Was having a conversation the other day with someone via IM. She asked me where I was, and I told her I was talking from the lobby of the W hotel in Times Square, waiting to have a drink with someone who runs a marketing firm. "The W Hotel?! What a tough life! Will you please do some work?!" she IM'd back. It was around 3pm. She didn't know I'd closed two deals, brought three new advertisers to HARO, and gotten one client onto CNN. Not bad for someone who, according to my friend, had to be nagged to "do some work."
I've heard virtually identical comments resulting from Facebook or Twitter updates that have included "Driving from LA to SF, stopped to get gas outside some wind farm," "Sitting in the lounge at Gatwick, munching on a bagel," "Singapore–>EWR flight delayed, hitting Duty Free, anyone want anything?" "Sitting on the hood of my rental car, watching the sunset from the desert outside of Eloy, Arizona," and of course, "working from the Ranch, waiting for them to fuel the plane," which of course, is code for "handling a client issue via conference call, with my skydiving rig on my back, hoping I'll finish the call before the next load goes up in the air."
So Let's translate "why don't you do some work" into what it really is: "How come your job lets you fly all over the place, and have meetings in really cool places, and why can't mine? Your job certainly doesn't seem like work, why does mine?" My answer to them? Because you don't want it badly enough. If you really did, you'd have it. You'd take the risk, and play the game. (In actuality, that's all it ever is - one giant game.) Face it - Having a job where you're not the boss is, well, safe.