by Damon Carr
For New Pittsburgh Courier
I recently shared a motivational meme online. It read, “‘Weekly Schedule,’ Rise and Grind 24/7. New week, new goals.” It listed every day of the week. The action step for each day was to “HUSTLE.” The meme closed out with the following statement: “You can’t have a million-dollar dream with a ‘minimum wage’ work ethic.”
There were a few people who interpreted the meme as I did — “The grind never stops!” There were quite a few people who were taken back by the notion of working every day. They believe you need to get rest. There were other people who were offended at the meme use of the word “minimum wage.”
I’ll admit, my work ethic is over the top. I work from sun-up to sun-down. It’s just the way I’m wired. I don’t expect everyone to share my intense work ethic. Nonetheless, I was still surprised by some of the comments. What follows is some of the back and forth comments I had with some of the people on the post.
Poster: I’m curious as to why minimum wage work ethic is there when minimum wage workers are the backbone of the economy. They more than often work more than one job. If you have to talk down on other people and their own personal struggles and decisions to lift up yourself, then that needs some evaluation.
Damon: No putdown. If you work hard all day, every day, you will make more than minimum wage earnings. The point of the meme is that you cannot have a million-dollar dream and not be willing to work extra hard to achieve it.
Poster: Laughing out loud. Million-dollar dreams with minimum wage work ethic? Minimum wage workers work way harder than millionaires. I don’t see millionaires doing back-breaking work seven days per week just to get by.
Damon: Why settle for minimum wage? A person may start there but shouldn’t stay there
Poster: There is nothing wrong with working minimum wage jobs. Minimum wage jobs are literally the backbone of the United States. Almost all essential workers are earning minimum wage. Those are hard jobs. To get out of poverty, it takes more than work ethic.
Damon: If minimum wage is the backbone of the United States, I’m aiming for the neckbone.
Poster: Great advice if you want to be miserable and burned out. Muscles grow during rest and recovery like everything else.
Damon: The idea is to work smarter, not harder. Muscles grow during rest after you break them down from working hard. Savings and investments grow from deposits after you worked hard to earn money. More work. More deposits.
Poster: Trading time for money isn’t working smarter. Perhaps you should read, “The 4 Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferris.
Damon: I’ll check out the book. Fact is you have to trade time for money until you create passive, portfolio, residual and/or royalty income sufficient enough to replace your earned income. You should read my article, “What’s the difference between building income and building wealth.”
Poster: I think you can both hustle and rest and get a lot further. But I hear you. Do you!
Damon: Do you really think I or anyone work 24 hours per day, seven days per week with ZERO Sleep? The answer is NO!
Poster: Obviously, I wasn’t thinking that’s what you meant. What I’m suggesting is that you can grind all day (10-16 hours) and wear yourself out. If your body is telling you to take a break, rest, nap, sleep in, take a weekend or more—do it. That downtime helps you rejuvenate. Constant grinding for 60 hours per week is a lot on a mere mortal.
Damon: Let this marinate. The average person earning six figures and above works about 60 hours per week. Only 10 percent of American households earn more than $100,000 per year. Note: Households include husband and wife. In order to earn what the 10 percent earn, you have to be willing to put in the work. To each his or her own.
Poster: This was a motivational post. No one is downing minimum wage workers. No one is saying stress yourself out and be miserable. And he’s right, the grind NEVER stops. You do have to get in the zone to get what you want if your goals are lofty. I love this post. It inspired me and made me think – YEAH, LET’S GOOO! Some people get so negative by these types of posts. Please don’t. See the post for what it is.
Damon: Thanks Sis!! I rest my case! I’m simply going to sit this right here: Proverbs: 24:33-34—A little extra sleep, a little more slumber. A little folding of the hands to rest— then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit. Scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.
Alright, those were some of the comments I received. The idea of anything minimum doesn’t sit well with me. Minimum doesn’t bode well if you’re trying to be successful in life, in relationships or with money. If you make minimum payments, you pay maximum interest expense and you’re in debt for the maximum amount of time. If you give minimum effort, you’re not being the best you. You’re not tapping into your full potential. You’re short-changing yourself! If you make minimum wage, you’re considered to be among the working poor. Being among the working poor comes with strife, stress and pain.
Paying more than the minimum payment, putting your best foot forward and working towards increasing your earning potential are things that will alleviate and minimize your strife, stress and pain. Minimum strife, stress and pain. That’s the only type of minimum, I’m willing to tolerate!
(Damon Carr, Money Coach can be reached at 412-216-1013 or www.damonmoneycoach.com)