99

Never Work Again

in Do What You Love, Rants

Note: This is a post from Adam Baker, founder of Man Vs. Debt.

This morning, I had a revelation while talking to Milligan.

We were in the car and had just dropped off Courtney at the front of her classroom at school. We choose to only have one car as a family, which means if I’m going to need it on any given day I drive and drop-off Courtney at school and Milligan at the local family who watches her for part of the day.

Note: For those of you that are new around here, Courtney is currently teaching a second grade classroom (until Christmas Break) and Milligan is two and a half years old.  :-)

The conversation after dropping off Courtney went like this…

Milli: “Mommy’s goin’ work.”

Baker: “Yeah, Mommy’s going to work”

Milli: “Daddy’s goin’ to work?”

Baker: “Yeah, Daddy’s taking you to Sarah’s… I have to go to work, too.”

Milli: “Daddy’s goin’ to work, too.”

*****

At this point, it hit me.

Wait a second, this conversation is terrible.

I’m having a full discussion with my daughter about how Mommy and Daddy have to go to work.

I’m teaching her that whenever we aren’t around – we are at “work”.

In fact, I remember when my niece – who is several years older than Milligan – was her age. Whenever you asked her where someone was (that wasn’t actually present) she’d reply in a sweet voice “He’s at work… (or) She’s at work…”.

It didn’t matter if they were at the store, watching a movie, out back playing football… my niece thought anyone who wasn’t in the room, must be… at work.

I realized that soon – if not already – Milligan would have the same concept carved into her brain.

The facts were obviously. Right now, we weren’t going to be around her during the day and we were “working” in the traditional sense of the word. However, I no longer want Milligan to only get the traditional sense of the word.

The fact is Courtney enjoys 80% of her “work” – and so do I. We choose to do what we are doing. Courtney chose to accept a 3-month contract to fill in for a pregnant teacher. She enjoys the challenge of short-term spurts of teaching a new group of kids.

I choose to write and build this business. I enjoy the far majority of it. It rarely – if ever – feels like “work”. It’s challenging… even stressful at times… but it’s not “work”.

We choose to rent a 1-bedroom apartment right now. We choose to drive one car – even though we could easily afford two (on convenient monthly payments of course). We make choices so that we don’t have to “work” in the conventional sense, yet I’m not sharing this concept with Milli.

In fact, I’m teaching her the opposite out of old habit.

A bit disappointed in myself, I picked back up the conversation.

*****

Baker: “Milli, Mommy doesn’t just go to work… Mommy teaches…”

Milli: [silence...]

Baker: “Mommy is teaching kids.”

Milli: “Mommy’s teachin’ kids?”

Baker: “Yes, Mommy teaches kids at school… Do you know what Daddy does during the day?”

Milli: “Daddy teachin’ kids?”

Baker: “No, Daddy doesn’t teach kids. Mommy is good at that. Daddy *writes*.”

Milli: “Daddy writes?”

Baker: “Yeah, Daddy writes.  What does Milligan do during the day?”

Milli: “Milli rides in car”

Baker: [laughing] - “Um, yeah I guess so. But what about later on. Milligan plays and gives hugs, right?”

Milli: “Yea, Milligan plays… (pause)… No hugs, OK Daddy?”

Baker: [still laughing] - OK, Milli… You don’t have to give any hugs if you don’t want to…”

*****

From a young age, we are taught that work is something that we have to do. It’s a stressful, undesirable – but necessary - part of daily life.

Putting your head down and trotting off to work, even though you hate it, is considered admirable. Don’t get me wrong, I know many people are in spots where they do have to work.

But I don’t buy that anyone has to stay in that situation for the next 5, 10, 20, 30, 50 years.

Even in jobs we don’t prefer, most of us choose to make it worse than it is. We choose to dwell on the negative, we choose our pissy attitudes, and we choose how we talk about it to others.

Here I was talking to Milligan about how “Mommy and Daddy have to go to work”. My tone was negative. You could hear an inaudible sigh in the pitch of my words.

Most of us seem to have a tendency to do this when talking to our families, friends, and coworkers about our work.

Bitch, bitch, moan, moan… cash our paychecks and do nothing about it. This is our sad default setting.

Here are my fancy, dancy “2 Steps to Never Work Again”:

  1. Stop bitching about your work. Seriously. Make the best of your current situation and pull people around you up… not down.
  2. Take steps to change it. I’m not telling you to quit tomorrow (I’m not telling you NOT to quit tomorrow either). I’m telling you that you don’t have to stay in your life-sucking job or business forever. You *do* have options. There is such thing as a fulfilling job. It is possible to build a business around one of your passions. These are not fairy tales.

Me?

I never want to “work” again.

I want to write, teach, learn, and change lives. I want to grow my business, generate a lot of income, and give a lot of time, energy, and money back. I’m willing to spend a lot of time on this, but I don’t want to “work”.

So from now on, as best we can, we won’t be going to work anymore.

Mommy may be teaching…

Daddy may be writing…

But Mommy and Daddy will no longer be “goin’ to work”.

{ 90 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa November 8, 2010 at 11:09 AM

So timely. So awesome. So well-written. So, THANK YOU.

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@PamelaMKramer - A Renaissance Woman November 8, 2010 at 11:15 AM

Excellent eye opener. Thanks for sharing!

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Kristen Sloan November 8, 2010 at 11:17 AM

Having a positive attitude is so essential to life. Most people are stuck on the three things that are wrong in their life instead of the 10 things that are great. If you focus on the good, you are so much more likely to be happy and content with what you have. Thanks for the reminder to have a positive outlook.

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Steven @ The Debt Solution November 10, 2010 at 12:36 AM

I agree…we can get stuck in our lives and we have to focus on what we really want and not be afraid to go for it! There’s nothing like seeing your children grow up without the grind of working everyday.

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Mars Dorian November 8, 2010 at 11:18 AM

Hey Adam,

grreeat, unusual post. I luv the way you include your daughter. It’s interesting how she already says you have to go to work. That’s how soon society corrupts us :)

What you are writing about really hits gold with me. I think we are on the verge of something big. There’s a huge shift happening, and we are in the middle of it. The corporate work life doesn’t work anymore – people have enough of zombie-fying their lives. The digital world has given us a lot of freedom to invent our own digital careers, and it’s awesome.
You are a huge inspiration.
Thanks for shining so bright !
Mars

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David Wang November 8, 2010 at 11:49 AM

Hey Mars, I agree! People are starting to see through the corporate zombie-fying work life. I just had a call from my ex-boss today and he was still stuck at work. He can’t afford to retire although his kids have all graduated and are starting to go to work.

I’m forging my own internet career too and people like you and Adam help inspire and encourage me!

Adam, thanks for sharing your conversation with Milligan – I’m preparing for a similar one for baby Zack soon. :)

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Trever Clark November 9, 2010 at 6:26 PM

Absolutely. I agree with both of you guys. We ARE in the midst of a revolution. It amazes me that I don’t know anyone else in real life who is forging a career completely online, because it seems like a revolution – it seems like SO many people are doing it.

My stepson is 4 years old, and he went through that phase this past year where, whenever someone wasn’t in the room, they were “at work”. He would even say that referring to my 8 year old son. “Ewan not here. He’s at work.”

Since I quit working in an office, and trudging off to work everyday, Keaghan has suddenly stopped saying that, though. I don’t know if it’s coincidence, and that he just has a more mature understanding of where people go and what they do when they’re not “here” – or if he intuitively senses the change; the fact that the work that I do now is just a part of everyday life, and not a place that I dread going everyday…

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James Fowlkes November 8, 2010 at 11:20 AM

I see the future and it is MVD like in nature.
This will be the way of the world.
Thank you, Sir!

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L. Marie Joseph November 8, 2010 at 11:20 AM

“I want to write, teach, learn, and change lives. I want to grow my business”

Well said Baker!

Same here, I want to do each and every one of those things. I also want to give back. Work is a foreign word to me

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Scott Neumyer @ Mad At Debt November 8, 2010 at 11:21 AM

Amen, dude. What a great perspective on things and a great reminder to always have the glass half full.

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Melissa November 8, 2010 at 11:22 AM

As I sit here at work, just having dropped my 19 month old daughter off at child care, I realize I do the same thing with her. Each time she asks me where someone is, I respond with “work”. My husband and I had a lot of fun in our 20s and have the debt to prove it. We have a plan in place and are working on digging out. I hope we are able to get to the place where I won’t have to work full time anymore. I make the best of where I am for now – knowing I won’t be here forever! Keep up the good work on your end, it helps me focus on my goals!

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Eric November 8, 2010 at 11:22 AM

What’s up Baker, great post buddy!

I really connected with your comment that people may be in unsatisfying careers at the moment, but the have the CHOICE on what attitude they dispaly each and every day! Am I happy with my day job- NO, but it’s a CHOICE my wife an I made with just having our son, Liam. Am I working towards something better, more inspiring- you bet! But, I will always have a great attitude while I’m working in my current career.

I also made a decision to NOT be like my fathers (yes both of them) that worked all day, came home and had to chug a 12 pack of beer before you could even say a word to them. What type of family life is that? Work will never bring me down enough to make my family feel worthless.

Thanks for sharing and fighting the good fight for fathers Baker!

Eric

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Baker November 8, 2010 at 11:15 PM

Awesome, comment Eric. Great points. Keep up the good fight – it’s worth it!

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Randall November 8, 2010 at 11:25 AM

Thanks for all the work you do. Timely since I’m going off to work right now! Helps me stay focused.

Thanks for you product “How to un-automate your finances”. Have bee reading it this weekend. A quick shout out to Karol at http://www.ridiculouslyextraordinary.com/ for having the awesome book sale where I got it!!

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Baker November 8, 2010 at 11:15 PM

No problem Randall. Glad you enjoyed it. It was fun taking part in Karol’s sale. :-)

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Jessica November 10, 2010 at 11:28 AM

Can I just say thanks for Unautomate Your Finances too? I also got it in the minimalist book sale and it was easily my favourite out of all the books in it! I love the budget in it so much, it’s just really simple to use :)

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flip November 8, 2010 at 11:26 AM

thanks for sharing man… hopefully … i’ll stop working someday… thanks for blogs like this, thanks for writers like you… thanks a lot… :-)

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angel November 8, 2010 at 11:29 AM

WOW. This was, indeed, very timely for me too… Seriously struggling with this myself & making a conscious effort to pull the active use of gratitude into it while i transition from the ‘miserable day J-O-B’ into what I want and love. Love the two steps… truth in simplicity. Perfect… You rock, Baker :-D

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Jason November 8, 2010 at 11:32 AM

Awesome. I have trouble with people who take a backseat in terms of their child’s education, or say things dismissively. Cultivate a strong awareness in your children and it will pay off for everybody involved.

Seems like you’re doing a stellar job…I mean stellar work…I mean what you’re doing is stellar. ;)

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Chris November 8, 2010 at 11:35 AM

I love your two step action plan to never work again. Especially the first point, even though I am guilty of it, I’m consciously trying to improve my current working attitude.

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Candice November 8, 2010 at 11:38 AM

Right on! I try to teach my daughters that most everyone works–yes, even home-moms like I was for years are working–but that we get to choose whether we enjoy our work or not. Some of us have more opportunities to create our ideal work life, but it all starts with attitude. I’ve enjoyed working in a bank, an amusement park, restaurants, and lots of other places. (The medicine factory I worked in while I was in college doesn’t make the list.) Now I enjoy working from home, writing, homeschooling, and helping folks.

I’m all about the quit complaining rule!

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Emily Youngs November 8, 2010 at 11:41 AM

Great points, Adam! The words we use really do make a difference. If we think of what we are doing every day as “work”, we will naturally relate it as a “have to”. If we could train ourselves to call it by what it really is – teaching, building businesses, helping others, etc., – we can experience a shift in attitude that allows us to be bigger and think bigger.

If – when we translate “work” into what it really is that we are doing, and we still feel a sense of “have to”, what a great indicator to know when we need to change what we are doing. Awesome.

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Terry November 8, 2010 at 11:48 AM

I love it that you’re a one-car family. I’m still happily driving my 1995 Saturn and enjoying driving 30 miles to the gallon and not having a car payment, but other people think I’m crazy. My 14-year-old keeps saying, “Come on, already. You need a new car!”

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Playstead November 8, 2010 at 11:49 AM

Great post – and so right. The way people work is changing too and it’s our job as parents to help our kids realize that the 9-5, cubicle dwelling sloth is going to be a thing of the past. How they make a living will look a lot different than how most do it now.

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James Schipper November 8, 2010 at 11:50 AM

Very well-said. I need to remind myself of this from time to time. The programming is all around us, and most people I come into contact with outside of my online life knee-deep in this thought-process and have that blank stare of disbelief that life could be any different.

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Shae Bynes November 8, 2010 at 11:52 AM

Absolutely brilliant post, Baker. I have a daughter the same age as Milligan and I’ve had similar conversations with her….you’ve given me food for thought. I’m going to change the conversation going forward :-) Thank you!

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Katie November 8, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Adam… talk about perfect timing!! I needed to read that today.

Thanks!

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Jen Gresham November 8, 2010 at 12:02 PM

Awesome post, Baker! I am struggling with this myself. Since I started working at home, my 3.5 year old has started asking if she can stay home with me instead of going to daycare. I tell her no, I’m working. But you’re right, that’s not the impression I want her to have. I’ve made a huge shift in my “working” life, and I love what I’m doing. Yet I’m hiding it from my daughter on the basis she’s too young to understand the difference. Thanks for this great reminder–I’m going to start looking for ways to incorporate this into our family conversations. I’ll let you know how that goes!

Jen

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Gwyn November 8, 2010 at 12:04 PM

Very good observation Adam. I had a similar one over the weekend. I am working on building my own website for my art business, and have been spending most of my time doing what feels more like work to me. I tend to say to my husband when I’m busy “not now I’m working”. But as I got finished with some major stuff that does not come natural to me (I don’t really know code) I had a sense of pride that I never felt when working for the man. I realized that even doing tedious data entry for myself is far better than any day job I’ve had. I am going to change my verbs. No more working, rather typing, writing, creating! I like that :-)
Thanks

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Matt November 8, 2010 at 12:06 PM

Thank goodness there are parents out there helping their kids see through the “have to” orientation to “work.”

Thanks for sharing these intimate details of your relationship with your daughter. It’ll be fascinating to see how she understands work over the course of ManVsDebt’s development.

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Janette November 8, 2010 at 12:06 PM

Wonderful post.
On the rare occasions we hated our jobs we would say, “We are going to do ________ so our table will have plenty.” We rarely referred to our jobs as work.
This “explanation mentality” has continued with our daughter as she tells her son, “Daddy goes to work with computers so many more people can be safe at night.”
Even some of the worst jobs have a positive impact on other people.

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Karen Leigh Cass November 8, 2010 at 12:17 PM

Adam, I am happy to read this. Changing how our kids interpret how they can live their lives. I was 19 when I started in my business of hair/make up, which to me was making people feel good about themselves. I soon learned counseling, and being counseled, were a part of this job. I love what I do, happy people breed happy people generally speaking. I was frieghtened by the vast majority of human beings in this world who “worked” as yo speak of. They are not “happy people” this confused me. I thought most people chose a “work” envirorment that they enjoyed doing, thus negating the “Ugh Work” syndrome.
I was told by a dear family member, I was “lucky” & a “dreamer” that this only happened in a perfect world. Life can through snowballs if you will, but we are the ones who stood in line of them. Change can be scary, difficult, and uncertain, but if we have a strong balanced soul and believe in the goodwill of humanity, then it is most exhilarating.
I enjoy reading your material, & following you, Courtney and Milli on here. I do so ramble on like my brother, but when I read your conversation with Milli this morning I thought to myself, YES happy Milli will be as she grows up believing she will have a “happy life”! By the way, my children are happy people, striving to achieve an independent work lifestyle that they enjoy. Beliefs we as parents pass to our children get tested through the years by outside influences, with proper nurturing they will survive and make our children independent, confident and capable of living a “Happy Life”…..

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Baker November 8, 2010 at 11:17 PM

Thanks, Karen. It’s been a major blessing to have your family and Kris added into our lives these last few years. We can’t wait to see you guys again. :-)

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Don November 8, 2010 at 12:32 PM

I never thought about it like this before. I went to a weekend long seminar once titled “Never work again”, but they never taught something as simple as this. Thanks for the eye opener.

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Baker November 8, 2010 at 11:18 PM

Hehe, I looked this up after you mentioned it and found the seminar. Interesting. This one was free… and doesn’t require you to come to a hotel. :-)

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Melody November 8, 2010 at 12:43 PM

OH how I needed to read this today! For years I’ve chosen the projects I’ve taken on. I’m “allowed” to work in my PJ’s if I want. And yay for snuggly socks! Yet this past week I’ve struggled to focus and sit down to do the “work.” Lifestyle design lets me choose the direction of my career, and even reconfigure the goals as I move forward, learning more and more about what I want my work to look like. And? I am one of “the lucky ones” who knows she GETS to live like this. Now that I’ve read your reminder, I’m going back to the Completely Chosen By Me projects. And today? Today I will call it play and remember gratitude. Thank you for this…

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Amanda November 8, 2010 at 1:03 PM

Baker,

As I stand in a line waiting for my coffee feeling like corporate sludge (the fact that I’m at a Starbucks when the least I could do is try to support a local small business only adding to the yucky feeling), I’m fortunate to read your perfect Monday morning post. I don’t absolutely hate the type of work I do, I just don’t think I’m working for a company whose values line up with mine (at least not to the extent I’d like). They are also slow to adopt changes that would better the company, its people, clients, etc. which makes it hard to pioneer many new/creative ideas. Today I’ll work towards being the exception to the corporate norms and make the best of my situation for the time being. Thanks for the inspiration and give Courtney and Milli hugs for me! Miss you guys! -Amanda

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Baker November 8, 2010 at 11:20 PM

Thanks, Amanda! Was it weird that I first read this comment in a Starbucks? Probably. ;-)

We should be out in your neck of the woods in the next 6 months. Can’t wait to hang out! :-)

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Colleen @ Modern Crunch November 8, 2010 at 1:07 PM

BRAVO! SO GREAT that you and Courtney are so engaged in (re)shaping the limitless possibilities of “work” and what that will mean to Milli!

I was fortunate to grow up with creative parents who made it clear that my future was defined only by me. Because of their support I never felt that a traditional “job” was the only or best way. This simple shift in thinking has been so insanely important in my life…. Milli will thank you one day! :)

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson (the go to mantra when I was growing up)

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Kobalt Bleu November 8, 2010 at 1:27 PM

I really like this concept and am trying to do my own thing, too.

This is really cool, Adam. Good job on passing on the positive attitudes to the younger generation.

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Kathleen November 8, 2010 at 1:49 PM

Thank you, that was a great realization, and you also lifted me up!!!

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fiona November 8, 2010 at 1:51 PM

Go, Baker! Go, the Baker Family!
Great to read your post and be inspired anew :-D
Fiona

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Tarik November 8, 2010 at 1:58 PM

Hey Baker! I’m on your e-mail list, and thought I’d leave a comment on this great story. You are well aware of societal conditioning on our youngsters, and I’m so happy you take the time to raise your kiddies the right way. Bravo to you!

Btw your e-mail newsletter is one of the best designed ones I’ve ever seen.

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Baker November 8, 2010 at 11:21 PM

Thanks, Tarik. That’s the magic of David Wang at http://www.theclickstarter.com. :-)

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Money Funk November 8, 2010 at 2:08 PM

It’s amazing how changing the words/concept of ‘work’ shows a whole new light. the heavy weight on the shoulders is lifted.

This mommy doesn’t ‘work’, she’s: collecting data so the doctor’s can save the lives of cancer patients
Thanks, Baker. :)

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Stanley Lee November 8, 2010 at 2:18 PM

Meaningful post that a lot of people overlook, yet I love how cute Milligan is articulating her responses.

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Del November 8, 2010 at 2:24 PM

Awesome! Great writing. Great food for thought.

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Ren Men November 8, 2010 at 2:37 PM

Bake,
Good stuff, brother…

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Baker November 8, 2010 at 11:21 PM

Thanks, boys…

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Shawn November 8, 2010 at 3:00 PM

Rock and Roll Baker. I have 2 boys, the oldest is 2-1/2. My wife and I will no longer be going to work either. Pure sweet awesomeness! Thx.

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Jack Bennett | 32000 days November 8, 2010 at 3:03 PM

Great and simple reframe! “I have to” vs “I choose to” is so simple and so powerful.

I wrote about this somewhat more abstractly here ( http://thirtytwothousanddays.com/blog/2010/03/change-your-thoughts-to-change-your-reality/ ) but your illustration through dialogue with a child makes it even more clear!

-Jack

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Andy Fogarty November 8, 2010 at 3:05 PM

I love having these kind of conversations with my girls. My favorites are in the morning on the drive to school. My oldest daughter is very smart when in comes to understanding the “big picture” of everything when I’m trying to explain it to her.

I love that she’s already starting to understand that she doesn’t have to do what everyone else is doing just because that’s what everyone else is doing. That’s exactly why I chose this business model and that’s seriously worth more to me than any amount of money I make.

Although, I like making money too :-)

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Rob Ward November 8, 2010 at 3:25 PM

Well said! It really is all about your attitude.

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Katybee November 8, 2010 at 4:14 PM

AMEN! Yea! your conversation with Millie completely sounds like many of my conversations with my 4yr old son, he too thinks I and my husband are going to work whenever we are not in his presence. Thanks for the great eye-opening article, I need an attitude adjustment on this Monday afternoon. Thank you.

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Kevin M November 8, 2010 at 4:17 PM

Man, I could have written this one. I have a similar conversation with my son, 3, now and then. He knows “Daddy does taxes” (I’m a CPA) and when I’m getting dressed in the morning asks if I’m going to work. I usually say what you did “Yes, I have to work today”. To which he replies the standard 3 year old “Why?”. I usually say to make money to pay for our house, clothes, toys, etc. but that makes me a little uncomfortable.

I’m doing your step 2 already, but not sure how to phrase it better for him currently. Maybe I’ll tell him I’m going to help people save money (taxes) so they can spend more time with their families if they choose.

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jaime November 8, 2010 at 4:47 PM

Love this! I try to teach my kids the choices we make about money, “we choose not to buy this today”, but never thought about talking about how fortunate we are to do something we enjoy and be compensated for it.

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Jenna November 8, 2010 at 4:48 PM

I remember having the same conversation with my mom when I was younger. Only my dad always travels for work, so my answers were “Dad’s in China” and “Mom is home”.

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Kirsten November 8, 2010 at 4:49 PM

Great post!!! And Milligan just sounds so adorably cute! Anyway, I’m reading this on my lunch break at a job, that while I don’t enjoy it in the true sense of the word, it’s going to help me get to my goals of never “working” again, only creating jewelry, writing, travelling, and whatever else I want to do! I will be quitting in 363 days – I started the countdown on Saturday. I was watching one of your videos last night and you talked about having a concrete, tangible goal, so this next week I’m going to sit down and really think about my -gone in 365 days- goal, and beyond, but I need to really be able to visualize what that looks like and how to get there!

Thanks for reminding me that the “bitch, bitch, moan, moan”, is not conducive to creative productivity, nor does it help your co-workers, and it definitely doesn’t help your soul!

Here’s to living free!
Kirsten

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Amelia Meister November 8, 2010 at 4:51 PM

It’s so wonderful how our children provide such wonderful reflections of how we perceive the world.

When I was pregnant (almost three years ago now) I read a book called the Continuum Concept and in it the author talked about a really primitive tribe who had only one word that meant both work and play. I try to keep that in mind all the time, and yes, it is really challenging to break the habit of saying to our children “I have work to do” or “I have to go to work”.
Good luck with the language change, I hope it sticks! :)

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Jolyn@Budgets are the New Black November 8, 2010 at 5:04 PM

LOVE THIS. Changing personal semantics and family legacy NOW. :)

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SEC November 8, 2010 at 5:08 PM

Great post but very upsetting that you OPT to have her cared for by others. The optimal situation is always for parents to be caring for children and I am not sure why that is not the case when clearly it is an option.

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Dwight @ Financially Elite Blog November 8, 2010 at 5:29 PM

Baker, good for you. Glad you changed that traditional meaning of work and put it in a better context for your daughter who may grow up thinking, ‘work’s not that bad if you are doing it with purpose’.

What if the whole world was raised that way? I bet we would have a lot less pissy people!

Dwight Anthony
Financially Elite Blog dot Com

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Keith November 8, 2010 at 5:39 PM

Hi-ho, Hi-ho, it’s off too SLEEP, I go! (you forever changed my perspective!)

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Tom Owens November 8, 2010 at 5:42 PM

Well done, Baker! Years ago, I interviewed a hard-working, never-a-superstar Major Leaguer. “What would you do if you weren’t playing baseball?”

“I try not to think too much about it,” he said. “I’ve seen guys who spend too much time thinking about being somewhere else. Their wish comes true.”

Be here. Now.

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julie doane roberts November 8, 2010 at 6:18 PM

i am so happy to see this written about – it takes a very awake and aware daddy to notice these messages being taken in by a young one and then updating it so quickly as to leave her mind open rather than closed down. the more parents who can converse with this level of attention, the happy and healthier children will be.

thanks for being an awesome dad and sharing your revelation!

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Mirella November 8, 2010 at 6:51 PM

It’s so important to change our perceptions in such a way that they serve us instead of bringing us down. In fact, it’s the one thing we can change immediately.

Such a lovely story and exactly what I needed to be reading this morning :)

Thanks!

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Shaun November 8, 2010 at 6:51 PM

Hey Baker,

Nice post, this is definitely something I’ve been feeling for a long time. Why do we do something we dislike everyday for our whole life? It makes no sense! Be creative and do something you love, find ways to make it happen coz only you can do that. It’s unlikely that most people will never have to work, but if you do what you love, you will never feel like you do!

Cheers,

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kaztx November 8, 2010 at 9:12 PM

Wow, what a profound reframing of the concept of work. You’ve just changed your own and Millie’s inner dialog about how you and Courtney spend your days. I’m going to have to figure out what to tell my little ones, instead of I “work”. Great, great post.

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Allissa Haines November 8, 2010 at 10:03 PM

Damn. I LOVE my job. I can’t believe I’ve been putting that same negative spin on the ‘going to work’ sentiment. But I have been doing exactly that.
Starting today, I help people feel better, physically and mentally. I help other massage therapists grow their businesses. I don’t go to work. I play at my office.

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poch November 9, 2010 at 1:16 AM

There are 2 situations when working isn’t really work:

-When one enjoys his/her ‘work’, it’s more of fun play and not really work.
-Some people are payed just for their presence and without working e.g., relatives of company owners.

Do I miss something?

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Pea November 9, 2010 at 1:41 AM

When I read other blogs and see the negativity, what comes across is that people feel incapable of changing what is wrong in their lives so the default setting of helplessness releases all the bile against people as innocuous as say a pop star or a person from a TV show!

It’s understandable. If people have been literally wired to be tax payers and serve the system rather than be inspired, inspiring creators from birth it will be a slow fight to unwire the default negativity that comes with feeling helpless and out of control.

It’s good to keep reminding oneself that it CAN be done by reading blogs such as this one.

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Living the Balanced Life November 9, 2010 at 12:35 PM

Baker,
Awesome insight. Great to see that you want to teach your daughter differently. My hubby and I have tried to teach our kids a little differently. Hubby is still stuck at his job, he has worked for 30 years (different jobs, lol!) to support us faithfully. We are ready to do something different. Not to retire, but not to work for someone else. Looking to make the transisition! Thanks for your encouragement here!
Bernice
http://livingthebalancedlife.com/2010/the-minimalist-lifestyle/

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Sarah November 9, 2010 at 10:13 PM

Wonderful, spirited story! I’m a kids photographer, and I do notice that when there is a child around, we adults reap the benefits of having to wonder what we’re instilling. I just love that you continued the conversation with her and instilled some positive connotations, even if she doesn’t yet understand fully what “writing” and “teaching” are. Thank you so much for sharing this — the tone of the post lifted my spirits a great deal. You have a new “fan.”

Warmly,
Sarah

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Josh Crocker November 9, 2010 at 10:47 PM

I can’t believe how eerily similar this is to my own life’s experiences (currently). We have 2 little girls, the oldest who just turned 2. Conversations like this pop up often on our way back and forth to the gym. I love that your little Millie is a part of all of your adventures. I don’t see too many folks “doing” lifestyle design with a family. You’re a friggen inspiration brotha!

Keep up the good work. I love the transparency :)

- Josh

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This Time Now November 10, 2010 at 6:05 AM

You’re a very intelligent young man. What a great lesson you learned and taught your daughter. I would like to post it on my blog. Of course I’ll link back to you.

Great post!

Felicia

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Martyn November 10, 2010 at 6:37 AM

This is a great perspective. I guess my entire working life work has never been enjoyable enough to call it anything else.

It also must be an eye opener as a parent to be able to educate your kids that there is another way to lead your life.

Awesome.

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Jessica November 10, 2010 at 1:21 PM

Great post, great website.

I hope to pursue my passions and turn them into a career.

My dad is having a really crappy time at work right now and won’t be able to retire for 10 years. It makes me sad and I really wish he could/would do something different.

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Mike Wallace November 10, 2010 at 6:29 PM

Great point. We don’t usually stop to think about how our children are analyzing what we say and do. Thanks for the tip.

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Michelle November 10, 2010 at 9:53 PM

That is why I quit my job of 17 years. So I could stay home with my daughter. I now am into blogging and I love it. I can work when she is asleep. Now she only has to say goodbye to daddy in the morning.

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Vincent November 11, 2010 at 6:01 PM

Great idea! Life is not meant to be locked inside the cubicle. One advice that I always hold near to my heart, “One Life, Live it”.

Vincent

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Malini November 12, 2010 at 1:57 PM

Hi Adam!

I just wanted to leave a comment and let you know that you and your friends (Karol, Chris, Everett, etc) have inspired me and my husband more than you will ever know. In fact, I’m pretty sure you are directly responsible for radically changing the course of our life.

Please keep up the amazing work!

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Michelle Saunderson November 12, 2010 at 11:12 PM

Fantastic post. I love the outlook and will incorporate it.

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Laurie November 15, 2010 at 10:05 AM

YEAH! (pumping fist in the air!) Thank you, Adam, that’s exactly what I needed to hear today. I plan on selling my house leaving my soul-sucking day job in less than a year, but until the house sells I have to keep coming to work, and most days my attitude is in the toilet. Yesterday, while dreading yet another Monday morning, I made the choice to make the best of it and quit making myself and others around me miserable. We DO have a choice! Thanks for the reminder :)
Laurie in Michigan

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Joni November 16, 2010 at 12:07 AM

One of the most inspirational, eye-opening and important post I’ve ever read! Sometimes we have to wake ourselves up.

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Marni November 16, 2010 at 3:41 PM

Wow! What a beautiful thought provoking post. I love how you put so much of this. It’s wonderful. I intend to bookmark it and share it with my husband. I’d love to implement some of your suggestions into our daily lives.

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r November 17, 2010 at 5:37 AM

“Mommy’s going to work” (mommy is going to work), not “Mommies going to work” (multiple moms all going to work).

That said, wonderful post!! Never gave any thought to the phrase “have to” before today.

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Joe Reinhart November 26, 2010 at 6:54 PM

Great post, Baker. I love the idea of NOT teaching our kids that earning a living has to be a miserable experience!

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Erik Emanuelli November 30, 2010 at 6:08 AM

Thanks for the excellent post :

I think focus in what we want to do in life is one of the way to be completely happy and satisfied.

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Brett | Investing Part Time December 2, 2010 at 6:02 PM

Great post. I’m currently in a job I don’t totally love, but I’m working proactively to build an income generating business on the side so that I can eventually work for myself someday. It’s awesome to see examples of people living it like y’all and that definitely helps me stay motivated and on the course.

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Barbara January 11, 2014 at 1:17 AM

I LOVE reading about young people doing stuff like this.
I just turned 50 and about 3 years ago I wrote on a notebook page that I would retire at age 50. Well, I did that at age 50 fall of 2013.
That being said, we- my husband of 25 years and I put everything into our business.
We recently sold almost everything still working on that.
Like the statement in the article. IT IS VERY SCARY. you must be willing to risk a lot and and fear keeps people from making the leap.
My kids are both in college now and rather than me pay for their college we decided to purchase an off grid place 10 years ago that would be a family investment.
This served two purposes.
1) many kids have to get student loans and that’s what my kids did it builds character and
credit. (if that is needed) I also had student loans they are not that bad.
2) Someday they (my kids) will eventually inherit the “off grid” location anyway.

Now, we are living on a $500.00 per month. I am telling you it can be done.

Set goals and stick to them!
I have heard of so many people who complain about their positions and job and possessions and junk, but feel trapped, I was there too and I really feel for you.
Also, don’t let people tell YOU how to live your like they know what your want’s and needs are! I lived like this far too long and it finally took me until my 40′s Yuck!
Example: I had a friend who would have been a third generation Nurse. Finally in her 2nd year of college, she told her parents she didn’t what to be a nurse.
So you only go out one weekend night rather than both. you would be amazed the kind of money you save. OR, have a game night in rather than giving your $ hard earned money to the local bar.
Lastly, don’t sell yourself short. Be true to yourself.
When I was 20, I wanted to go to New Zealand for 6 months and I saved the money and went. I stayed for 6 months and instead of going to college there, I worked at three different jobs. I have to tell you that each of (managing and teaching) jobs in the interviews New Zealand always came up and people LOVE stories, it’s like they are living through you! SO go for it you will be surprised at what you really have inside of you.
Barbara
AKA Woman of the world

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