The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success

GOLD! Ever wonder how people end up in dead end jobs at 40?

Andy Black

Any colour, as long as it's red.
Staff member
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
May 20, 2014
^^^ This is what it's all about for me.

I've not detached my income from my time yet, but I at least don't have to report to anyone.

This Wednesday I was able to drop one of my little lads off to a class before school and go for a little walk before picking him up and taking him up to school.

I took the picture below at 09:20am, on a Wednesday morning, when everyone has settled into their cubicle.

I didn't ask for permission to walk around that lake.

If I have to take a job to keep the wolf from the door, I will.

If I have to flip burgers to stay in the game, I will.

But I'll miss taking my little lads to school.

And I'll miss crisp October mornings like these.

Thanks for the shot in the arm @Vigilante.


A Crisp October Morning In Ireland

I sat on that bench on the far right for 10 minutes just taking it all in and being grateful I was able to be there, at that time.

So that was October 2015? Nearly 3 years ago. Wow... time flies.

I still get to spend a lot of time with my kids.

It's the summer holidays and they've been off school for about 7 weeks. They've about a week left before they're back in school.

I've been minding them during the day - mostly having fun, partly pulling my hair out (parents will relate). It's tiring because I work in the evening when everyone goes to bed, sometimes (often?) till 1am.

No complaints though. I see cars coming into the estate at 5:30 pm when I'm out playing hurling with the lads on the green. One of my neighbours was out pushing one of his toddlers round the green on his little tricycle. The guy was wearing his shirt and tie and it suddenly dawned on me that he'd just got home and this was the first thing he wanted to do when he got in the door - spend time with his kids before they go to bed.

He came past and we chatted. He said it must have been a great day today (we've had a great summer of sunny days here in Ireland). He then asked "What do you do Andy?". Ah, I suddenly realised all those parents keep coming in every evening after fighting their way through traffic and see me playing with the kids all the time.

I gave him the high-level view and offered to have a chat about it over coffee sometime. I hope he takes me up on it.

Become a Fastlane INSIDER to view the forum ad free.


Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jan 25, 2015
Lagos, Nigeria
Conversely, the message of the Millionaire Fast Lane is rather than doing what you love "and you will never work a day in your life" (which is complete bullshit)... add value to people's lives in exchange for money. Then scale.

Then, down the road, you will be free to do what you love.

I taught a class at some local Universities last Fall. Had a blast. Earned nothing more than validated parking. Didn't care.

I volunteer for the Red Cross. Love it. Spend money to do it. Don't care.

Don't do what you love. Change the world, and THEN you will have plenty of time to pursue your muses.
Wow this is such sound advise.

It reminds me of something my mom says.

"Passion works best at old age"

Rick Phillips

Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jul 20, 2018
London, United Kingdom
This is a brilliant thread. Thank you to the author @Vigilante and those that have kept it alive so that I could stumble across it today.

It is my opinion that the majority of people in dead end jobs do not see their own reality or self worth. In their world they are doing the right thing by the script, they are doing what they were taught to do. They pay their bills, they pay tax, they put money in a crappy pension and they cling to the property ladder with a 90%+ mortgage. They are alive but maybe not living.

Every company that I have ever worked for would have happily kept me there until I died or retired and each company had plenty of people on their books that fit the MO of the shirt guy in the original story.

Each of my past employers paid me just enough to prevent me from going elsewhere and I served their purpose, I did a good job..... The timing was coincidence but each time that I received a promotion in a particular job I would quit shortly afterwards. My manager would always be baffled when I handed in my resignation. I would quit because I have always held an entrepreneurial mindset and these employers were serving my purpose more than I was serving theirs. Once my goals had been achieved then it was time to go! I would call this the golden rule when it comes to the world of employment and I wish that I had held this belief consistently.

I nearly got caught out during my final "job" as I didn't follow my own golden rule. I joined a large corporation at the age of 22 to gain domain experience for my business idea and also so that I could leverage borrowings against a nice salary to execute another business idea.
They placed me in a pair of splendid golden handcuffs and the golden rule went out the window.
- Every year I got a "great" bonus and pay rise.
- They paid all my pension contributions and sent me a statement every year showing how rich I'd be at 65 if I served them for another four decades.
- They lent me an awesome car.
- They let me work from home.
- They got me the latest iPhone.
- They gave me free shares every year.

If I left then I would lose the lot, suddenly my business plans didn't seem so attractive! But I'd already got plenty of domain experience and bought a house, done it up and flipped it for a tidy profit (business idea 2). So despite growing up with an entrepreneurial mindset, I had started wondering towards the slaughterhouse in the slow lane. Forsaking my own golden rule.

Thankfully in 2017 the company had a shocker but I did not, my results were great. Due to the overall group results, the company started making layoffs and therefore couldn't justify looking after its top performers. My annual pay rise was less than 2% and my bonus did not compare with my results...… I experienced the most entitled and self centred, spoilt brat F U event in existence and promptly quit at the age of 31 to pursue my original plan.

I nearly ended up as a miserable employee even though it went against everything that I believed in. It happens very easily. People would argue that this wasn't a dead end job but I would argue that it was. The speed that you drive down a dead end road doesn't change the fact that the road is dead at the end.

How do people end up in Dead End jobs at the age of 40?

They never took the first step towards their goals. They either took a step in the wrong direction or never took a step at all.

I hope that one day I can help people to take their step. But I also hope that I can empower my employees to fly the nest.

The Abundant Man

Gold Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Jul 3, 2018
They never planned and never executed. They never had dreams. They did not write their goals down. They did not follow through. They did not take action to achieve their goals and dreams.

Al Berton

New Contributor
Aug 27, 2018
This is a really moving piece. I'm glad it was one of the first things I got to read on this forum. I am more or less in the same boat as are many people. I have a degree but crippling debt and the job market crash insured that I won't make anywhere near what I would have made had I gotten the degree earlier. I'm 26 and my dad is someone who really breaks my heart in a similar way as the story did to me. He is a hard worker with 30 years in his trade but its in construction where he will never pull more than 50 grand a year ever. My mom has nothing but a string of jobs that she gets between having kids or dealing with health issues. She has no prospects of starting out at 50 with never more than 8 years in any given field of work and no actual skills.

The sad part that breaks my heart is that both of them, but especially my father, believed with his whole being that if he just worked hard he would get ahead in life. But that isn't true. It takes something extra. He works 40-60 hours a week every week in the baking Florida sun working on industrial buildings with multi-million dollar contracts with barely enough pay to cover his own bills much less put any of his children into college or start a retirement fund. And now a few years shy of 60 he has broken down. He is a shell of who he was really because he has always had this belief that somehwere in the vague future that was always just beyond his fingertips would be everything he ever dreamed of. The American dream that we are taught is more or less a lie. Its out there but getting it is tricky. It isn't just working hard. It takes hard work but so much more than that. And as the OP said our system requires that not everyone can get it. Hell, it requires that the majority of us never get it.

I started planning last year but this year I began putting things into action to get out of my wage-whore job and take some form of control of my own financial life. Because I don't want to end up like my father. Hopefully so I can help my father and mother. Also to help my two younger siblings. I don't want them to have to shoulder what our parents did or what I've shouldered until now. Its a depressing thought to know that your time, the very exhibition of your life, can be calculated to exact pennys and dimes of predetermined worth. That is why so many people live in their phones and spend endless hours watching mindless forms of entertainment. Everyone has their tetris game to keep them distracted from the maddening reality of the situation of the majority of Americans. I got friends that still work at basically minimum wage. I'm doing a hell of a lot better than them but in the grand scheme of things all it means is that I can get the double quarter pounder meal instead of the dollar menu at mcdonalds.

My core reason for coming here is to hopefully learn a thing or two so that I don't ruin real chances to make a difference in my life.
Boy, I wish I had the clear vision you have. This is the base for your future.

Aunt Clyde

Read Millionaire Fastlane
Aug 14, 2018
Long Island, NY
Life happens to those who aren't making it happen.

Jesus... I feel for that guy. Back to the grind!
This reminds me of the time I was in Macy's looking for a new mattress for my new apartment at the time. I was looking around on my own when a woman who had to have been at least in her 80s and leaning on a walker made a casual comment about mattresses. At first I thought she was just some random woman using a walker who was trying to make small talk. But when she kept talking about the mattresses I realized she was a salesperson. Imagine being in your 80s, requiring acwalker to get around and being a salesperson at Macy's. So depressing.

Suzanne Bazemore

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Sep 30, 2018
He then asked "What do you do Andy?". Ah, I suddenly realised all those parents keep coming in every evening after fighting their way through traffic and see me playing with the kids all the time.

I gave him the high-level view and offered to have a chat about it over coffee sometime. I hope he takes me up on it.
@Andy Black , did your neighbor ever take you up on that coffee?

Become a Fastlane INSIDER to view the forum ad free.


Aug 30, 2018
Northeast USA
This hurts to read again.

Please please please, if you’re reading this and have kids: Wake up! Remember why you’re doing this.
I find myself during times of reflecting (questioning?) on my decision to leave my corporate job to stay home with the kids (5 and 3 now) 8 months ago to create a business.

Generally Im doing this refelecting when I realize that Im still figuring things out and working out how to start taking smart action again and not remain stuck in the learning loop. I typically find solace in spending time with the kids way more than I would of ever been able to before.

Im thankful for so much including this forum for being very eye opening and helping me on my journey to help over 1 million people.


May 1, 2019
Short answer: They sucked at their lives all around.

Longer answer: The big 3 are: Fitness, social, and career. You can never lose track of the big three. To some extent they have to do that work because they grew up with no father so their odds of running into problems with the law skyrocket. I used to work in food industry and have worked with some of the worst people you will ever meet. The tallyman always collects his pay.


Jan 13, 2016
Gilbert, AZ
I just quit a sales job today. Place had me feeling the same as the guy described in the original post... I have been in that position far too many times, and yet I am only 25 years young. Funny because this sales job was selling what I am most passionate about, yet it still ended up bringing me back to that hollow feeling of working a dead end job. I have about $5 to my name right now, a one month old son, and a soon to be wife that relies on me as the main source of income. Am I scared? Hell yes i am, but thats what makes us or breaks us right?

Don't be afraid to take steps people, your dreams won't become reality just sitting in one spot, even if its spending your days on this computer. Get out and take some action! A good friend of mine who passed away some years ago once told me, "Do at least one thing every day that scares you."
So it has been over 3 years since I posted this, and I have made significant progress as far as financial and stability standpoints are concerned. I ended up taking a job from my father in law at a electrical distribution and wholesale supply warehouse about five months after posting this. It wasn’t what I wanted, but it was needed to keep things afloat. I am still currently with the company. I work as a low level associate inside the shipping department inside the warehouse. They offer an employee ESOP program in which my shares owned are increased by 20% for the first five years, and at five I will own 100%. Contribution rate has been a steady 15-20% year over year. September I will own 60% of $18,000, and I currently have $9,000 in my personal savings account. Father in law has offered to pay off our remaining $5,000 car loan debt, leaving my wife and I with only monthly living expenses (rent, utilities, food).

I also took up retail futures trading two years ago in an attempt to slowly build some capital on the side and possibly pay off some existing debts. I have since paid $3,500 in tuition to the markets and slowly drained my trading account to zero. Anyone who trades will know that risk management is usually learned the hard way unfortunately. In the entire process I found that my biggest hurdle was the psychology behind trading with an “under funded” account. I fell victim to poor logic and emotional reactions without regard to proper risk management and logical strategy. I managed to grow my “paper” or “sim” account from 100k to 163k this year alone which has since shown me that it is possible to be net positive as a part time trader with the proper tools. I would still like to continue trading once I have enough capital to put at risk as I honestly love it and enjoy everything about the market.

As far as my day job, I want to quit every single day. The burning desire to do something meaningful in my life has never left me. I spend my entire day thinking about problems I could solve, and things I enjoy doing, pain points I see at work that can be improved on, etc. etc. At this point, I have so many things going on in my head at any given time that I don’t even know half the time what ideas are logical and actionable, and what ideas are just a product of emotional boredom and forced desire to move forward.

None of this may sound fast lane, but I have taken the approach that nothing I am going to do will happen overnight. I am putting in the slow lane work to pay the bills and build capital. I am always going to be working towards my goal of building a meaningful life for myself. I hope to one day meet up with my fellow fast lane friends here in Arizona because I desperately need a crash course in networking. It is definitely my next step to conquer in my process.

Cheers to the never ending hustle :thumbsup:

Post New Topic

Please SEARCH before posting.
Please select the BEST category.

Post new topic


View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Monthly conference calls with doers
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Top Bottom