“This is an outrage! Someone should do something about this!”
90% of Americans had been failed by the financial system and I was looking at the proof.
In my line of work, I deal with data. As such, I’m interested in cool ways to visualize data. Back in 2011, I came across one of those data visualizations that was cool. But the story it told…not so much.
It was a chart titled “When income grows, who gains?” I was shocked to discover that from the period of 1969 to 2008, average income in the United States grew by $11,684. The shocking part of that statistic was that ALL of that income growth went to the richest 10% while average income for the bottom 90% declined.
I was born in 1970, so I was confronted with a phenomenon that had been happening my entire life. Meanwhile, I had always been taught that “a rising tide lifts all boats”.
Well, if average income in the US is the tide, then 90% of Americans are not in boats.
When I saw that chart, while I was outraged, I was also grateful. I had just started my home-based business and it was reassuring to me to know that I had a supplemental financial vehicle to take advantage of this rising tide.
Years later, I was not satisfied with the growth of my side business. I believed in the vehicle, but somehow I couldn’t motivate myself to work my business as consistently as I knew I needed to.
Well, since 2016, I’ve experienced renewed motivation that allowed me to write and publish my first book all while maintaining my full time job, transitioning from part time dad to full time dad, and marrying my sweetheart.
What happened in 2016? I remembered who I am, which helped me remember my purpose.
You see, prior to 2016, I was focusing on what my side business could do for me and my family. Consequently, I worked sporadically.
What really burdens my heart is the rest of the 90%. I want to change things for everyone—not just me and my family. I want a more equitable distribution of wealth.
Don’t get me wrong. I am a capitalist. I am not for a dictator-mandated redistribution of wealth.
What I am for is dispelling the notion that employment alone is a suitable vehicle for the financial health of families. I would like to see more individuals participate in our capitalist system.
That’s why I promote the side hustle. I believe it is the lowest-risk way for more people to get into a financial vehicle that is capable of rising with the economic tide.
I am also for putting an end to the notion that the only goal of business is to maximize profit.
I recently learned that business has largely followed the Friedman Doctrine my whole life. What is the Friedman Doctrine? Basically it says that the only social responsibility of a business is to increase its profits for its shareholders.
That means, if you live in a society where laborers earn so little they can’t afford the goods they produce, or where discrimination is rampant, or the environment is polluted…you should thank the businesses that made that society possible as long as they consistently deliver profits quarter after quarter.
I wholeheartedly disagree with this doctrine.
If a business has the power to exploit workers, discriminate, and pollute, it also has the power to do the opposite. Business can be a great force for good—and make a profit at the same time.
Of course it’s important for a business to be profitable. Without profit, you can’t stay in business. But to ignore social responsibility is…well…irresponsible.
So now, it’s much easier for me to say “no” to an afternoon of binge-watching my favorite TV show and “yes” to activities that can grow my business. I have now connected with my true purpose.
As long as there are people who need to know there’s a better vehicle for the financial health of their family, I have work to do. As long as there are side hustlers who need to be reminded why it’s important for them to do what they do, I have work to do. And as long as I have work to do, it’s easy for me to do it, because I’m coming from a place of love.
So if you’re a side hustler or you’re interested in becoming one, I’d like to help. An important step in this journey is to discover who you are and your unique superpower. I have a 3-day video challenge to help you do just that. Just follow the link, enter your email address and I’ll walk you step-by-step through finding your “do-everything-you-want” superpower.