More Myths About Work

By: Dan Kennedy on: March 25th, 2011 7 Comments

Picking up on the last success marketing strategy: this is why I harp on the idea that your business should be something you extract money from, not put or leave money in. (A principle I wish I’d grasped sooner in life.)

So you get to the point where your stack of what Ringer calls “no-touchies” is high enough you have absolutely zero economic need to work, and you are in what Brody called “the safe harbor position.” Then the work you do gets to be a lot more fun. You get to be a lot more selective. And anytime you like, you can just stop.

(To be fair, stopping is not easy. Surprisingly hard. For many reasons. Obligations and entanglements, your own emotions, habit-force. Etc.)

If you aspire to this sooner not later, then there are some important points I often make.

  1. You have to sacrifice being an Empire Builder. Empire Builders re-invest virtually all into their businesses and extract little.
  2. You have to determine what your enough-is-enough number is, get there, and secure it.
  3. You have to keep from escalating lifestyle to match income. Simply put, you must live as far below your means as you are willing, so you move as much as possible to “no touchies.” If you keep buying bigger and bigger houses to live in and furnish, pricier and pricier cars to drive, more and more depreciating possessions, you can never stop. If you actually care about having all your income coming in effortlessly, it cannot come from business – it must come from investments.

Until you hit that point, you’re gonna work. The distinct difference between me and, hopefully, you, vs. the overwhelming majority of people, including business owners, in the dark and clueless about our kind of marketing, our entrepreneurial strategies, is (only) that we have a lot more choice in the type of work we do, how, where and when we do the work., and with whom we associate in doing it.

For example, few salespeople, professionals or business owners get to (believe they can) choose, train and control their customers or clients. We know we can. We can do different work and work differently. We can find smarter, more efficient, more leveragable ways to bring value to market. We can raise expertise and prominence so as to be paid much more for the work we do.

But we ought never seek to avoid work and get unearned income. Get over this foolish, juvenile desire to avoid work. It’s not worthy of aspiration, it’s nothing to brag about.

Any attempt to get something for nothing – even when temporarily successful – invites all manner of tragedy. It is immoral, unethical, in defiance of fundamental universal law.

In selling a proposition, there is advertising or poetic license in language like “easy” and “effortless” and “automatic”. It’s even legal. In advertising, it is called “puffery” – that’s what permits patently ridiculous assertions like “brighter than bright, whiter than white.” I write such stuff, on average, 3 hours a day, 1,000 hours each year (when I work ). But these terms are relative and subjective, not to be taken literally.

In buying a proposition, you are expected to be smarter than that. If you have ever done real manual labor for low wages as I have, then you know that, by comparison, lots of things are “more effort-less”. But if you are a grown-up rational thinker, you know nothing is literally effortless. Not even sleep. Your heart and lungs better be working.


Dan Kennedy is internationally recognized as the 'Millionaire Maker,' helping people in just about every category of business turn their ideas into fortunes. Dan's "No B.S." approach is refreshing amidst a world of small business marketing hype and enriches those who act on his advice. For more money-making marketing tips, tactics and strategies, go to

7 Responses

  1. lin says:

    Dan, Oh How I love thee.. I suspect this will not be a popular post..

    When the most popular items include fully automated,while you sleep and do nothing push button magic pill stuff..

    the best advice I ever recieved was from you regarding this..

    “grow up”!

  2. mike says:

    killer stuff as always from planet dan,.. the no b.s godfather..thank you sir..

  3. Conrad Flynn says:

    I think when you set out on any venture, failure is going to happen. In many cases – you have to fail many times before you land on a success. In this sense – failure isn’t bad – you have to fail to learn & grow. What’s important I think is that following Dan’s advice here about empire building and living below your means especially – will help you bridge the gap from success to success. I think that employing Dan’s advice here will help prevent some of the financial roller coaster effect many small businesses and entrepreneurs face.

  4. Melissa says:

    The desire to work less is a curious human problem. The more we are able to engage in leisure, the less we actually enjoy it. I’m a competitive figure skater and also run my own business. Sometimes I imagine that life would be wonderful if I could train full time and my business would just run itself. Whenever I have the opportunity to skate more, I find I generally just burn myself out within a matter of a few days!

    The more I work, the worse my skating is. The more I skate, the more problems kick off within the business. The trick is finding the balance! The optimum seems to be 10 hours/wk sport : 20 hrs/wk work, or thereabouts …

  5. Charles Ogar says:

    Thanks for the posting as often as you do. I’m 26 and en route to entrepreneurial glory. Your posts always help me focus and not give myself any BS excuses to not move forward. You are an inspiration!

  6. Chris Hanlon says:

    Another good reminder. -Thanks!

  7. Shane Miller says:

    Hey thanks man….I liked the way you have put this article…Keep it up!!

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