Please explain â€“ defining the concept
Unhappiness is the reason for the weight issue (if youâ€™ve got one) you did not ask for. Â And the low self-esteem(if youâ€™ve got one) you did not want e.g. probably the reason for the war in Iraq, right? Maybe I should take that one back..
However, the excessive purchases you regret, the budget you blew â€“ same deal. Â It is really not your fault. Most importantly, unhappiness is very expensiveâ€¦ a very important fact to a heartless accountant.
This is what I consider a foolâ€™s errand. There is a rumor out there that it does not matter if we are miserable at work. Folks, it gets worse as the rumour goes on. Money thus made can then be spent on something meaningful (but most often not) when we are not at work (or running our business). Seriously?
Yes, apparently, a lot of us have bought into this crap. This is sooooo wrong on sooooo many levels. However, letâ€™s look at this from a logical point of view.. and find out whether my uber-accurate Â â€śpenny-pinch-o-meterâ€ť can help.
Example 1: Say my work is tolerable. I am an executive of any sort i.e. I only consider sticking pins in my eyeballs once or twice a week â€“ no biggie. I like the size of my chunky and ego-flattering paycheck. Once I get paid by my company, I give the money to other companies, utilities, banks for mortgages, etc .. as per a well-established budget.
The money just changes hands in the most frustrating way. My large mortgage was justified as I â€śworked hardâ€ť for it. I also needed a better-than-average car as my constantly-beaten-by-my-manager ego needed more. Again, my expenses get bigger and bigger. Whatever is left, has to be spent to buy whatever it takes to fill the growing and gaping hole in my life.Â Funny thing is.. Â I spend 70 hours digging this hole every week. Â (that makes me green, right?.. uh, because I am recycling money!!)
At this point I will introduce my impartial judge: the fabulous penny-pinch-o-meter (by the way, this can be downloaded in a few weeks off the site, free as usual). It is easy for anyone to use. After you have spent for the month, subtract whatâ€™s left from that monthâ€™s salary. This also applies if you are a business owner. Divide by the number of hours you worked that month.
This is how you could use this.
-After your mortgage, investments, annualised holidays and all other expenses, say you have $500 left/month. If you donâ€™t have anything left or are in the negative, you have basically been _________ (enter a verb of your choosing for sexually forced acts) by the system.
-Divide this by the number of hours you worked, i.e. 300 hours.
- That is a measly $1.67/hour
That is your real rate.. Â according to the dramatically powerful penny-pinch-o-meter.
A useless tip â€“ you will find this rate will creep up and up as your unhappiness goes down when you are working.
Now, compare this to your most handsome(or pretty) receptionist. I happen to like interacting with people and generally helping people out. Already, I am ahead of the game. I get my fix 100 times/hour!!! I usually go home quite satisfied with the day. Between me and my husband/wife, we cannot afford a mortgage and therefore rent(if you live in Australia) or have a smaller house(if in the US). We only have one car.
( And no, itâ€™s not rusty and covered with radio ads with overlapping hippie peace signs â€“ thanks for asking.)
-Say, I manage to save about $500 a month as well.
-But, I only need to work 160 hours/month.
-That is $3.08/hour
On the derived-from-extra-terrestrial-and-advanced-intelligence pinch-o-meterâ€¦ that is double my previous rate.
Now, I am not saying all my readers should set their career goals to answer phones or become efficient corporate pricks or to get rid of world hunger either. But, like me, I hope you find it just disturbing. After 8 years of schooling and 10 years of experience, a receptionist is getting a better deal than both you and I.
Besides no one likes a kiss-ass or sucking up, which accounts for 90% of our effort up the corporate ladder. As a business owner, 80 hours/week is not sustainable either. So, pick your poison..
Finding out whether you are in the most money-saving environment.
Recently,Â I was reading a Paul Graham post on why Palo Alto has the best rate of success for start-ups. Optimism â€“ we are a product of our environment.
If I work in a negative environment, I will seek the quick thrills of spending my cash as soon as I walk out the door. I will spend more. I will compensate. And the above scenario repeats itself.
The fish rots from the head â€“ look at your management. Are they any good at managing or are they there for another reason? Most times these are all eligible candidates for restraining orders. Sometimes, they are business developers only. Your happiness and their staff retention will be the last thing on their mind. Red lights will start going bonkers on the truly-life-saving penny-pinch-o-meter.
Some questions you should be asking yourself:
Have you been allowed/able to develop relationships that allow you to be happy at work?
Are you working way too hard i.e. unsustainable?
For the small business, I have noticed the product makes a big difference. There are always moments when you are in the gutter. Self doubt is gutting you like a fish. Thatâ€™s when having a product you really believe in â€“ and donâ€™t need to constantly psyche yourself up for â€“ makes a BIG difference.
How to pull out your parachute
Same job, different industry?
For the SME owner, diversify into other products?
Contracting instead of permanent?
Just change company and try to go for better paying roles whilst keeping a close eye on your hourly rate?
Change of career & re-invent yourself? We all need this intellectual enema every 10 years.
Structured and strategic confrontation with your manager – Please read between the lines here.. and fire his/her lame ass!!
Re-structure your business to sell it, then start another one?
Re-structure your business by adding a layer of middle management, then freelance as a director to other businesses as well?
There are many more options as well, as you talk to your friends. You will find out there are many ways to skin a cat. People make a living performing a wide range of activities â€“ Most of them are probably dumber than you. Some of them probably make more than you. You do have options.
The cost of staying in..
Therefore, use the tremendous penny-pinch-o-meter concept and improve your results. The penny-pinch-o-meter will help you:
a)Â make better decisions
b)Â improve the quality of your life
.. some say it has even helped prevent inter-galactic war with the vicious planet Xonda??.. just donâ€™t quote me on that one.