When I think back on how I got started almost 6 years ago I think of the following four things:
In 2009 I HATED my day job with a passion.
I used that hatred as motivation to drive me and fuel my passion to escape and change my life. I asked myself over and over “is this all there is – I work for the rest of my life at a job I hate, with a boss that hates me, and for a company who doesn’t give a shit about me?”
Every night I read the Gary Halbert letters from 6pm until 2am. I cried myself to sleep some nights I was so miserable at my job but I knew that if I kept going something would change. No one tapped me on the shoulder and gave me permission, I made my own way.
I came up with a HUGE list of ideas, plans, programs, and more I wanted to do. I bought books, courses (including one that cost me over $1500), and programs to help me – and I did nothing with most of them.
My girlfriend lovingly stopped me one day and said the following “babe, all of these ideas are great, what are you actually going to DO with them?”
That one stopped me in my tracks.
She was right. I was just PLAYING and PRETENDING to be in business, not actually doing anything in it.
That day is when I finally got to work.
I sent out my first postcard marketing campaign – it BOMBED. It turned out that sending 50 postcards wasn’t the key to instant riches I thought it was. I bitched about it to the creator of the program and he told me the following:
“Tim, let’s be honest with you – you didn’t even give this a fair shot, you sent 50 postcards and you’re ready to quit? I send thousands of postcards a month – some work – some don’t. But I never take my ball and go home – instead I get out of my own way and do the fucking work”
So I pulled out some more money and got to work. What do you know that guy was right and in a matter of months, because I was doing the work – I started getting the reward. I was making great money part time doing what I enjoyed, while still working at the job I hated. I was getting paid to learn sales and marketing and creating something out of nothing.
But I still didn’t quit my shitty day job. My job – even though I hated it – was security. It was medical insurance, retirement, safety, a steady job, and everything I thought I was supposed to have to make me happy. Except it wasn’t – it was killing me in more ways than one.
One day, my company made the choice for me. I got called into the office and it was strongly suggested that I quit before they found a reason to fire me.
Here I was, with a thriving part time business, money in the bank, and now I finally had the freedom I dreamed of – I should have been elated.
But instead of being elated, I was depressed. I spent weeks having nightmares about my old job, uncertain about the future, and trying to figure out my next steps forward.
Along with being depressed, I was also angry. Angry at my old boss, angry at old friends, angry at every girl who had never given me a chance, and angry at everyone else for not seeing what I had to offer the world.
I used that anger to continue to fuel and drive me forward.
Within 6 months I had made my entire old salary just working a few hours per week (this was before the 4 hour work week was a thing).
One day I sat down and wrote a short PDF on my experience and what I learned while sending out thousands of postcards. I uploaded it to a free hosting site, wrote the worst copy known to man and had the worst call to action in the history of the internet. In short – I fucked EVERYTHING up.
Despite all of that, sales started to slowly come in.
That day I learned the power of leverage, making something once and selling it forever and that the digital asset business was far more lucrative than traveling across the US doing hypnosis shows.
I also learned that by spending a little bit of time and money on something, I could not only benefit from that directly, but indirectly if I ever wanted to teach it to others.
Here’s the deal – this business, hell any business, is fucking work. You will have the highest highs and the lowest lows and there is a real opportunity for money like you never imagined and also plenty of chances for you to lose your ass.
To me, life and business always come back to these four things:
You are going to have to work your ass off to get started and get and keep momentum.
There are no pushbutton loophole riches here. Just long roads with plenty of opportunity – but they all take time and work on your part to make it happen.
You are going to have to stay dedicated when everyone else doesn’t want to.
Plenty of my friends bought houses, new cars, got married and had kids, while I stayed single, lived in a house that got broken into 3 times, and drove a Chevy cavalier. They were happy with the 9 to 5 racket, I wasn’t.
I lived a life they weren’t willing to for a few years so later I could live like they couldn’t. When their alarm clock rings in the morning I am still in bed sleeping. When they’re praying for a 3% raise, I’m paying their annual salary in taxes.
They gave up years ago and thought that was the best they could ever do, I didn’t.
You are going to have to take a leap with no net to catch you.
Last year I invested 8k into a coaching program that while I’m enjoying, I don’t think I’ll do it again. I had a business deal that cost me over $100k. I’ve had my highest highs and lowest lows in this business. None of it would have been possible without taking the first step and understanding that failure is ALWAYS an option.
What separates us from the rest of the world is the willingness to work on something for weeks, months, and yes even years knowing that it could completely bomb or blow up in our faces when we’re finished.
You are going to have to take risk.
Part of being your own boss is not having a safety net to catch you and still taking the leap. You’re going to risk money, time, and energy trying stuff out. Some of it works, a lot of it doesn’t. You’re going to fail, you’re going to suck, you’re going to doubt the fuck out of yourself.
And then, you’re going to pick yourself up and do it again, again, and again until you find a way to win. Failure is only a reality when you give up completely. Read that last sentence again. The only way failure gets power over you is when you give up. Until then, you’re still in the game and as long as you keep moving forward, you’ve still got a shot.
Now I know those wannabe push button millionaires, overnight riches, and instant internet gurus stopped reading this the second they saw the word WORK. It’s ok, that is why they continue to buy program after program and pretend to work on their business instead of actually doing the work.
I didn’t write this for them. I wrote this for me, and for you, as a reminder of what got us here and what we need to focus on to get even more from whatever we do.
Work, Dedication, Uncertainty, Risk – those are true 4 pillars of freedom – but only for those who are willing to do the work, stay dedicated to the process, be ok with uncertainty, and take on the necessary risk required to become successful.