Not everybody wants to be a digital nomad
Just because individuals creators make it work, it doesn’t mean everybody wants a life of freedom and anxiety.
Somehow Tim Ferriss has become a poster child for the emerging trend of Creator Economy. Many see Tim as a bro-scientist who exploits colonial heritage to enjoy service from the low-income workforce while sipping Yerba Mate in Buenos Aires. To make matters worse, this dude is pushing everyone to tango in his evil footsteps.
While 4-Hour Work Week has flaws, these miss the point.
Do you want to become a truck driver?
Long-haulers can make 6-figures a year.
Most people agree that 6-figures is a substantial income. Everybody can learn how to drive trucks. Truckers live on the road, eat in off-road restaurants, and rarely ever sleep in the same town.
“It’s not just a job,” driver Jim Simpson tells Mental Floss. “It’s a lifestyle.”
Different people serve truckers. From motel to highway restaurants, most of these establishments cater to travelers.
Do you see people bashing the idea of truck driving? Hell, you probably just want your Amazon package delivered on time.
Making the argument that all this is evil because the truck company owner makes more money than his drivers is crazy. The argument sounds like a word soup desperately trying to fill a blank page. But let's give it the benefit of the doubt. What if, indeed, everyone drove evil trucks? I guess nobody could then serve the truckers. No restaurants. No hospitality. No firefighters. How would that work? It wouldn’t
We can’t all just work one job.
But here’s another problem.
Where would truckers settle?
Typing the money into your bank account from Lipa Noi Beach is more of a movie plot than actual reality.
Most people realize digital work is not about Pina Coladas and emerging countries. You can’t type in the high sun, especially while sand fills every pore of your body. Also, you can just stroll down to Santa Monica on a Sunday if you live in Los Angeles. The experience is similar.
Yeah, stuff costs less in Thailand than in New York State. It also costs less in Portugal, Spain, and the Netherlands. Stuff costs less in Alabama too. Not a single of these places has been colonialized, except Alabama. But let’s come to this argument in a second.
Most people don’t want to settle down in Thailand, Alabama, or Portugal just because their dollar can go a bit further. Buying stuff is not the end goal in life. The book desperately tries to tell the reader how money is just a tool and not a destination.
I’m the only digital nomad within my circles. And I live in London, one of the most unaffordable cities on the planet. I’m blessed and grateful that I get to earn my bread from writing. But why is that so wrong? Why is building a life of freedom and sharing your journey such a sore blister on so many heels?
Are digital workers exploiting someone? Is this all just a Colonial heritage, as some try to frame it? Are American truckers exploiting Motel staff during sleepovers? After all, America is still working through its colonial heritage. So maybe nobody should work for anyone? How would that economy function?
And where would truckers settle?
Most people settle at home.
Truckers would probably do the same.
Hiring someone in a different economic zone
I’d rather pay someone above their national average than paying another person for a job they wouldn’t appreciate.
Partially, my reasons are because I can’t afford to hire individuals who don’t perform. You can call me poor, but that’s just the reality of my business. I’m also looking to hire people on Social Credit because the government helps with payroll.
These incentives are put out for a reason. Governments want to jumpstart parts of the underperforming economy for various reasons. It’s usually cheaper to help an entrepreneur create a job than pay welfare and deal with poverty-induced crime.
This is just my opinion. But it seems like people love to hate on Tim Ferriss just because he is Tim Ferriss. The dude lives his life. He overcame crippling depression and survived several suicide attempts. His story resonates because it’s real. The guy is not exploiting someone for paying them local or above local wages.
Then another sore spot.
Automatization and outsourcing
The human mind hates the idea of automatization. Better said, it hates when someone else automatizes something they could have automatized. Also, it hates outsourcing. Why would someone else do your work, you entitled crybaby?
But. Have. You. Ever. Heard. About. Jobs?
Every job is an outsourced bulk of tasks from an individual looking to build something to another individual wanting to trade time for money.
Do I want to earn a wage?
Not anymore, not after I’ve risked my well-being and survived.
Most people I know just want a job.
My girlfriend doesn’t want to start a company. Nobody sane wants to start a company.
She’s a well-educated young lady. She wants a steady salary so she can plan out her life. Kudos to her. Why is this so bad? Not everyone wants the same thing. Is she exploited by an employer just because she’s doing something someone else could have done? I don’t think so.
Wasting time is a crime
Some people can’t tell the difference between productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness. Tim Ferriss propagates effectiveness and efficiency, but not productivity.
“Never automate something that can be eliminated, and never delegate something that can be automated or streamlined. Otherwise, you waste someone else’s time instead of your own, which now wastes your hard-earned cash.”
— Tim Ferriss
He talks about the crime of wasting time, the only commodity we can’t replenish. Wasting someone’s time is a transgression, especially when it’s preventable.
The wasted potential is a sore spot for many
Wasted potential is excellent fuel for banging humor or spiteful verbal attacks.
The 4-Hour Work Week told me that a happier life is possible. Financial freedom is not something reserved for the uber-wealthy and trust-fund babies. You can create a system for it. You don’t need to follow Tim Ferriss’ advice necessarily, but the idea rings true. When you’re born in poverty, sometimes you need a framework for a better life. You need to believe it’s possible.
Digital work is possible. The Creator economy is very real. Single-preneurships can be more lucrative than your current job. You can start a business and create value without crippling debt.
You can become free.
But just because something is possible doesn’t mean that everyone will suddenly become a vagabond freelancer with multiple companies in their portfolio.
Just because something is possible, it doesn’t mean it will happen.
The amount of people that frown upon the word “freedom” is almost as high as the number of people that believe “love” is a childish concept made for teenage girls.
It takes a minute to get off the bubble and see that people end up in their jobs for different reasons.
I would pick up hospitality gigs as a student.
Some of my colleagues would be ripe for retirement. And you know what? They loved the job. They loved the action. And they loved the reason to get up every morning. One lady refused to retire because she thought she’ll die if she stops working. She was also the fastest 80+ bartender I’ve ever seen work her magic. Her fears were justified. And I want to follow her example, but working on my personal projects instead.
Just because someone feels like service is underneath them, it doesn’t mean that everybody shares the feeling.
If you point at long shifts and industry abuse, I’d say that’s a whole other problem to talk about. I don’t want to eat unsustainable foods or be served by a 7-year-old child. I also don’t want to support sweatshops, and I’m learning how to avoid fast fashion.
So, I don’t go to those places.
I vote with my money.
I’m the only digital “nomad” in my circles.
The. Only. One.
Fifty million or so creators earn an income online, according to Forbes. Economists project another 50 million to join the cloud force by the end of the decade.
Creator economy is a magnificent feat, but it's only a drop in the sea. It’s a staggering drop, don’t get me wrong. But it fades in comparison to the number of people who want to become chefs.
Few of my friends left high-paying jobs for kitchen work.
Does that mean everyone will do the same?
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