Friday, June 27, 2008

Why You're Paid Job Model (Part 2)

Yesterday I talked about my theory on jobs. Today I'll discus the pros and cons of each of these job types.

Who You Are


People find some quality in you which is worth paying you for. It is likely that you enjoy who you are, so work is probably enjoyable on some level as well.

If your are paid for the mental or creative side of who you are, you may be able to continue your job after physical disasters.

There is only one of you (limited supply), so if you are popular enough (high demand) you can charge top dollar just for showing up.


It may be hard to break your stereotype if you want to change what you do. Eg. A famous baseball player is going to have a hard time being recognized as a serious CEO. He will always be a baseball player who is also a CEO.

You can only be in one place at one time. This limits how much you can make from speaking arrangements, CEO positions (one at a time probably!), concerts, etc. You may be able to overcome this through What You Make.

If you are paid because you are a famous singer and dancer and suddenly can't sing and dance, you will find yourself out of a job.

People are ficle and may change their minds about who they like.

What You Do


If you like what you do and are getting paid for it, that's terrific.

If you are better than average at what you do or poses a skill most people don't (limited supply) that enough people want (high demand!) you may be able to command a larger income.

Depending on your skill you may be able to do extra consulting outside your normal job.


Many 'what you do' positions are warm-body positions that don't require any skill. Low level programmers, burger flippers, etc. are all easily replacable.

You can only do one thing at a time. This limits how much Doing you can do. Again, you may be able to overcome this through What You Make.

If your skill is boring you may not feel as fullfilled as you would doing something which would make you less money.

What You Make


Factory made items and easily copyable items (eg. software) can be created in whatever quantity needed to meet demand.

If you get paid for Who You Are, you may be able to produce CDs, Videos, Books on Tape or other materials that serve as a proxy of yourself.

If you get paid for What You Do, you may be able to use those same skills to create something which can be replicated and sold (eg. software, art prints, etc.).

If you create something which can be sold again and again (eg. art prints), you can bring in money for a long time after the initial work is done.


Custom work and hand-made item production don't scale well.

Anything which depends on the whims of fashion can't be counted on as a long term plan.

If what you make is easily replicatable there will be imitators (excess supply) driving down prices.

On Monday: Using this job model to maximize your income and make career decisions.

Part One : The Why You're Paid Job Model

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