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Passive Income vs Manual Labor

alexhugo

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Thread starter #1
I think we could have an interesting debate about the difference between these two videos. And I don't think there is a universal answer for each individual but which do you think is a more relevant message to dropouts in general and why?


 

Teliah Gienger

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#3
I don't know if I think the two perspectives are in opposition. I think maybe some of the younger generation may believe so, but I don't. I think that comes from how I grew up though. My dad has always done manual labor for work and I loved going to work with him!

I think we should know how to do both. Like I mentioned before, I grew up having to do hard manual labor to earn money or make an allowance. I believe hard physical labor is essential for building integrity and building an appreciation for the work you do and the money earned.

But, I also like passive income as well. haha so...
 

Kylon

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#4
I don't think the two are in opposition at all either.

I've lived in both worlds, working primarily manual labor in construction for years, and then applying those skills and that work ethic to passive income projects. I think both are very valuable and that one should strive for them together whenever possible. You MUST know how to manage money and build/invest in something that requires some work upfront and then pays out moving forward with little to no effort...and it's also IDEAL that you understand the value and toil of hard labor, and that you have some very practical trades/skills with which to fall back on.

I know if any of my online ventures or other investments go south, I can go start a painting or construction company tomorrow. Or at the very least I can go paint a house for $3,000.
 
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#5
Unlike Kylon, I don't have the experience in the material world to have a fallback. I spent a few summers gardening under a Master Gardener (not as impressive as it sounds). I mowed some lawns. But those skills never lead to a fallback. Nor any thought to pursue the manual competence further.

I'm someone who essentially embraced the rich dad / poor dad mentality, although I never picked that book up. I went as far down that path as I knew how, both in investing and now with entrepreneurship. Everything I have done has been with a computer or a series of books. I have not interacted with our world a whole lot these past 10 years. Every once in awhile I send a postcard.

As someone who doesn't walk in both pairs of shoes, I'd argue that it depends on your timeline. And it also depends on your pain tolerance. My timeline has always been that I'm "building the city in the sky in 2030", and it is a metaphor I use with my friends often. I think and live in a world that hasn't come to pass yet. Which can be horrible when you have to still live your life today and you don't have that great big city to help sustain you. It creates a lot more pain that is probably necessary.

But the question was relevance. After all this time, I think the relevant starting point for a dropout would be video #2. Not as a prescription, but as a nudge towards the mindset necessary to detach from the system. And maybe to not take the advice too literally; I really don't like to imagine the people who took that author's words to heart (not my kind of book, no offense to anyone here). But I don't know enough about video #1. I wish I'd had more of a chance to pursue it when it meant making this life easier.

I write these words on the cusp of realizing my dream of nearly 10 years. It could have been so much easier to have had some education & ability to sustain myself on the side with other skills. But at the same time, it has me so focused on that city in 2030 - we'll have to see how it turns out to truly know. I suppose it all depends on your timeline, and your life objectives. A city in the sky or a means of survival until you get there.

If you want a simple answer, if you can take the pain, it may be worth doing what I did. I wouldn't trade my current skillset and experience for anything. Although it'd be nice to know how to fix up a car.
 

cvans

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#6
I recognize my dad very much in the first video. He always used to ridicule "these people with several degrees and fancy titles, but when it comes right down to it, they don't know how to change a tire". I guess everyone needs to get his sense of superiority somewhere...

Honestly, I think us being less able to 'get a handle on' our own tools is a necessary result of technological progress. As technology gets more advanced and more complex, building and maintaining it becomes more and more of a specialized skill. It's the tradeoff of progress; and personally, I think it's a very small price to pay. There are only two alternatives: (1) not using the tech or (2) learning everything about everything.

That last one is not even a real option. I mean, in addition to knowing how to fix a car and wire your house etcetera, are you going to learn HTML, CSS and Javascript; so that you can fix it if something in your wordpress theme is not working properly? Are you going to learn how to code in C++ so that you can find the bug if MS Word starts acting up? Learn Objective C and mobile development for when you run into a bug on your iPhone? It's just not possible.

It's also not necessary. Because of how I was raised, it actually took me quite a while to be okay with the fact that I don't know how to fix everything that I own. But the whole reason that we have seen such massive economic and technological progress is that we don't all want to do everything ourselves. A highly specialized economy allows for highly sophisticated products and services. We all need each other to maintain this society, and that's okay.

I think our message to dropouts should be neither about manual labor nor about passive income streams. It should be about finding out how you can utilize your skills to create value for people in a way that you find meaningful.
 
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