In Career, Entrepreneurs, Money, Salary, Wealth, Women

Do you ever feel guilty for everything that you have and make?

Someone recently asked me if I felt guilty that I could charge so much money per hour as a consultant, and I could basically making in a month or two what some people make in a year on minimum wage.

I paused, and said: “No, why should I? I worked hard for it.

This kind of answer surprised them I think, because I was being honest (a little too honest?), seemingly arrogant (I like ‘confident’ instead), and it was a rather harsh answer for a society that tends to try and put the guilt trip on those who make good money, and to not be so selfish with it.

(For the record, I don’t think I’m selfish with it. There are plenty of people who make the same amount of money but don’t donate any of it. I have some inkling of a conscience.)

I’ve already talked a bit about those who inherited their wealth rather than having worked for it here: Imagine if you were Born Rich (documentary) of heirs and heiresses, and Nietzsche had it right when he said ‘guilt is a useless emotion’.

MAKING GOOD MONEY IS ALL RELATIVE TO OTHERS

There’s always going to be someone else making more money (or less) than I, so it’s relative to my perception of how much I make.

That’s great news to me, because I can control what I feel and think, which lets me have a rosy, shiny attitude on my life, rather than a dark, grumpy grey one.

See, beside someone like Beyonce, who pulls in double my average salary in a day ($140K), I’d feel downright poor if I chose to feel poor.

(And she looks .. incredible to boot, with perfect hair and symmetrical features. Of course she does.)

It’s easy to think: It’s not fair. She has more than I do.

..until you realize what she did to get to that fame and stardom.

Example: I can’t imagine going on a crazy fad diet of just drinking cayenne-laced water with lemon and maple syrup just to lose weight — that is some serious dedication to your craft, albeit unrealistic and unhealthy.

If I was told to do that diet to keep my job, I’d find another job.

 

Travel-Photograph-Food-Eat-France-Gourmet-Meal-Foie-Gras

Seriously could you say no to foie gras!? Photograph I took of homemade stuff.

That’s the lazy and rather ridiculous way out, saying how people with more, should share it freely with people who haven’t done jack squat to earn any of it.

It also depends on who you end up socializing with that colours how you look at money.

I’ve never really felt guilty about making a lot of money, although I can understand (somewhat) the people who do feel like they don’t deserve it.

I MAKE MORE MONEY BECAUSE I TOOK THE RISKS WITHOUT A GUARANTEED REWARD

I started making that kind of cash at 26, because I did a few major things that no one else in my profession did at my age:

  1. Took the risk of not having a steady paycheque to become a freelancer
  2. Quit a very solid company only after having been there for a year or two
  3. Learned very quickly how to budget my irregular income as to not let it go to my head

Can others say the same? If you don’t take the risk, you can’t get the potential reward.

(Please don’t liken this to buying a lottery ticket so you can be in it to win it.

That’s not even close to what I’m referring to.)

A bit of luck was on my side because I quit at the right time, but luck is what you create for yourself, by putting yourself in front of a wide range of opportunities, and seeing what sticks.

I could have just as spectacularly failed with my little strategy, but that’s the whole point of risk versus reward.

WORKING HARD IS ALSO RELATIVE TO WHAT YOU DO

If I worked hard for it, I deserve it.

Maybe your idea of working hard, is that you have to be there at 5 a.m., work with only a short 10-minute break every hour or so (as dictated by your union), and then punch out at 3 p.m., free to go home, put your feet up and eat a can of beans, forgetting and putting aside the entire day you just had.

It’s more physical than mental.

You absolutely deserve every penny of that paycheque you got.

(Assuming it’s fair wages…)

(Via)

Mine, is that I have to (as part of my job) basically put up with people for long hours, who don’t care about their jobs enough to do a good one.

I have to step in to fix it, cajole them into working properly and make sure that they can’t do weird (or illegal) things to sidestep putting in the effort, and screwing their colleagues around them who are expecting Result A, but get Result X2471 and end up creating a company snowball of crap that spreads everywhere like a disease.

It’s more mental than physical.

I have to try and convince everyone to do their jobs correctly for the sake of their colleagues, but I can’t be there, babysitting them for every minute of the day.

I always tell them I WILL be leaving at the end of the project, which means they can’t just say: Oops, sorry. I need you to come and fix this. Again. 

I may not seem like I’m “working hard” because I’m not getting down and dirty in the furnaces and come out with a sore, aching back, covered in soot, but I am equally as (perhaps more) exhausted at the end of the day.

On top of it all, I am unable to switch my brain off after work because I’m trying to figure out how to solve the 10 problems I ran into this morning in an efficient manner without costing more money in the long-run, or making people’s workload heavier for no reason.

The physical job is in some ways, a lot easier, and dare I say that most people wouldn’t be able to handle the mental part of it, or would choose NOT to?

(Yeah, I said it.)

So I too, absolutely deserve EVERY penny of the paycheque I got.

SOME PEOPLE FEEL GUILTY BECAUSE THEIR PARENTS MADE FAR LESS

Another way that people choose to let themselves feel guilty is because they don’t know anyone else around them who makes that kind of money.

It’s a limiting world view.

My parents made near to nothing for most of their lives, working mostly at minimum wage, half the time.

They accepted that they weren’t good enough at that point in their lives to make more money (or were just downright lazy and delusional about winning the lottery.)

I too, have accepted that I have less of a net worth from the past 2 years because I didn’t work.

I’m not mad about the situation because I chose it for myself. The key is to choose these things, rather than have them chosen for you.

I am not my parents, and they are not me.

It’d be like comparing a raspberry to an orange. They’re two different things.

They couldn’t imagine quitting a steady job just to give something a shot, with a 50% chance that it would stick.


My mom almost cried and pleaded heavily upon hearing that I wanted to quit, but now she’s just mollified and proud that it worked out so well in the end, because I took the risk to do it.

She freely admits that the whole idea of quitting one’s steady job is the antithesis to how she has been raised to think about life and work. She didn’t get it then, but she does now.

Instead of being jealous, she’s thrilled.

OPPORTUNITIES ARE MISSED EVERYDAY

It’s also a question of opportunities you come across, and I don’t feel guilty because I tried to take every chance I had presented to me.

I took on some strange jobs for a kid, but as Steve Jobs would say, I connected the dots in hindsight:

  • Paper route as a kid (then I corralled other kids into working as a group while I took a small cut)
  • Selling virtual items for real cash on eBay (story coming up on this)
  • Selling thrifted clothing but putting in the hours to present it well on eBay
  • Freelanced in high school on weekends while working a minimum wage job flipping burgers
  • Worked as an assistant superintendent of a building to get subsidized rent & deal with cranky college students…..while attending the same college as these tenants

All of the above (to some extent) let me see clearly, and craft an opportunity out of what I was given once I started working.

I saw that jobs were not black and white, neatly typed titles in companies that came with “roles” and “responsibilities”.

They were what you made them out to be, if you chose to work differently.

Photograph-Travel-Beijing-Crepe-China-Food-Vendor-Eat

Even today, some people have the best job in the world (mine, obviously), and can’t see the forest for the trees because it is a job they are not meant to do, but they can’t quit because the money is holding them into a job they hate.

I’ve always thought: “What an awful way to live your life, chained to your job only because of salary.”

If you don’t love your job, it is an awful way to live, just to work for the money.

Why would you do something you aren’t meant to do?

You are meant to do it, if you love to do it, would do it for free and most importantly: are good at it.

We always gloss over the last part of being good at something we love to do.

I can understand that not everyone can become a singer, songwriter, dancer, actor, chef or fashion designer, but they aren’t meant to do those jobs either.

I love playing the piano, but I am not as good as people who are naturally talented. I got to where I am just from hard work, but it’s not enough, and my passion is not there.

Those are hobbies, not careers, if you don’t have any recognizable talent. It means you haven’t searched deep down inside yourself and honestly said: I suck at this. Maybe I should do something else.

(Yeah I said it again.)

You’d be surprised watching reality shows how many people think they have talent.

The ones who do have any scrap of talent, don’t understand that they don’t have AS MUCH talent, relative to others, and should stick to it as a hobby and find something else to do as a career.

They are mediocre in the face of those who are simply better than they are at their chosen field.

Even the ones who win those singing competitions — do we know who they are?

Are they as famous or more famous than singers like Sarah McLachlan, Alanis Morissette, Christina Aguilera, Beyonce, Britney Spears, Rhianna, and other solidly A-or-B-List vocal powerhouses?

I think not.

Other than Susan Boyle, Kelly Clarkson, and Bianca Ryan, I can’t think of any other winning singer being memorable in the slightest.

(And those are the ones who “made” it, and won the singing competitions or other talent competitions!)

They’re good, but they weren’t meant to sing for their bread. (Literally.)

REALLY LET’S JUST CALL IT WHAT IT IS — LAZINESS & DENIAL

I chalk that up to sheer laziness and denial, actually.

Denial is a strong, effective drug that most of us are happy to drink in, and coupled with laziness, it’s a perfect cocktail for doing nothing.

They’re too lazy to get up off their asses, go back to school, find another job, quit, start a side business or do anything that could potentially change their life for the better.

Do that singing, designing bit as a hobby.

Photograph-Jewellery-Pearls-Rich-Money-Jewels-24

If it takes off, it takes off and you were just an undiscovered diamond in the rough, but don’t bet your whole life on something that probably won’t pay your basic bills, and then moan about how you are SOOOO freakin’ talented but no one sees it.

If you can’t do the job (sing, dance, write, cook, design, etc), then you should be the one trying to teach and help others achieve greatness.

Be the agent, the broker, the coach, or the in-betweener.

All the hard work in the world will not make up for the lack of natural talent, especially up against someone who has natural talent in spades and who works hard. They’re wasting their precious energy and time on something that is not meant for them.

You will reach a level of competence from hard, HARD work, but you’ll never surpass those who are simply better than you are.

HERE ARE SOME OF THE EXCUSES I HEAR:

Other people, can’t even see the opportunities in front of them because of a number of reasons:

  1. “That’s beneath me and I deserve a better job than that”
  2. “I have no clue what I’m doing in that field”
  3. “It sounds so hard / I don’t have the money” (Read: I’m lazy and I don’t want to change)

For those who think a job is beneath them, maybe the hard truth is that it isn’t.

It’s exactly the job that you deserve.

There are people who start out at fry cooks at McDonald’s, and after 30 years, have worked their way up to Director at a company.

It was exactly the job they deserved, and they saw the opportunity in rising in ranks, doing something they enjoyed and were good at.

But if they started as a fry cook with the mentality moaning about how they don’t deserve to flip burgers, they’ll never see the missed opportunities in front of them, and will work there for the rest of their lives as a fry cook.

Or maybe that’s just what they deserve for all that whining and lack of action.

I can understand people who freak out because they have no idea what they’re doing in that particular field and think they need years and years of experience to do it right, but the reality is that NO ONE knew what they were doing before they started.

Are you smart enough to learn and figure it out in a short amount of time?

I’ll let you in on a secret — about 50% of the time, I encounter things I can’t remember or have never done before. I make lots of notes, obviously… but still.

I can’t remember everything all the time.

Instead of freaking out or saying: I dunno, I dive right into learning all I can about it, in the shortest amount of time possible, and I usually come out of the situation to realize that I know more about that subject than someone who has been doing it for 25 years.

I have a lot of confidence (obviously) in my ability to figure things out, and to deal with unknown circumstances.

The last group of folks that don’t want to change, can just refer back up to my paragraph about being lazy.

So as this long-winded answer comes to the same end I started with at the top of this post:

No. I don’t ever feel guilty for what I make as an income.

Why should I? I worked for it and I’m good at it.

(Incidentally, women are always the ones who feel guiltier and less deserving than men.

Stop thinking that, it’s a stupid way to limit your income-making potential. You are no less deserving than anyone else.)

DO YOU EVER FEEL GUILTY? WHY?

(I AM GENUINELY CURIOUS, NOT TRYING TO BE CONDESCENDING)

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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39 Comments

  1. Emil

    Hi! This is a very nice article. Thanks for sharing it with us. You should not feel guilty at all. You work and worked hard, so you deserve it. Working hard doesn’t mean only physically work, but mentally as well. You were working hard both ways at the same time.
    I am from a small country in Europe, maybe one of the poorest of all countries on that continent. While I was there (living and working) I worked hard, sometimes 24/7 🙂 but there were no visible results. I kept trying but inflation eats my salary.
    After a while, I figured it out that I need to move in order to reach my goal. So, I moved to Asia – Taiwan. It was a tough decision, and substantiation was difficult. When I moved, I couldn’t work hard, because I had no job, so I started visualizing, Some people watch tv, I could, but visualizing was priority for me.
    After all, many good and bad things I’ve been through finally I earn an appropriate sum of money.
    Comparing my salary and people’s salary from my country, it’s like comparing Taipei 101 and an ordinary bungalow. I don’t feel guilty, because I invested all my money and bought an airplane ticket to Tw. It sound funny and silly but that was all what I saved while working in my country. I risked a lot, I was not sure I am going to find a job or not, I was not sure I am going to find a place to stay or not, I was even not sure I am going to be able to exchange money (euros to taiwanese new dollars). So it was not a pleasant experience ( it doesn’t sound scary, I know, but believe me, going through those things is not an easy task )
    When I go back home, I see how people look at me, and I know how you feel, because I had the exact same feeling. In the beginning I felt guilty and embarrassed, but after a while I realized that nobody has helped to reach my goal smoother. The only one who is guilty for my situation is only me, ironically speaking.

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      To me, you took the risk to leave your country to find a new life.

      It’s people like you (and my mother) who are my inspiration and the reason why I get so annoyed when people say they’re trapped, when they’re from such wealthy countries full of opportunities.

      You did it on your own (far more than what I’ve done), and you deserve all the reward you got from your risk. It could have gone the other way (badly) for you as well. I always think about that when I think about how much money I make as a freelancer. I could have also failed miserably.

      Reply
  2. dealwithmoney

    This is a hard one for me, because the working poor often DO work hard and still don’t make a fraction of what better off people do.

    I worked hard, full time, as a cashier for two years and didn’t make diddly squat. It wasn’t from a lack of hard work, it was from the fact that I worked for an employer who does not pay their employees a living wage.

    Right now I want to freelance write and make good money but I don’t know how to find those opportunities or where to look for them. So I stand here on the cusp of possibly not having money to do laundry in a few weeks.

    Reply
  3. Melete

    Guilty? No. No more than I would feel guilty for not being a moron like this person.

    My hourly rate is exactly twice what I earned on my last salaried job. Why? Because it not only has to put food on the table, it has to cover the overhead. I pay my own everything; on the job, my employer covered the air conditioning, the lights, the office space, the desk, the chair, the computer connection, the phone connection, the hardware, the software, the computer techs, the security guys, the PR, the marketing, the insurance, the underlings’ salaries, half the FICA tax, the payroll, the accounting, and on and on and infinitely on.

    Other why? I’ve learned that people think my skills are worth what I appear to think my skills are worth. If I underprice my services, I get less business and less desirable business, because potential clients think they get what they pay for.

    Reply
  4. David Stern

    I do feel a bit bad that most of my salary comes from the government one way or another and most taxpayers make less money than me and are forced to pay tax. I think what I am doing is useful (eg. teaching) and I think I work quite hard so I don’t feel too bad about it. I feel better about income I earn in the private sector – e.g. from investing/trading. No reason to feel guilty about that at all.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      If you work hard to deserve it, I don’t see the point in being guilty about it.

      Guilt in the face of all of the above, privilege and success, is a useless emotion when you sit around and complain about it or feel bad.

      What’s the point? Who is that going to help, feeling guilty?

      If you feel guilty about having had more luck than others, then do something about it — volunteer your time, coach, donate money, fight for equal rights, vote, etc.

      Reply
  5. lal

    No. I get jealous reactions all the time about staying at home with my kids. Um I am not drawing a paycheck and making do with living on less. I’m sorry that you choose to work and make more money and buy more clothes, furniture, cars, house but I have made sacrifices I think is worth it to stay at home.

    He example is friends just decorated their house with very expensive furniture but instead my dh and I still have our college stuff instead of restoration hardware.but hey I get to see my kids all day instead. Everything in life comes with a price.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      I’d agree with you that everything comes with a price.

      Reply
  6. My Shiny Pennies

    I don’t feel guilty for what I make and what I have. To me, guilt suggests having done something wrong, and I’ve worked too hard to let someone make me feel guilty. I do feel bad though that there is such a disparity of wealth around the US and the world. Bad is the most specific word I can come up with for how I feel, but I wouldn’t call it guilt.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      That’s exactly my point and you said it a lot more succinctly than I did.

      “Guilt” for me, refers to a criminal. You killed someone, you’re guilty. Even high up in corporations, if you KNOWINGLY use arsenic in food that is made in plants and distributed around the world, you’re guilty for those people’s deaths.

      There’s no point in feeling guilty for having been born into the fate you were. The only guilt you should feel is not doing anything about it, or trying to speak up about it.

      Reply
  7. grumpy rumblings

    Guilty? No, I’m an economist. We’re not allowed to feel guilty.

    Reply
    1. mochiandmacarons

      *LAUGH*!!!!! Best answer, yet.

      Reply
    2. Mochi & Macarons

      HAH! Best response ever 🙂

      Reply
  8. RevancheGS

    Pfff, HELL NO I don’t feel guilty. And glad to say, no one’s ever asked me that question, personally or professionally. I’ve worked fecking hard and sacrificed a LOT to get here and I don’t squander what I’ve earned by pissing it away or letting it fall apart. I suspect that if you do, it’s a cousin to Imposter Syndrome.

    I have felt some of the latter on occasion b/c I keep trying things that are too “hard” or new to me, so I’m not always going to excel in the moment but that doesn’t mean I didn’t earn what I came away with so I definitely don’t feel like I don’t deserve it.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      As I mentioned to SP above and My Shiny Pennies, guilt and success are subjective words.

      I don’t think people who earn a lot of money are successful. Some of them are crooks (e.g. Mafia).

      I was asked if I felt guilty for making all that money and I said yes, which they referred to it as being “successful” for them.

      But I personally don’t think that success is tied to income at all.

      Reply
  9. Jose

    I kake a decent amount of money, it’s not obscene but it is above average in my Indistry. Do I feel guilty about it. Absolutely Not! I went through a complete undergrad and graduate program, part time in teh evenings to get an MBA and I worked my way through the years putting in godless hours so no, i refuse to accept or feel guilt of any kind. And if anyone is interested trying to guilt me into “sharing” with them, I know exactly what to tell them 🙂

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      It was a curious question to pose to me, but as Cassie mentioned below, I think it was because I’m a young girl that they felt comfortable in posing it to me.

      Reply
  10. Cassie

    I’m glad you threw that last bracketed comment in there, because the first think I thought at the beginning of the post was “I doubt they’d ask a man the same thing”. Great post.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      I think they felt comfortable asking a young girl, as I would be less guarded in answering. Maybe I was a little TOO honest for them.

      Reply
  11. CorianneM

    Great post, loved it!

    Most people who participate in those talent competitions just want the fame, not the hard work. People who really love their craft and are amazing at it will find other ways to get to their big break (or not!).

    Every year a new person wins one of the many talent competitions, but very quickly afterwards they just fade away. Mostly because they only sing covers in those competitions, they don’t use original songs and therefore are unable to develop their own style and their own career. They get their 15 minutes of fame by singing someone else’s tunes (some are really amazing singers), but when they start singing their own songs (either written themselves, or most often written by someone else) they have no idea what kind of singer/artist they are.

    Most people who do one of these talent competitions will never be as good as Beyonce, who has been working hard at this since she was 10 or sth, and she’s 30 now I think?? with a long list of albums, tours, films to her name. I don’t think there are a lot of people who can say they’ve had 20 years of working experience at age 30 and had that much success. She deserves every dollar she makes! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      Success is a state of mind.

      People who try and achieve the success of Beyonce, thinking that SHE is their level of success, are aiming for stars that are beyond their natural talent and their reach.

      Even with hard work they wouldn’t reach it.

      So why not change what you think of as “success” for yourself?

      Reply
  12. Joe

    The free market is a wonderful thing. Why should anybody ever even consider feeling guilty for delivering an in-demand service and earning an exceptional rate? The purchaser is buying the service of their own free will, so they’re deriving more value than they pay you. Should THEY feel guilty for enjoying excess value from your labour? Obviously not. And that’s actually a key reason communism is doomed to fail; Marx wanted to see all profit carved out in favour of workers (by eliminating the entrepreneur and replacing profit incentives with state planning). We know how that worked out.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      Which is how I see it too. They are getting a service that will save them a lot of money in the long-run because of what I do.

      If they want to hire crap, they’ll get crap, but I always feel like karma comes around and they end up wasting a lot more money than if they had just paid the right price, up front.

      It’s the same with consumers purchasing cheap goods. I do this all the time and I always end up tossing it (ARG) and buying what I really wanted.

      Reply
  13. Michelle

    This is actually something that I was thinking about earlier today. Someone was trying to make me feel bad for making so much money and basically not spreading the wealth around to THEM. We all have the same amount of hours in a day, it all depends on what you want to do with those hours! I worked hard and I believe I deserve everything I have.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      I was once asked by a casual friend for $10,000 because I had “so much money”, when I got out of debt and had about $20K in retirement savings to my name.

      They felt the need to joke about my “spreading the wealth” saying that they had NOTHING, when in fact her father bought her a house, paid for her car, and half of her bills, but they squandered those opportunities and wealth.

      I never saw them again.

      Reply
  14. SP

    Guilty? No, never. Incredbily grateful and lucky and fortunate? yes, all of the time.

    While I work hard for my success, pursue challenges & education, and take risks – I also happen to have talents that are valued in the marketplace and can have a job i enjoy that pays well. That’s really lucky, and I’m grateful. Not everyone has the ability to quickly connect dots & figure out new things quickly.

    do you really think that everyone who isn’t successful is lazy or in denial? Or that everyone is as successful (or not) as they deserve to be? I think that is a naive and rather sad way to look at humanity, so i do hope you are just being contraversial. 🙂

    Reply
    1. SP

      BTW, I do think almost everyone can (and should) try to improve their situation if they are unhappy with things!

      Reply
    2. Elle

      I’m with you on this one. I don’t feel guilty, but grateful and lucky? Hell yes! I was born in a rich country and given a ton of privileges because of it. When I was younger, I didn’t even work that hard. I was just smart and able to defeat tons of those “hard workers” because of it.

      I think it’s important to remember that not everyone can be the best in her field or even have a high paying job. Some talented and hardworking people will be shafted. While others with connections will get ahead. It’s just how real life works. So while I don’t think people should feel guilty for what they have,they should always be grateful and realize that luck played a role.

      Reply
      1. Mochi & Macarons

        Again, see my comment to SP.

        Your view of “success” is a narrow one. You’re limited to thinking that it has to be a high paying job, or something that screams: I AM RICH.

        Reply
        1. Elle

          You’re right. I was wrong to define success in such a narrow way. I don’t really mean that it should be restricted to a high-paying job at all. My point was that there are a lot of people everywhere who won’t be successful and not simply because they’re lazy, but because they were dealt a bad hand.

          Because people are born with different opportunities even within the US, some don’t have the ability to achieve as much as they’d like (e.g. to work somewhere they enjoy or to have enough money to simply raise their families and not worry about living paycheck to paycheck). If someone thinks of success as doing the best they have with what they’ve got, then they are successful–but for a lot of them and for me, that definition also feels rather empty, because what’s success without happiness or without even being able to provide for your family?

          Reply
    3. Mochi & Macarons

      As you are writing from a First World perspective, so am I. But I know the Third World perspective as well, so I can see that they don’t get opportunities and we are far fortunate here than they are.

      As a result, I do think that everyone in First World countries who isn’t successful is lazy or in denial. It’s not naive or a sad way to look at humanity, because it’s the truth.

      It’s all because it depends on what they consider to be successful.

      We’re taught that only lawyers, engineers and people with big jobs in glass offices are success stories. That’s a load of crap.

      Your idea of success was obviously along the narrow lines of “lawyer, doctor, engineer, etc” or “making a lot of money”, but mine isn’t.

      E.g. Small business owners can feel successful, even if they don’t make millions, but enough to cover their bills, live modestly, and save. That’s success to me.

      They are already successful by having been born in a First World country, and having opportunities to work their way up to where they need to go, depending on what they consider to be their level of success.

      Someone working as a bank teller, is successful if they think they are. I’d be as equally proud of them as if I had a kid who was a doctor. They have to love their jobs to be successful, and that’s not what I see.

      Furthermore as an example, in Europe and North America, women have equality that is not present in other countries, and if we also waste those opportunities by bitching and whining about them and not trying to reach what we consider “success”, we’re doing a great disservice.

      Lastly, I don’t write posts I don’t believe in and I don’t do it to be controversial.

      Reply
      1. SP

        Hmm, interesting point. I still disagree in principle. Even in the usa, some people are born into very very bad situations, some into very very good ones. They can improve them and work towards happniess, but… i firmly do not beleive that everyone gets what they deserve, nor that everyone deserves what they have (in terms of things or in terms of success).

        Please don’t make assumptions on what my idea of success is! This post was clearly talking about making money as success, and guilt that could be assocaited with that. That doesn’t mean it is the one definition I would subscribe to.

        To me it doesn’t really matter WHY someone else is unhappy or unsuccessful (by whatever definition). I just would choose to be grateful that I am, rather than think “i deserve it and they don’t”.

        Reply
  15. The Frugal Path

    Sometimes it’s easier to complain about what others have than trying to get it yourself. My boss worked hard to create her business and now she’s able to reap the rewards. People who work for her often complain about choices and decisions that she makes, in all fairness some are crazy. But it’s her money and choice.

    I’ve never heard a single co-worker say that they want to start their own business and try to emulate her success.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      It’s a lot of pressure, stress and risk. I knew an entrepreneur who warned me before I started freelancing, saying that it took her 10 years to reach any level of success as she had defined it.

      Reply
  16. Ariana

    “Mine, is that I have to (as part of my job) basically put up with
    people for long hours, who don’t care about their jobs enough to do a
    good one.”

    Yes..that is my job description to a T, except I get paid 2/5 to do it. Looks like its time for me to find something else!

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      Perhaps. Or find a different way to work so that you work 3/5 less.

      Reply
  17. Leslie Beslie

    When I got my own apartment here (nyc) and started a better job (at a well-known company) I started to feel a little guilty when telling people. Or was worried they’d think I was “bragging”. But very quickly I told myself “I worked damn hard to get where I am now and I’m proud of it.” Like you, I took some major risks, fell down a lot, got back up, started over and just kept working hard. Thanks for writing this, it needs to be said.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      I would have been happy! It does sound like bragging at times. I am aware of it, which is why I don’t bring it up IRL to people I don’t really know.

      Unless they’re curious and ask me DIRECTLY, I don’t answer, or I shy away from the questions. I don’t want to cause any animosity, it’s a tricky game at the office.

      Reply

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