Why All Employment is Self-Employment

To most people, “working for yourself” means working for an employer or business rather than being self-employed. This is an economic definition, but isn’t the real definition. Properly understood, “working for yourself” is actually redundant. Think about it. The alternative to working for yourself is — what, exactly? Working for the sake of another? But why would you do this? If you accept any kind of job, for any pay whatsoever, isn’t it because your life is better (even slightly) with the job than without it? Anything done freely or voluntarily is — or at least should be — something that advances your life in some way. This even extends to work done for no money. In such a case, you have the time and energy to do such a thing, and you view the merit of doing it as better than engaging in leisure activity because you rationally deem the cause worth it.

A lot of people hate their jobs because they resent working. But to resent working is like resenting breathing. You have to breathe in order to live; you likewise have to work in order to live — unless you can survive by some means other than working. Thieves do it, but even their activity is, in an irrational sort of way, “work.” Living off of others via emotional manipulation is likewise, in a nonproductive sense, its own form of “work.” If you inherit millions of dollars you still have to figure out how to hold on to it – which requires some work, even in finding the right people to advise you. You can no more escape working than you can breathing. If you live for yourself, you work for yourself. If you care about living at all, then you work.