Grist Columnist: Larnt along the way…

The first indication that you don’t know it all is thinking that you do. Some in my family might dispute it, but I do not claim to know it all. However, when you’re getting along in the latter half of life, if you’ve been paying attention at all, you’ve larnt a few things. I mean to impart some of what I’ve larnt along the way to you youngsters now.

You are a business; act like it. You may think if you draw a paycheck from someone else that you’re just an employee. Not so. You own your labor and you are selling it to your employer. In other words your employer is your customer. Make sure what you’re selling them is worth what they’re paying you, and if they don’t value it high enough, sell it somewhere else.

If you do have a bona fide business going where you’re the boss, make sure you have someone knowledgeable from the get-go minding your tax obligations. The government is merciless about collecting their money. They will find you and they will put you out of business and take whatever property they can find if you are not paying your taxes properly, including ESPECIALLY payroll taxes.

(Note: The day after I wrote this Grist post, I found a news report out of Dallas about the IRS seizing the assets of a small sewing business without due process in a dispute over taxes. CLICK HERE to see it. / JFR)

Education is important and all that, but these days college is a big ripoff. If you have a talent for design or sewing or whatever, pursue it to the hilt while you are young, energetic, and relatively unencumbered. Get your degree later if it will help. Only doctors, lawyers, engineers & such really need the college before they can get out and do anything in life.

If you’re familiar with Ayn Rand, you know there are three types of people in this world: the producers, the looters, and the moochers. Don’t be a sniveling, whining member of the latter two categories. And be careful about who you associate with lest it rub off on you.

Sorry, that’s all I have room for. You’ll have to “larn” the rest yourself. But I will give you one more tip: Life is made to be enjoyed – larn to laugh about it!

John F. Rebrovick

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