Why Working On Yourself Is Better Than Working For A Boss (opinions welcomed)

by Chris Altamirano|Follow Him on Twitter Here

Working On Yourself

We hear it all the time from our parents or have even heard it from one of our peers. “Go to school, get good grades, climb the corporate ladder and work your way up to the top! Then you’ll be successful!”

While this advice was once valuable, it now seems as if it doesn’t apply anymore. I had a friend who went straight from Cal Poly and then landed a job at Apple. FREAKING APPLE! At first he was stoked and couldn’t wait to pursue this exciting new career.. but you know what happened?

He hated it. After a year of working for Apple he quit. He didn’t like it and instead took a year long “sabbatical” traveling Europe and just finding himself. But I mean come on, why on earth would you pass up an opportunity to work for Apple?

I mean there are soo many benefits, connections, not to mention future stock options should you stay with the company long enough. So why did he quit?

Working For Yourself

The reality is that this new generation known as generation-y (which I’m proud to be a part of) can’t stand the idea of working for someone else. So to really known what happened for my friend, I’m pretty sure he subconsciously just can’t stand someone telling him what to do. I’ve got a funny feeling that he’ll venture off into entrepreneurship somewhere along the line.

This is where working on yourself comes into play. Here’s a quote from the late Jim Rohn that should make you think about your current circumstances..

“Work harder on yourself than you do on your job. If you work harder on your job, you can make a living. If you work hard on yourself, you can make a fortune.” – Jim Rohn

For someone who inspired millions of people and made millions of dollars in the process, without having a college degree, he might have been onto something with that inspirational quote.

But let’s dive in a little deeper, why on earth would you want to work harder on yourself than on your job?

Self Development Creates Opportunities

Working on yourself is quite possible one of the most valuable actions you can take. If you can become a better person, you’re only adding more value to the world than there already is. If you work for someone else the rest of your life, you’re actually limiting your own value to the marketplace.

Jim Rohn spoke a lot about adding value to the marketplace, especially when it came to increasing your income. He would say that there are 4 or 5 ways to make more money.

  1. Work more hours
  2. Ask for a raise
  3. Wait for minimum wage to go up
  4. Go on strike
  5. Whistle on the job (your attitude might get you a raise)

He then went on to say that when you work on yourself, you’ll get paid for the value that you bring to the marketplace. To bring this back to the topic of Apple and my friend working one of the most influential companies in the world. Let’s take the late Steve Jobs as an example.

Steve Jobs had absolutely no knowledge of how to build computers. He pretty much leveraged the talents of Steve Wozniak and turned Apple Computer into a powerhouse company to be reckoned with. The value that Steve brought was that of a salesman.

But Steve wasn’t always like that. If you’ve seen the movie “Jobs” which stars Ashton Kucher, you’ll see that Steve was always working on himself. He went to school but wasn’t even paying for his classes. He’d meditate, read lots of books, analyze top companies and even went to India on a self discovering experience.


The Main Benefit of Working On Yourself

The primary benefit is the person you’re going to become in the process of self development. You’re going to bring more value to the marketplace if you work on yourself. I’m not saying nor advocate that you should go drop $60,000 on a college degree, if you have that amount of money to spend I’d tell you to take $10,000 and spend it in online advertising to turn it into $50,000. That’s a  much smarter investment and there are plenty of online courses that will show you how to do that.

However, what I am saying is that you should invest in yourself. Go take some personal development courses, buy books, audios, watch videos, hire a mentor if you can afford one. The sooner you start working on yourself, the sooner your value to the world will be noticed. It will become noticeable in your friendships, family relationships, and in your wallet soon enough.

But your work doesn’t stop there. Once you develop yourself into a valuable person and hold yourself to a certain standard, your next step will be to create and execute your ideas into existence. When you can transfer that value into an actual product or service that serves humanity, the wealth that you had internally will manifest physically.

Finally, you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. So work on yourself, you’ll be doing yourself (and the rest of humanity) a great service. And who knows, maybe you’ll be privileged enough to get a job at Apple and have the guts to quit because you know your life is worth much (much) more.

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Olusegun January 22, 2014, 12:37 pm

    This is awesome Chris. Love your points. Working on oneself actually pays than working for someone else.

    • Chris Altamirano January 22, 2014, 4:45 pm

      Thanks for your comment Olusegun!

      Glad you and I are on the same page, sounds like you’ve got the right head on your shoulders 😀

  • Duncan White March 6, 2014, 12:33 pm

    You’re a skilled writer, Chris. If you flesh out your thoughts with
    examples and memorable anecdotes, I’ll bet you could get on some bestseller lists.

    My wife and I just met with someone last week in San Diego who
    sold over 50,000 copies of a text on current entrepreneurship – but the writer was a mouthful of superficial cliches.

    Keep at it.

    Just stumbled across your site here in the early morning light, looking for Wordpress tips.

    Duncan White
    Nara, Japan

    • Chris Altamirano March 6, 2014, 9:25 pm


      Thank you so much for your kind words, tips, and other suggestions! And that’s pretty awesome that you met an entrepreneur like that! What was their name?

      Thank you again for your kind words and for stopping by the blog! Words of encouragement from awesome readers like yourself certainly motivates me to become a better person 🙂

  • Duncan March 7, 2014, 5:54 pm

    Hi again Chris,

    Let’s see if I can answer concisely. My intent was to compliment you, not disparage the writer. He is successful, after all, and that is the result of a lot of planning and hard work. As I pondered this, I thought a good analogy is that of an actor and his stage characters. This fellow as his natural self was articulate, warm, friendly, perfectly convivial – a real nice guy. I liked him. The persona and style he had assumed for this book were repetitive, excited and at first glance superficial – and this was deliberate to market the book: to be easily quoted for hurried reviewers, to be spotted by impatient shoppers just glancing at covers, and so forth. Like any actor performing the same line for the thousandth time, speech won’t seem fresh and spontaneous. Can’t be helped. The bottom line: the book sold.

    For older folks like me, your natural style of reference to experiences your readers may be having or have had is very comfortable,and helps to break through the surface and consider meanings and tangents, not words and terms. For people with less vocabulary in English (lots of savvy second-language viewers of your blog, I bet), this is a great replacement.

    I like masterpieces along the lines of The Greatest Salesman in the World (Og Mandino) and The Prophet (Kahlil Gibran) which are both touching on your topics.

    Stay in touch, and give me a private email for correspondence. Don’t want to have everything published far and wide.



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