How to get rich at your job and never work again

Last month I was in Alaska helping a friend with his dream project. He had long dreamed of taking one of his Bering Sea crab boats and converting it into a tourist attraction. In the past 6 years his dream has become the number one shore excursion for all major cruise lines in Alaska.

Tourists coming to Alaska have the chance to get on board a real crab boat from the TV Series ‘Deadliest Catch’ and participate in catching all types of sea life.

Seeing my friend’s passion for this project made me think about why some people genuinely love their jobs while others despise what they do. Then something happened …

While I was hosting a tour on the F/V Aleutian Ballad, a little girl, maybe 6 years old, came up to me, eyes wide with anticipation and asked, “can we catch an octopus, please! I’ve never seen an octopus.” I told her that if she held a crab for me, I would catch an octopus for her. Although hesitant at first, she extended her hand with earnest eyes and gave me a firm hand shake in agreement.

Toward the end of the tour, I could tell she was getting nervous we had yet to catch an octopus. As we began pulling in our final line, she leaned forward in anticipation. I knew there was an octopus inside the moment I landed the trap. Looking at her, I slowly opened the trap to prolong the anticipation. At this point the show was about her and not the 120 other passengers on board. When I removed the lid to the trap, I looked at her and smirked, as to signal it was something special.

I jumped into the trap head first and pretended I was being attacked; shouting and rolling around, I shook my legs like something was eating the face off my skull. When I emerged from the trap I pulled out with me a 70 pound Giant Pacific Octopus!

She lit up like a kid on Christmas morning and ran towards me. With no fear and eyes shining, she got close and touched the world’s largest octopus species.

When it was time for everyone to leave, she calmly waited for everyone to get done shaking my hand and approached me. She said, in the cutest little kid voice, “thank you for catching me an octopus“, then reached out her hand to offer me her gratitude in the form of a single skittle.

This was better than any payment I could have received. This is what made me feel truly rich and it reminded me why I love what I do.

It seems a lot of people attach a negative connotation to the word, “Work”. If you keep that negative ideology, even doing something you love can quickly turn boring and stale.

Let’s say you love scuba diving, you love it so much you want to do it every day. You do your schooling, get your credentials and begin working with a dive shop. Everything is great at first, but as time goes on you get tired of doing the same things over and over. The people around you begin to irritate you and before long diving is no fun. Every time you think about diving, you get a nauseous feeling in your core! You just took something you loved and turned it into work!

When I go crab fishing in the Bering Sea, one of the most brutal jobs in the world, I go because I love it. I look at crab fishing as my vacation from the ordinary and magically one of the toughest jobs on the planet turns into a motivating and challenging vacation.

Another example is when I made my first book, Deadliest Waters. I am not a great writer and rarely do I enjoy sitting down and writing, so I chose something I had fun with and that was photography.

Even then, I had problems focusing on the creation, mainly because I was financing the project and it was a new industry to me. The only thing I could do was remove the “work” and forget the money, leaving only the fun. Once I did that, it all came together and when the book was released, I made all my money back plus what I originally anticipated.

So how do we identify work? Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do you wake up every morning and dread going to work?
  2. Do you stare at the clock, wishing it would go by faster?
  3. Do you cringe at the thought of having to do your tasks?
  4. Why did you take the job in the first place? Was it the money?

Does that sound like you? It might, because over 70% of employees in America hate their jobs.

Why do so many people hate their jobs? In America we live in this little bubble, a bubble of standards and mind sets that are drilled into us from birth. We are taught at an early age that money equals success and you must be successful.

In order to be successful you must go to school, get a degree, get a job, move into a career and make as much money as you can before you die. People are expected to not like working, it’s all around us in advertising, in movies and even within our families. So changing your mind set can be very difficult.

As we know, money is a tool, just like any other, and must be thought of as so. When you take a job, it doesn’t mean you are sentenced to stay. If, for some reason, you feel the job isn’t for you or you’re not happy, move on. There are plenty of things to do in the world to keep busy and make money, too many not to find something you enjoy. But don’t panic, you don’t have you change your job, just your mind!

Focus on what you like about your job, if you can’t think of anything good then you are in dire need of a perspective change. I’d recommend taking a look at the rest of the world and the less fortunate to put into perspective the things you can be grateful for.

If that still doesn’t do it, you’re doing the wrong job – Take a few career tests and read the results with an open mind. They are by no means an end-all-be-all but they can give you some starting points. That should be a last resort.

Always remember, it could be worse! When you start to feel like you hate your job, remember, you could always be a manual sewer cleaner in Bangladesh!

The real struggle is breaking free of negativity. You will always find something wrong if you’re looking for it. A great way to do that is to focus on things that make your work enjoyable. When something negative comes up, don’t ask for details and don’t get involved unless you must.

If your thought process doesn’t change, it’s only a matter of time before that negativity consumes your life and affects everything you do. Working is a quest for money; living is a quest for happiness.

The money will come if you do what you love…

So how do we get rich and never work again? Easy, make work your new play time and don’t worry about the money.


What do you think about work and happiness?  Please leave a comment and share your tips for enjoying work so we can all learn from each other!

  1. Reply Travis September 23, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    What kind of company incentives do you think work the best for employee happiness? Travel credit? Bonus checks? Relaxed work schedule? More days off?

  2. Reply Beth Janelle Rhoades September 24, 2012 at 6:03 am

    Great commentary on the current state of “work”. I was a vocational counselor for 15 years. It was great helping the high school kids plan for their futures and follow them through college and into their first jobs. It was challenging, but rewarding to help women who had been abused and ended up fleeing to a safe house, to help them figure out what their gifts were and how that could correlate to “work”. With so many people, they get “stuck” as they are so afraid of making changes in their lives while trying to raise kids and pay the bills. A strong support system can make all the difference in being able to summon the courage to jump in with both feet and make the big change.

    You will be a hero to that little girl for the rest of her life!

  3. Reply Matt Crabtree September 24, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Being good at what I do is essential for me to enjoy what I do for a living. Once I began to consciously sharpen my skills at work, I found my career to be far more rewarding and fulfilling. Being accepting of new standards and possessing a willingness to embrace change has made all of the difference! I used to hate wearing slacks… But when I made it fun by wearing some extra fly gear I started to love it! I get pressed up every day now and don’t even sweat it. Sharp read! Interesting take.

  4. Reply Beth Janelle Rhoades September 25, 2012 at 7:41 am

    There is strong scientific research that people who find a match between their interests and abilities enjoy their work more than average, have fewer absences from work, and tend to become innovators and leaders within their work place/work teams. People need to be more educated about what their strengths and abilities are, what their learning style is, and do the research to help them define a concrete goal and a timeline for reaching their goal.

    One example from my job as a career counselor was working with a young man who struggled with reading comprehension and ended up acting out in high school because being in class seemed like prison. He gave up on learning because he couldn’t keep up with the course work. He ended up being harassed by the other students who were all aiming at 4 year college degrees. In working with my student, we were able to find that he was an kinesthetic learner – he learned best by short explanations, followed by visual demonstrations, and enhanced immediately with a hands on learning experience.

    We explored several community colleges before finding an automotive tech program that taught all theory and related business math, computer applications, and business English coursed in the morning. Then he had 4 hours of lab time in the afternoon to actually work on cars to reinforce what he just learned. We were also able to arrange for him to take his tests privately and have the tests read to him. He still had the same test as the other students, but he was able to test in an environment that reduced distractions and allowed him to focus on expressing what he learned.

    He went from the “trouble maker” and “loser” that other kids and even teachers had labeled him, to Dean’s List at the community college. His ultimate goal was to own his own shop as his small town did not have a mechanic. Over the next couple of years he worked in a couple of different shops to get a better idea of how to manage people that worked in the shop as well as dealing with the public. After 3 years he came back to me and told me he was ready to open his own shop. I worked with him and our small business consultant to help him develop a solid business plan that he could take to the local bank and secure a loan.

    Within 2 years he added a tow truck service (the only one for a 25 mile radius) and had 3 work bays going and was having to hire others to work for him. He also got married, bought a house, and had children. He is just one of “my kids” that I had the honor of working with for about 12 years from age 14 to age 26. My joy in my work came from seeing people make amazing changes in their lives and helping them to follow their dreams.

  5. Reply Elaine September 25, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    I’m a firm believer in doing what you love & loving what you do! Working at what I love is part of my everyday quest for happiness. Everyone benefits & enjoys working with those that are passionate about “work”, always reaching higher. Learning, growing & changing.
    I’m sure that “hating” one’s job could impact a persons health from the stress of the daily grind. All work & no play….from the negative “work” perspective inevitably results in discontent & unhappiness that unfortunately get’s paid forward in the form of negative venting or rants making it misserable to work with the individual.

    Many of us have experienced it – the grumpy, sullen workmate that obviously wants to be anywhere but work – yet needs the job to make ends meet. Everyone around them walking on eggshells so as not to incur their wrath. Makes you wanna say “Hey…I’m trying to enjoy a little ray of sunshine here! Live a little…enjoy what you do here, or move on.” Remember we are all in this together. Attitudes are communicable.

    Last year our little mom & pop sub shop in Everett made #3 in the Best of Western Wa. We could see the pride & sense of accomplishment in everyone that works with us there. The excitement was catching! The accolades & recognition for a job well done was was rewarding, yet the real reward was when my hubby surprised the staff with a round-trip ticket to anywhere Jet Blue flys (his day job) talk about incentive! Everyone danced & cheered together. We had accomplished all this together – what were the chances –
    3rd out of 181! Perma-smile for a while 🙂

    I will tell those I work with more often how much I appreciate them…I’m glad I read this blog. Well done.

    I laughed outloud picturing you wrestling with that octopus!

    Thanks Travis

  6. Reply Patti September 26, 2012 at 8:24 am

    So true Travis! I still the story about the little girl.

  7. Reply Patti September 26, 2012 at 8:28 am

    LOL Typo = I still love the story about the little girl.

  8. Reply aol October 13, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    I am extremely impressed along with your writing abilities and also with the format for your weblog.
    Is that this a paid topic or did you modify it yourself?
    Either way stay up the nice high quality writing, it’s uncommon to look a great blog like this one these days.

    • Reply Travis October 13, 2012 at 11:27 pm

      Everything on this site is written by me, Travis, and highlights businesses and adventure travel experiences I’ve had. This blog is setup to share my findings, good and bad, with like minded people. Thanks, and I hope to see you around more.

      • Reply Doug Zettles November 21, 2012 at 4:28 am

        Very Well Said Travis,I Was Looking Around And Found Your Site,I Was Getting Away From What I Love And You Hit The Nail On The Head.I Need My Passion Back.And My Confidence Will Come Once I Get Back To What I Love Doing And Thats Making People Happy With Fire Effects.Very Inspirational Story,Thanks Doug

Leave a reply


Powered by