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Why You Need a Job That Scales

My girl texted me when she got off work: “I made $1330.96 in tips today!”

“1,300 or 130 babe. There is a big difference.”


Um, wow.

This is at her waitressing job. It’s a nice place (think ~$25/entree), but it’s certainly no steakhouse overlooking the ocean where you won’t find a meal for less than $70.

It was a normal eight hour shift and she skipped lunch, so if you divide that $1,330.96 by nine and add her base hourly pay ($10 California minimum wage, I assume) on top of that, it comes to…

$157.88 an hour

Yeah, that’s not too shabby.

Now, let’s be clear on one thing: this is not the norm. She doesn’t walk out of work everyday with $1,300+ in her wallet. I really have no idea what it is on most days but I can’t imagine it’s even 10% of that $1,330. There was a major convention going on, and a lot of rich people coming in to drink wine and rack up bills.

She got a bit lucky, and she would admit it, too. She’s quite modest, you can listen to her here.

Regardless of that – she grabbed the opportunity by the horns, managing more sections than normal and doing a splendid job at it, from what it sounds like. And guess what?

She was rewarded for her performance.

And this is a large part of the reason why I walked away from my job. They paid me the exact same salary, no matter if I was an absolute superstar or spent the entire with my hands in my pants or YouTube.

Didn’t matter whether I was there for 6 hours or 18.

If I took on more work, I didn’t get more pay – in fact, at the end of the year they would have likely insulted me with a measly 2% raise.

I’ve done the calculation on that and it might as well be an extra dinner out per paycheck. Nothing noticeable. It’s insulting.

That’s what the majority of office jobs and Corporate America are all about.

I mean, look at this as an example. Food service is a job that scales better than an office job – by far.

They essentially “buy” your time for peanuts on the dollar. You have no opportunity to make more if you perform well, no opportunity to scale your money or make it work for you, and to top it all off, you’re shackled into a cubicle.

I felt like a slave. I wanted a job that scales.

If you feel the same, do something about it.

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  • To add one more note.

    Today I picked up an oddball web design job from a friend. Fix something urgent for a client of his.

    Got $100.

    Took me all of 20 minutes.

  • Salaries kind of suck. The harder you work, the less you are paid, essentially. Furthermore salaries are often tied with degree-requiring positions and are office/cubicle based, which is not very rewarding. A slightly higher salary sounds appealing but the truth is it usually comes with the cost of thousands of dollars in education debt and recurring long-term student loan payments that eat away at your take-home.

    So sure, go to school and make a bit more, but there are other jobs that are more flexible and more rewarding (particularly sales). And you can get started at younger age and build experience sooner, since you aren’t in college getting a liberal arts degree that will require a graduate degree later. With that extra time you can build a unique set of valuable experiences by the time you are 21, which is when the college kids will just be hitting the job market.

    Of course the path is different for everybody. But if I had it all to do over, I probably would have never gotten my master’s.

    • Yeah, it’s a sad reality that working harder when on salary basically slices straight through your $/hour rate.

      What is your masters in? I am so glad I got out of school when I did with just a BS and hardly any debt. No regrets there.

      • You lucky dog. My master’s is in Accounting, which was not a field I should have ever pursued but it was helpful in furthering my understanding of how bad of a financial mistake I had made by going after it haha.

      • Well, on the bright side…at least your masters isn’t in Feministic Liberal Dance Studies.

      • I loled

      • Bullitt315

        I have a masters in accounting too. One bright side is you can go off on your own and accounting at least pays better than a crap masters. But yeah, the daily grind of accounting can wear on anybody.

      • Yeah, and that was the position I took when I approached it. I went ahead and typed up an entire article today on why it was a bad decision because it would take me all day to elaborate in a comment thread haha.

      • Heh, your post reminds me of this….

        “I did all the right things!”

      • I just read this post and holy shit: There are a lot of parallels in our stories. However, I went ahead and novelized mine and it comes out in April. I can’t wait for you to get your hands on a copy. I know you’re gonna love it.

      • Look forward to it.

      • What’s the salary difference between a BS/BA and Master’s, though?

        I was an Econ major so I had some accounting friends, they were expecting to make $70-75k out of the bank so I can’t imagine Master’s is THAT much of a jump (i.e. no more than the 90k range).

      • Bullitt315

        You need 150 hours to sit for the CPA in most places these days so getting the masters is usually how people get to 150 hours. If you want to go high in public accounting*, you pretty much need your CPA. I’d love to go into sales if I had any people skills but that would drain me too. I just read other kyles “4 reasons getting a masters was the worst decision I ever made” and I can relate. The big 4 firms hire dumb chicks to do recruiting and it’s all a big clique. Grad school isn’t worth the debt especially cause if you make any real money, you can’t write off your student loan interest anyways. phases out completely at 75k so any degree worth getting completely kills your deduction. It’s a joke.

        *Work your ass off, travel too much (not the fun travel). Seriously not worth it. At least I don’t have any student loan debts (thanks mom and dad)

      • Oh snap, I thought i was replying to your original comment. I didn’t realize you had read my post already. Thanks a lot. The money they paid $52k, was just enough to survive. But then you can’t quit because student debt has a stranglehold. It’s just pure misery all around.

      • Bullitt315

        I read it after you posted it. Out doing a soul crushing audit right now. I’ll add your page to my bookmarks. I have the benefit of working with family (Dads my boss) so the job is a little less soul crushing than corporate america. Corporate America was so crushing I just quit and took a year off. I should have been more productive in that year off but that’s a topic for a different day.

      • Nice. I could audit for a family business. It’s a legacy and it’s yours. I was a terrible auditor for some partners I barely knew who were making millions. I would audit the shit out of a company if my name were on the statements. And thanks for the add! Even easier, if you enter your email, MailChimp will shoot you new articles next-day. Unfortunately they go to “Promotion” folder in gmail. Not sure how to stop that yet…

      • Bullitt315

        I’m a terrible auditor. Fortunately it’s not the majority of our business and I only have to do it a few weeks a year.

      • Auditing = double checking and calling people out vs…what do normal accountants do?

        It’s all the same to me.

      • Bullitt315

        There’s audit and tax from a public perspective. Audit = double checking numbers. Tax = personal tax and businesses. Some of it’s planning and some of it’s just keeping up with the ever increasing government forms and demands. Tax can be fun because you can actually help people but it’s not fun to tell someone they owe the government thousands.

        There’s corporate accounting too which is accounting blended with finance usually. The lower end guys come up with all the reports etc. Just a bunch of spreadsheets. It’s usually better to end up on the finance side but it’s still soul crushing. My first job was in corporate.

      • All sounds soul-crushing to me…good to know though.

        Interested in writing a guest post about Accounting/finance for young guys looking to get into it?

        If so lemme know!

      • Bullitt315

        If people have questions, I can/will answer them but I don’t do long form writing very well.

      • Same. I can take a couple questions and do a whole thing on them. I haven’t done accounting in a couple years but I would give it my best.

      • Thanks my man!

      • Noted, I might write something about education and whether master’s/PHD are worth it.

      • Big 4 Firms in Charlotte pay about $52k out of college. Actually, they do that in New York too, where the cost of living is way higher. I had three friends get a one-bedroom to work in New York. No joke. How is that worth it? There is plenty of room to move up, but you got to do a lottt of bitch work.

      • Bullitt315

        Brutal. I started at 56k in 2007 in Chicago. I don’t make great money now but I’d make significantly more if I worked a lot harder. We mostly get paid what we’re worth and we get bonus’ for extra hours put in in tax season.

      • 52k, holy fuck.

        Don’t know how expensive CLT is but I’d get eaten alive anywhere in Cali with that salary – just like your friends.

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