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in: Money & Career, Podcast

• Last updated: September 11, 2020

Podcast #642: Finding Money and Meaning in the Blue Collar Trades

When it comes to living their best life and building substantial wealth, many young men’s first thoughts turn to developing a new app or starting a popular YouTube channel. They don’t think about digging ditches. But that’s how my guest today became a millionaire, and he thinks more folks should consider seeking not only financial success, but true comfort, peace, and freedom, by rejecting society’s standardized white collar career path, and looking into alternative routes through the skilled trades. 
 
His name is Ken Rusk, he’s a construction business entrepreneur who’s also been a life coach and mentor to hundreds of his employees, and he’s the author of Blue Collar Cash: Love Your Work, Secure Your Future, and Find Happiness for Life. Ken and I begin our conversation with how a guy who got a job digging ditches in high school and skipped college went on to create a multi-million dollar construction business. We then talk about how there aren’t enough people pursuing blue collar work, and how this “skills gap” regarding the trades is driving up demand, and in turn, the potential income to be made in this field. Ken talks about the cost-benefit analysis of going to college versus learning a skilled trade, and the advantages to the latter. He then explains the often underappreciated reward of blue collar work, which he calls “the step back moment.” From there, Ken shares some stories of folks who found fulfillment pursuing blue collar work, and even made that switch later in life. Along the way, Ken shares the life advice he gives employees and job seekers about how to manage their money, set goals, and pursue their own version of happiness and success. 

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Show Highlights

  • How Ken started digging ditches (and why he stuck with it) 
  • What is the skills gap?
  • The costs and time of trade school vs a traditional 4-year college
  • How blue collar work can you put ahead financially in life
  • The “step-back” fulfillment of blue collar work 
  • The surprising intellectual challenges of blue collar jobs
  • Can you change into this career as someone in the middle of a white collar career?
  • The measured ways in which you build a business in these fields

Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast

Connect With Ken

Ken’s website

Ken on Twitter

Ken on Instagram

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