[dropcap type=”3″]M[/dropcap]idnight, January 2004
I opened the window at 2 am to let the cold air in, it was a chilly night but I was sweating like a filthy pig from anxiety.
2004, I had a lot of money in my bank account. In fact it was enough that I could stop working and could live off of interest just on that.
I was having one of my usual dose of panic attacks that lasted over a decade.
I’m about to tell you a story of a crippling anxiety that almost killed me.
I sat down rubbing the pen on my head and started jotting down some notes and ideas on why it is all gonna be okay.
And I’ll somehow make it all work, I’ve started from the bottom, made a fortune and I’ll make it back again – I was trying to convince myself that it is going to be alright and I started randomly scratching the notebook until the pen ran out of ink.
Though it was sorta half way empty when I started scratching.
4 am, I finally got my breathing and heart rate under control, I was ready to go to bed in about an hour.
5 am, I had urges to give it all up and just stop everything, take all the money I already had and give up.
Maybe write a sci-fi novel I always wanted to write and live off of royalties from Amazon if it worked out. I was trying to rationalize what my emotions were suggesting me.
I said, all right, I’m gonna do that, next day I binge watched a bunch of episode of “Married with Children.”
I ate a lot of pizza and played some Half Life.
It went on and on, I started losing interest in all those activities too.
What the HELL was going on?
Is this what failure feels like?
The answer is NO. This is what DEPRESSION feels like.
And I realized if I don’t get my ass back to work as soon as possible, I might actually fucking die.
I’m either gonna pull the trigger or get back to what I was trying to build.
Next week, I got back at my desk, turned on my PC and my PSU got fried cause its fan died. I went to buy a replacement and with salty feeling in my mouth I started working…
And then I accepted my fate as it is, my life is going to be filled with hardship and it will be always like this.
What happened moments after that was about to change my life forever.
I realized that it is FINE. Here is why:
All I need to worry about is creating a fund that would pay off my living expenses for 3 years and I’m willing to go ALL IN.
And given that I don’t spend money like a 14-year-old, I already was sorta financially stable for 3 years…
You might be wondering, what happened that caused me to break down?
I’ll tell you what happened, I made a lot of money, and started a passion project.
I was burning through cash so fast it was insane. I could go bankrupt in 3 months.
I was under a lot of pressure, and fear.
And as things went on, it wasn’t rosy all the way to today, but I never went bankrupt and I’m extremely glad I stuck to that plan.
This is the reality of success.
You might screw up or you might not screw up but you WILL end up in situations where it would be extremely tempting to just give up.
To me, it was that month of January.
And it is in those moments when you need to hang tight and get into a mindset where you don’t let anxiety and frustrations cloud your judgement.
Which leads me into talking about today’s core subject and that is “gurus” showing off their Lambos, Ferraris and other cool toys to lure young wanna be entrepreneurs in and then trying to sell them basic rebadged crap from generic motivation speakers who’re dead.
But it gets worse, these days people make up a lot of numbers up too, like podcast download numbers, traffic numbers as well as social media following.
A lot of what looks real is nothing but phony numbers and I’ll show you how they do it.
This is one of the reasons why you WON’T see me flashing my car, my lake view penthouse and all things that may imply that I like to show off shiny objects and that I’m financially immature.
Why should I?
I don’t need to look rich for being one.
The flashy lifestyle you see actually makes these gurus look financially immature.
For example, instead of buying a car for $400k, I could simply put that money to work for me and build something that I’m proud of.
Instead of buying a 10 million dollar mansion, I could use that capital to start a technology company that allows average people to build an application via drag and drop interface and distribute it via a decentralized platform like Ethereum, permanently revolutionizing this space.
I could put some of this money and invest in companies and technologies that I personally believe in.
Heck I could use some of that cash to create a strong viral marketing campaign for that book project of mine if nothing else…
There are better ways to utilize money than making it rain on hookers, coke and booze, private yachts, obnoxious mansions and fast impractical sports cars that makes so much noise, makes me wonder how in the fucking hell are they street legal?
But it gets worst…
Kimanzi made a great point here in this article:
“Sadly, the marketing and hype persuade people to do business with these “house of cards” businesses. More times than not, the information purchased is designed for one thing: to get you to buy another product or service at a higher price. You get put in a funnel that will continually try to take your money. You’re promised even bigger opportunities and results if you buy the “elite” level program.”
He also talks about strategies like twitter bombing to boost the podcast download numbers up several times which are worthless.
I’ve seen people doing that with Facebook likes, followers on twitter and, of course, Instagram.
Go read that article, he made some staggering points there!
Now I understand some gurus uses this to attract people and try to sell them legit shit as they claim but if I do that two things are going to happen:
- I’ll attract a crap load of wannabes who will never work on something with dedication
- They’ll always be stuck in day dreaming mode and won’t get the results that they want
This is also one of the reason behind how I price my products, and how I structured Zielix Incubator’s enrollment process.
If I select people with right mindset from the get-go it just makes my life several time easier.
And another reason is the business model I’ve got working for myself. It makes me accountable for the SaaS businesses people build with the help of programs like SaaS Academy, The Network or Partner.
Heck, the Partner program I have is a program where I only work with 3 clients per year max on an equity basis.
The reason why I do things this way is because I’ve built my business on my own terms.
I do not want to attract people who get easily impressed by watching a dude on Instagram spending cash like a 14-year-old and then trying to sell them something that gives them false hope that they might replicate that “lifestyle.”
Because I KNOW what it really takes. And that’s why I told you about that one specific month of my life.
It is gonna be this hard but I promise you one thing – it would be worth it.
I want you to create a safety net for yourself like I did, and then go ALL IN.
As Jony Ive said, you can do some crazy remarkable things if you just focus on one thing. And that means saying no when every bone in your body says the otherwise.
I woke up right before the holidays, extremely excited to go on a vacation.
I took an 8-week long vacation and I started writing that sci-fi book I always wanted to write which, believe it or not, still a work in progress.
My process with the book is that I imagine it all like a movie and then try to write down the scenes. A long movie I guess. lol
12 years later, as I reflect back to where I am right now, I couldn’t be happier.