We have all been there. Suddenly, you wake up, you look yourself in the mirror, you think about your life and feel that you have accomplished nothing relevant. Nicles. Nichts. Neribi. Nothing. That the world does not only give a fuck about you.
Worse: that it does not even know who you are and therefore does not even bother giving you any fucks. You are simply an invisible soul, another sheep among the herd who is living the life like everyone else.
Nevertheless, you try by all means to be different or, at least, to go through that difficult path of entrepreneurship. So you go back to business and begin importing a couple of products, so that you can sell them via Amazon.
Or better, to create your own website and to promote the merchandising with your own brand.
Or perhaps you plan to start a blog and even to write an e-book, with the main goal of influencing thousands or even millions of people.
Or what to say when, even keeping your 9 to 5 job, you start a side project until you eventually realize that you can live totally from it, gaining that financial freedom you dream of and breathe every single minute.
But then you get back to reality and you realize that you have not really achieved anything to be proud of.
Importing products involves too many rules, bureaucracy and steps which drive you crazy. It also requires a lot of investment, money which you do not have and, even if you would get it, you are too afraid of risking everything into something you have no idea whether it will work.
Consequently, endless limiting beliefs start filling up your head, making you backing off in your intentions and say “oh maybe the market is already saturated with similar products and I will be just another statistics in this indifference sphere”.
Regarding a blog, after so much effort, you draw the conclusion that you are just another guy whom nobody cares about and, regarding your book, even a Thai massage leaflet have more readers than it.
Oh and concerning your business ideas, you feel stupid because you simply can not find anything that makes the difference. At the same time, you get really annoyed by seeing a product selling so well in Amazon, just because someone had a brilliant idea and took action “in the right moment” (something which you can not even reach close to)!
The Artist’s Block
It’s 5 o’clock in the afternoon, you have taken this Saturday to work hard on your side hustle and there you are, in the living room, looking everywhere except to the computer screen. Tic-tac, tic-tac…the old, imposing clock standing next to you set the pace of your useleness, frustrating you more and more, each time a second passes. It is like a military torture, where your anxiety and stress levels reach a state you can no longer stand.
So you stand-up and start walking around the room, with the wooden floor creaking faster than your nervous heart beat, the perfect soundtrack to your miserable afternoon which will soon be wasted in vain. You take a nootropic, you drink coffee, you jump, you look outside, you watch some motivational videos but no, after a couple of hours of pure idling, you resign yourself and admit to the world that you are worth shit.
That perhaps you have not been made for this, that there are guys who are much cleverer or much more talented than you, who always seem to do things the right way.
They create a blog and in less than one year it seems like teenagers going to a concert of Justin Bieber: a full house with fans, where everything he does or every move he makes seems like cool, special or even magical. This super blogger releases an article and you can bet that after fifteen minutes he will have already a dozen people commenting on it, with a couple of them even saying that this is a life-changer text, which they will for sure share with everybody they know.
While you, even trying your best – by releasing regular content or trying to sell something to the world – keep staying in this limbo, in an inoperative state which seems to have no solution for.
First things first
What I have been writing until now it’s not someone else’s feelings or situations. No, it is simply what I have already gone through in many moments of my daily life. And like me, I am pretty sure that there are many “aspiring entrepreneurs” who see the time passing and absolutely no results coming.
Whatever they try, it seems that it always falls in the depths of indifference, as if the world only filtered a selected group of people who are naturally better than them.
On the other hand, we look at successful cases, these famous influencers with a beautiful website, with hundreds or even thousands of followers and think: “Jesus, I will never be able to reach that point!”.
Well, first of all, do me a favor and just ignore it! Think that this person has gone through a painful, burdensome path to reach where he is right now. Sure, he might have entered the market when it was trendy and there were not so many competitors but still, do not think that it has always been a glorious walk to success! No, you should focus on the process and on the small details, never in the final outcome.
So back to us, if you are stuck and A is not working, go for B. Are you struggling to write the first paragraph of your book? Then fuck that and write exactly an article about that struggling. Or go outside running. Or maybe to day-game some girls. Or even to dive into the water. Just switch your focus whenever you have already tried everything but nothing comes out (it is like trying to sleep without being tired).
Bear in mind that even if you will have one business, it should have multiple dimensions or aspects you can work in – articles, books, courses, eventually incorporated or complementary products, website design, and so on – so you can avoid to stay stuck on a certain subject.
Nevertheless, you have to realize that sometimes you have to start something new. Yes, your beloved recipe app or that e-book about fashion perhaps has not reached the number of people (perhaps even no one) you had pictured in the first place.
Therefore, you must assess the market and check the feedback you might have from some customers and readers and improve what is missing, lacking or simply needing some change. Did it work? Great, so go back to your business giving everything that you have.
However, if after all the modifications and promotion of your service you still do not see any results, then I regret to inform that is time to move forward (important note: you can still keep this “failed project” on the side, just do not give it top priority).
Perhaps you will scratch your head nervously thinking about the hassle of what will be to start everything all over again. Or worse: eventually you will not be able to come with any cool or revolutionary idea which would shake or create an impact in people’s lives.
So there you are again, trapped in a dead-end, praying for better times.
Look, I am far, far away from being the most successful guy in the world or even a successful case in the web, so my advice here can be used for what it’s worth.
Still, I have already gone through many moments in which I have felt like crap. Like I could not add anything valuable or that nobody would give a shit about me. But somehow, after these setbacks, I have always been able to overcome not only these adversities but especially this terrible state of mind. Call it pride or resilience, but there has always been an inner force telling me to keep going.
So no, you are not alone. You, I and many others are in the same boat, challenged with this difficult task of totally rowing against the tide, without any kind of certainty that the rewards will be waiting for us on the other side.
Bringing things more down to earth, I believe there are a couple of principles to consider which will help you getting “out of the hole”.
Let us first consider that you are on an initial phase, where you want to find ideas for your business or even a new path for your life. You know exactly what you do not want – to keep that lifestyle whose climax is to drink a coffee with those same, boring friends on a Saturday night and to struggle to pay the bills in the end of the month – but somehow you can not find the right direction to follow.
The first and easiest way is to go back to basics and ascertain what your passions, hobbies and interests are. Believe me, I am the first assassinating this maxim of “do what you love”, since it is nothing more than cliché motivational crap hiding behind zero substance and content. This nonsense implies that if I keep dancing, playing football or screwing girls like there were no tomorrow somehow I will become ridiculously rich! Yeah, right…
Sure, it may work for a very limited group of people, but that is the last path to success you want to choose. Yet, your passion may guide you to successful paths if you do it in a way that you can help others.
So do you like to dance? What about opening a dancing school somewhere in Norway, where there is still none and perhaps many people would be happy about, if you know how to convince them (aka promote your “product” well )?
Or what about girls? Instead of bragging among your loser friends about the ones you bang, you could write a book on how to do it. Or even create a course with theoretical explanations and “in-field” videos for everyone to learn your deadly tricks.
Hey, and even if your hobbies are weird as fuck – let us say you like to collect stamps or bottle caps, or perhaps to teach cats how to sing – always remember that there are more people like you, so you can have an audience if you come up with the right product, service and/or business approach.
The advantage of following your passions is that, when really hustling and working hard on your business, you will also be having some real pleasure as you enjoy the activity behind it.
Then, and more important than “do what you love”, is to “see what others love” or, even better, what others need. Guess what? The world will pay you based on its needs and not on yours. Your reality is, in the most of the cases, not the reality!
So stop thinking only in what bothers you or what matters to you and step out of the box. Look around and observe what is happening in the world and what people are asking for. In every new device, piece of clothes, equipment or service, there will always be something to add, create, change or even complement.
Leave that consumer mentality behind – “oh I want that watch, it is so nice” – and fully adopt the producer mindset – “how can I create some cool watches which people would crave to buy”?.
Unravel that confused mind and unleash the entrepreneurial beast!
Look, most of the times you do not need to reinvent the wheel. Think what if Bill Gates had said “oh no, computers exist already, let’s not lose time doing what someone else is already selling!”.
Or what if Mark Zuckerberg would have said “Nahh, Hi5, MySpace or Friendster exist already and they are what everyone prefers, so let’s just jump out of this competitive train”.
Hey and when you dried your hands in any restaurant more than ten years ago, the guys from Dyson could have stuck to what the industry was offering, the standard hand dryers, but no, they came up with the revolutionary Airblade (actually they “robbed” the idea of Mitsubishi Jet Towel but who cares, in the end they were cleverer and better at marketing) which wiped out the whole competition and set a new standard.
We all know that nowadays things appear and disappear like fruit flies and the technological advancements move merciless everyday. But instead of seeing that as a “Damn, I lost another opportunity”, start predicting what may come next. Or what current problems people have when using their last iPhone X or their amazing noise-cancelling headphones.
Always remember that the human brain can not catch up with the much faster evolution of technology, so there will always be space to find flaws in the global mass.
In the end, even if you will still not be able to come up with anything new, thinking that “everything has been invented already”, do not give up! Instead, go travel abroad for two weeks, experience other realities and/or start allocating half an hour per day thinking about mundane situations and what you can extract from it.
Start looking at things, instead of simply seeing them. Stop for a minute and ask yourself questions which most of the people do not even lose a second thinking about. “What currently annoys me in my life and what would I like to be easier or more practical?” “Or what do my friends complain about?”
Most of rich people have not become rich because they have come up with the biggest business idea in the world. No, they simply, stopped, looked around, observed and saw possibilities where most of us would only spotted problems. And whenever something is wrong, you will always have the chance to make it right.