Dirty Alchemy

The promised 15 hour work week

The promised 15 hour work week

Part 2 (of 5): They want us exhausted & distracted

Here’s what we know:

Part 1 (of 5): The Real Reason Online Business Isn’t Working.

  1. The way society is set up is fucked & it’s conditioned us to work a certain way that is against our nature.
  2. “Standard” business practices don’t work for women, neurodivergent, activist-minded, sensitive people (it’s not just you).
  3. “Business As Usual” is killing the planet, people, and our souls. We need to move forward quickly with an alternative or else we’re all fucked.
I “got into the biz” doing just about anything for online businesses that I thought were cool. Just flailing around, following direction.

It’s shocking what you can teach yourself on Google, friend.

A few years in I ended up becoming an “online launch manager” for a large online astrology business, and that’s when I could actually see the man behind the curtain.

It was 2016 which my brain sees as not that long ago, but it’s nearly been a decade now 😳

Every quarter we would run these massive online course launches to their 80K+ person email list using all the “classic” launch techniques — webinars, 3 part video series, digital product mockups, all the emails, affiliates — you know the deal.

The team of 10 would work for 2-3 months in preparation of the launch, going overtime during “open cart.”

After the launch was over I would find it pretty shocking that the hours I was working were the same in and out of launch times — 25-30 hours a week. I was paid by the hour so I tracked time religiously. And even then, I was so fucking drained – feeling hopeless by the idea that I couldn’t work 40 hours a week like a “normal person.”

It wasn’t until years later that I found out that the average employee works ~2 HOURS A DAY – after b.s. meetings, water cooler time, reading the news, breaks… So my hyper-focused 25 hours a week were over 2X the amount of effort as a “normal person.”

(And not gonna lie, when I transitioned from working for that business to running my own business, I had the giddy satisfaction of learning that the CEO had to hire 4 people to replace me.)

In 1930, the economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that in 100 years (by 2030), every single person in the US would only need to work 15 hours a week, thanks to the incredible advancements of the Industrial Revolution.

He imagined that by now, we would basically work Monday and Tuesday, and then have a five-day weekend.

“I would predict that the standard of life in progressive countries a hundred years hence will be between 4 and 8 times as high as it is today… Everybody will need to do some work if he is to be contented … a 15-hour week may put off the problem for a great while. For 3 hours a day is quite enough to satisfy the old Adam in most of us!”

Now in 2024, the average work week, if you’re in the 25-54 age range = 40.5 hours per week.

All the while, inflation has consistently raised the cost of living, while the minimum wage doesn’t even pretend to keep up.

A lot of people have been forced into side hustles just to survive.

That Industrial Revolution that Keynes spoke of did more than just make more efficient machines.

there have been 4 Industrial Revolutions so far and we’re in the midst of the fourth, with the advent of “cyber-physical systems.”  😳

Notably, the Industrial Revolutions have brought us the assembly line. The efficient factory. It squashed the booming artisan movement and the age of the craftsmen.

Why I’m bringing this up is because that factory model that became oh so popular in the 1900’s has not gone away.

Look around at the online business industry…

We still hyper focus on profit first, cutting corners, promoting consumerism, efficiency, the bottom line, hiring a virtual team for as little per hour as possible, being streamlined, since individuation costs more time and energy.

On that note, it’s a good thing the public school system squashed out creativity since art is inefficient.

And you know what it’s created?

You being a cog in the machine. The most overworked employee of your business.

The people you’re meant to serve being $dollar signs$ and only valuable as Buyers.

The earth being exploited for natural resources. Putting money over the health of people, animals, lands, joy.

Maybe you’re like many online biz owners I talk with:

  • Acting like a manager/overworked employee with a shitty boss (you), 

  • Buying things to “fix” problems – shiny object syndrome, 

  • overworking, 

  • doing (or mental spiraling) as a buffer to committing, 

  • “quick fixes” (which may even include dolling out 10’s of $1000’s for a high-end mastermind as a way to “quantum leap”)

And somehow, the mechanization that was supposed to free us and give us that 15 hour work week (not because society needed us to work, or we needed to work for money, but because it gave us some level of purpose) has brought about us needing to work more to pay for more. 

… which is now being further exacerbated by AI, which will supposedly take all “unskilled” jobs (and many “skilled” jobs).

(It’s like how most people think that The Patriarchy is all about domination by men. But men are crushed by Patriarchy just as women are. The ones who benefit are the patriarchs. The “Fathers.” The ones at the heads of the table. The CEOS making $$$ when the employees are underpaid and overworked to the point that it’s unsafe — I’m looking at you Bezos.)

To be clear — I am ALL FOR YOUR WILDLY WEALTHY LIFE!!!! You making 6- or 7+ figures every year. 

…but there’s a huge difference between that and The Billionaires, soon to be trillionaires. It’s a serious policy issue that our society allows it to happen…

Beyond that: 

Nature is fucking ABUNDANT!

Anyone who has had a fruit tree in their yard knows this.

When it’s in season you don’t even know what to do with all those apples. You have to make apple pie. Apple butter. You have to share some with your neighbors, or trade them or sell them, or give them away because by the end of the season you don’t want to look at another apple.

So if money isn’t the problem… if being abundant isn’t the problem… what is?

Let’s return to that first Industrial Revolution.

The Industrial Revolution wasn’t just an event… it’s the paradigm that shaped us.

The industrial revolution is the main model that conditioned our minds. It started from childhood. 

The symptoms you may be experiencing from a factory-inspired public school system are serious (most parents didn’t read the fine print):

  • Being totally disconnected from your natural inclinations and preferences,

  • not trusting yourself, 

  • giving your authority to “authorities”, 

  • squashed creativity, 

  • inability to make decisions, 

  • waiting to eat or pee until you’re done with a task, 

  • freezing and fawning instead of fighting for your rights and autonomy, 

  • perfectionism, 

  • obsessive attachment to linear time, 

  • needing the Gold Star even when it doesn’t contribute to your personal goals…

Remember back to the top of this email, with my story where I would find myself going back to my “baseline” 25 hours a week even after grueling overtime periods? 

That’s because we’ve all been somatically trained to work a certain number of hours a week. Like Pavlov’s dog drooling over a cookie when the bell rings, we “just find” ourselves working a certain amount each week, or we feel anxious & guilty if we don’t hit our “quota” of work hours, even if it’s subconscious.

Sure – robots can do the work for us, but our bodies have been programmed like machines to scream DANGER if we don’t put our time in. And many business owners I’ve worked with fucking hate resting & working less.

The powers that be want you to be tired. They want you to be overworked.

Because those that are in control are better able to control you when you’re distracted by “just getting by,” or keeping up with the Joneses.

If you feel any guilt or shame around your business not being to where you want it to be yet, or about how much you’re working or how many trainings you’ve taken —

— know that it’s not your fault.

— know that society at large has been set up for you to be a cog in its machine.

And without conscious effort, it’s almost impossible to go against the invisible strings keeping us in our acceptable, palatable “roles.”

Luckily there is a larger, more powerful force that is a part of your DNA that you can tap into at any moment.

In a few days I’ll be back for just that.

Here’s what we know:

  1. Economists in the 1930’s predicted that we’d only have to work 15 hours/week due to industrialization, but “the powers that be” benefit from us being overworked & distracted.
  2. We’ve been conditioned by a factory-oriented school system & society.
  3. It’s not your fault that your business feels exhausting.
  4. Abundance is natural, but it’s difficult to tap into when disconnected from Nature & our natures.

Click through to the next article in this series, so that we can transmute the bullshit and access the level of impact & success you’re destined for.

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