Doubts

Everywhere I look I see the ideas and paradigms, from which I have tried to break away, being projected in front of my face, as though teachers were standing over me with a stick, pointing out the ways I am failing by not conforming to the norm, I feel pressured to put off, even abandon, this foolhardy crusade. Discouragement sets in as I apparently stand still while everyone around me continues to work normal jobs, provide adequate means for themselves, and move forward in life. Months have gone by and I haven’t earned a cent. I haven’t even settled on a decent plan of action. What would make my situation attractive to anyone? What have I to offer society? Am I really working towards something or have I just stepped out of the stream, letting everyone go on ahead? I have no proof that I am going in the right direction to reach what I would call success. As I listen to certain messages coming up all around me, I begin to feel like this pursuit isn’t quite as important as I had imagined. I can’t tell if this is just me losing focus on my original vision or whether I am beginning to see things in a clearer light. What does the word of the Lord say? Trust not in the arm of the flesh. The rich cannot enter the Kingdom of God… Do these scriptures say that to have riches is bad? Job had quite the fortune, and after all was said and done, ended up with several times what he had before. Lehi was a respected and wealthy man. King Solomon was at one point the richest man in the world. Abraham, Joseph, were these men poor in the eyes of men? No. These examples trump the deduction that those who have material wealth are evil and will be damned. Of course, neither is wealth necessary for salvation. The world is full of people who find joy in life even though poverty afflicts them every day of their life. Will money make me happy? Not in itself, or I would do anything for money. Can I buy happiness and success? No. Why then is money important to me? I don’t want to have to stress and worry about paying bills. I want to be able to be there for my spouse and children, to teach and help and play with them instead of existing solely to bring groceries. They might as well be on food stamps if that were all I was good for. I want to be able to make a difference in people’s lives. I feel like I cannot do that as an average Joe. Why do I feel like this is too easy and too hard at the same time? I had decided to not follow the 97%. I will not go out to get a job to support myself. It’s not that I can’t. I feel confidant that I could get a job most anywhere on minimum wage. There are places that take just about anyone, I am able-bodied and plenty qualified. I feel like I could even get a job without a resume, but so far I haven’t felt it necessary to attempt. I will work for someone to help them out. I guess the real test is whether I can work for others without monetary compensation.

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No You Can’t

Just for a minute I want you to think negatively.

Think of something that you do automatically, you don’t think about it you just do it, like driving, walking, cooking, riding a bike, talking. Think for a minute how many things could go wrong. Imagine just how hazardous it could be if you didn’t do it right or you failed.

You never know what is going to happen. You may have done it before but this time you might not be able to respond the right way. How dangerous is getting in a vehicle that could get out of control and kill you or others? Shrink from it, don’t be the one responsible for the pain and trauma caused by such.

Even speaking has its risks. You never know if something you say will offend someone. What if you lose a friend or certain people in your life start to think badly of you? So many things can go wrong.

Is it worth the risk? You don’t have to do it you know. You can avoid doing those things. There are others who can do it better, that have more experience. Leave it to them. You don’t have to stretch yourself or go beyond your comfort zone.

Now, if you’ve had enough…

Remember how you could do it. Remember that you have done it a thousand times and never had a problem. Remember how you handled situations that could have been bad but your reflexes saved you, and you moved on with a triumphant laugh. Think about how you have done new things, failed and tried again to succeed. Who criticized you? Who says you can’t try again? Why not?

There is a first time for everything. Now we do it, and we can’t imagine not being able to.

Now think about those things that you would like to do but haven’t yet found the courage. Imagine you have already done it many times before. Remember how smoothly you do it? Remember how good you feel when you do?

You can do it. You will get better. It will get easier. Just start. Think big, and do it.

A Real Education: Experience

Each experience teaches us volumes

Milking a cow, making a friend, getting a Christmas tree, hunting, butchering, finding a place by yourself that you’ve never been to before, building a roof, winter camping, having a girlfriend, breaking up, having a job, going to school, drawing/sketching, making a sandwich…

I have learned so much, and with every new experience I add to the vast and numerous volumes of knowledge and understanding which are mine. If I stopped having anymore experiences and stopped going to school I would still have more to tell than I could convey in a lifetime. I am an asset in that sense. I have a brain that is full of information but also full of potential. Just like the internet, every second our brain is uploading new data. What we need to figure out is how to browse this web and find the information which others will value.

When we are old and our grand children ask us about our childhood we finally tap into this reserve. Most of our experiences are shared by others so they aren’t interesting to our peers, but children are ready and interested to know how we reacted to certain situations. It is valuable to them. Again it is like the internet, not every topic is interesting to everyone, but each one is of interest to someone and probably quite a few people.

Monetizing 

Of course everything I put on here is for the end of reaching my goal, so how does one go about monetizing this vast resource of ours?

First, we need to find a way to find useful information in us and get it out. We can do this by writing or teaching what we know.

Second, we need to find the market, or those few or many to whom it is valuable.

If there is something which you are expert in, usually a hobby or subject of interest, you may be able to write a book or teach a class on it.

Accelerated learning

One of the common threads I have found in books on entrepreneurship is the value of experience. They usually urge you to get out there and fail, take chances, try it out. Perhaps success is not always expected or even desired but the act of trying will always teach you something valuable. I find that the more outrageous the endeavor the more there is to be learned.

How do you accelerate learning? Fail.

Failed Endeavor

I had spent the last few months studying marketing strategies and thought I was very learned on the subject. So I had the idea that I could make myself useful by offering to local businesses my “expertise”. I went to a book store and asked to talk to the guy in charge of marketing. There wasn’t one so the girl took my name, number and noted my business for the owner. I never did get a call. Maybe the owner never got my message but I’m sure that he looked at it and said to himself “who is this punk, trying to tell me how to run my business?” and never thought twice about it.

What did I learn from this? First of all if I was to do it again I would have dressed the part. Jeans, sneakers and a hoodie are not exactly business material. Secondly I brought myself down to earth about what I actually knew; I began to wonder afterward what I would do if I actually did land an interview with a business owner. I had no presentation, no credentials, not even a plan in mind. I just thought that I would make it up as I went. I realized how naive my endeavor was and actually hoped that I never got a call.

While revealing these experiences is not at all flattering it is part of the process and must be recorded. Swallow your pride and tell it. Having tried a few of the ideas that were knocking around in my head I came to understand things better and progress in my education of business.

Experiences are more valuable than they ever are painful. I hope that I never lose the courage to try new things.

Am I Crazy?

My goal is to make 100,000 dollars in under two years. Is this crazy?

Is this impossible? No. But is it plausible?

             …why not?

I believe that wealth does come in direct proportion to effort. I just need to find where to apply the effort. Just like a boulder can be moved when we apply the right kind of leverage.

100,000 dollars is a lot of money. But what is it, really, that impedes an individual from making that kind of money? I believe that time, effort and education are essential ingredients for monetary success, however, I don’t believe that there is only one recipe.

I am taught that I should be getting a job and going to school so that I can support myself. I agree that this method works, however, I feel like this is not how I will reach my goals in life or realize my potential. I know there is another way. Not because I’m a cop-out, I am no stranger to hard work. But because I feel that there is another way to accomplish the same thing that will bring more than just monetary gain. I don’t believe in working only for the money. I have done plenty of that, the returns are hardly worth the effort. I say that because I have no obligations to provide yet. If I had a family to feed then the returns would be very different. But since I am still very flexible I plan to get myself to a more advantageous position so that when I do have that responsibility I won’t have to live that way. It is a leap of faith. I am leaving the known and recommended path for one that offers no promises.

This is not some get rich quick scheme. This is an assertion of freedom as well as an experiment. Though it has been done before I pioneer the way for myself and leave a journal for others who feel as I do.