“The Matrix” was one of the best, thought-provoking movies ever made (and yes, I am referring to the first one, not the sub-par sequels). The metaphors, similes and analogies that can be derived from the story are many – thus my contribution today: The American Corporate Structure is the Matrix, and you are a very special person who is trapped within it.
Are you getting it yet? In the movie the machines had successfully enslaved most of man-kind, using the body-heat of captured humans to power their energy needs. In the modern corporate era we too are living within the 21st century version of slavery. The only difference being you and I can choose our master.
There’s no arguing that it is still our effort, knowledge and abilities that provide the power and momentum to move companies forward – yet the benefits of all our hard work amount to a paycheck. Not ownership. Not freedom. Just a simple deposit into an account where more Machines come in quickly thereafter so we can provide nourishment to them as well. Those machines are called: fast food meal solutions, entertainment financed with credit card debt, escapism via shopping ventures, and the list goes on.
Regardless of your job you are an expert at something. You have ideas, and more importantly abilities to make systems, process, products or even lives better. The problem is your freedom to make positive changes is hindered by multiple levels of bureaucracy, incompetent co-workers who are living in fear that your talents will shine a light on their ineptness, management personnel in charge of project who don’t have the background to understand how and why better solutions can solve problems…is any of this starting to sound familiar?
And then there’s you. Trapped within this Matrix – providing the energy for the lumbering machine to continue going on, and giving it the fuel it needs to make you increasingly dependent upon the system. How are you doing that? The list is endless: mortgage payments, car notes, student loan debt, health benefits, alimony, child support, lack of child support, credit card debt, absence of savings, no plan in place for retirement, braces for little Susie…and the list goes on. All of these things keep us tied to the system; making us irrationally fearful of losing our little corner within the very system that is slowing crushing us. Some people call it “Being an adult” or “Living a responsible life”. That very well could be true. But it’s also depressing, and a lot like slavery.
The money the Machines automatically shove into our bank accounts every two weeks is the one saving grace, the all-too-brief sigh of relief that keeps us coming back on Monday morning convinced we can take another week of utter nonsense and foolishness. After all, we have to stay in the Matrix, because the alternative is, well…what is the alternative?
Life outside of the security and familiarity of the Matrix is, let’s face it, scary. No health benefits, no steady stream of money, no security of any kind. It’s the real world, and way too intimidating to consider as an alternative. And yet, there IS an alternative.
No one says you have to quit your job and jack-out of the Matrix today. In fact, that would be rather dumb. But instead, the question is what are you doing today, tomorrow and into the coming year that is preparing you for a life away from the Machines if that opportunity should ever present itself?
Don’t you get it? What’s bouncing around in your head is the key to your freedom. Your knowledge is rare, how you view the world is unique, and that rarity creates opportunities if you’ll just keep your eyes open. Am I talking about you starting your own business? Yes. Am I talking about you taking out a business loan, creating pages of 5 year plans, and hiring employees? No.
What we’re talking about here is you asking yourself 3 simple questions:
- What do you know how to do that people outside of your job would pay you to do?
- What need or problems exists within a large segment of the population that you know how to provide a solution for better than anyone else?
- How can you communicate to these people that an answer to their problem is at hand and that you can provide it?
That, my friend, is your initial step towards obtaining freedom from the insanity that is the Matrix. This is the 21st century; a time when big budgets and venture capitol is not necessary to create your own revenue stream.
Start small. Make and extra $200 a month performing a task for a local business. Then expand to $500, then $1000. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to use your abilities to make money for yourself.
The only thing the Industrial Revolution did was move slaves from fields to the factories and eventually into the cubicles. Your knowledge makes the people around you better. Deep down you know there’s something different about you. Learn to leverage that individuality. Don’t let health benefits and a 401K stop you from thinking about your own money, your own power, and your own freedom from the system. You now have a choice. Red pill or blue pill?