In my book How To Sell, I outline an exit plan from the corporate world using sales as a catalyst to freedom, this article is a section from the book.
The reason I wanted to make this available to you for free is because I see so many guys giving their lives to corporations. I’ve seen it happen with all of my friends and all the guys I worked with. In fact, in all my years in the corporate world, I’m the only guy I know who has his own business.
If you’re planning on starting a business straight out of school, more power to you. However, I know that many of you guys might not be ready for business ownership just yet, either financially or emotionally. And I know that many of you will have to make a deal with the devil and get a corporate job, just like I did.
I just want to make sure that your job is a temporary situation, not a permanent one. Because the only person you should be working for permanently, is yourself. And it’s very important to be firm in this belief, because everyone around you; your friends, your family and your coworkers will be working to undermine your dreams.
The truth is, you’ve been trained to take orders since birth, from your parents to your teachers to your government.
Taking orders from a boss is just a natural progression of your programming.
I’ve seen it happen to to many guys.
Guys who told me they’d never spend their lives in an office.
Guys who told me they’d only be there for a few years.
Guys who told me they were going to start their own business.
But they didn’t make it out, they became a statistic.
Another guy sitting in traffic thinking about what could have been.
To avoid becoming another statistic, you need to understand what a corporation really is.
A corporation is a psychic prison. They tell you what to think, where to piss, where to sit and when you get to go home. When you work for someone you have to call another man your boss and all your resources depend on what he chooses to give you.
I know this sounds negative and nasty, but it’s not until you recognize that employment is wage slavery that you can start to see clearly. When you see clearly you realize the game is about surviving, thriving and getting out.
You’ve been born into a world where your natural ability to hunt your own food and tend your own land is no longer an option. A criminal monopoly called government tells you what to do, what to think and takes half of your income.
The buildings aren’t yours, your house and car are mortgaged to the bank and you have to slave away 50 hours a week just to get by. You are a completely expendable, easily replaced cog in the corporate machine.
In reality, your position is no better than a feudal level serf tilling the soil for his lord and king. Now don’t get me wrong, we live a thousand times better than our ancestors ever dreamed, but the game is still the same.
The world is the way it is and neither you nor I can change it. Most people will never get free, but with hard work, accurate thinking and excellent salesmanship, you can be one of the lucky few who make it out.
Civilization only works in your benefit when you make it to the top 1% and own your revenue stream. When you don’t, someone else will always own you.
A corporation, in its purest form is designed for one thing and one thing only, making as much profit for its owners as possible. If a corporation were a person it would be a diagnosed sociopath as you can see in the brilliant documentary The Corporation. This is because corporations are run and managed by sociopaths.
According to Venkatesh Rao in his seminal book on office politics The Gervais Effect, the operations of a corporation can be defined as follows: Sociopaths on top, clueless company men in the middle and losers at the bottom with the structure represented as a pyramid. Rao defines a company like this:
“The Sociopath (capitalized) layer comprises the Darwinian/Protestant Ethic will-to-power types who drive an organization to function despite itself. The Clueless layer is what Whyte called the “Organization Man,” but the archetype inhabiting the middle has evolved a good deal since Whyte wrote his book (in the fifties). The Losers are not social losers (as in the opposite of “cool”), but people who have struck bad bargains economically.”
At the apex of every organization sits a sociopath. Most normal humans aren’t capable of the complex machinations required of a CEO. The truth is, sociopaths are a necessary evil of life, just like insurance companies.
Sociopaths operate in plain sight in organizations like the military or the mafia but many employees don’t realize the same type of guy is in charge of their company. And usually the bigger and more profitable the corporation, the more ruthless the executives.
A corporation in fact, operates no differently than a mafia, with its only goal being profit. It just appears to operate differently because it works within the boundaries of the law (most of the time).
Corporations only operate within the law because on average it’s a better business decision to avoid competing with the government who hold a monopoly on the use of force. But if the boundaries of the law included murder you can bet that every major corporation would have an assassination department as well as the various ethical justifications to go with it.
In the hierarchy of the corporation you are the loser. Now I don’t mean that in a personal sense but in the sense of you having made a bad bargain: selling your time for money. A job is just an excuse to pay you less than you’re worth, and in sales you’ll see that you only take home about 20% of what you earn and that’s before taxes.
A good bargain is being an owner. As an owner you possess a perpetual money machine as well as a corporate structure to shield your personal taxes. This is the bargain you should be chasing, your own business, where you answer to no one and get to keep everything you can make.
As long as you can sell it’s always going to be in your best interests to be selling for yourself. But to get to that point you need money and to get that money you’re going to have to accept making a bad bargain, at least for now.
I followed that path and now I live in live in Thailand making money from a business I love and creating content to help guys like you. Because I was a guy like you. But now I’m not because I paid my dues, banked my cash and got the f*ck out – it is possible if you want it.
Understand this, you might have to make a bad bargain for now, but the difference between you and the company man is that you’re aware of your bad bargain and he’s not. The company man is happy to parade around in his company windbreaker oblivious to his wage slavery. You on the other hand are learning marketable skills and banking your cash for your exit plan.
Now that you know what a corporation is you’re going to be able to see how everything works with your eyes open. And once you truly internalize this stuff, you’re going to have insight that the 55 year old company man never will. This is a crucial mindset for you to develop, because it will give you the motivation to bank your cash and plan your exit.
With that said, it’s not all doom and gloom. You’re not working for a mining company in Africa slaving away in a cave all day. You’ve got air conditioning, cushy chairs, coffee and maybe even some eye candy – things could be worse. It’s crucial to understand the bargain you’ve made but just as crucial to stay positive so that you can survive and thrive.
If you’re new to the game you might not even mind the first few months in sales. You start having money in your pocket, you get to be friends with some cool guys, you learn valuable skills – but it doesn’t stay that way. With each passing year it becomes more of a grind as you learn to live and die by your monthly targets.
When you’re a rookie it’s easy to make 200 cold calls a day but 5 years in you’re going to be dragging your feet just to make 20. When you get to know the guys you work with you’ll see that many long term salesmen are weekend alcoholics, potheads, overweight or have some other vice to cope with the stress. You cannot let yourself end up like this.
That’s why you need to keep your eyes on the exit. Get in, get paid and get out.