I am f*cked.
This is stupid. Nobody is going to buy this sh*t. Who am I to think I can help real people? I’m the guy quitting his job so he can work from home on some childish immature attempt to have a ‘good’ life and be an entrepreneur. Who the hell do I think I am?
(They say you are your harshest critic)
I’m okay with failing, spending my savings on bills for six months, no doubt learning a lot in the mean time. I could do a bunch of weekends and retreats with that money. I could travel around the world comfortably for six months. Forget the bills. I could learn a lot. Fuck that. This is the best learning experience money can’t buy. Learning by doing. That’s how I’ve always learned best anyway. I’m going to look like a real asshole if I mess this up though. Liam is still young enough where at least he won’t judge me yet. Hannah will likely affirm that I’m a hopeless pathetic little excuse for a man. My dad is going to shake his head and tell me he told me so. My mum will probably try to comfort me, and convince me of the value in just getting a good job and working full-time for a paycheck. Maybe they’ll try to convince me to go back to college. I wish this shit was a little bit easier to sit with!
You have to learn to dance with the fear.
“Ha!” Dance with the fear Sam! Dance with the fucking fear! They’re not going anywhere man. You have to get used to these guys. They have 100 different voices that all sound exactly like yours. They’re with you until the end; true friends.
It was as if the boogie-man was in my childhood bedroom breaking off his fingernails while simultaneously screaming and violently shaking his head back and forth. There I am hiding under my covers trembling, crying, trying to convince myself that it is just a bad dream.
Then, all of a sudden, I wake up.
It was just a bad dream.
It was just fear.
The conditioned thought came into my head that it was only fear, and that I had to learn to dance with it, play with it, befriend it, that is if I wanted to make it far in this scary game. Most people don’t make it far in entrepreneurship; many don’t even begin despite wanting to. This is precisely why. The number one culprit. Fear. People talk themselves out of things before they even begin.
Well, in that same moment that the thought came, “You have to learn to dance with the fear,” positive thoughts started flowing. My mood simultaneously began to transition into optimism. Then the thought of sharing this came to mind. Everyone that I have learned from and emulated already succeeded financially and professionally. They already won the large cash and prizes. I never heard from anyone who was taking the leap of faith. I never heard anyone say, “Hey! Watch this!” and proceed to jump off this cliff. I never heard from anyone who was in the middle of the thickness, dealing with the blows that these ambitious risks deal out. Sure, the people that had been through it went through it. But there is something candid and sacred about the live experience; about the guy you know who’s muddling through it all, just up ahead of you.
It is much more tangible for me to relate and pull inspiration from the person who’s actually living in the trenches that I’m terrified of even climbing into myself.
I am terrified, by the way.
My son Liam is four. I’ve been sober from drugs and alcohol two-months longer than he’s been alive. He’s on my living room floor playing with all his toys. I’m more worried about what everyone will think about me if the business fails. I don’t worry about money. I can always piss my life away working a throwaway job.
I am scared.
Security is desirable for most people. As scared as I am of everything to do with this experience, I am way more afraid of being mediocre and unfulfilled. I’m way more afraid of having regrets when I’m too far gone to do anything about them. I’m way more afraid of the woulda’s the coulda’s and the shoulda’s. I am pretty well acquainted with them already.
I want to have a full-time relationship with my son. I want to be around him as much as possible. I want to travel and experience the world, as well as this wonderful nation I’m privileged to call home. I want to host community events that benefit organizations and individuals in ways the really matter. I want to inspire my family, friends, colleagues, and following to pursue something more. Most of us are bloated with ordinary. Most of us are unfulfilled and dissatisfied with our lives. Most of us dread Monday mornings, and look forward to Friday nights and weekends. Most of us save our money all year so we can escape from reality to a nice little fairy-tale land we often refer to as a vacation. Then we reluctantly return to our lives in a dreadful way, and try to manage well until we can escape again next year. And finally, we hope and pray that we can work and suffer long enough so that we might be able to escape to a permanent fairy-tale land we like to call retirement. All of this just to discover that not working wasn’t the solution after all. What we actually craved all along was the fulfillment of these little notions and ideas and inspirations that we had been sweeping under the rug. We tried to pretend like they were our childish ambitions. We tried to convince ourselves that we had to be grown-ups now and be responsible. We tried to convince ourselves that we were FINE, and that it would all pay off someday. Well someday came for many of us. As it turns out it didn’t pay off as well as we’d hoped.
I don’t want to have regrets about not doing all those scary things I wanted to do once I’m an old man. If I am fortunate enough to die of old age, or even in old age, I do not want to have regrets about things I did not do.
I want this little boy right here to have his dad around. I want to do everything I can to prepare him for life, and expose him to it before he ventures out on his own. I want to get out and do and be. I do not want to have to be somewhere for eight-plus hours per day on someone else’s terms.
Let’s do ourselves and everyone’s lives we touch a favor: Let’s quit. Let’s quit settling for comfort, the illusion of security, and whatever else might be holding us back from doing those things that our hearts are pulling at us to do. Let’s be true to ourselves for once, and begin to figure out how to live purposeful lives. Let’s evolve with the aspiration of setting an example worth setting for the people we love.
Let’s do it together.