I feel like there’s a new genre of writing that has taken off in the past few years. It’s nonfiction, and yet the reward it provides is almost the same as a fairy tale.
I’m talking about all the self-employed, entrepreneur-ish books. I read a lot of them. You probably do too. Tim Ferriss. James Altucher. Tony Robbins. Even smaller names like Mike Cernovich.
It’s not even books–this type of content pops up on social media and youtube as well. All the vloggers and youtubers who support themselves off of their youtube income streams, or who showcase how they run their own lives through freelance work, direct sales, and youtube or patreon revenue. I’m thinking about the Casey Neistats and Frannerds of the world here–not just people who support themselves on youtube, but people who vlog about supporting themselves on youtube.
The subtext of all of these things is: you can too!
And maybe you can. Probably you can. You and I have just as much potential as most of these people. They’ve taken risks and figured out how to leverage the internets in a way that works for them (instead of destructive ways like crippling youtube addictions).
At the end of the day, though, these people make money selling the dream to you and me. They show us how they live the lives that they live. On the one hand, hey–it’s an instruction manual or guidebook or map or whatever. Showing us the way.
On the other, it can be all too easy to fall into the trap of voyeurism, of sitting back and watching these people out on the playing field. Maybe we should start a fantasy entrepreneur tournament.
I say “these people” like a pejorative, but I don’t mean it that way. I admire them, and envy them a little bit, and know that I could potentially maybe be one of them, but also equally know that the way I’m living my life right now will never get me there.
AJA Cortes reminded me of that tonight on twitter, with some cut-to-the-bone truth. He put into words a lot of my own feelings of being “stuck” along with exactly what I’ve done that’s gotten me to this place: lack of risk, seeking comfort, choosing a college degree that feels good and hoping that everything will work out.
Hope is NEVER a plan,
Assuming things will “just work out” is NOT a plan
“Something will come along” is NOT a plan
This is loser talk
The reliance on happenstance and fate and destiny somehow swinging in your favor,
Fortune favors PLANNING
Your degree is not a fucking plan,
“I’m sure it will work out” isn’t a plan
“I’ve got a good feeling about it” is NOT a plan
Why aren’t these things plans?
Because you are not taking ACTION on ANYTHING
Where’s the momentum? Where is the forward drive to create?
Hell, where’s the hustle and grind and all that cliched shit?
What’s the big picture you are actually working to create every day?
There isn’t one?
You’re relying on half luck and half mediocre skill and wishful thinking?
Stop bullshitting yourself.
I’ve reached the point where I can’t bullshit myself anymore. I am all too aware of the situation that I’ve gotten myself into (complacent job, no marriage prospects, very little creativity in my life, etc etc etc). This is not the life I dreamed for myself when I was a starry-eyed 12 year old.
And reading books about how “You can too!” doesn’t help the fact. Until I take action, it’s just more bullshit.
Right now, I know that I cannot work for myself or be my own boss or choose myself or anything like that. I know this because I know how lazy I am on my own, away from an employer with expectations of me. If I want to move toward any sort of second income stream or self-employment or freelance work or publishing my own novel, I need to learn how to manage myself.
So I’ve decided to draft a list of things I can do (ACTION) to prove to myself that I’m ready to strike out on my own.
- Set up a (big) project, plan it out, and complete it within a deadline
- Clean my room, Jordan B Peterson style
- Address my resentment of tracking time, and start using time to my advantage
- Stick to a consistent sleep time and wake time
- Continue to publish a blog post every day until we hit a year
- Work out consistently
- Get out of bed immediately upon rising, instead of languishing in the half-asleep/half-awake stage that I love so much (this will legit be a sacrifice)
- Design a daily schedule for myself that incorporates all the projects that I plan to complete, along with the self-care that my chronic illness demands, and stick to it
- Finish the Self-Authoring suite
- Complete a plan for my future, with action steps and deadlines
- Sell a product online that people buy on a consistent basis while still employed full time by someone else
- Tackle the reading list that I’ve had in my mind for years
- Define what success means to me
Now, all of these things will not happen overnight. Tackling this list will take time, and self-discipline. A plan. Some of the very same things on this list that I feel I lack already. However, the things on this list create compound interest–once I’ve completed and/or maintain a substantial amount of them, I imagine that I’ll already be on the road to being more antifragile and self-sufficient.
The thing is, I must begin. Take action. DO IT.
I take comfort in the fact that doing it badly is better than doing it not at all. Doing it badly is the first step toward doing it well. Doing it badly is, frankly, still DOING.
One day at a time. One step at a time. One minute at a time.
Forward, into a brighter future.