When one embarks in this one way-trip to become a self-made man, he starts seeing the endless possibilities in front of him. He dreams about the big financial freedom which will allow him to live the life he has always wanted to: receiving money “passively” while sipping that mojito on a cool beach, driving that fast car which will impress all the fellows, owning boat parties with plenty of hot women around and, talking about the latter, having a constant supply of fresh, young female bodies to make his life even more wonderful.
Well, dreaming is good, but the reality is usually a much more boring place and, even if you can – and should – aspire to have such a majestic life, you must have the notion that not everything in the garden is rosy. Yes, you can build a system in which you will eventually receive money automatically, without the need to neither be present nor “sell” your time. But do not think that you can just relax and do nothing else.
Oh no boy, in case you want to thrive and to become successful, then you will need to care about your existing customers and about their demands and needs. If you do not put customer service as the priority, then you already have a proven formula for failure. And what about the competitors? Sure, right now you may have the most complete product or service on earth but, if you become lazy and lenient, then I guarantee you that in one year time your clients will move to them and you will be left with nothing.
So, unless you are a real millionaire who does not need to work anymore in his lifetime, then I regret to inform you that you will need to get down to business. Not the typical “hard work until you almost faint”, but the working smart which still requires a lot of your time and energy. And while this superfluous life of fast cars and attractive women will always be appealing, you must have the notion that you will have many more boring days than the exciting ones.
The fallacy of entrepreneurship
When you read a story about someone who has become successful, usually only the bright side of it is shown: the six or seven figures income, the impact this person has on his followers, the classy and stylish wardrobe, the 6-room apartment, the sports car or even the smoking girlfriend who is ten years younger than him. Yes, everything looks too good to be true…
What almost nobody talks about is the struggle, the nights without sleep, the internal conflicts, the discussions, the indifference and even abandon from relatives and friends. The hard, winding path which is coming from a place of nothing – to be like everyone else, an invisible person among the herd – to a world of wealth and possibilities, in which you are respected and even admired by many.
These many who ignore the endless hours allocated to the “boring” work and only care about the visible results. They forget about the almost unbearable hassle, when all of his friends were outside enjoying the sun while he was inside working like a social awkward. Yes, this nerd who sits there, imagining the streets and coffee shops filled with hot girls – whom he could so easily approach or start a conversation with – but who still decides to stay at home.
The one who misses those sunset parties at the beach, where the dj plays that cool house music which puts everyone on a top mood, with a sunny horizon depicting what looks indeed like a “paradise on earth”. The one who opts to skip that masterpiece film, that amazing play which everyone is talking about or the karting, the paintball or any leisure activity which would make a perfect day among his friends.
No, to become a successful guy you have to live like nobody else. You need to say no, to avoid, to refuse, to be the tedious friend, the anti-social, the pallid fellow who takes no sun on his skin, the distant son, the silent brother, the disconnected cousin or simply that person who cares and minds his own business above anything else.
The harsh reality
Here you are at home, with just the laptop screen in front and a sunny day behind you. For a while, you suddenly stop your typing and your mind takes you to where the good life and fun is. The palm trees, the fine sand, the laughs of your friends, that perfect 9 on the beach. You imagine how you could arrive in your convertible car, with your sleeveless shirt, fashion sunglasses and a bright smile, with that sensation that you would completely own everything.
This feeling that the world were such a perfect place that for a while you would forget about all the problems, including all the miserable, poor people who only struggle and never really live.
But then you come back to the suffocating reality, to that white room whose immutable existence almost blasts you. You look to that corner, a perfect homogenous white nothing, and your mind tells you to leave. It pushes you to open that wooden door and to go meet your friends. To explore the outside and to enjoy life. To breathe the fresh air, to feel it in your face and to thank god that you are alive. Because you only live once and to be cloistered inside is surely no way of being present in this world.
However, in a moment of pure strength, you resist. You tell NO the easy way out. You face the boredom, the unpleasantness and even the pain of being kept held inside. Yes, because you know that your body wants to take you through this path of least resistance, a road made with “minimum effort blocks” in which all lead to the same destination: short-term returns.
So you become strong, really strong, as if you could lift all your anger just using your bare hands. You enter a state of almost god-like existence, in which you are above all the mundane temptations and forces. Because you know that, if you slip for an inch, you will be back on that track, the one which the average people follow with all the successful doors closing behind them.
So which path do you choose?
First let’s be clear: if you reach a moment in which you can just take holidays or do whatever you want, without compromising your survival and normal life, then you are already on the 0.1% top of the world’s population. Congratulations, you have reached something almost impossible, which you can be really proud about.
Even those Instagram guys, full of muscles and an apparent perfect lifestyle, have not arrived there simply posting photos. Sure, they may have gained hundreds of followers just because they have good genetics and initiative in posting content about themselves, but this was far from being enough. What they do not post is the background, the time they needed to assign to such boring activities as sending emails the whole day or building a network of people who could help them taking small steps and eventually reach that state of visibility.
But my guess is that, if you are reading this blog, you are just starting. You are still at this stage where the only people who visit your e-commerce website are your mother, your uncles and your jealous ex-girlfriend. In addition, you keep having that safe job which satisfies your basic needs and allows you to enjoy life – but not too much, since your miserable paycheck is not prepared to withstand bold spending – on Saturdays and Sundays.
Still, after racking your brains, the conflict persists within you: on one hand, you think “why should I even bother to accomplish something which will be so difficult, if ever, to achieve?”. However, there is this resilient part of you, this son of the bitch who appears once in a while and tells you “hey you lazy bum, by having a job you will never live life according to your own terms, so what are you waiting for?”
So which of these “internal voices” will you listen to? The one of least resistance, of immediate gains and no highlights whatsoever, but where you can really be enjoying both safety (can you?) and a free world during two days, out of a week of seven? Or that path in which you have to pull the best of yourself, where most of the time you will be struggling, staying invisible and hiding from the real world and whose rewards may be presented to you just in a very distant future?
Yes, to become successful is boring, fucking boring! But my friend, it is the only way to go so the real question is: do you have what it takes? If not, no worries. You will always have that 9 to 5 job during the week which will allow you to live the dream like everyone else, enjoying that warm beach and those fresh mojitos during the weekend.