Hands bound by red rope

The Horror of Slasher Workers

Why holding down multiple jobs isn’t even close to security

When I was a young man, there was a style of horror movie that became very popular—the slasher movie. These were movies like “Nightmare On Elm Street,” “Halloween,” and “Friday the 13th”. They were extremely gory and usually involved a crazy killer on the loose who murdered many people with blades.

Personally, I never like those movies. I’m not into horror, and I don’t particularly like overly violent things. But for some reason, people these movies were very popular. The one thing I do remember is that the word “slasher” in particular took on a very strong meaning, and that it was something I wanted to avoid.

So, I found it very intriguing to learn that many people in the world have taken the word and applied it in an entirely different way—to describe how they work multiple jobs.

The term “Slasher” was coined in 2007 by author Marci Alboher in her book “One Person/Multiple Careers”, says blogger Kathleen Murray, and it describes someone who has slashes in their job description. For instance you might be a writer/designer/web developer or a financial advisor/crook.

In a recent survey of South African’s by Old Mutual, 37% of polled workers were slashers. Of those that work multiple jobs, “42% stated that they don’t have time for more than one job, but persevere because they need the money.”

The main reasons those surveyed worked multiple jobs was to save for retirement, help their families financially, save for their children’s education, and to leave their kids an inheritance.

Job security?

To me, this is an even scarier slasher than those old slasher movies. Over and over again, people come up to me and say that being an entrepreneur is risky. “I’d rather have a safe, secure job,” these folks say. The problem is that there is no such thing as a safe, secure job; and being an employee is one of the riskiest things you can do.

I faced this lesson as a young man. Both my rich dad and my poor dad recommended that I go to college and get a degree; it was after receiving the degree that their advice took different paths.

After graduation, my rich dad advised me to continue my education by getting jobs that were based on learning. “You should work to learn, not to earn,” he said. He wanted me to get the valuable business and investing skills I needed to be a successful entrepreneur and investor, working on the B (Business) and I (Investor) side of the CASHFLOW Quadrant.

My highly-educated dad, my poor dad, constantly advised: “Go to school, get good grades, and then get a safe, secure job.”

He was recommending a life path focused on the left side of the CASHFLOW Quadrant—the E (Employee) and the S (Self-employed). My highly-educated dad was concerned with job security, not with financial freedom.

When I turned down a high-paying merchant marine job in order to sell at Xerox, my poor dad was disappointed, but my rich dad applauded the move. Those first years at Xerox were hard, and many times I wanted to give up, but I applied myself to learn how to sell, eventually becoming the top producer. The skills I learned were invaluable for later in life.

I chose grow over security, and it paid off.

Why people seek job security

The primary reason many people seek job security is because that’s what they are taught to seek, both at school and at home.

As adults, millions of people still continue to follow that advice. Many of us are conditioned from our earliest days to think about job security, rather than financial security or financial freedom. And because most of us learn little to nothing about money at home or at school, it’s only natural that we cling ever more tightly to the idea of job security instead of reaching for financial freedom.

To me, the idea of a slasher is the most twisted of this belief. While it’s a sad reality that some people really do have to work two jobs to make ends meet, many people do not but do so anyway. For some this is because they have no financial discipline and have purchased so many liabilities that they need extra income to just pay down debt. For others, it’s a fear of what could happen financially that drive them to earn some extra income to save. For still others, it’s a fear that they might lose their current job or income that keeps them hustling on the side.

It’s this last group that is most telling because it is almost an awakening. It is the beginning of the revelation that job security is a myth and that the only way to create financial security is to have control of your income and financial future. And that is true freedom.

If you look at the CASHFLOW Quadrant, you’ll notice that the left side is motivated by security. The right side is motivated by freedom.

The search for freedom

I know that many people search for freedom and happiness. The problem is that most people haven’t been trained to work from the right side of the Quadrant—the B (Business owner) and the I (Investor) side.

They have been trained instead to search for job security. Because of this training and their increasing debt, most people limit their search for financial freedom to the left side of the CASHFLOW Quadrant. Unfortunately, financial security and financial freedom are seldom found in the E or the S quadrant; true security and freedom are only found on the right side.

Searching for Financial Freedom

Many people spend their lives in search of security or freedom, but wind up instead going from job to job—or in the case of slashers, holding down multiple jobs. It’s a long and vicious cycle of discontent. In my opinion, you should make a serious effort not to find a new job if you’re unhappy, but to begin moving to the B or I quadrants, and fast.

A new attitude and a new educational process must begin.

A new pattern for financial freedom

Instead of just putting money into a retirement account and hoping for the best, people should feel confident about their education in whichever quadrant they choose.

Just as we study to learn a job, I suggest you study to learn to diversify and operate in more than one quadrant. The average rich person earns 70 percent from the right side and less than 30 percent from the left side of the CASHFLOW Quadrant. I’ve found that no matter how much money people make, they will feel more secure if they operate in more than one quadrant.

What does this look like? Rather than working two jobs, keep your day job and start a viable business on the side instead. In the near term it can feel riskier, but the reality is that having a thriving side business is much more secure than holding down two jobs.

Don’t know how to start? Read my article, “Seven Ways to Start a Business Without Quitting Your Job”.

Or, if starting a side business isn’t your thing, learn how to invest properly and use the extra income you’ve earned from multiple jobs to do true investing…not just socking money away in a savings account or a 401(k).

Want to learn more? Read my article, “The Difference Between an Average and a Sophisticated Investor”.

A choice of paths

The patterns I’ve discussed are different financial paths people can choose. Unfortunately, most people choose the path of job security. When the economy starts wobbling, they cling ever more desperately to job security and wind up spending their lives pursuing it.

At a minimum, I recommend becoming educated in financial security, which is feeling confident about your job and feeling confident about your ability to invest in good and bad times. Ideally, however, focus your education on financial freedom—read and study, take classes, attend seminars, and find a good coach—and take control of your financial destiny.

Original publish date: August 01, 2017