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I've been lurking here for a while now, just steeping myself in ideas that resonate very strongly with something deep inside me. Over the past few years I've been letting go little by little of some of society's expecations, looking beyond an endless career in one place to find my passion, and trying to instill this in my son too.

Your thoughts have given me more than a spark of hope that I'm on the right track.

Thank you!


I like what you've written here, it's challenging some of my beliefs and also given me food for thought.

Could you elaborate more on the 'deserving' part? Were you working at those low-paying jobs because at the time you didn't feel like you 'deserved' to have more money?


I'm with you man. Quit the 60+ hour per week J.O.B. 2 years ago, never to return. Now I'm making three times what I used to and I only work 3 hours a day. I agree, THIS is the way it's meant to be. Everyone deserves this kind of lifestyle. Thanks for sharing! :-)


Yes, never give up finding your purpose in life. It's the saddest thing one could do. Especially if you have kids: you give a very bad example on how to go through life.

However, I think it's a life-time long search. People change, and so do interests etc.

So far, I wasn't able to manage this "money appeared when I needed/deserved it" stuff. So, it's probably a lot more difficult to create a fullfilling life for most of us.

steve in sunny florida

Yes. Fred, could you elaborate on your deserving and desiring comments, which I find very interesting.

Did you start feeling you deserved the money (and hence, desired it) after you began doing what you love and providing an exceptional service/product? Would love to know more.

Tom Churm

Your philosophy reminds me of the concept of 'Flow Time'.

Flow Time happens when you're so engrossed in an activity that you enjoy, that you don't have to think about it, and you don't have to expend any effort to get it done...it just flows, seemingly without effort.

As a web programmer I know that the BEST work I ever do is done when I am caught up in this 'Flow Time' phenomenon. When I'm forced to work on something that I don't really care about - then I may have to actually TRY. But if the project is fun, I'm just riding a right-brain train to the end of it, and the work somehow takes care of itself.

I strongly believe that if everyone could figure out when they experience the most 'Flow Time', then they could use this information to figure out what their ideal career would be.


Without hard work the world would be a very different place... and not in a good way.


BS. you don't get a house like that without making a decent amount of money, whether it's because of a will, work, or embezzlement.

Fred Gratzon

The last two commenters, bless their souls, are still deeply mired in antiquated thinking. They have been indoctrinated by parents, clergy, teachers, bosses, and politicians to embrace hard work. I think that is a pity and a waste of life. Real success comes when you do that which you truly love and are inspired by.

I don't believe in work and I don't do it and I don't ask/require anyone else to do it for me. I believe in fun and expansion and joy and love and passion and collaboration and laughter and integrity and social responsibility and evolution and devotion and natural law and honesty and friendship and deep silence, and doing unto others etc. And as a result, money comes as a beneficial side effect.

But if you think working, and being bossed, and getting stressed, and sitting in traffic jams, and being crammed in a cubicle, and living from paycheck to paycheck doing stuff you hate, and getting heart attacks, hives, and headaches is the path to success, be my guest. Me, I prefer playing golf and going on picnics and doing projects that I can't wait to get up in the morning to do.


I don't get it. What does this clown do for money and decent health insurance? He never says, and I can't find it anywhere on his site. There are plenty of homeless/impoverished people with the same attitudes that he has, just not the good fortune. It is not this guy's methods that we should covet, it is his extremely good luck.

Fred Gratzon

I take your characterization of me as "clown" in the highest, most complimentary way. A clown like a Charlie Chaplin, right? Thanks for the praise.

I don't know where you live but I have never seen or met a homeless/impoverished person, let alone plenty of them, with the same attitude that I have.

Since you want to know, my money came from past business enterprises. But those enterprises were never work; they were fun. Most of the time, anyway. And when they were no longer fun, I got out.

Here is a vital point. It is my methods that produce the good luck. Good luck does not happen in a vacuum.

Old Dave

Tomorrow I have to get up a 5am and drive 70 miles to sit in a grey cubicle doing stuff that ranges from mind-numbingly boring to gut-wrenchingly stressful. The fact that I'm 64 makes it seem all the more tragic as I am running out of life fast.... I can retire in a few months and try and live on a fraction of what I make now, but chances are I'll have to keep working in order to pay the rent. A radio shrink I used to listen to many years ago was always saying our job is to discover our gift, develop it, and then spend the rest of our lives 'giving it back' to the world that desperately needs the output of our highest and best selves. For whatever reason, I never managed to figure out what my 'gift' was so I just kept on chugging away at my floggit job. When I was young I did exactly what you did after college, rarely lasting more than a few weeks at any job, but eventually fell into something undemanding enough to latch onto for a longer term. Anyway, I read all the self-help books available back then and became pretty convinced it was all a mind game, this life business. Your reality pretty much reflects your core beliefs, and if you drift though life believing your creative urgings and ideas are worthless, it's unlikely you will act on them, and you gradually learn to distrust your instincts and just follow the herd through the dark factory gates to take your place on the assembly line... Family and friends all cluck their approval at your 'good sense' and practicality. All those crazy ideas about writing novels or being an artist or an inventor or a zen poet or just taking off on a motorcycle to ride around the world are just repressed away into a forgotten corner of your mind. Men have to work and work isn't supposed to be fun--that's why they call it work, dumbo! When the five o'clock whistle blows, then you can start having fun at the local beer bar. Quaff a few cold ones, eat some greasy junkfood, then slog home to watch a cop show on TV and go to bed so you can get up at dawn and get ready to do it again....
Sorry, didn't mean to go on a rant here. I'm glad to know that some people manage to escape the cultural madness and find their own path. It takes a lot of courage to challenge such deeply entrenched and widely held beliefs... Keep up the good 'work' Mr. Gratzon.... I'll probably write your name in on the next Presidential ballot. I'd give anything to hear your State of the Union speech!

Seamus 'Moose' Anthony

I believe - and indeed am finding to be more and more true - that Fred's way of thinking does come true if you actually do define one or more gifts and pursue these passionately - because it's fun. Then doors open, and ways around problems like needing cash appear before your eyes. For example I still need a paycheque, but HATE having to do things that are boring. Thankfully, I recently refused to do broing jobs anymore - NO MATTER WHAT. Next day I got a great, fun job at a magazine.

The other day I got to work and my boss made me read a book called the Seven Day Weekend, and now I have just been told that I am free to do what I feel at work. We still need to make money, but apart from that, I am free to 'just make it all up'.

And in time, I will be entirely free from the day-job altogether. In fact, as soon as it stops being fun.

The trick, and I am sure Fred will agree, is to flow like water. When water comes to across a large boulder in it's path, it does not push against the rock, but flows around it without skipping a beat.

Fred Gratzon

Dear Dave,
It is not too late. Late bloomers are a hearty breed. Read some of my past posts on finding one's calling. My book ain't half bad either.

A State of the Union address -- what an intriguing idea for a future post!


I just saw your article linked on Digg and had to check it out. I completely agree with your thoughts on work/life. I fail to believe that our "purpose" in life is to be some wage slave chained to a cubicle. I am not just a cog in a machine. I am a living breathing person that would much rather "do" stuff with my time than work on my TPS reports.

Chris S

I thought i was the only one to think this way, here's to living the good life!


Are you serious? Basically, you are a rich businessman living off of other people's hard work, bragging about your house, and you are so absolutely out of touch with what the reality is for the 97% of people who do not come from money or own businesses, that you are seriously putting forth the idea that your money materialized out of thin air because you deserve it?

I have met a lot of people who seem to have this attitude, but the fact that you are willing to present "entitlement" as a life philosophy for others to persue is just astounding.

Most people don't work because they've "bought into the system", they work because they have to, because if they don't work they can't pay rent and they get evicted and their kids get taken away. You probably don't talk to many of these people in your life except to order a meal, but you may notice them when they don't get out of your way fast enough. We do useful things, like clean the things you use and the places you walk, keep the shops running for you to buy things, and make sure your paperwork is in order when you see the doctor. We do all the hard work that makes your life so spectacular. We don't do it because we think you're awesome and don't want you to have to do things yourself -- we do it because our landlords are people like you who run businesses or own property and will evict us and put us out on the street to die if we don't work.

Do you honestly believe that the woman working three jobs so she can pay the rent but still can't afford to pay her kids' doctor bills doesn't have money because she doesn't WANT it? or because she doesn't deserve it? or because she's stupid? This is the most offensive trash I've ever read.


The "Lazy Way to Success" promoter is utterly vague about how he supposedly lives the good life without an icky day job. Vague equals incredible to me.

It sounds like a setup for an Amway pitch.



I think that it is possible for some people to have a job they find fun, but it is entirely impossible for 95% of the world to live this dream. The reality is, the world needs people to do the jobs that nobody would ever want to do. I really wish that everyone could have this life Fred promotes, but it's a utopian dream and nothing more =/


I used to think like this guy, but I grew out of it when I was 12.

Without hardwork, the world will crumble. Some people, through social connections and sometimes, luck, have easier jobs that sustain them than others. But, honestly, this so called "Philosophy" is a joke.

I am a PhD student, and I know what lazy means. I have personally been extremely lazy for weeks on end. But, sooner or later, one realizes that hard work is important. For your own growth and for the growth of others.

Go read a book, or teach another person, just don't be lazy. We already have enough lazy jerks in this world. What I wouldn't give to have him go work in the sweatshops that make his "lazily acquired" clothing.

When you produce something that improve the quality of life for someone else, let us know, will ya.

Fred Gratzon

Dear last four commenters,

Call it offensive trash, call it a set-up, call it a dream world, but there was a time when I did not have any money or sources of income and I also had a wife and child and mortgage and debts and bills and no where to turn and I still felt as I do today. Money and comfort haven't changed me. I refused to "work" then and I refuse to work today. But you are free to dismiss what I say and accept a life of hardship. I am saying it is not necessary. This is not a multilevel pitch. It is a be-true-to-yourself pitch. You have all the tools to be great and they are uncovered and developed by doing stuff you love to do. It is ALL about trusting nature/Nature. You are part (a vital part) of a great magnificent wholeness. You were not short-changed in any way. But you will never get out of the terrible rut you are in by staying in the rut. Punching a time clock and shuffling someone else's papers are not reliable or proven ways to liberate yourself. But if you want to have your life defined as a succession of dead-end unpleasant jobs, that is your choice. I definitely wish you well.



I have not read any of your other stuff besides this blog post. The last four commentators probably have not either. I am making an assumption here, but I think you failed to get across the point that you do engage in activities that they would consider "work", but it is something you love and are passionate about and thus you do not consider it a job/work because it is fun and fulfilling. I could be wrong and somehow money rains down from the heavens and you sit in your backyard dancing around playing a ukelele, but somehow I doubt that is what you done to support your family.

I don't think you are saying that we shouldn't work in corporations, or that everyone should be their own boss. I think you are trying to encourage people to find positions that utilize their talents and passions so that the job becomes a calling instead of mere drudgery.

Is it a call to transcend the abyss of the rat race by not submitting to the drudgery? Violating the rules by playing outside the rules and only staying in a job if it appeals to you. Only to stay in positions that challenge and excite while making use of your talents.

Enough assumptions. This post seemed to be very high end, airy, philosiphical, if I may. Unfortunately, it read like you spent all your days in a hammock and money came along. You may claim to be lazy, but I bet you spend a lot of energy on projects you enjoy.


Right on, Adam.

There's only so much "spin" you can put on doing what you're passionate about.

Call it "not work" -- call it "gobblede hooky packy" -- it's still the same people in some people's eyes - 'work'.

We all know the potheads who sit on their couch all day and do nothing but watch TV, eat potato chips, get stoned and play video games. Maybe 1/1000 of these fine folks find inspiration at some point and actually do something they're passionate about, and it doesn't look like work.

Anyway, you're a great marketer Fred and I hope your ideas catch on without the proper grounding in reality.

Meanwhile I know that putting in 12 hour days doing *what I love* and what does *not* feel like work, is what's gotten me $4k+ / mo. in passive web income.

- Fez




I think you will find that the english language has differentiated between work and labour for some time.

So you realised a capital driven society devalues work ? Why beg justification of acting on this realisation ?

Being left wanting is often the sign that it is worth reconsidering a presumptive goal. Perhaps the capitalistic ideal isn't as satisfying as you thought it would be ?


I appreciate this post. I've taken it a step further, and moved to a small country in Europe, where expectations are lower, I can live simply, without alot of demands, and pursue what I want to. Yes, the money does tend to just come...not always like I want, but I've yet to go hungry.


You are totally wrong.

It takes WORK to get poor.

That's my motto.

"Work harder, get poorer!"

In fact, working hard is the biggest secret to getting poor.

I believe in this great land of ours ANYBODY can become poor if they work hard enough!

The key understanding is the realization that being poor is SO much better than being rich.

Sure... you can lay around and be rich, if you want. But, to acheive true poverty you need to get off your butt and work for it.

What in the world is wrong with you?




Whenever you needed the money, it just showed up?

How about providing some examples? Tell us some stories.


You still don't get it. 95% of the world is not "stuck in a terrible rut" because they can't get out of it. Conditions are the way they are for us because of people like you, rich people. Rich people pay us less than we need to live to do jobs they don't want to do so they can sit in their hammocks looking like douchebags telling us we're tools who've bought into the system.

You're rich. I don't just mean "you have a lot of wealth", I mean you are of the class that has all the money in the world. You know people with tons of money. If for some reason you ran out of money, one of those people with more money than they know what to do with will swoop in and save you, because obviously people like you shouldn't be poor.

This completely determines the way you think about money. So much so, that when people ask "what do you do when you need money?" you don't hear, "what do you do when you need money to pay the rent", because you don't really understand what rent is, or that for 95% of the people in the world, getting enough money to pay the rent every month is an overriding survival concern and if they stop getting more money they will be living on the street within two months.

Instead, you hear something like "what do you do when you need money for another Jaguar convertible", and you answer accordingly, whenever you need money it appears. Do you understand that for 95% of the people in the world, "when I need money" is a completely foreign concept? We *always* need money. In a country like America it costs money just to stay alive. We don't work to persue the capitalist ideal. The capitalist ideal is that you sit on your useless ass while we earn your money through our hard work. That's a system that is set up by rich people to benefit rich people.

It's amazing that it's taken you 40 years or whatever to figure out that rich people have no useful function in society and don't need to work. Everyone else knew that already.

I think you understand on an intellectual level that it is impossible for everyone to live like you. But you don't want everyone to live like you, which is why this is so disingenuous. If everyone lived like you, your trash would pile up, no one would serve you meals, no one would build your cars and no one would fix the roads you drive them on. You would starve without food that is harvested and processed by people who hate their jobs. You are totally content that this is something that 95% of the world will never be able to do because people like you will stop them.

What you're doing is presenting rich sloth as a *choice*, in order to convince yourself that you are somehow deserving because you've risen above the rat race. You don't like to feel like you got where you are by luck, because that wouldn't be fair. But it seems fairer when you pretend it's based on merit and choice, as if only the truly smart people figure out they can be rich and lazy.

But it's not true. You are rich and lazy not because you are a better person than the people who work minimum wage jobs. You are rich and lazy because you are a much worse person than the people who do that work. Working class people create everything in the world that is useful and valuable -- you create nothing, you only consume the fruits of other people's work that you are able to take from others because you are rich. That doesn't make you an uberman. It makes you a worm.

Fred Gratzon

Woah, Sadie. You don't know me from bar of soap but that doesn't stop you from are making some harsh accusations.

It is about priorities in life. You are putting all the emphasis on money. That seems to be your priority and you conduct yourself accordingly. You are willing to sacrifice your life to get it. If that is how you perceive your path, fine, spend your life doing things you hate for an owner you despise to pay rent to the landlord you resent.

Money was never my priority. There was a time I had none. I didn't care. I survived without it. It somehow appeared when I needed it. I have always pursued that which was important to me. I have found that by pursuing that which was important to me generated money as a side effect.

When I was an employer, and at one time I employed 1100 people worldwide, I was generous in terms of salary, bonuses, raises, profit-sharing, stock options, benefits, and conditions. But more importantly, I NEVER required anyone to WORK. I wanted everyone to enjoy the entire process. And they did (for the most part). It was fun and exhilarating for everyone (for the most part). Life is life. Of course, there were bumps and potholes and tumbles, but overall, to this day, people come up to me and tell me their time in my employ was the best job they ever had.

In my opinion, when you make money your God, you miss the bigger picture and that picture is about freedom, and creativity, and fulfillment, and abundance.

And that picture is not the exclusive domain of rich, fat-assed, hammock-dwelling, lazy worms like myself. It is EVERYONE'S birthright, even including you.


Have you tried preaching this credo to the person who has to clean the windows of your vedic mansion?

K. McColl

Mr. Gratzon, if I may intervene, Sadie is responding not to you as a person but to your persona as represented in your blog post--an entirely reasonable thing to do. She is responding to your ideas, which do seem like the ideas of an entitled, thoughtless nabob. Or rather--to be more specific--like the warmed-over, watered-down ideas of Ayn Rand, who advocated self-interest over altruism.

These concepts are dangerous for the reasons Sadie already noted, but it seems, Mr. Gratzon, that you are unwilling to hear them. So I will iterate: few people find repetitive, dirty jobs to be fulfilling, yet awful jobs must be done. More of these awful jobs exist than do people who would enthusiastically fill them.

One measure of the strength of a life philosophy is what would happen if everyone adopted it. On that criterion, Mr. Gratzon, your philosophy fails. Your assertions are disingenuous and offensive.


A worthwhile critique of work concept can be found at http://www.whywork.org/ , which takes into account the rigged scheme that keeps most people toiling while few get to reap the benefits of those others efforts. A critique of work without a social context is incomplete, imho.

Sadie has a good point that not everyone has Fred's luck. But beware of glorifying the "work ethic" which is usually the rhetoric of those employing others..

The problems are systemic.. to suggest those who are toiling to keep a roof over their head just have the "wrong mindset" is too facile.


Damn! were do you wankers come from?! You don't seem to realize that someone somewhere has to do hard work, unless society doesn't work! I don't know were you've got all your money from, but no-one comes to my door and says "Hi Reece, here's a loada money! Go knock yourself out on what ever you want!". All your doing it giving false hope to vulnerable people. I would also like you to expand on your idea that you don't care about money, yet in your article to put a large emphasis on getting rich?! WANKER!


I'm all for people making a concerted effort to do what they love, but this was presented in Office Space. What about janitors? What about garbagemen? What about people working at sausage rendering plants? Watch the show "Dirty Jobs" on the Discovery channel and tell me that those jobs would get done if everyone followed your philosophy. Or are you assuming that only a select class will be wise enough to listen to your advice? If you want clean streets, fresh sausage, and poop-free zoos, someone's gonna have to fail to live up to this objective of doing what makes them feel good. At that point, you're living the nice life by taking advantage of that person.


"What about janitors? What about garbagemen?"

Perhaps we can all clean up after ourselves instead of having some specialize in it.

Division of labour keeps unpleasant jobs unpleasant. If we all had to do it, we'd likely find a way to make it as unpleasant as possible. Or if tasks were rotated. Unfortunately, money has become the main social currency instead of building community and consensus. Consumerism, corporatism, institutionalized hierarchies, all play a part in keeping many chasing the dollar and "success" and increasingly isolated from one another.


"You are putting all the emphasis on money. That seems to be your priority and you conduct yourself accordingly. You are willing to sacrifice your life to get it."

Your reading comprehension is as impressive as your understanding of economics.

If you think that's what I'm saying you haven't read a word I've written.

Do you understand the irony of a rich guy who lives in a mansion telling working-class people they're silly for worrying about money all the time? Do you not understand that for 95% of the people in this country, if we don't worry about money we will ACTUALLY DIE without food, shelter or medical care?

People haven't "made money their god." People are trying to get money to pay for their medical bills and you're accusing them of focusing too much on making money. Working people aren't "making money" like you do, where you pile it up in a vault for a rainy day. Working people "make a living" which actually means making the money that it costs to stay alive and maybe keep your kids alive.

Do you simply not believe this is true?

If you are not being deliberately obtuse at this point, then I am actually astounded that you could possibly be as stupid as you seem.

I'm telling you that people don't have bread to eat and you're all "let them eat cake." The last person clueless enough to say that out loud had her head chopped off. As it should have been.

And I'm not "sacrificing my life" for anything. I actually enjoy the work I do. It is good for people. It makes things better. Stop trying to make this about me -- I'm not the one promoting my clueless arrogance as a get-rich-quick scheme.

The bottom line is, just because being rich makes you clueless and arrogant doesn't mean being clueless and arrogant will make other people rich.

Jeremiah Boyle


You lost me at the end with the "money takes care of itself" stuff. However, when you mention the fallacy that hard work inherently has value I am reminded of a favorite essay: Bertrand Russell's "In Praise of Idleness." I think anyone attracted to the spirit of your commentary here would do good to read it. Russell starts, as you do, with the assertion that "immense harm is caused by the belief that work is virtuous." He goes on to make a case for not abolishing work but reducing it to a minimum. He cites the situation in the United States during World War I when a significant fraction of our work force was either overseas or working to support the troops overseas. The remaining workers were able to supply all the food and goods needed to run the country--demonstrating that in times of peace we have an excess or labor. He goes on to suggest we institute a four hour work day, allowing each man to work less and erradicating unemployment.

Personally, I don't think your argument for laziness is sustainable. I don't like work--I do as little as I can. I agree, also, that doing what you love should be a top priority. I just feel that what you've written here will only serve to frustrate your readers. I think it is naive to think you can do only what is amusing to you and survive in this country. I can, however, subscribe to Russell's argument for a systemic reduction in work. He actually makes an arguable case: that we can all work less and maintain the level of comfort we currently enjoy.

If you haven't read it, I highly suggest Russell's essay.


This speaks volumes:

Fred's Top 10 Signs You're Made to be an Entrepreneur

8. You have the uncanny ability to get other people to do all the work.



Jeremiah -- thanks for citing Russell's essay.

It's true that we could all work a four-hour day and have a decent standard of living -- the reason that won't happen is because of people like Fred.

It's not enough for him to have a decent standard of living. He wants a vedic mansion.

That mansion cost more than a person making minimum wage could earn by working full time their entire life and saving every cent for the mansion.

So, it takes the work of many people -- probably dozens -- working full-time as hard as we can, for Fred to have his mansion.

That's why the rest of us have to work so much. Because there are a very few rich people who will starve us and kick us out of our homes if we don't keep working to buy them their mansions. They won't pay us enough to survive on four hours of wages per day.

If you measured the value your work actually creates, you would probably see that you earn your paycheck within 3 hours of walking in the office or factory door. The rest of the time you're working, you're buying Fred a mansion.

But don't think about that too hard, you shouldn't be too concerned with money, right Fred?

Fred Gratzon

You can throw insults at me and try to beat me down from now until the cows come home if that is what makes you happy. I don't care. I am merely suggesting an alternative to hard work. I know almost everyone works hard and does stuff he or she hates. Why else would I suggest an alternative?

If people insist they have to work to get money, fine, work all you want or need. I see it as a dead-end path. You will never be fulfilled as an individual going that route. But if you insist, then go ahead and work.

But if someone is looking for a way out of that cycle, then I have an alternative approach. There was a time I had no money. I found that by focusing on what I loved to do, money came as a side effect. I see a cause and effect relationship. But most people are hung up on money and are convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that if they take their laser-like gaze off money for even a fleeting moment, then their whole nutritional/medical/shelteral world will collapse. To me that seems like a tragic waste of human potential. But who am I? Just some clueless, worthless, ignorant, hypocritical, slouthful, insensitive, arrogant, smug, selfish, consumerist exploiter.



I'm 22 years old, and i just finished college. I have been working in a cubicle type job for about a half a year... I really feel like im wasting my time. I totally buy into what you are saying.

I am seriously considering saving up money so I can live for about 4 months...after i quit i just wanna goof around and do whatever it is that I think is fun. i.e. - play poker, play around on the internet, ebay, go out sell useless junk to people, go to parties and DJ, etc....

Is saving up money for a while and then embarking on this journey totally against your philosophy? Am I missing the point? What do you think?

I am also thinking of lying to the people that judge me on the basis of what i do for work. i.e. my family atleast until im comfortable telling people that i dont want or need to work... Is this idiot? against your philosophy?

miner man


Sadie - your venemous resentment of the rich is why we have this blind desire to make them pay all the taxes and to confiscate as much of their money as possible to give it to the more deserving poor. According to the IRS, the top 1% income level pays 34% of all taxes. The top 5% income level pays 54% of the taxes. The top 10% income level pays 66% of the taxes. So, Sadie, how much more money do you think is "fair" to take from these people? The remaining third of taxes are spread out among 90% of tax payers If you make 15,000 or less, you pay no taxes at all. President Bush's "tax cuts for the rich" has resulted in a doubling of tax revenues because of the extra investment and jobs created by those who got it. It is hard to give a tax cut to someone who isn't paying taxes in the first place. The truth is that you could confiscate even more from the rich and the extra amount available for poor people wouldn't make a dime's difference in their lives. But, the rich people would stop buying, stop traveling, etc. and a lot of poor people will lose their jobs. But, some would feel much better because the rich are getting soaked. How many poor people have you gotten a job from? The people you resent so much are the ones who create the jobs. Someone risks everything they have, starts a business, works like a dog building a business, hires people and Sadie thinks it is unfair that the business owner makes so much more than the employee who puts up no risk at all. The landlord you resent so much has to pay the mortgage on the place you rent or he will lose it to foreclosure and then BOTH of you will be worse off. My fiance grew up in Russia, and she can tell you how successful taking all the money away from people and distributing it "fairly" works.

The truth is, most of our hardships are our own fault through our own choices. People complain that greedy corporations outsource their jobs, but when they go to a store, they buy the Chinese import rather than pay more money for the USA made equivalent. What is a company to do if they have to pay more for wages and benefits in the USA and price themselves out of the market? People want high wages and benefits for doing as little as possible and then complain when they lose their jobs. They waste the money they have on luxuries and insist that they are necessities. I drive through the poor sections of town and I see 4X4 trucks, satellite dishes, big TV's, fancy wheels and stereos and fat unhealthy people who spend their money on junk food and want someone else to pay their medical bills. It doesn't dawn on them to live simply and save and invest their money to better themselves. It is easier to rail against rich people and society keeping them down rather than taking responsibility for their own lives. Our culture now is that everyone deserves everything regardless of the effort they put out. The truth is that most rich people earned it, not inherited it. They either started from scratch, or inherited a small business that they turned into a big one.

I grew up dirt poor and suffered so much physical abuse that I have permanent back and neck injuries from it. I also suffered through 4 years of intense sexual abuse that what I remember has brought professionals to tears and much of it was so bad my mind has blocked it out. Yet Sadie would resent me and call me lucky because I live in a nice house and drive a BMW convertible. She doesn't know the struggles I have been through because it doesn't matter to her. All that matters is her perceptions. I struggled through working so hard to make a living that I didn't have time to live. In the mid 80's I taught myself how to work on computers and in 1988 quit my job and went out on my own doing what I loved - working with computers. All of a sudden I made way more money than I ever did at my jobs. My customers are Sadie's hated rich people and greedy business owners. But, I take the old computers the rich people and businesses don't want, install Linux on them and donate them to poor families who need a computer but can't afford one. I make sure it goes to truly needy people, not someone who can't afford a computer to hook into their digital cable system.

So, Sadie, keep on resenting all the rich people that are the reason virtually everyone has any sort of job at all, resent those who don't feel that someone with no education or skills deserves 20.00 per hour plus benefits. Resent those who understand economics and that all jobs have a maximum value. Forget that entry level jobs are exactly that - jobs for people to hold while they are bettering themselves. Where the idea came from that clerking at a convenience store is a career that should pay enough to raise a family of five is beyond me. I could have given up and gone on welfare and complained that nobody was taking care of me, but I didn't. Divert your resentment of people who have made it and work with people to get them to understand that the best way to success is to take responsibility for it themselves rather than expecting someone else to give it to them.


"Our culture now is that everyone deserves everything regardless of the effort they put out. "


If wealth was proportional to hours worked, who would you think would complain the loudest?

If NO ONE worked (General Strike), who'd complain the loudest?

BTW, the renters are paying the landlords mortgage and then own nothing.

Its amusing when some complain about "business owner risk" when those living paycheque to paycheque often have little left over after sustenence to invest.

"People complain that greedy corporations outsource their jobs, but when they go to a store, they buy the Chinese import rather than pay more money for the USA made equivalent."

hehe.. where are these "USA made equivalent"? Those greedy employees.. how dare them expect enough salary to pay for housing and food..

John M.

"I believe everyone has the potential for greatness". "Each of us is beautifully unique and generously endowed with all the tools to be great." I'm sorry but this just isn't the case. I worked with at-risk individuals for years, and the sad fact is that many people just don't have the personal tools to make it in society. Most people have SOME gift, either they're very smart, or physically attractive, or tall, or hard working, or extroverted, or have a supportive familiy. Some people are fortunate enough to have several of these things. But frankly there are just some people who have none of that. It's not their fault, they just haven't been gifted with the tools to make it. The only one of these factors they can really control is hard work. Hard work without the other gifts will allow you to survive, but that's all.

Keith Ratner

I suggest we stop calling it work. The number one reply I receive from people when I suggest implementing any of my own entrepreneurial ideas (mind you- I'm still stuck in the rat race, but I'm striving to rewire myself into a successful business owner) is this: "...but it 's so much WORK!" That's certainly the stock answer when I discuss my ambitions of opening a restaurant. So, I vote for eliminating the word 'work' from our language entirely. Let's replace it with 'fun.' I'm finally at an age and have amassed enough real world experience where I can claim not to be a naive ignoramus. I think the paradigm needs to shift, and I sense that it is, in fact, in the process of shifting. In the meantime, I will continue to infect my world with these viral ideas. Seems to me you're doing the same thing- and I thank you. It's truly one of the most benevolent things you can do.


APERSON: Wealth ISN'T always proportional to hours worked, but to not take personal reponsibility for making oneself better won't get you anywhere either. Reward is usually proportinal to risk taken. If you want to be "safe", don't take risks and work for someone who was willing. In exchange for less risk, you get less reward. Like insurance, when you transfer the risk to someone else, there is always a price. Risk can be making a choice to teach yourself a new skill rather than doing something else. The reward may be a promotion, a better job, etc.

The landlord buys a place that can be rented and puts up money and risks losing the building if he can't rent it. Someone who can't afford to buy the building takes less risk and rents it and pays the landlord's mortgage. If he can't pay the rent, he moves out but doesn't lose the larger investment. By taking less personal and financial risk, he accepts a lesser reward of not having equity. What's wrong with that?

Your comment about "where are the USA made equivalents" only proves my point. They aren't there because consumers voted with their wallets and were unwilling to pay more so a local worker can keep his job. Companies are entitled to make a profit - that is the whole idea of going into business. If they can't make whatever profit they they want, they go out of business or move their operation somewhere else that allows them to be competitive. One can argue with the definition of "acceptable" profit but each business has the right to determine that for themselves as long as it isn't illegal. Immoral is too subjective a criterion such as a Muslim saying it is immoral to sell to a Jew. A society generally incorporates some of its morality into its laws. If you don't like that, move to a country with a matching morality or type of government. A business exists to make money for the owners and / or shareholders pure and simple. Any other motivation makes it a charitable organization. If someone risks money, time, years, etc. in building a business, they have a right to decide they want to make $250,000 per year or whatever. If you don't like it, start a competing business that only pays you $20,000 per year and underprice the "greedy" business. Oh, that's right....

People complain they don't have enough money to save or invest. Yet, they can afford their cigarettes, beer, junk food, toys, etc. I knew a couple that lived in a trashed mobile home and they told me the same thing. I took them under my wing and counseled them. I made them carry a notebook around and write down every single penny they spent for a month. Then, I took what they made, matched it up to what they spent and made sure it added up. It took two months for them to get it all to match up, but the results shocked them. They saw for the first time how much they wasted each month without realizing it. I had them sell their car and use the bus. No junk food, soda's, etc. If they were hungry, eat real food and they found they didn't get hungry again as quickly. If they were thirsty, drink water rather than soda. Every extra dime was put in savings and I called their creditor's and worked out arrangments to lower payments and stop penalties and interest from accruing. It took them a few years, but they are now living in a comfortable house with a reliable car, 30 pounds lighter and rarely go to the doctor anymore. They feel much better about themselves than they did before as well. They aren't rich, but they don't feel confined to poverty for the rest of their lives either. You don't HAVE to have cigarettes, beer, cell phones, televisions, fancy cars, Doritoes, etc. But you would be amazed at how many people THINK they have a right to them. I'm willing to bet a large majority of poor people fall into that category. My fiance says America has the richest poor people she's ever seen. She grew up with one doll to play with, never had a bike, walked everywhere, only had meat every week or so, no treats, and presents were few and far between. Try telling poor people here they don't have to have birthday and Christmas presents and see what reaction you get.

Most jobs DO pay enough for housing and food, just not the level of housing and food the person WANTS. Live in a dump with nothing for awhile and save every cent you can until you can afford something better. Use libraries and training centers to learn more and get better skills. There are free training centers and mentoring available just about anywhere. Get your butt out from in front of the TV or off the bar stool and spend that time enhancing your value to yourself and society. You might be surprised at how soon you aren't living paycheck to paycheck any more.

Often it is priorities and not pennies that make the most difference.

JOHN M: I agree there are some unfortunate people who are gift-challenged, but that is the exception rather than the rule. I'm glad I am not one of them, and I am sorry for those who are. But, that is an unfortunate fact of life and life isn't always fair. A blind person will never play for the NBA or drive in NASCAR. An ugly person will never be Miss America. Some people are born in Calcutta and some in America. There are things we can't control that are unfortunate. But, it is unfair to take a slim minority and try to tailor society to them and give those who just don't want to make necessary sacrifices an excuse to get others to pay their way. I'm not saying it is easy or fun. It certainly wasn't for me. But, I was the sole provider for my family with two children bringing home 600.00 per month and living in a trailer, and I was helping people out that made 3 or 4 times what I was making. How is THAT possible?! I eventually told them no more help because their problems weren't caused by lack of money but rather lack of discipline and I kept my own money for myself. They still make good money, and they still worry about losing their car.


Hey Matt. I wish you would check your misconceptions and resentments, but at least you're being honest about your attitudes toward poor people. Fred here is acting like he's giving them the secret to eternal salvation.

You said way too much, but I want to respond to two of your "points".

"The top 10% income level pays 66% of the taxes. So, Sadie, how much more money do you think is "fair" to take from these people? The remaining third of taxes are spread out among 90% of tax payers"

This is a joke, right? Because the number you left out is that the top 10% owns 71% of the wealth, so 66% of tax revenues isn't even their fair share, much less the agonizing burden you're making it out to be. Why should rich people pay less of a percent of their taxes than poor people? And do you really have a problem with people who make less than 15,000 a year not owing taxes? It makes sense that people who can afford to pay more, pay more, so that people who can't survive on any less can keep what they have. That's called CIVILIZATION.

Also, congratulations for realizing that poor people are fat. Do you think that's because they're stupid and greedy and eat everyone else's food, or because McDonalds is actually cheaper than cooking at home, and working two jobs to make ends meet doesn't leave any time to cook nutritious food for your family?

It never stops amazing me how people think that having more money than someone else makes them somehow morally superior and fit to preach about what they'd do if they were in that situation.

And WTF is with this b.s. about people deserving more money for "taking risks"?
By definition, if something is a risk, it doesn't pay off for a lot of the people who try it. If it's sure to improve your financial standing, then it's not a risk. Also people who talk about how they deserve money for taking risks take the least risks of all -- "risk" to them means a chance of losing half of their 200,000 or 20,000,000 savings. Risk for working-class people means being on the street. Do you really think it's a responsible decision to bet your family's continued food and shelter on a "risk"?

Avi Solomon

Otherwise one lives a life of regret, no matter how much money you end up with.
That's it, and I've seen poverty by living the first 19 years of my Life in Mumbai.The people living in the 'slums' there will teach you how to BE happy, something that seems to be missing a lot from the 'richer' countries.


Rich people don't "create" jobs. Rich people take labor value from working people, and it costs them a little bit of money to do that. In the process, a working person gets paid just enough money to give it to some other rich person in exchange for a place to live and hopefully health insurance. It's a scam and it's set up to benefit only the people who own things, and not the people who actually DO things.

There are people who risk their *lives* every day to help people, like firefighters and police.

Why should someone be entitled to $250,000 a year just because they risked some money they already happened to have, when people who risk their lives for the good of their communities don't make that much?

Our basic disagreement here is about how you value work. I think that work should be valued based on how hard it is, and on how much time of a person's life they are selling. Why is that unreasonable to you?

You, on the other hand, buy into the idea that the value of work is based on how people have "bettered themselves", which ends up basically being about class filters (like "must have college degree -- any degree will do")

What is your rationale for the fact that a 22 year-old who coasted through college on their parents' dime deserves to be paid more than a 22 year-old who has worked full-time cleaning office buildings since her 16th birthday? That's about class, pure and simple. It's not about "taking risks."

What is it about Fred that makes him so important of a person, so supremely deserving, that he is ENTITLED to the entire life's work of ten or twenty other people?

Ultimately, you don't have a sensible theory for placing a fair value on work at all. You're just sticking up for the system in use right now, which is rigged.

"the fact that a 22 year-old who coasted through college on their parents' dime deserves to ^will be paid more"


You sound very bitter Sadie. But I think someone who invents a labor saving device that enables 1000x more work to be done than before SHOULD be paid more than someone who, however noble it is in your perspective, faithfully does that thousandth bit of hard labor day after day. Yes there are class issues, but a hell of a lot less than the days of feudal lords. I came from a poor family, but I got a scholarship, went to college, and worked my way up. You wanna belittle me for having a lot of money now? I think Fred probably did the same, and he's encouraging others to do so as well. Well, and to buy his book. His whole laziness thing is a branding thing - but I agree that it's GOOD to give advice on ways to add enough value that you are paid much more than minimum wage. There is a lot of wealth in this world thanks to the advance of civilization, and a lot of strata in society to educate about taking hold of that wealth. I just don't see what choices you would have Fred make. Hold interviews with a few hundred minimum wage earners to look for hardest working and give all his money to them?


Sadie, I'm a 22 year old guy and although I respect a hard worker...I've got to say, I think your perception of the average college graduate is skewed. The entire time I was in college, I did 20+ credit hours M-F AND I worked the entire time 30-40 hours M-F in a hot factory doing manual labor and attended summer classes every year. It turns out about 80% of the students I graduated with had atleast a 20 hour a week job. I did not coast, I finshed with a 3.93 GPA and a B.S. in Engineering. No, mommy and daddy didn't pay for my college, I did it myself, and I'll still be paying for years to come most likely. I find it slightly insulting that you think, just because we go to work and sit in a cubicle now, that life was given to us in a neatly woven hand basket.

Anyways, this subject has not as much to do with how much you make, as compared to what you do with your time. He is simply saying, its more economical to spend most of your time doing things you enjoy rather than slaving away just to "survive"....

This sort of topic always reminds me of the movie Fight Club...Such a good movie.

miner man

The Preacher

In life, one has a choice. Either one can choose to be a victim, or one can choose to be a victor.

Things happen to victims. Victors make things happen.

The victim always searches for people, things and conditions to blame for their "bad fortune", while the victor always takes responsibility for their lives.

The victim lets their environment mould them, while the victor takes action and moulds the environment to suit themselves instead.

The victim will always criticise and tear down, while the victor will always encourage and build up.

The victim will always be poor in spirit, while the victor will always be rich in spirit.

It is unlikely that the victim will ever be financially rich, while it is very likely (but not neccessary always) that the victor is financially well off.

If you are a victim at the moment, it is due to your own self and your own thinking. But there is hope. It is quite easy in concept to become a victor (but the desire to become a victor needs to be there first). Here is the underlying formula:

Thoughts lead Feelings
Feelings lead to Actions
Actions lead to Results

So, the idea here is that you need to get your thoughts in order first before anything else will change.

If your thoughts are predominantly negative, your feelings will be negative too, which will affect your actions negatively, which would affect your results negatively as well.

If, on the other hand, your thoughts are positive, your feelings will be positive too, which will affect your actions postively, which will affect your results positively.

As you can see, it all starts with your thoughts. It is very obvious to see which people in this post see themselves as victims and which people see themselves as victors. The choice is 100% up to you whether you see yourself as a victim or a victor. I believe that Fred is a victor. And a very strong one at that. I also believe that quite a few people have misunderstood Fred's message. If I am right, Fred's message is:

Follow your passion. Then, whatever you do will not seem like work, but will feel like heaps of fun and fulfilment. Other people may think that you are "working" hard because you are putting so many hours into it, but the fact is that you are enjoying it so much, that you dont even see the time ticking by.

I know this is not an ideal world, but in an ideal world, everyone will follow their passion and everyone's passions will be different. If everyone's passions were to be followed, all the neccessary "work" will be done in order to keep the world going.

That's my 5 cents worth anyway!




Oh, I forgot to respond to this gem: "How many poor people have you gotten a job from?"

About two million. I work for a labor union. Most of the people I work for earned close to minimum wage before they united for a voice in their working conditions.

"I think someone who invents a labor saving device that enables 1000x more work to be done than before SHOULD be paid more than someone who, however noble it is in your perspective, faithfully does that thousandth bit of hard labor day after day."

Why? Is it really more difficult to invent something than it is to work on an assembly line? And thanks to rich people, there is no such thing as a "labor saving device". It's a profit-making device. The device you describe doesn't mean anyone gets to do 1/1000th the work. It means that one person works as hard as they always had to, 999 people are now unemployed, and Fred buys another six mansions with what he would have paid them.

"Yes there are class issues, but a hell of a lot less than the days of feudal lords."

Yes, and I hear American waterboarding is not as painful as the way Saddam did it.

What's that? Fred laid you off so he could afford another maid? Suck it up, it's better than feudalism!

I used to feel bad for calling people douchebags on lifehacker, but then I figured, hey, what the hell, it's not like I'm a feudal lord or something! I mean lighten up!!!


Hey Sadie

I reckon you can stop stirring now. I also reckon that you are playing devil's advocate and that you secretly admire Fred.

Just the fact that you are hitting out against him so hard is evidence that you are trying to cover up something.

C'mon now. It's time to say something nice.



You're right. And what I admire even more than Fred, is the name "Coolman."


Sadie, Sadie, Sadie! Did you not read anything I wrote? I don't consider myself morally superior because I have more money than someone else. The Mafia are rich, but certainly are not morally superior to anyone. When I talk about what to do, I speak from personal experience. I suffered horrible physical and sexual abuse, I was in abject poverty. I have clinical depression and tried to commit suicide four times and nearly succeeded three of them. I had cars repossessed. I had the Sheriff show up at my door and tell me to leave while they locked the door behind me. I stood on the street corner with a sign asking for money. I never went to college, so I have no college degree to be "lucky" with. I have experienced everything that should have condemned me to victimhood and not being able to get ahead. But I practiced what I preach and pulled myself out of it. So... do you think I have no idea what poor people go through and have no right to comment upon it??? I give back by helping people who are poor as I can and as I feel they need. I am not going to give away my valuable time to help someone who refuses to do what is necessary to get ahead or just wants to sit around and bemoan their fate. I told you about one of the families I have helped, but there are more. Not all poor people are fat, but many are because they make poor choices in diet. They guzzle junk food and soda like it's going out of style and then complain about being sick all the time. The truth is, you can buy good food with your food stamps and make up quick and easy meals ahead of time and put them in the freezer so you only have to warm them up. Get the kids away from their video games and TV and have them help. I'm just saying that too many people refuse to make any sacrifices at all, but complain about their lot in life. It doesn't dawn on them or others that maybe working three jobs isn't the answer. Being smarter with their choices can often take the place of a job! Take the kids to the park for free, shut off the cable, stop the junk food and snacks, stop smoking and drinking, walk or take the bus more. I lived on practically nothing for a long time. I didn't have a rich relative to give me money to start my business - I took the risk that I wouldn't make it and did it on my own. Most people I know that have their own businesses scraped everything together they had and sold everything they could to get the capital to go into business. They worked long, hard hours to build it up. Years later they finally succeeded and hired people who think they have it easy and take advantage of their employees while the owner drives a Lexus. They don't see the junky cars and macaroni and cheese they subsisted on while they waited for their business to succeed. The facts are that most businesses fail in the first five years, so it IS a risk to go out on your own, and there is nothing wrong with getting a good reward for that risk. Why do you, Sadie, and so many others think that wealth is a zero sum game? Just because Fred, or I, or anyone else makes a dollar doesn't mean that dollar is taken from someone else! There is not a cruel formula that says for every rich person there must be 10 poor ones. If Fred buys another mansion, a lot of people get paid good money to build it. Yes, there are those who are fortunate born and don't have to work for their money, but that is more rare than people want to believe.

The truth is, skill is rewarded more than effort. A house painter and a great artist may work the same hours at their craft, but the great artist will probably make more money. I work 12 to 15 hours a day on my computer writing programs and learning new things to make my services more valuable to my clients. I would love to do other things sometimes, but I don't. I set aside time for my family and get up at 4:30AM to get more work in. I am usually the only Dad at my kids activities because of the choices I make. There have been times when it has cost me $200.00 to attend a swim meet because someone else did a job that I wouldn't do because it would mean disappointing my child. Oh, well... more work came along and made up for it and more.

As far as unions are concerned, look how much good they have done for their workers. They are pricing their members out of the market and union membership is plummeting. I always refused to join unions.

71% of the wealth is owned by a relatively few people, but that doesn't make it evil or wrong. Bill Gates gives away billions of dollars of his money as do many other wealthy people. Put 1000 people on an island and give them all the exact same amount of money and things and in a few years you will have poor people and rich people because some people know how to manage their money and work, and others don't. It's just the way it is, and nothing we do will ever change basic human nature.

I don't hate poor people - I was one of them! I hate people who refuse to do what is necessary to lift themselves up because they want to do other things instead. If that is what they want to do, they must live with their choices, and not try to make me feel guilty because I didn't make those same poor choices. It's not a zero sum game - there is plenty of money out there for everyone. Saying the system is rigged is baloney. There are myriad ways to pull yourself up without having to belong to a good ol' boy's network. You just have to figure it out and then go for it. Most of the rich people I know have many failures behind them where they lost everything but they dusted themselves off and risked it all again until they made it. I think they deserve a good reward for that and I'm not jealous one bit.


Wealth is a zero sum game. It is exactly a zero sum game. If you own a business and you give an employee a $100 bonus one month then you have $100 less left over for yourself. If you have a way around this that doesn't involve crapping money out of Fred's magical money-crapping butt, please explain it.

Fred having his mansion built didn't create more wealth or give anyone good jobs. It made a rich contractor a little richer, and the contractor paid a lot of poor people probably less than minimum wage to actually do the work. In the end, a lot of people did a lot of work, and Fred has a million dollar house to show for it.

There is only so much money (which is what we use in this society to measure the value of anything) to go around, and money is worth less when you print more.

The only reason America, as a country, gets richer as a whole, is by extorting resources out of other countries for deflated prices by threat of force. And when I say America gets richer, I mean the sum total of America's riches, not the median wealth, which is actually going down.

You are right about one thing -- there IS plenty of money for everybody. But it's not just "out there", as you say, growing on trees. Fred's got it.


Sadie will just never get it. You are going to go through your whole life angry and jealous and convinced you have no chance of getting ahead. It is obvious you have a lot invested in feeling victimized and ripped off. I have friends who are contractors, and if paying someone $15.00 per hour to put up drywall is ripping them off, well that is a pretty good rip-off rate. Guess what, Sadie? That contractor may be rich, but he works hard and studied and got his contractors license. Not every business owner is out to screw everyone who works for them. Most business owners realize that their greatest asset is the employee, and a happy employee is better for everyone. If you provide value for the company, you get the $100.00 bonus and the owner doesn't care that there is $100.00 less for himself. But, that $100.00 didn't come from some other person's pocket - it came from his own. When I said wealth isn't a zero sum game I meant that just because someone is rich doesn't automatically mean that another person is forced to be poor. A business owner divides the company money among himself and his employees. Yes, he takes a greater cut for himself, but it is his business, he is providing the jobs and is paying the bills, worrying about bringing in sales, etc. He should get more money because of that. But, if he rips off his employees, he won't have much of a business left. Are there exceptions? Of course! But the good employers far outweigh the bad.

You are right - when Fred builds his mansion, a lot of people did a lot of work and Fred has a mansion to show for it. Duh!! :) That is what business is all about! A lot of people had work that they otherwise may not have had. If you managed to make it so most of Fred's money was confiscated since he doesn't deserve it, those workers would have seen virtually no difference in their lives except they didn't have any work at all. Good job, Sadie. Services are provided for someone who needs them and that person pays for it. I cleaned construction sites for awhile, and it is very difficult work, but I didn't look at it as a career choice but as a stepping stone. I didn't resent what I was paid, I was grateful for what I was paid and I knew that picking up junk didn't deserve the same pay as an electrician or other skilled work. So what? I could choose to complain about how hard I had to work and how little I was being paid, or I could save my money while making myself better so I could move on to a better income and that is exactly what I did.

America getting richer by extortion is a bunch of crap. The leaders of other countries meet and beg us to weaken our dollar so they can import goods into our country. Have you noticed all that Iraqui oil pouring into the USA? I didn't think so! We have actually caused wages to increase in the countries we do business with and working conditions have improved dramatically. Yes, there are many abuses and bad things that happen in other countries, but when they come to light, we step in and try to get them corrected. Look at the iPod deal with Apple. It came out that the workers making iPods in Taiwan were working in sweat shop conditions, and Apple investigated and is demanding changes in hours, wages and condition. Pretty terrible, huh? We go into countries and build factories that pay people three times what the average person made before. That is really terrible! The wages may be poor compared to what we are used to, but it is much better than what they are used to. The cost of living is way less, so the money goes farther. The world isn't perfect, but I firmly believe it is better because of us. We could pull everything out of these countries and they would be devastated.

So, Sadie, continue to live your life to its emptiest. Be angry for the rest of your life at all those unfair rich people that only want to rip you off and keep you down. Eat yourself up with jealousy and resentment. In the meantime, people like me will choose to rise above our circumstances and make something of ourselves by doing exactly what you say can't be done. I really do pity you I see in you what I could easily have been and I am so glad I chose not to be that way. I guess I was just too dumb to know that I had no hope and that everything was stacked against me. I didn't realize that everyone was rigging the system to ensure I stayed poor. I was sadly unaware that Fred had my money and didn't want me to have any for myself. I just went out and did what you think can't be done. I'll continue to help those I can to make something of themselves rather than wallow in their misery as you would have them believe they have to. I'll try to help them realize that people like you are wrong and that the whole world isn't out to screw them over. I'll show them how to make money that you think Bill Gates, Fred and I are zero summing away from them. It doesn't make me any better than you, but I think it does make me a whole lot happier.

Michael M.

"Funds Flee the Fearful" and fear manifests itself in many forms...resentment, jealousy, envy, etc. What is really the issue are differences of core beliefs about oneself, the world and universe at large. One sees the universe and themselves as abundant and prosperous regardless of outward appearances and another sees nothing but lack and limitation. Each are getting EXACTLY what they give their focus and emotions too. Looked at this way, I conclude the universe is ALWAYS abundant. It gives you an ABUNDANCE of what you give your faith, focus and emotion....an abundance of poverty or abundance of wealth.

Mark Luyk

Hi Fred,

How are you?
It has been some time since I visited your blog. I was contemplating whether I want to be called "Boss" or "President" or "CEO" or ... ;-)

I thank you for giving us the tour of your house. It definitely has some characteristics of my dream house and emanates a very peaceful atmosphere.

Create and enjoy a wonderful day!



Hey Mark,
How about the fear?
Fear of being on the street?
Fear of being disowned by family and friends? Feear of being some radical, lazy nut, a free-loader....
This 'working hard for a living' is deep in the consciousness of the world.

I believe everything you say, but I feel like it's a radical, revolutionary idea.
"We don't have to toil" - What a concept!
Would you write about the steps to getting there,Give us tips for the first small steps, or maybe it needs to be a radical shift, I don't know... I believe it's a process... trusting that loving what i do and doing what I love and that it can feel effortless.
I desperately want work that doesn't feel like work.

Toronto, Canada

Brad Sherwin

Fred says:
"I don't believe in work and I don't do it and I don't ask/require anyone else to do it for me."

I say:
I guess that nice home built itself. The pool must have magically appeared. Or maybe digging the pit and laying the bricks was only done by people who love manual labor. They consider it non-work.

Hey-- I'm not knocking you for finding a way to make money using your mind instead of your muscle. People should aspire to it. However, don't sugar-coat it to the point of suggesting that everyone could or should do it.

To paraphrase Office Space-- It's bullshit because no one would clean up vomit for a living if they had the choice. Here's a quick list of things we'd live without in your utopia:
* Nursing home workers (I don't know anyone who finds it rewarding watching old people slowly die and changing adult diapers).
* Roads (good luck finding enough people who enjoy laying cement for 12 hours a day in the hot sun).
* A clean neighborhood (my idea of a great day does not involve emptying other people's trash cans. How about you?)
* Democracy (China is more than willing to make every little thing we don't feel like manufacturing... and then cripple us economically when we can't produce anything on our own)

Michael M.


I don't know...I've never heard of one case in America where anyone had a gun put to their head and forced to clean up vomit for a living, change adult diapers, lay cement for 12 hours a day, empty other people's trash cans, dig swimming pools or do anything against their will (unless they are work-detail prisoners, perhaps)

Fact is, there are some people who actually enjoy doing these things and have fun doing it! These are the people who are wealthy regardless of what they do or how much money they have (being wealthy and having money are two different things)

Sadly, most people who accept these type jobs go into it knowing full well what they are getting into and spend every waking hour begrudging it, moaning and complaining all day, etc without ever thinking about the fact that they have the power to change their situation at any time of their choosing. If they don't enjoy it...they should QUIT and do something they really want to do, for christ sake!

This notion of "I have to" is laughable. No one HAS to do anything they don't want to do. It is always a choice. If you don't like what you do, take the actions necessary to get you to something you really want to do.

Scott M

I'm afraid I'm the one who started this whole mess.

I responded to the previous post, saying his advice wasn't practical. I didn't mean for the discussion to get so personal and vindictive.

I know Fred was trying to be inspirational. And I guess I'm too cynical because I have a problem with inspirational speeches. They tend to gloss over all the dirty little details.

My point was simply this: Some people have the ability to follow their dream no matter what. But most of us prefer the stability and comfort that goes with a regular tolerable job. Happiness with a dream job is often overshadowed by unhappiness with a lack of money. The net result is a general unhappiness (no matter how much you like your job).

That is why I say that you should not automatically expect your job to provide you with most of your personal fulfillment.

Fred has a personality that loves risk and doing thing that most of us consider hard work.

But even HE must realize that he is unique.

And giving advice that YOUR way of doing things is what everyone else should do, when you KNOW that you are different than everyone, is just naive.


Matt is right: wealth creation is NOT a zero-sum game!


Also, this is the definition from the Economist magazine:


When the gains made by winners in an economic transaction equal the losses suffered by the losers. It is identified as a special case in GAME THEORY. Most economic transactions are in some sense positive-sum games. But in popular discussion of economic issues, there are often examples of a mistaken zero-sum mentality, such as “PROFIT comes at the expense of WAGES”, “higher PRODUCTIVITY means fewer jobs”, and “IMPORTS mean fewer jobs here”.

Take it from economists - the people who have studied wealth creation the most - the zero-sum mentality is mistaken!


I'm loving the on going discussion. I think we should all strive to do something that we enjoy doing. That way we have real WORK rather than just a JOB.

There's some good info on the abundance of the universe and what not at www.ScienceofGettingRich.net. It's pretty interesting stuff and could provide the paradigm shift that some of us need. Check it out Sadie!


Roger - Good info, but it won't make any difference to people like Sadie. They are too invested in the idea that there is a vast system out there dedicated to keeping her and everyone else downtrodden. The fact that Economist's say that wealth creation is NOT a zero sum game is immaterial and is in fact further proof of their conspiracy. If Sadie accepts these facts, she will have no more excuses for herself and those she claims to champion who don't have success in life. As long as they can convince themselves that it is only luck and fraud that gives undeserving people wealth and the wealth comes at other's expense, then they don't have to accept personal responsibility for themeselves. It is so much easier to blame society for your position than to look at yourself in the mirror and admit you are just lazy or don't want to make any sacrifices.


I think the problem with this article and many articles of this nature is that a lot of crucial backgroung info is left out.

Fred must have done something to get all his wealth. Unfortunately we arent given the information. You cant have a business with 1100 employees by sitting on a hammock. Where is the background information? He must have done something.

If you own a store and decide to keep it closed the entire day you arent going to make money. Now if you open the store and people come in and buy from you even if G-d brought you all your customers you still have to do some level of work.

Fred, you must have done something to have a business with 1100 staff. You must have done something to get that mansion. We're not talking about the lack of work once you have millions. We are talking about the work that got you to the millions. Put up a post on everything you did, who you worked with, and show us that you didnt really work hard.

I believe anyone could become wealthy but you need two things to get there: A strong will and hard work. Read Steve Pavlina's blog.


Below is taken from Fred's website. Is anyone really going to tell me that he didnt work his butt off those 9 years turning it into a business. What about the first year working in his "spare room" getting the business to take off. Even if he had so much fun doing it (which I doubt was fun the first year worried that you cant feed your family) in the end its still work. Its really not fun when wealthy people claim its so easy to be wealthy. Wealth requires work unless your extremely talented as Fred seems to be.

"So again with no money and no knowledge or experience in anything else, Fred started Telegroup in a spare room of his house. He simply wanted to support his family (wife and one-year old son) while he thought of what to do with the rest of his life.

Over the next nine years, what started as a simple, one-man operation grew to become a global telecommunications company with 1100 employees, 250,000 customers, and over $300 million in annual sales."

Seamus Anthony

With all due respect - I wonder how many of the nay-sayers above have even read the book? Surely, by way of selling the book, Fred is holding a key concept or two back from casual readers of this blog (not a criticism - this is just a sensible marketing strategy). Therefore, how can you knock what the guy is saying if you do not actually know what this is?

Most of us start out poor and otherwise disadvantaged, me included. So what? That's just life.

Lighten up. If you did you would see, as I have, that this act in itself actually makes moving from poverty to wealth much much easier. And did you (the detractors) ever consider that this man might have something to teach you? Maybe he does, maybe he doesn't, but if you are so outraged then it is probably a sign that you would get something out of the book one way or another.

Got no money to buy the book? That thought is a square - think outside it. Peace.


I had read most of these posts above, although i have failed to make my first business profitable i paid and will pay my workers three times average paycheck in industry, but only if that person has something that other working person has not (for example i had a programmer who is now my friend who knew functional programming like no one else), and it was not a problem to give him appropriate paycheck and i will give him again that kind of paycheck for job in my new business venture.
For all of you who say you need people to make sausages, make roads, take garbage, serve burgers... well there is a remedy that will change all that ... robots (don't make a rant) but all those jobs can be leveraged by AI (build once produce many), there are many solutions that AI can solve (for example produce new patent, medicine, fulfill accounting jobs, streamline entire production and shipment, even replace some CEO functions - this is all current technology, and it's coming to fruition even more in the future, South Korea is thinking to implement 100% robotization in Korean families to help elderly, children and normal people by 2025., also you have already self-(thinking)diving cars that can reach 300 Miles on dusty only-for-camels roads in DoD project.
As Fred said use LEVERAGE.
For all the other folks that don't use leverage i can only predict well-fare if the y don't adjust (most of today kids that work and will work at Mc's and think geeks are just geeks and nothing more - well geeks will rule the world for your info...)



Oh by the way, Fred has all the
needed stuff for a GEEK,
we like to play(with ideas), don't
like to work, like to brake things
and put them together.




I must allso say another thing, my family has a single property worth over US$700,000, and the average paycheck here is US$500. By the way that unfortunately 3/5th's of the family are clinically insane(such area arround me in my youth was one of the worst experiences and best schools of life) i see that it's only in the head that you have value! For example the property i mentioned above is actually an down rotten 500 square meter house that is actually a SHACK - and it's worth a lots of money, now i thought to my self what if my family was normal, what if they put their heads together, how much would such property worth, well it would worth at least five times more, but no.. the rest of the family is better off playing mad (which they DO unufortunately, they ARE PLAYING MAD), recieve basic social benefits, and live off others back(mostly my mother's) - rather than produce something and with what they have be financially whery well off.....
You see, it's not in the inheritance, it's not in the work(you can leverage), it's in the heads. People are more liking to slack off and pretend to be disadvantaged(this is not meant for really disadvantaged people who really need all the help we can offer them- financial and moral), they pretend something - to be PRINCESSES,dames, gentlement....
They don't like to fight(i don't like to fight eather, but i will never surrender from my dreams, i hope neither will 1% of you who REALLY want to make a mark surrender).

well i think i said a little too much jibberish, but i hope to make a point

Hayden Shumsky

I'm not certain that I agree with every single point that you make, but I do fully support your idea of doing what you love. Bringing fun and experience to the idea of purpose and passion makes for an almost perfect approach to anything in life but especially for careers. I've written a series of posts on my blog called, "Finding Work You Love," that I think would be useful to your readers. Please take a look at www.haydencoach.com/2006/01/23/finding-work-that-you-love-part-1/
I hope that it's helpful.


While we are sharing resumes, here's mine:

Summer 1998-Winter 1999: Looked for a job and had no success

Winter 1999: Found a job as an IT guy and got fired after a month. Too Lazy. showed up late for work. Fell asleep in the middle of the day.

Summer 1999: (Got married) Paper and Plastics business.
Worked for my father in law. Fell asleep during the day. No success in sales. Too Lazy.

Winter 2000: Worked for an IT guy. Let go after a month. unproductive.

Winter 2000 - Summer 2000: Looked for a job.

Summer 2000: Worked for my father inlaw again but still unsuccessful. No sales. Lazy again.

Fall 2000 - Fall 2005: IT guy for Hospital.
Finally got a full time JOB. Showed up late. Left early. Too Lazy. Never got promoted. Dreaded going to work. But I had a salary and I still did my work.

Winter 2001 - Spring 2005: Worked on my MBA part time while I worked at the hospital. Dreaded writing papers. Became extremely frustrated. Threatend to quick a zillion times. Failed tests. Somehow I got my MBA. No laziness here. For the cost of an MBA you better work.

Spring 2005 - Fall 2005: Despite having an MBA I simply could not find a new job that I would enjoy and make more moey.

Fall 2005: Got layed off from work with 5 months severance.

Winter 2006: Worked from home as a IT sales guy for someone who convinced me to work with him because he has made so much money. Made a few hundred dollars in commission in almost eight months of work. LAzy. Start late. Always tired. Not too interested.

Summer 2006: Back to my father in-law. This time I might make something. But I am still lazy.

So there you have it. In ten years of being lazy I made no real money. Despite my laziness I havent been able to acquire the millions like Fred. The only time I made anything was when I had a JOB. All my laziness got me absolutely no where. Oh yeah and the money didnt just come. Thank God I have in laws and parents who helped and still help my family and me out. But our bank account is draining.

So please Fred and the others here who share his view, enough BS with this "laziness" theory.

Fred Gratzon

I sympathize with your frustration. You are not alone. Most people see laziness in only one dimension. That is why I wrote my book (and my blog). I happen to see a glorious side to laziness and I felt the need to set the record straight.

I am well aware that when most people do less they accomplish less. And because that is their everyday experience, they have concluded that doing nothing must be a bad thing if they want to accomplish something. Unfortunately, most people don't know how to be lazy (and do less) properly. There is a magical way of doing less that actually accomplishes more. When you learn this marvelous paradigm-shifting approach, the sky is the limit.

But if you reject my concepts even before you study them deeply, I am afraid that all you will have to look forward to will be a job that you hate and/or are not very good at with your father-in-law. The saddest part is that your considerable gifts will go undeveloped and your dreams will go unrealized. You deserve better.

AJ, shun those who point only to the dark side of Laziness. Seek the "light side" and prosper.

Robert J Alphenaar

Sue: Please don't type in all caps -- it is very difficult to read. Honest.

(1) Wealth is NOT a zero sum game. Really. Ask any economist.

(2) The standard of living is going up everywhere. I've been to China and believe it or not the people who make all the stuff that makes us "greedy and decadent" are better off now than they were before. They voluntarily work long hours for low wages because it is better than working 16 hours on a farm in the interior of China and still starving.

(3) Fred did not TAKE his money from anyone. He offered goods or services and people willingly gave him money for them (Although I'm still unsure what those goods and services are). The guy who unclogs Fred's sewer is not exploited -- he offers Fred a service and is voluntarily paid. The whole system works pretty well.

(4) Your statements about the labor saving device only making 1 person rich and 999 unemployed are simply ignorant. Please speak to any economist!

Here is a simple example: There is an isolated village with 10 inhabitants. They eat only fish and the fishing is difficult, so it takes all 10 people all day to catch enough fish to eat. One day, one of the villagers, call him Fred, invents a net (or some other labor saving device) so that now one person can catch fish for all the 10 villagers. In your world 9 people are unemployed and this is a bad thing. But what really happens (at least in capitalist democracies) is that one villager, Bob, learns how to build huts and in exchange for fish builds one for Fred. Another villager explores the island and finds fruit and trades some for Fred’s fish and some for a hut from Bob. Other villagers take up art, weaving, software development, plumbing, dentistry, etc.
Pretty soon, instead of subsisting on fish, everyone has a balanced diet, shelter, good teeth and an ipod.
So, if Fred has a bigger hut than the other villagers, is that really a bad thing?

I think you have confused everyone by saying that you “don’t work”. The reality is that you do work, probably very hard at times – you just don’t’ hate it. You are right, everyone should do what they love, and I think most actually do, to some degree or another.

Thanks for the eloquent defense of capitalism.

I know it is easy to find fault in America and the world, but, this is as good as it gets, as good as it ever has been.
We are all freer, healthier, less discriminated against and have more opportunity than any people in the history of the world!
If you think I’m wrong, please tell me a better place and time.


hey "rob j alphenaar" the US is not as good as it gets according to the UN's HDI (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Development_Index)

i am constantly shocked and disgusted watching American TV shows where people cannot pay for medicine etc. etc. I'm not saying your country is that bad but you really need to wake up and realise the poor have it REALLY tough in your country. Unimaginably tough from where i'm standing.

good luck selling your book fred, you're twisting the definition of laziness (it now apparently means working hard at something you enjoy) and I'm sure there's plenty of desperate, easily manipulated people ready to pay you. Maybe they'll subsequently waste their lives swinging in a hammock awaiting the flood of money coming there way "because they deserve it."

i hope that all the blinkered "you get what you deserve" capitalists will one day understand that bad things can happen to good people, and look outside their own neighbourhoods before making an assessment on how well everyone is doing. I know there's plenty of poor, cancerous single mothers living on the streets who will be a lot happier now they know they're only getting what they deserve.

you guys are such nice people!

Robert J

My question still remains: where and when is life any better?

American TV shows and films are entertainment, not, reality.

US news shows work very hard to find 23 minutes worth of the worst things that happen in a country of 300 million people.

Do you really know even one homeless single mom in the US?
Do you have any idea how many social programs that are available to help poor and sick people?
Did you know that EVERY resident of the US has access to FREE medical care? -- We don't have a socialist "single payer" system, but a system of clinics, charities and government hospitals.
Do you know how many people dying (literally and figuratively) to get INTO this country?

Trust me, if Michael Moore lived in your country, he would hate it there and produce films highlighting and distorting all your social problems.


several people have pointed out that that there are jobs we all rely on that no one does because they are passionate about them. sewer work, garbage collecting, factory work - there are plenty of crappy jobs that someone has to do. it is a fine goal to find something to produce income/benefits by doing something that one finds personally/spiritually rewarding, but few of us can do that. (and it is a particularly middle-class american attitude - not many in the third word even have the opportunity to read this blog much less invest time discovering their bliss)it is arrogant to look down on the people who wait on us in restaurants, or sweep the aisles at the supermarket because they are "stuck" doing "work." the underwear you wear were made by someone in a factory running a machine, someone "working." if we all followed our bliss, the world economy would come to a grinding halt. and there would be no one to make the hammock you laze in. on the other hand, we all should be encouraged to find things in life that feed our souls and bring us joy and fulfillment, even if they don't provide adequate income or the health benefits our complex lives require. if we're really really lucky, doing those things that feed the soul might someday replace the "work." i think it is not so much finding work that feeds the soul as it is finding soul in the work we do. i am a phone operator- a menial job that anyone can do. not a lot of soul-feeding going on. but i can do it because i can find and develop other parts of my life that feed my soul. i will get off my high horse, but maybe fred needs to get out more.


and another thing, your comment:

Did you know that EVERY resident of the US has access to FREE medical care?

it is most certainly not free. my health insurance premiums, that i pay by working, are higher to cover the cost of providing health care to people who cannot pay for it, the taxes that get taken out of my paycheck go to support those "free" social programs. there ain't no free. and the people who are emptying the bed pans at those "free" clinics probably consider it work, but, bless them, they still do it.

Fred Gratzon

This is Fred responding to the above comment from Stephen:

I am not looking down on people who do menial jobs. People are in those positions for a variety of reasons and they gotta do what they gotta do. What I am saying is that if you want to be SUCCESSFUL, you will not get there by working.

Hating work could and should be turned into an advantage. Hating work should motivate you to find a way to get the job done without your having to do it. That, then, will bring you enormous success. But actually your doing the work yourself will never be an avenue for success. It is a deadend street that leads to misery, sickness, and a hand-to-mouth existence.

Matthew Wallace

I just wanted to let everybody know that there are people who enjoy "low level" jobs. I for one work as a janitor in a theater, and I love it.

There is no fame as you are usually the only person in the building. There is not much money but money is not that important and I live quite happily. There are dirty and disgusting parts cleaning toilets and urinals, but they always end up clean!

There is great satisfaction during the six to eight hours of fun "work". (or laziness if you prefer but I believe this is a misnomer that causes some people that have not fully captured the concept to misunderstand your deeper meaning) At the end of your shift the water in your mop bucket is dirty and you are dead tired.

Some would call it a Zen moment but the world could never be or feel more perfect then the moment when you enjoy the job that gives you your humanity back.

There will always be people cleaning sewers, building mansions and paving streets. Some do it because they "MUST do it or else they will surely DIE" and some do it because it gives them pleasure or a sense of accomplishment.

I will probably never own a mansion or a fast car, but a full life should never be about amassing physical things, it is not as if you can take them with you. They are just "bonuses" on certain roads of life. I do not complain that others have more than I do and I do not envy them, for I know that they worked VERY hard for it and they are entitled to what they EARNED.

Find the job you like and you will not be another victim struggling to survive. Each and every job pays enough to survive in a proper capitalist system, otherwise those jobs would not get done because their employees would die, so they pay the minimum needed to maintain their workforce. This is capitalism at work.

As a parting word, enjoy the mansion, car, wife, kids and your happy long life because you earned it! And anybody who wants a similar existence can have it too, even a lowly janitor...


Ruth Oguhebe

wow, so this really does work!!!!!!!!!!!


The problem with working for a paycheck is the money comes in SO SLOWLY that you can never get ahead.

At a job, you'll ONLY make just enough to live on. You'll NEVER EVER get rich working a 9-5 job. There are many people who think that if they save money over the years then ONE DAY they can have enough to live the way they want to... It will NEVER happen.

What is the main thing most people do if you gave them a good paying job???

They go out and FINANCE a New Car, they go out and Barrow money for a HOUSE, they go out and GO DEEPER IN DEBT!!!

They they forget about INFLATION.

The cost of living is ALWAYS going up at about 4-5% a year. SO unless your making THREE TIMES what you need for Food, Housing, Gas, Transportation, Clothing, TAXES on everything you buy, Extra stuff you waste money on, etc. There is no way possible to get ahead.

Society is structured so there will ALWAYS BE an underclass of WORKERS who cannot afford to live and how MUST work to survive.

The only way you can win the game is to buy something for XX amount of dollars, then sell it for 3 times what you paid for it.

This is the ONLY WAY to get ahead. You have to get something for 1.00 and sell it to someone else for $10.00 or more and do it over and over.

ffxiv gil

Being left wanting is often the sign that it is worth reconsidering a presumptive goal. Perhaps the capitalistic ideal isn't as satisfying as you thought it would be ?

Shed Plans

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