You’re in a hurry. Heart racing and breathing heavy...
You grip the steering wheel, check the clock and with a long stretch of road and no one in your way, you think, “Yes! I might make it!"
But hope is shattered when a car traveling half-speed pulls into your lane and blocks your way. What's this?
“… are you kidding me? I don’t have time for this!”
In frustration, you remember how familiar this is. You never have time. Always rushing through life looking for brief moments, but never finding one long enough to be productive.
Is this what life is? Will be like this forever?
What you really want is more time for your side hustle, but deep down you know it'll only happen if you give something up.
But what? You can’t give up your job.
And Time Isn’t Your Only Problem…
Here’s another scenario…
You’re waiting for an appointment, staring at your phone and scrolling through your Facebook feed.
Joe and Sally who you haven’t seen in years, just posted pictures of their new house. Nice…
A three-car garage? Really?
Is that a boat in their driveway?
And what about the endless backyard with a gazebo and a pool?
Leave it to social media to make you feel inadequate. Not only do you not have time, your bank account is running on empty too. And your "friends" are rubbing it your face.
Well, not really, but the effect is the same. Here you are, putting everything you have (including your soul) into your home-business.
Every minute and every penny, but so far… you have nothing to show for it.
“One day!” you tell yourself, “One day I’ll have a house like that and I’ll have enough *money* and enough *freedom* to enjoy it.”
The entrepreneurs life is anything but easy. You’ve tried a dozen things but none of them have worked. Your family is frustrated… borderline angry. Your friends are probably talking behind your back… secretly hoping you fail.
Somehow your pain makes them feel better...
They’d sooner buy a new BBQ before spending money on a course, or investing in new tool.
And yet… you’re still filled with doubt. On the outside you’re confident… but inside you wondering if this a mistake.
For all your efforts and sacrifices, you’re scraping by while your friends have the new house, the shiny car… and the new BBQ.
It’s Not Your Fault
Every entrepreneur goes through this.
The “go-to-school” and “get-a-good-job” message has been hammered into us so deep it’s in our DNA.
As sure as the sun will rise tomorrow… a job is the best path to happiness and prosperity. Or so we've been told.
Sure… a home-business is admirable, but if you can’t have your dream house and new car too… then it’s downright reckless.
While you’re slogging away at the computer and investing money in knowledge, your friends are renovating their kitchen and going on vacation.
Don’t worry, they’ll post pictures for you on Facebook.
It's not your fault. You feel this way because,
- You're human, and...
- Consumerism is being shoved down your throat.
Most people collapse under society’s pressure and like an addiction… they give up their dreams to compete with their neighbors. To maintain the status quo.
None of us are immune. Big companies and corporations spend billions to make us this way.
And It Doesn't Get Any Easier...
There are also some realities we can’t ignore.
Even if you’re willing to do what it takes, that doesn’t mean you can.
If you’re not familiar with The Myth of Busy, it’s a fairy tale that says busy is just an excuse… that none of us are “actually” busy… we just think we are.
While that’s certainly true for some… for others, busy is 100% real. And no one understands this better than a struggling entrepreneur… particularly one with a full-time job, two cars, a mortgage and family.
But here’s the thing. The busy “naysayers” are half-right.
It’s true, you can always simplify and become less busy. Sell, downsize, maybe even move somewhere cheaper to live. A different country???
And maybe YOU could do with less… but “simple” might not work for your family.
What if your debt is underwater, or your house needs renovating before you downsize… if downsizing is even an option?
What if you’re a full-time student juggling part-time jobs to keep a 10’x10’ roof over your head?
There are just too many situations where busy is NOT a myth…
You still have responsibilities and freedom won't happen (for you or your family) if your nights are spent watching TV with them, and your weekends at the mall.
But What if You Had Superpowers?
A superhero is someone who can do what others can’t… who has powers others don’t have.
Putting your life on hold and purposely doing without is something most people can’t do. At least not for long.
If they could, the economy would collapse.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting more... as I mentioned above, it’s another way of saying we’re human.
But those who can stick with it, who can give up today for a greater tomorrow… are superhuman.
To do what most can’t do and go where most can’t go. To have the courage to fight when failure is almost certain... get up, and then fight some more.
To ignore what’s being said behind your back and have patience (a virtue).
Not the “I’m going to try this for a few months and see what happens” kind of patience, but real patience.
That’s strength… it's your superpower, and it separates you from the 99.9% who can "only say” they’d give anything to be where you'll be... but never would.
Not Quite Ready to Fly, But Feeling a Little Lighter
Imagine knowing that no matter what… if you lost everything today, you’d still be okay. In fact, better than okay. You’d have a blank canvas to start over, to live out that fantasy…
“If I could only go back and do it all over again.”
Okay, I’m not talking about losing your family… and of course, giving up most things is easier said than done.
But you must start somewhere and there is tremendous power in being able to give things up.
In one of Tim Ferris' earlier podcasts (author of The Four-Hour Workweek), he interviews Kevin Kelly, Co-Founder of Wired Magazine and The All Species Foundation.
Kevin talks about empowering yourself through “voluntary simplicity”… learning to live with nothing more than a backpack and some oatmeal.
It sounded crazy to me too. But maybe not that crazy.
He goes as far as to call it a necessary “life-skill” because knowing you can live with just a backpack and oatmeal is true confidence.
What’s the worst that can happen? You’ve been there, and it’s not that scary.
Similar sentiments are made by The Minimalists, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, who have helped empower millions to shed their material burdens.
I'm not saying to give up wanting more, but for now... wouldn't it be nice to have less.
Imagine being free from envy and desire. To have the time you need to build your "empire".
The time to drive slowly down the road while someone else gets stuck behind you.
In truth, everyone has this “superpower”. Unlocking it though… that’s the key.
Things don’t change overnight. You’re still rushed, stuck and struggling. Frustrated that the life you want belongs to someone else.
You know you can build it… you just need the time. Maybe the money. And deep down you know it’s worth it.
What you need is a place to start, and this I share from experience. My wife and I sold anything we could find that wasn’t being used. We gave away (literally) truck loads of junk, moved to a smaller house and got rid of one vehicle.
You probably won’t need to go that far. Maybe start with a garage sale or put that watch you never wear on eBay. If you can cut enough expenses to take a less demanding job... even better.
What I can tell you is this. It feels really good.
You’ll have less stress, less frustration, more time and while it won’t be perfect, you’ll have more open road in front of you. It might even feel like you have superpowers. 🙂