accumulate wealth. You don’t have to stick to one. You can mix-and-match.

What do I think?

As I mentioned earlier, if you have the work ethic in your 20s to work insane hours, why not devote some of these hours to yourself?

You don’t have to quit your job or move to Africa to feed children. You can start off small to see how it feels. You can set aside an hour a week to see if you come up with any ideas or ways to make money (hint: start freelancing now with my book on Amazon).

I totally understand putting in the crazy hours for a period of time to get out of debt and reach your goals. That’s cool. It just sucks to spend your 20s working for someone else and helping them build their assets.

What do you think?

Should you work long hours for yourself? Is it worth working all day for someone else?

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