The Donkey and the Steed
The Donkey and the Steed

The Donkey and the Steed

This was a conversation I had with my manager last year. The point was to explain why being in business for yourself is better than working for a large company, even if it’s not as profitable.

Most people know that doing what makes them happy is the best way to go. But what if there was a job that makes more money than doing what you love? Couldn’t we use the money to do what we love? There are lots of us trapped in that circle somewhere.


  • The Donkey represents owning your own business
  • The Steed represents working for a large company


The valiant steed comes with full plate armor and a lance. The steed has been well taken care of, brushed daily and has all the water they want. You even get a free cleaning crew for your stall. Despite the awkwardness of sitting on a saddle-shaped like a pyramid, the steed provides.

However, you do not own the steed. The armor, the lance – you are renting everything with this option. After you’ve fought your battles, once you’ve given your time and value away, you will need to take your steed back to the stables; all of the plate armor and your lance as well. Eventually, it becomes routine; then you become dependent on the steed.

There is still the experience that is gained. That’s really the only benefit the steed has. You are trained to use your lance a little bit. But most of your experience is what you make of it. If you decide to walk away, then those tools are no longer available to you. All you take with you are┬ámemories and money you have saved, if any.


I would prefer to just own a donkey. I may not be able to deliver such grand results like what the steed can. But I won’t ever have to return my donkey; I can keep building more value. The donkey gets stronger and stays loyal.

You don’t get the free cleaning crew or the armor & lance. So there is more work involved. But had you started with the donkey 10 years ago… where would you be now? Had you taken care of your donkey and build your value, rather than giving it away, how much would you have now?


It’s better that you find value in what you do, in your own way. No need to feel guilty about riding your employer’s waves. Your creativity and your passion don’t belong in someone else’s pocketbook. Think about where you could be in 10 years if you start doing what you want – right now.


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One comment

  1. Sucannah Cortez

    This was such an inspirational message that I truely needed to hear today. I just found out I am getting let go from a job I realy love, but reading this article has made me realize there may be better things out there. I am leaving some nice comforts, but the experience is priceless and I’ll treasure it.

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