Have you ever tried to start your own business?
And had to tuck your tail between your legs and go back to a job again?
Too many times to count.
Literally. I don’t even know. I block out much of those 10 years of hell.
Before I quit my “final” job, I had a successful landscaping company, had been gallivanting through Europe and north Africa doing all sorts of marketing for rich property developers, and also failing a myriad of Hodge podge of businesses I will write fascinating stories about sometime in the future.
August 2014 was the last time I ever worked for someone else.
I was working for my city – I was given a giant water truck, told to hold a hose like it was a dick in my hand and water trees around the city.
I was working 12 hour shifts 6 days per week and after 6 months I couldn’t take it anymore.
This was right before I started my company Opposed Media.
I finally quit on my birthday, August 20th 2014.
It wasn’t just any “quit”, this was the final one – I told myself literally, this works or I’ll blow my head off…
This wasn’t coming from a place of depression or sadness – I wasn’t suicidal… this was out of simple logic.
Because I knew what my dreams were and if I didn’t achieve them, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself.
Is thinking like this healthy?
I don’t know and frankly, I don’t care.
I failed myself so many times over the years… out of laziness, fear, and short term pleasure I knew that if I didn’t do this right now I’d never do it.
And if I never did it, I’d be betraying myself in an unforgivable way.
Because the standard life prescription of:
“I get up every morning at 5:30 and commute for an hour and a half to some bullshit job where my jackoff boss expects me to kiss his balls all day just so I can afford to keep my ungrateful screaming kids decked out in Dora the explorer shit with my wife up to her fat ass in self help videos until the day I get enough courage to put a shotgun in my mouth”
…was not for me.
As in, I’d rather be dead than live out the typical family narrative, yet that’s exactly the road I was headed for.
This isn’t to say family life and being “normal” is bad…
It’s just bad for me.
Funny, I forgot about this *blow my head off* thing until now, and must have sounded insane to people around me at the time, but I said it:
” If I don’t do this now, I might as well just blow my head off”
And I was 100% cheerful about this, I’d say it with a smile!
Because it gave me strength and leverage.
I was finally serious.
(Do not try this at home please, I’m just sharing what worked for me, someone who was basically a lost cause and at the end of his rope with false starts)
So, this begs a question:
Now that I was 100% serious, did everything instantly change for me?
But it took 6 months for reality to catch up to the work I was doing.
Always remember that results, money, and success are always lagging indicators, which is why it’s smart to not make rash decisions and “stop pumping the well right before the water was to come out”.
My company didn’t make a single dollar for 180 days.
I spent those 180 days in my office.
All day. All night.
Nobody gave a shit for 180 days.
Not even my girlfriend.
She resented that I quit to start Opposed Media.
She resented that I had to sell one of my trucks to pay rent (The truck had no reverse gear anyway, and in the winter, I had to push it out of parking spots by hand)
I told her many times that the success of business is more important to me than her.
That if I don’t do this now, you won’t like the bitter degenerate I become… I do this or I die trying, and if I’m not happy, we won’t be happy.
…and this business will allow us a life that is only a dream to most people and that’s just how it is – hold on or don’t.
The damage was done.
I picked the wrong woman in the first place.
Be careful getting into a relationship while you are in a slump – as soon as you begin to step up again, they generally can’t accept the new change in behavior.
She was bitter I spent too much time in the business – she didn’t even care to see the office we rented or meet the employees we hired.
She even hated my business partner Macaully Ryan for no reason and said bringing him on as a partner will fail the business.
Funny – a non-business person who watched Dr. Phil all day long giving ME of all people business advice!
It didn’t matter that I took her on all sorts of exciting and long vacations. It didn’t matter that I paid all the bills, bought her a personal trainer, got us the best food, still had time for movies and fun…
She wanted a regular guy because she was a regular woman.
Didn’t take her long to cheat on me.
Didn’t take long for me to find out.
It was better I was single – I didn’t have the burden of someone trying to pull me back down into the mediocre.
If you are dating someone who is holding you back, making you feel less of a person for putting time into your passion, and resenting you stepping up, get rid of them.
Even if it’s your husband or wife.
Tell them to hit the bricks and repress someone else.
I also had to let go of a few life long friends who were subtly and not so subtly holding me back.
Sometimes the path to become who you really want to be is black and white – sometimes you need to shed old anchors.
When it is a must, you find a way – until then, it’s just desperate wishing.
Quitting that last time, I knew it was the final time. I knew I couldn’t take one more failure or one more job.
It became a must, and that’s why you are reading this article today.