Take The Red Pill And Redefine Success On Your Terms

Imagine this: you find yourself knee-deep in a pile of belongings, contemplating their significance in your life. It was during an introspective de-cluttering session that I stumbled upon a profound realization. Our relentless pursuit of material abundance and the never-ending work grind has trapped us in a cycle of dissatisfaction and longing. But what if I told you there’s a way to break free from this shackled existence? Buckle up as we delve into the real reasons behind the 40-hour workweek that keeps most employees and entrepreneurs trapped and explore how designing our own realities can unlock a world of freedom and fulfillment in life and business.


As I stared at piles of organized clutter and moving boxes I began to contemplate life, business, and the hamster wheel we call success. I began to ask questions like “Why do people hardly have time to live?”, and “Why is it that despite material abundance, people are unhappier than ever before?” “Why do most people need to be Xanaxed into a coma to survive one of the most abundant times in history?”

You see behind the scenes, corporations have strategically woven a web that keeps us trapped in the endless cycle of work and consumption. By normalizing the forty-hour workweek as the societal standard for employees and entrepreneurs alike, these same corporations ensure that our free time remains scarce. Things like family, rest, play, learning, and creation are banished to the periphery of our lives while work takes center stage while the media promotes the idea that it is a noble cause to prioritize feeding the machine more than our health, our happiness, and our relationships.

This approach fosters a culture where we feel compelled to spend heavily on entertainment and conveniences due to the limited time available outside of work. Our evenings and weekends become the battlegrounds for constructing a life while juggling commitments and desires. Since we don’t have time to prepare meals from scratch – we have become more and more reliant on fast foods and pre-prepared microwave meals. Things that were seen as luxuries only a few decades ago have become ‘essentials’ in the minds of everyday consumers – and health and happiness are on a rapid decline.

People are more obese than ever before.

The mental health crisis is at an all-time high.

Concern for the environment takes a back seat so long as money continues to change hands.

And despite being hyper-connected thanks to digital technologies people have never felt more loneliness and isolation.

And somewhere along the lines, we stopped questioning whether or not what we were doing was actually taking us down a path that would support our highest good.

With the average first-world living human being spending more than 90 000 hours at work over their lifetime (which is a significant chunk of this one precious life of ours), it’s worth unpacking whether or not the way we relate to work is ultimately serving us. After all, you have only one precious life, and it’s up to you how you choose to live it.


But how did all of this happen? 

Where exactly did it start?

When did we sign the silent contract where we agreed to spend the best years of our lives feeding the consumerist machine with the hopes that one day when we retire we’ll be able to focus on what really matters?

The eight-hour workday and forty-hour workweek we know today didn’t emerge by accident. It evolved from a historical struggle against exploitative labor practices during the industrial revolution. In 19th-century Britain, factory workers endured grueling fourteen- or sixteen-hour workdays, prompting a demand for better conditions.

The concept of the eight-hour workday gained momentum, thanks to labor movements and social activists who fought for fair working hours and improved worker rights. However, as technologies advanced and productivity increased, the focus shifted from reducing work hours to standardizing the workweek to maintain control and profitability for big businesses.


Despite the moves of big business, and contrary to popular belief, longer hours don’t necessarily equate to higher productivity in industries outside of manual labor fuelled manufacturing. Research suggests that working a shorter week can actually boost focus, creativity, and job satisfaction. Studies conducted at various companies, including Microsoft and Perpetual Guardian, demonstrated that reducing work hours led to improvements in employee well-being, engagement, and overall productivity.

In fact, according to a study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a shorter workweek of just 3 to 4 work days led to a 20% increase in productivity among a group of employees. This increase was attributed to improved work-life balance, reduced stress levels, and increased motivation.

So why, despite the obvious perks to productivity (and the fact that most employees working 8-hour-days only achieve around 3 hours of productive work a day) have most organizations chosen to default to the 8-hour work day?

Because when you’re time-starved – you’re keeping the economy alive.

Let me explain.


Meet Bob.

Bob works in finance. He works Monday to Friday, 8 hours a day, and lives in a nice apartment block an hour away from work. He sits in traffic for 2-3 hours a day en route to his office and back home again. He earns a 6-figure salary, drives a nice car, has the corner office, and regularly pays the bar tab for friends during his Friday-fun day excursions. He’s got a 25-year mortgage on his designer apartment. He has one child that he sees every other weekend. He buys his kid the most expensive toys money can buy ~ but he very rarely has the time or energy to spend real quality time with his child – despite his son’s constant nagging about wanting to play a game of soccer with him over the weekends. He won’t admit it to his son but he’s just too unfit to make it through a game so he makes sure his son has the coolest new gadgets and toys every time he comes to visit instead. He upgrades his car and cellphone every year and has a wardrobe full of the latest designer clothes and watches. By every measure according to society, he’s a huge success. Despite this, he feels that what he’s earning is never enough.

Since Bob has limited free time he hires someone to do all his cleaning, and never has time to cook for himself. He picks up lunch and dinner on the way to and from work (along with his dry cleaning.) and regularly visits his favorite restaurants. He’s a little overweight and battles with hypertension. He’s on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications to cope with his stressful job and takes one big holiday a year where he flies first class and spends on all the latest tech and gadgets. He hardly has time to question the meaning of life, or whether he’s making the best choices long term. He’s made it.

Bob is the most ideal cog in the machine.

Not convinced? Let’s just take a look at his healthcare costs alone.

The overall cost of chronic disease in America — both direct and indirect — amounts to an average of $37 trillion per year, about 19.6% of the US gross domestic product. Direct healthcare costs for individuals with chronic diseases amount to an average of $6,032 annually. This stat only represents the cost of regular chronic medication. 

There’s a lot of incentive here for big business to keep Bob and his comrades running on the hamster wheel. 

On the outside – Bob is living the high life.

But the reality is – that in order for Bob to maintain his lifestyle, he’s got to keep running on the hamster wheel.

The longer he runs, the more dependent he becomes on the system.

And he’s bound location-wise to the hamster wheel he’s chosen to run on.

His physical and mental health are suffering the consequences of his work-centric life – while big corporations line their pockets.

Bob may have money, but he’s also a prisoner of wealth.

Now let’s meet Sarah, the embodiment of a different kind of success.

Sarah has intentionally chosen to work just three days a week in her boutique freelance design studio, prioritizing her well-being and personal fulfillment over societal expectations of constant hustle. She may not earn a six-figure salary, but she has discovered the true power and wealth of being in control of her time and earns more than enough to fund a lifestyle that she can’t wait to wake up to on a Monday morning.

Sarah wakes up each morning with a sense of purpose and vitality. She starts her day with a refreshing exercise routine, which sets a positive tone for the rest of her day. With the extra time on her hands, she engages in meditation and mindfulness practices that bring her a sense of calm and clarity. She’s present in her life and has the energy to smile at the cashier and talk to strangers during her weekly grocery shop. She’s unhurried in her approach to life.

One of the greatest joys in Sarah’s life is her ability to cook nutritious meals from scratch. Unlike many people who rely on fast foods and pre-packaged meals, Sarah enjoys the process of selecting fresh ingredients and preparing wholesome dishes for herself and her loved ones. Sharing these meals together has become a cherished ritual that strengthens their bond.

In the evenings, Sarah dedicates quality time to her children, immersing herself in their world of curiosity and imagination. She is present for their milestones, their triumphs, and their challenges. As a result, her children grow up feeling supported and loved, building a solid foundation for their future because ultimately, what her children will remember when she’s gone are the magical moments spent together ~ not the fancy iPhones they got for their birthdays.

Sarah is part of a growing group known as the Renegade Rich. They are individuals who have unlocked the secret to a fulfilling life, valuing time and experiences over excessive financial wealth at the expense of life. They have embraced the concept of designing their own reality, where work serves as a means to fund their desired lifestyle rather than consuming their every waking hour.

By working fewer days, Sarah has discovered that she doesn’t need excessive material possessions or constant indulgence to find joy and contentment. Her focus is on living intentionally, enjoying the simple pleasures that life has to offer, and making memories that truly matter.

Because of her philosophy on life and her focus on creating life experiences rather than a life focused on acquiring shiny stuff, she’s managed to become, and stay debt free. She’s shaken loose from the invisible boot on her throat and can live her life without constant pressure to continue ‘hustling’ in the system. 

Sarah’s story challenges the notion that success is solely defined by financial achievements and material accumulation. It serves as an inspiration for those who dare to question the status quo and prioritize their own well-being and happiness.

Sarah isn’t an ideal cog in the machine.

She’s taken control of her health, wealth, and happiness – and isn’t overly reliant on a system that keeps her trapped and controls her time.

So, at the end of it all, who do you think is wealthier?


Behind the scenes of our consumer-driven society, massive investment firms like BlackRock and Vanguard wield significant power and influence. These companies not only control vast amounts of financial assets but also have ownership stakes in major media corporations. This control allows them to shape the narratives we consume, perpetuating the cycle of materialism and the need for constant work to sustain our desired lifestyles all in the name of bigger and bigger numbers on the bottom line. Curious about just how much power one organization could have? Check out this article here.

Through their media holdings, these corporate giants fuel a culture of consumption, promoting the idea that happiness and fulfillment can be found through material possessions. Their advertisements and sponsored content play on our desires, creating a sense of dissatisfaction and driving us to buy more. By recognizing the role these power players have in shaping our perceptions and behaviors, we can break free from their grip and reclaim our power to make conscious choices.


In our pursuit of more, it’s easy to become prisoners of wealth, endlessly chasing financial success without questioning its true purpose. The Renegade Rich, on the other hand, redefine their relationship with money and prioritize the acquisition of free time and lifestyle freedom. Instead of working solely to earn more, they focus on creating a balance between financial abundance and personal fulfillment.

To the Renegade Rich, the endless pursuit of an arbitrary amount of cash in the bank account transforms into a meaningful pursuit of creating enough time freedom, and cash flow to live their dream experience every day – much like our earlier, far freer (pre-usuary leveraging) ancestors.

By shifting our mindset and reevaluating our definition of wealth, we can break free from the endless need to consume and work tirelessly. The renegade rich understand that true wealth lies in the freedom to design their own lives, spend time with loved ones, and pursue their passions. They aim to live intentionally, making conscious choices that align with their values and allow them to experience joy, purpose, and personal growth every day.


In the vast landscape of entrepreneurship, there are moments when we stumble upon ideas that initially seem too good to be true. I remember the first time I heard about entrepreneurs successfully working just three days a week. It felt like a distant fantasy, something beyond my grasp. But deep down, I couldn’t help but wonder, “Could I create that reality for myself?”

Curiosity turned into an obsession—an unyielding desire to challenge the status quo and find a way to make it work. I was determined to break free from the societal norms that dictated an exhausting, all-consuming workweek. And so, with a mix of fear and excitement, I embarked on a mission to redefine what was possible.

Of course, it wasn’t without its fair share of doubts and worries. I questioned whether reducing my work hours would be a risky move, potentially harming my business’s growth. The what-ifs crept into my mind: What if clients left? What if opportunities vanished? It was a leap of faith, but deep down, I knew that if I didn’t try, I would never know what could be.

With a resolute heart, I took that leap. I committed to working just three days a week, driven by the belief that it was possible to find a harmonious balance between personal fulfillment and professional success. And you know what? The results amazed me.

Year after year, I not only sustained my revenue but watched it steadily grow. It was a revelation—a testament to the fact that a shorter workweek didn’t hinder my business’s progress; it fueled it. I discovered that working smarter, not harder, was the key to unlocking greater productivity and success.

Now, when I look at my life, I’m filled with gratitude. I have time for the hobbies I love, like horse riding and ballroom dancing. I can cherish precious moments with my family, knowing that my work doesn’t consume every waking hour. And most importantly, I’ve found my true passion—helping others break free from the work matrix and live lives of purpose, freedom, and fulfillment.

My journey is proof that questioning the norms, challenging the status quo, and creating our own realities are within our reach. We don’t have to conform to the conventional workweek if it doesn’t align with our deepest desires. Instead, we can craft lives that blend work and personal fulfillment in a way that brings us joy and abundance.

Your dreams of a balanced, fulfilling life are not out of reach. It starts with questioning, believing, and taking that first step towards your own version of success and then continuing to take the micro-actions that ultimately build the lives and businesses we’ve always dreamed of having.


So how do we escape the matrix and stop running on the proverbial hamster wheel as entrepreneurs?

It starts with the awareness shift that this post can create in your life if you allow it.

Next, it is up to you to redefine success.

Over the years in my own business, I have redefined success to mean being in control of my time, being location independent, and generating enough cash flow for me to support the lifestyle I wish to experience. I no longer look to arbitrary revenue goals or possessions to define my own success.

Once you’ve redefined the rules of the game, the next stage you’ll need to work through is implementation.

This process is unique to each individual and business but at its core, it involves eliminating the nonessentials and creating the structure, systems, and automation that your business needs to thrive while dramatically reducing the number of hours required for your business to function.

Disconnecting from advertising-focused media is also a plus as you learn to step away from the notion of accumulating stuff as a means of creating happiness.

This is a process of testing and iteration with a focus on increasing and improving the quality of your output while reducing the input (time and resources) required for your business to sustain your ideal lifestyle.

This path is not for the faint of heart because it requires a commitment to swimming in the opposite direction of the masses and the courage to sit with some really big questions like “When I’m not constantly working what’s the meaning of it all?” And “If life isn’t about acquiring shiny things and working until I die, what’s my real purpose?”

You’ll also be faced with the added complexity of feeling like an outsider when you find yourself sitting amongst a sea of prisoners of wealth, who whine about Mondays and hate their employers ~ or the hustle-type entrepreneurs who are constantly bragging about how they’re always too busy for life. Because #grindlife.

Want to know what thought runs through my mind when I observe this now?

Actually, I have time and life is wonderful.

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi “

Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead “

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama


You are the master of your reality.

In a world where the forty-hour workweek and hustle culture dominates, it’s time to reclaim your time ~ and start living. By understanding the history and illusions of the workweek trap, embracing the power of choice, challenging corporate influence, and redefining wealth, you can break free from the shackles of traditional work and design a life of purpose, abundance, and personal fulfillment.


Here are some of my favorite reflection questions from today’s topic:

* How has the relentless pursuit of material abundance and the 40-hour workweek impacted your own life and sense of fulfillment? What are the things you will remember about your life as you lie on your deathbed?

* Do you feel trapped in a cycle of work and consumption? If so, what steps could you take to break free from this cycle and prioritize other aspects of your life?

* Consider the history of the 40-hour workweek. How does understanding its origins and evolution influence your perspective on the current work culture?

* Reflect on the concept of working fewer hours leading to increased productivity, well-being, and overall satisfaction. How could implementing a shorter workweek positively impact your own life and work?

* Compare the stories of Bob and Sarah. Who do you resonate with more, and why? What aspects of their lives and choices do you find inspiring, and how can you incorporate those elements into your own journey toward a fulfilling life?

Meet The Author

I am a luxury business strategist and writer with an Italian cappuccino fetish and a 3-day work-week. With a personal love for indulgence and the finer things in life, I’ve seamlessly blended my passion for dissecting profitable businesses with the art of curating a life of pleasure. My obsession? Unraveling the DNA of success and happiness while teaching you how to beautifully disrupt the norm by crafting a business and life that you can’t wait to wake up to on a Monday morning.



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