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The Path To Freedom
… it’s not linear (nor is it predictable)
It looks more like a plate of spaghetti, than a linear graph.
Every path is unique, unpredictable, and driven more by randomness and luck – than the successful and free would like to admit - they might chalk it up to “vision, hard work and discipline” (which is valid).
Yet, the concept of luck isn’t so random and belongs to those who prioritize:
Time in the game.
You need to put in the time to get lucky.
This will allow you to reap the benefits of compound interest on your thoughts, habits, actions, skills, and effort.
Slowly, slowly, then all at once…
You need time to develop the entrepreneurial mindset, the self awareness to understand your strengths and weaknesses (and how to work with them), and the mental agility to perceive when something is worth doubling down on, or worth quitting altogether.
Focusing on immediate outcomes and fast results or being demoralized by the unknown path and how far you have to go…
Will keep you spinning your wheels in the same place – wishing and dreaming – instead of doing, receiving, and getting closer to your big win (which can be found at the intersection of preparation and opportunity).
In simple terms:
The more you do, the more you will learn, and the faster you will move on the path to success and freedom.
My path to freedom (from personal trainer to full time real estate investor) took around ten years — and in retrospect, if I thought bigger and moved faster – I could have gotten there in half the time.
But I’m glad I didn’t.
The journey is truly the reward, and I wouldn’t change a thing in retrospect (well, maybe I would have bought Bitcoin in 2013).
Along this journey – each chapter of your life – as an employee or an entrepreneur – you learn new things, stack skills, make connections, and receive new insights – mostly around your strengths, curiosities, and natural talents.
You develop subject matter expertise, and you begin to see the world through your own unique lens.
Every experience (good and bad) in life brings with it valuable insights, awareness, and energy - stay present to receive and internalize - and use that to move forward.
Your big win is at the intersection of everything that makes you uniquely positioned in the world - your talents, skills, curiosities, passions, connections, experiences, world view, and the problems you are uniquely positioned to solve for people.
Side Note On Learning:
There is “procrastinative learning” – reading tons of books, taking courses, and waiting until you’re “ready” to take action…
And then there is “implementative learning” – learning what you need in this moment, and taking immediate action with the recently acquired knowledge.
This is true learning - you will receive the most valuable information from the results and feedback you get from taking action in the real world.
In other words — messy imperfect action is infinitely superior to perfection or procrastination (no matter how much your brain rationalizes it)
You never need to be perfect to win.
Perfection is a coping mechanism and another form of procrastination and resistance.
You just need to be good enough. And you can always improve as you go.
But you won’t know what needs improving - until you take messy and imperfect action.
“The more I work, the luckier I seem to get”
The more action you take, the more you increase your odds of “getting lucky”
Here’s the thing about luck:
You not only have to put yourself in a position to get lucky…
You have to be able to identify that first glimmer of luck staring you in the face — and aggressively seize it at first sight – riding the initial momentum of luck into a lifetime of success.
You need to assert your will onto reality, and make things happen – you need to create opportunities, as opposed to “waiting for them”.
You need to take action now.
Despite what all the abundance manifesters preach on Instagram…
The window for truly life-changing opportunities opens and closes faster than you think – so if you see that opportunity in front of you, and you’re positioned to seize it, you must give it your all (because sometimes in life, you only get one).
Success requires a sense of urgency.
You need to be self aware and you need to try a lot of different things until you find “your thing”.
You need to maintain the ability to be unattached to any outcome (also good advice for life and romantic relationships).
You must be PERFECTLY FINE with looking stupid, admitting you were wrong, and be flexible enough to change your mind about things - quickly.
You have to be willing to fail spectacularly in the public eye - and maintain a cool composure as you readjust your strategy.
If you want to stretch this muscle, go do something that make you extremely uncomfortable - ideally first thing in the morning.
Need help with that?
Take a freezing cold shower, or if you’re feeling bold - share your most controversial opinion on social media - express yourself radically and authentically - it can be both terrifying and liberating at the same time.
And the truth is – nobody really cares about you anyway (maybe your parents do, if you’re lucky) - most are too preoccupied with their own fears, dreams, wants, and needs to be preoccupied with yours.
The most important thing is:
You have to stay mentally engaged and in the game – at least as long as it takes to get lucky, but ideally, for the rest of your life.
This is why prioritizing your physical fitness and mental health (daily) is the key to longevity in this game.
“Test Fast, Fail Fast, Learn Fast - Next, Next, Next”
You must be willing to see everything you do in life as an experiment – the faster you test things, the faster you fail, and the faster you internalize those lessons from each failure — the faster you will move on your path to success.
You need to develop the hyper-sensitivity (quantitative and qualitative) to understand the feedback you receive from every effort and action you take - every action you take will serve as a guide for the next action.
If something works, do more of it.
If something doesn’t do less of it.
This is also great advice for a life well lived – do more of the things that bring you joy, and less of the things that take your joy away.
Whenever you start anything new – your goal is simply to figure out what works – typically, that’s done one experimental step at a time.
Trust your intuition and stay friendly to the facts of reality - learn to ignore the internal voice that attempts to shut you down before you allow your ideas to meet the light of day.
The thing you fear doing most - is probably the thing you should do the most.
“The Cave You Fear To Enter Holds The Treasure You Seek “
Every morning, while still in bed, my mind rationalizes all the reasons why I shouldn’t spend my time writing.
It tells me things like:
You’re a loser and nobody cares what you have to say. Nobody reads anymore, bro.
This isn’t even a good use of your time – you could be doing more profitable things - why don’t you start that air purification company you’ve been thinking about, or hunt for more real estate deals?
And, OH GOD, you’re just another one of those insecure narcissists who wants to feel important on social media! Is this a childhood wound?!
Yet - every time I shut this voice up, push through the resistance, and get to work – my self esteem, discipline, and confidence in this project grows.
For this project - I’m still finding my voice, I’m figuring out my message in real time, and I’m finding out who needs my help (and what they need help with).
I have an idea of what a successful outcome looks like, but am very unclear on the path to get there.
Truth be told - I have no idea what I’m doing — but I’m doing — and know that I will figure it out (sooner or later).
I believe the term is “self efficacy” and it’s a huge component of self esteem, success, and life satisfaction - you must trust yourself, and the process.
Sustainable success happens at the intersection of your unique world-view, talents and skills, passions, and life experience.
It’s maintained through happiness, joy, and finding fulfillment in the challenging process of learning, experimenting, and growing.
Success requires consistency, discipline, and time spent in the game.
You must develop the thick skin that allows you to be emotionally unattached from outcomes – and simply look to and adapt with the facts you receive from reality.
You must commit yourself to the lifelong commitment of learning and growth (and giving yourself the permission to change).
When I was a personal trainer, I was banging my head against the wall for the first year, until I learned that my writing was the best tool for differentiating myself, building human connections, and attracting loyal clients.
So I spent hundreds of hours developing the skill of copywriting and learning more about direct response marketing.
The result of this was an overload of training/coaching clients, and without the right systems and operations in place, I burned myself out, and took my newfound expertise to the next thing…
As a marketing consultant, when I combined my passion for personal development, with my copywriting expertise - everything became easier.
I no longer had to compete for business because I was naturally positioned as “the guy” in that space - I was a well positioned specialist and clients were now coming (and competing) for my business.
And with that natural fit – the work was more fun, success came easier, and it built confidence in my skills and abilities.
One of the most eye-opening things as a consultant, was in learning about the internal workings of larger businesses ($10M+ per year).
I learned how messy these businesses were behind the scenes - these guys were generating so much money, serving so many customers, yet — they had no idea what they were really doing — but they were doing.
This armed me with a powerful insight that lead to a paradigm shift:
Things don’t need to be perfect and you can figure them out as you go along. You don’t need to think linearly and you definitely don’t need to ask permission — so, swing big - the only limits are the ones we place on ourselves.
The truth about life and business is that nobody really knows what they’re doing - we’re all kinda making this up as we go - playing up our skills and talents, and downplaying luck and randomness.
With this insight, I created a core operating principle:
Take decisive action. Even if you have no idea what you’re doing. Trust in your mind’s ability to figure it out as you go. Take action and stay consistent.
In my eCommerce business, it took 19 months of trying everything and grinding through slow and often negative growth until we narrowed down the one thing that was bringing results - and went all in on it.
This lead to an astronomical (non-linear) growth that nearly killed me, and completely transformed my financial life.
This was my “big win”, and I’ll share everything I learned from that experience in another post.
If you enjoyed this, please share it with someone who might need to read it.
Thanks for reading.
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