I was in the post office this morning, mailing bottles of Blue Penguin soda to friends and clients. For once, I had to answer “yes” to the question, “Is there anything hazardous, fragile, liquid or perishable inside?,” so the woman behind the counter and I had plenty of time to chat.
She’d seen me in there many times before, and asked me what kind of work I did. I told her, and then she said, “I guess when you work for yourself you have to work extra hard.”
“Nah,” I said. “Just another myth.”
I believed in the myth before I went out on my own. In fact, I was certain that in exchange for doing my own thing, working closer to home, etc., I’d have to work twice as hard to make as much money.
Never happened. I worked about the same amount and with the same effort after I left, and even now — seven+ years later — it doesn’t feel much different.
I think it’s true that most people work about as hard as they want to. As for the amount of money that comes, I’m more convinced than ever that it is completely unrelated to effort.