“It’s only when the tide goes out that you learn who’s been
– Warren buffett
“Hello sir, you want special massage?” A pretty Thai girl smiled
as she framed the spa menu between slender arms.
A hundred feet ahead, wearing Croc lip lops, cargo shorts, a
San Miguel tank top, Dan Andrews didn’t look like a typical
multinational company Ceo. Then again, no one at the Dubliner
bar table it the bill. I had just started working with Dan
to manage the online marketing for a portfolio of eCommerce
stores he owned with his business partner, Ian.
Next to him was Travis Jamison. 6' 4", a former bodybuilder
in a white v-neck and itted jeans with brown leather oxfords,
Travis ran two multinational businesses—one manufacturing
supplements, and the other selling online marketing services.
The trio was completed by an American woman. Curly haired
with a bright Balinese skirt, whiskey in hand, head cocked back
in a laugh, Elisa Doucette ran a content editing business for
writers and authors.
They all turned to me as I approached the table. “Welcome
to Asia,” Dan nodded.
“Thanks,” I replied gratefully.
The waitress walked up to the table, “You want drink?”
As she turned to leave, Dan informed me: “We were just
talking about the conference this weekend. We’ve sold out.
There are going to be seventy-five entrepreneurs coming.”
The way he said it, you would have thought he was announcing
U.S. gold medalists. A whole seventy-ive people at a business
It was by far the smallest business conference I’d ever heard of.
As the night wore on, more conference attendees trickled into
the Irish pub.
There was Jimmy who, with his partner Doug, was working to
start a company selling travel gear. The pair of Kiwis had met
at an exchange program in Canada and, over a North American
road trip, agreed to alternate short-term stints at jobs
and living of of savings, working to launch their company. At
the time Doug was still at his job in New Zealand and Jimmy
was fresh of the plane from the Philippines where he had
been working on sourcing moisture wicking, wrinkle-resistant
Jesse Lawler, who had spent his twenties living in Los Angeles
directing independent ilms, had given up trying to raise
money for movies, taught himself to code, and started doing
freelance software development building iPhone Apps a
Dan Norris had a year’s worth of savings from selling his web
design company, and was in the process of building a software
startup, Informly, designed as an all-in-one dashboard
for online businesses.
What was going on? I’d read popular books like The 4-Hour
Workweek about entrepreneurship. I even had some friends
freelancing or running small companies. But I didn’t quite
Two years later, in 2014, the small conference had grown by
400%, from seventy-ive to three hundred entrepreneurs.
I had been managing a couple of Dan and Ian’s businesses.
I had grown the eCommerce business, which sold fold up,
portable bars to caterers and hotels, by 527% over the same
two-year period that wages for jobs in the U.S. were growing
0.5% per year.
Jimmy was back, and Doug had quit his job in New Zealand.
The travel shirt idea had been put on hold—getting shirts
custom tailored in the Philippines is easier said than done.
Instead, they had raised $341,393 through a Kickstarter campaign
for their Minaal travel backpack at the end of 2013 in
just thirty days, so they’d shifted focus to the faster growing
Jesse Lawler was back. His freelance software development
had grown from a one-man show into a software development
agency for iPhone Apps, run from his house in Vietnam. In
between drinking coconuts, he was funneling the proits from
his agency into building his own product suite and hosting a
podcast about smart drugs used for cognitive enhancement.
Dan Norris was back. He had spent nine months and nearly
his entire savings trying to build Informly. Two weeks before
he needed to get a job to support his family in Australia, he
had launched WP Curve, an outsourced service for software
development, on pace to do over a million dollars in revenue
It’s hard to square these two-year stories with the stories of
my friends from college over the same period.
Back in Columbus, Max had graduated with me and was working
at one of the bigger accounting irms in town. He was
anxious in the wake of his two-year performance review. He’d
placed third out of ive in his department despite working
ifty- and sixty-hour weeks in the months leading up to tax
time in April. He felt grateful for the 3% cost of living raise
he’d gotten each year. His girlfriend’s parents were proud. He
was “putting in his time.”
Julian had gotten into one of the nation’s top law schools. He’d
done well and, as a result, had already gotten a position with a
top San Francisco law irm. Like most people starting a career
in law, he was planning to spend the next three to ive years
working long hours, sometimes eighty- to one-hundred-hour
weeks at the irm, to build a reputation and pay of his student
loans. He eventually wanted to start a family and hoped to
move to a smaller, more afordable city where he could take
a position with better work-life balance.
Marie had gotten into medical school straight out of college
and was in the process of choosing her specialty. She’d always
wanted to be a family practitioner, but Medicare and insurance
reimbursements for primary care doctors like family
medicine and internists had dropped so low, she feared there
was no way she could pay back the loans and make a decent
living. Instead, she’d opted for Anesthesiology, ingers-crossed
that reimbursements wouldn’t continue to fall for specialist
What was going on? What’s the diference between my friends
from college and the three hundred entrepreneurs now emigrating
to Bangkok in lip lops?
From the outside looking in, both groups were intelligent and
hard working. Why was one group living in fear of the threat
of job loss, unreasonably long hours, and shrinking wages,
while another was so overwhelmed by new opportunities they
don’t know what to do?
Two years after I’d irst shown up in Bangkok, I inally got it.
WHAT’S YOUR SECRET?
“If you do things that are safe but feel risky, you gain a
significant advantage in the marketplace.”
– seth godin
Multi-millionaire investor Peter Thiel begins every interview
with companies he’s considering investing in with the same
What’s your secret?
What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
What do you believe that is both contrarian and correct?
What Thiel and the group in Bangkok understood is based on
an old axiom from Archimedes over two thousand years ago:
“Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place
it, and I shall move the world.”
Any system, be it a mechanical one with a literal lever and
fulcrum or a more complex one like your career and life, has
leverage points. Despite pushing just as hard, sometimes your
work is rewarded greatly, and sometimes not.
What separated my college friends from the entrepreneurs I
was hanging out with?
Turns out, not that much. Both groups were ambitious, smart,
and pushing hard.
After interviewing, speaking with, and working with hundreds
of people on both sides, the diference then became clear:
The secret—a more strategically placed lever and fulcrum.
THE NEW LEVERAGE POINT
The rapid development of technology and globalization has
changed the leverage points in accumulating wealth: money,
meaning and freedom.
The social and technological inventions of the past one hundred
years have brought us to the “End of Jobs” while making
entrepreneurship safer, more accessible, and more proitable
Globalization is not just continuing—it’s accelerating. In 2020
there will be 40% more 25–34 year olds with higher education
degrees from Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Russia,
Saudi Arabia, and South Africa than in all oeCd countries
(a group of 34 countries primarily in Western Europe and
Not only have education standards improved, but the communication
technology to reach and work with people around
the world has improved in lockstep. Two decades ago, trying
to call someone on another continent involved prepaid phone
cards in cramped telephone booths. Hardly the way to run a
company or manage a team.
Today, a $40 internet connection and a free Skype account
gives anyone access to the greatest talent pool in history.
Instead of competing against the labor pool of a few hundred
thousand or a few million people in the area near you
for your job, you’re competing against seven billion people
around the world.
The same technologies, machines, and globalization that have
increased your competition in the job market have been a boon
to entrepreneurs. They’ve dropped startup costs, opened new
markets, and created new distribution channels. It’s easier and
cheaper than ever to make something and tell people about it.
For much of the past two hundred years, the industrial work
in demand for economic advancement wasn’t necessarily the
work people wanted to do. Working in a factory may have
been better than starving in a ield, but it wasn’t exactly a
path to fulillment.
After all, at the beginning of the twentieth century, college
was considered a risky proposition. Why invest four years
in a fancy degree instead of going to straight to work? Just
as college and graduate school emerged over the course of
the twentieth century as a clear path to a job, life paths and
social scripts for entrepreneurship are emerging that make
the path clearer.
The opportunity to align your fundamental drives for freedom
and meaning with proitable work is greater than you may
believe. The stories in this book show that entrepreneurship
is a path to not just more freedom and more meaning, but
also more money.
Alas, there is plenty of work involved.
Psychologically challenging, emotionally testing, and physically
exhausting work? Sometimes.
Worth it? Among the entrepreneurs I’ve talked to—
This book will show you what those trends are, the new leverage
points that deine them—and how you can begin to use
them to create more money, meaning, and freedom in your
life, and the lives of those you love.
Whether you choose to ight the changes or embrace them is
up to you. The opportunity won’t last forever.
Like what you read? Buy the book on theendofjobsbook.com.
Excerpted from "The End of Jobs: Money, Meaning and Freedom Without the 9-to-5" by Taylor Pearson. Copyright © 0 by Taylor Pearson. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.