Everybody Wants But Few Are Willing to Do The Work or Take the Risks

Feb 24 2012

Nothing in life is free but life doesn’t always require money to achieve our goals.  In many circumstances, money won’t help.  There are some things in life that require more than just money, they take time, hard work, and sacrifice.  The latter three seem to scare away most of the people I meet.

We all want money.  We all want nice things and the freedom to do what we enjoy.  For most of us in this industry and tech in general, none of that landed in our lap. We work long hours, make sacrifices, and are in a constant state of learning.  All in an attempt to get where we want to be.  Yet I talk to hundreds of people that seem to be unwilling to do any of the above but still seem to think they are going to get to the same place. I come across countless young people that fail to realize that one of the most important things a person or employer can give you is opportunity.  That they are at one of the few times in life that they can take risk and make sacrifices that may never be able to do again.

I recently had a young man that was out of work for the winter come in looking for a job.  I told him we were slow during the winter but if he wanted, I had about two days worth of chopping wood.  Granted it was cold and the job involved manual labor, but it was a paying job.  In my mind it was also a test.  A test to see if he really wanted to work or he was merely going through the routine required by his wife or his unemployment.  He passed on the job.  Said he was looking for something more permanent.  Little did he know that if he chopped the wood he would have instantly had a job on one of our landscape crews making a pretty good wage.

Its a dumb downed version but it still plays out the same.  He wanted a job.  He needed a job. He had a chance to show the owner of a good sized company his work ethic, but chose not to.  He threw away possible opportunity. He wanted something verbally but in reality he no chance of every really getting it.

I meet people in every day life that are fascinated by my domains.  They can’t believe that I buy and sell domain, build sites, and make money doing it.  They all want me to show them. I tell them that I have never put one dime of money into my portfolio that it is all reinvestment of income over the last 10 years.  I’m not a millionaire but I get to fly to conferences, get weekly checks, and build a portfolio of online property all essentially for free.  But free means two hours a night, EVERY NIGHT, for years and years.  Building and filling content on the sites, checking auctions and drops, writing, and learning.  Free in the sense of money but as I stated earlier, nothing is free.  I am trading hard work for money. They are fascinated by the money but are probably even more fascinated that I can make that much free time a day to dedicate to anything.  That’s when I tell them I also spend an hour and half every day training for Ironman.  To me none of this is unusual because my friends all tend to be that same type of person.

Chris that writes with me is a perfect story.  He took the writing gig at no pay.  I give him a percentage of the income of the site anyway.  Although that has turned out to be exactly zero dollars the last few months, he said it didn’t bother him.  He looked at it as an opportunity to learn and meet others in the community.  It gave him a voice and a link to domaining that he didn’t have.  The result, he found a new outlet to sell some domains that let him sell a few thousand dollars in January AND he found a new job.  Neither of which would have been possible without taking the plunge and sacrifice of writing for my shitty site.  But my little site changed his life because he met people through Domain Shane.  Domain Shane gave him opportunity. Not money but opportunity. Opportunity that was given in exchange for nothing but a little extra work.

As I said earlier, I tend to hang with type As.  Guys that get the work/reward scenario.  They are often runners and triathletes like myself.  The sport has taught them that in order to achieve more you have to put in the work.  You want to be faster than the guy beside you?  Run longer and harder than him.  Get more hours on the bike and in the pool than him.    My wife says this when I’m taking a little longer than normal getting out of bed.  “You know that guy that beat you last race?  He’s already out there running”  It’s a joke but you get the point. There is no secret to achievement.  They guys that have more are most likely out working you.  They could be outsmarting you or out spending you, but in most cases they are probably just outworking you.  We can come up with excuses for almost anything if we want to.  Talking our own mind out of attempting something difficult is one of the easiest tasks on earth.  Getting it to take risks is against our human nature.  Somehow you have to trick you body and mind to turn off the self protection switch and convince yourself that everything is going to be OK. I often find that hard work breeds confidence and with confidence comes the ability or the desire to chose higher risk reward paths.  Paths that lead to more wealth.  They are willing to take that path because they feel if they do fail, they possess the ability to get back up and try again.  As Biz Stone, the founder of Twitter said, “In order to succeed spectacularly you need to be able to fail spectacularly”  I changed it up a little and put it this way. “On the way to kicking ass you may at times get your ass kicked”

I encourage you younger readers to not waste your youth.  You are at one of the only points in a life where you don’t have the responsibility of family and debt.  A point where you really have nothing to lose so you can take higher risks.  You can live cheaper than at any other point in your life.  Material goods will come but there will never be a better time to take the risk that leads to great things.  It may also lead to great failure but when the only person that gets hurt is you it just doesn’t matter.  For you older readers, I encourage you to get uncomfortable.

Perhaps you can’t take as many risks because of your age and responsibilities but that doesn’t mean you can try some new things.  Work a “night job”.  Make your new hobby a side business.  Stop talking about what you want to do and actually do it.  It may be on a  smaller scale but get a taste of what you’ve always wanted to do and that passion could resonate to other parts of your life.  A person that has a part of the day that they truly enjoy is a healthier person.   If your love is something that requires full time dedication then you’ll to find something that you can do part time and scale if it works out.  While it’s hard to concentrate on the main job when you are working on a passionate side business, it still is very possible.  And even if you don’t financially gain from your attempt, you mostly lost time. Time that you probably were wasting anyway watching TV or goofing around.

So read the blogs, enjoy the stories but don’t give me any bullshit about how the opportunity has come in gone in this industry or anything on Internet in general.  We are at the infancy of this thing.  There are 20 different ways to milk this cow but every single way requires a lot of time and effort.  You can save a lot of time and effort with money and there will be those that do.  Just remember 95% of them didn’t have money at some point in time either and 8 years down the road there will probably be some new guy telling you that you had it easy back then and it’s not possible anymore.

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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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  1. Jason Stewart

    Thumbs up Shane! This is why I come to DomainShane! 🙂 One of the coolest domainers out there.

  2. Jack

    Excellent articles. Very inspirational. High truth: The guy whose beating you is probably just outworking you.

  3. Poor Uncle

    Hi Shane,

    I didn’t read your whole post. But I don’t exactly agree with your sentiment. I admire people who overcome hardship by working work to provide for their family. (I am thinking about refugees, people impacted during war time, and during the great depression).

    I respect that you work hard, and many successful people do. But please realize your ability to work hard, is not due to your ability and will power alone. Luck, opportunity, and your supporting system attributed greatly to your ability to work harder and longer.

    It really upset me that when someone work hard, and think that the rest of us who work less hard are LAZY. And, this is coming from someone who has 2 full time jobs.

    My ability to do 2 full time jobs is not my willingness to do it alone. People give me the opportunity to, my wife take care of my kids so I can be at work, and the fact that my work is not physically demanding greatly attributed to my ability to work really long hours.

    The older I get the more I realize…in life, as in how your kids turn out. Don’t blame yourself too much if you kids didn’t turn out good…and don’t take all the credit when your kids turn out really good.

  4. 1234

    Very good post.

    Worth mentioning that talent, absent effort, is always wasted. Far too many people coast to perhaps 50% of their given potential on talent alone, squandering an opportunity to really achieve, had they combined their talents with genuine effort.

    The realm of mediocrity is full of hard working idiots and lazy geniuses.

  5. Garry Epperson

    I think this is your best post ever.

    “There is joy in work. There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something.” – Henry Ford

  6. John

    Mark Cuban has a new eBook. In the Preview section of it he talks about Sports & Business and that the only thing a player or business person can truly control is Effort. Really an interesting last two paragraphs. Made me really think about the sweat equity route vs the larger capital outlay routes for businesses, which I think I am just about done with it. Nice Post.

  7. steve

    >>Little did he know that if he chopped the wood he would have instantly had a job on one of our landscape crews

    I don’t blame him one bit. I spent my life doing this shit for people and all I got was crap. Yes I always thought this person will offer me more and in the end they just went ‘well good luck’

    What people need to do is learn the skills they can learn that compliment each other. The more in demand skills and needed in the future the better. Then build something good and you will be fine.

    The truth is most people aren’t willing to put in the time.

    This guy didn’t know you. So I would do the same thing. Your games or tests as you call them are just that , games.

    1. Post author


      But the guy did know me. He wasn’t some random guy at a random business stumbling in looking for work. He knew me or at least of me. That’s all the work I had at the time. He asked me if I had any and I gave him what I had. Life is a game and everybody keeps score a different way. Some money, some happiness, some land. Get used to it. Your pessimism is a result of being shit on. A guy tired of having to live at the control of others. There will always be those that take advantage of people that need what they possess, but if you want to continue to have good employees and friends, you can’t be that type of person. At some poiny you’re going to have to believe that your employer will reward you for your actions. I admit I tend to lean towards your thinking and handled it the only way I knew. I don’t work for anyone and haven’t in a long long time. (you could say my Father who will always have more weight in decisions but not a typical boss). Don’t like bosses? Don’t have one and quit bitching. Of course you may not like the pay that comes with being your own boss.

  8. Darren

    Nice post. The problem with a lot of people is that they simply don’t have the right frame of mind and the majority will therefore not exceed in life. Those willing to take such opportunities in life will much more likely succeed.

    It’s kind of like working for someone else vs working for yourself. In order to work for yourself often involves long hours with little rewards but with hard work the effort is generally rewarded.

  9. steve

    Well if you knew you then that is his loss.
    He had more to go on this just some random smile.

    Oh I dumped all my friends, told my boss i quit and dumped all my jobs.

    Then started my business and spent a lot of money but it finally got going. I refuse all help except for small packaged projects that I can outsource and monitor and only pay when I am satisfied. The worker doesn;t care because I pay well.

    I also listen to Rick and his shit history of jobs and I understand his point of view coming from horrid companies that ripped you off.

    The sad truth is the companies I worked for could have made millions with me.

    Now I can buy and sell them 10x over.
    Money is just a tool. It does not bring happiness unless you don’t have enough. Like you need 20 gallons of water a day to live good but 1000 gallons is better but who really cares. I guess I don’t mind living small.

  10. L

    Money is the most overrated substance on earth. After a certain point, it gets kind of ridiculous.

    Time, leisure, family, travel, enriching activities are much better ways to spend time. Temptingly easy to sacrifice the meaningful stuff in life in pursuit of more and more money to buy more and more irrelevant stuff.

    ‘The Mexican Fisherman and the Harvard MBA’ pretty much sums it all up as best I see it… or, go on any guitar forum and see the enormous numbers of people who have insane collections of instruments, yet can’t play for shit.

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