No Free Lunch


There are just people who don’t get it.

Day in and day out, they think they’re going to be on top of the world. They think that the world owes them. That they get a free lunch just because they’re young, they got talent and they can work.

It’s all smokes and mirrors. And they’ve bought in.

In fact, they’ve gulped down every last drop.

The fact is, the world is tough, it’s harsh and you have to deal with it in your own little way.

People tell me that some people in our office needs a new laptop, they need office supplies such as soap, tissue paper – and all such ‘necessities’ that they consume. And that’s fine – they do need that. The thing is, they’re looking at it in the wrong perspective.

Yeah, these are things provided in a corporate set-up. These are consumables that are given for free on top of the benefits and such in another, well-established and well-funded company. Not here.

Not at SEO Hacker.

And no I’m not about to go pity-partying here. That’s life – that’s what a zero capital, bootstrap company really is at its 2nd year of operation.

I know a company that requires its people to pay for their own drinking water because their people consume a lot of drinking water in a month.


“Drinking water is a necessity and they have their people pay for it?!”

Newsflash: Drinking water in SEO Hacker is paid by the company. Is it a benefit?

Well, after I’ve seen the company that had its employees pay for their drinking water with my own eyes, I believe the answer is ‘Yes’.

Let’s take the word ‘BENEFIT’ and break it down:

  1. An advantage or profit gained from something.
  2. A payment or gift made by an employer, the state, or an insurance company.

I don’t see the word ‘deserve’ anywhere in the definition. And YET – people think that they deserve BENEFITS.

One hell of an irony, isn’t it?

As a start-up, you don’t want people who think this way in your team. They are people who are brought up with crab, employee and entitlement mentalities. Don’t keep them.

The best thing to do is encourage them to go where they are happiest – to the corporate, established and well-funded companies.

That’s where they’ll be truly happy. It’s a win-win. They get the benefits they want and you have more room for teammates who will truly be loyal, committed and hardworking for your vision and cause.

Whether or not you tell them of the upper and lower hands of a corporate setting, they will always choose the benefits, the higher salaries and the luxuries of working in a corporate world. I know – I’ve been there. It’s a waste of time, effort and brain juice to tell them otherwise.

They will not understand the risks you took to putting your own neck and financial future on the line. They will not understand the money you invested – your own sweat and blood, just to keep the business alive and provide a good working environment for them. They will not understand the effort and toil you put in – closing deals, slugging it out with clients, looking for leads. They won’t get it.

They just won’t.

And they wouldn’t understand that in the long run (if they’re the right A player with the right perspective and character) they’ll receive good work positions, fairly distributed equity, benefits, and surmountable salaries among other things. People who focus on these things are the right people – people with long-term vision and with faith in the company’s future.

There are people in your team who wants it fast, who wants it easy, and who wants it now. These people are parasites. You have to know who they are and put them where they want to be – as much as possible, outside of your team. Bad eggs affect the quality of the good ones.

For the bad eggs the slogan, “This world owes me” is true.

Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.


    • Sean says

      It’s cheap. I was just using it as an illustration. But yeah, it’s a real company. Shocking, right?

  1. Andy says

    Shocking, yes. I’d imagined it’ll only cost a beer to supply water for a week or two. I don’t understand why there should be a big deal about it!

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