By Bryce Jackson
Superficially, one would not be inclined to call me “successful.”
A cooking career that will keep me working until I am dead and a budding writing career that gets me published a lot and paid a little (very little) doesn’t sound like something to aspire towards; correct?
But hold on, wait a second….
For those that follow me on social media, you know two things: I hate cooking for a living, and I am never wanting for a job.
But how is that? I am a loud, obnoxious and ill-tempered man who despises his customers so much that he writes short stories about how much they exasperate him. How have I not been fired?
The writing brings its detractors and critics also.
To say that my “common-man” approach to writing hasn’t given me a laundry list of critics – ever-ready to take a proverbial shit on me with every new article – would be an utter and absolute lie.
So then how, in the name of all that is good and holy, have I pulled this off?
Simple: I increased my value!
What does that mean exactly? (I am assuming you, the reader, are asking that… hopefully.) Let me break it down for you…
First, I developed a skill (cooking).
This part takes a while so I would suggest developing whatever skill you choose during your twenties. Your brain will be more receptive and (on the mornings that necessitate it) will recover from hangovers faster. (If your twenties are anything like mine, this will happen more often than you may wish to admit.)
Second, I moved to an area where such a skill was in high demand.
This part was entirely by chance, I was simply down-and-out and needed a place to crash. Nevertheless, I quickly discovered that once I had a cooking job, it was effortless to get another…and another….and another.
Third, choose something that the local populace is dependent on.
I am not talking about cooking. I am sure the good people of this town can cook their meals. But like most of Vermont, this town is dependent on tourism…and tourists don’t want to prepare their meals.
And finally number four, reduce as much of your competition as humanly possible.
Again, this was easy in my case. Restaurants and food-service businesses have high turnover. Having the majority of your employees pass through your establishment quicker than Ex-Lax through a widow makes you appreciate the ones that show up and stay. (Helps that I can work with a hangover, not sure if that is the cook or the writer in me.
And what has this accomplished for me?
Well, for one – job security!
I am needed. When you are needed, you can do things that others are not allowed to do. (Like show up on your day off with a woman who is clearly a prostitute; so drunk that you’re in a wheelchair.) But it also allows you things such as being able to go home in the middle of a shift to let your dogs out. (Should I have led with that?)
Also to add to this, I can easily replace my current job… they can NOT replace me nearly as quickly. If you are a worker, this is something that you WANT!
Ideally, you should be more valuable to your boss than your boss is you. That is where the control is. And isn’t that the point of success? To have control of your life.
The reason why my scenario isn’t the norm is (in my opinion) because many of this nations biggest job-producers are not reliant on their employees… they are reliant on taxpayers and subsidies. Sure, regulations (especially in food service) add to the overhead costs. Would my boss give me more if he could? Of coarse he would. But if you asked ten business owners if they use any subsidy or tax loopholes, you would probably be surprised (or not).
And that is the trap! Make someone who pays into a system dependent on said system and you will have a slave/cash cow for LIFE!
And now the employee is dependent on the same silly, cluster-fucked system. It might even get to a point where everyone (boss and employee alike) pray/hope to be in the red by the end of the fiscal year just so one is eligible for said loophole/subsidy. Makes sense if that is what pays your bonus.
So if you are wondering why anyone is using any of this in Trump’s America (with ten gazillion tweets about a supposedly booming economy), just ask yourself one thing: how do you think our President turned a million dollar loan from his father into billions of dollars?
It wasn’t by making himself valuable.