5 Simple Steps To Get 10 Years Ahead of 77% Of People
Sep 30, 2023
77% of employees despise their jobs.
It’s a sad reality to spend half your waking hours dreading what you’re doing and the other half trying to make up for it with escapism and coping.
Hating on Mondays and looking forward to the weekend is not the best life one can have.
The path you choose for your life will dictate whether you’ll be part of that statistic or not.
Back in 2013, I was living with my grandmother. She lived near the university where I was studying. I was 18 back then.
That was around the time I started to worry about money. All my friends were doing things I wanted to do, and I was not. My parents were also pushing me to decide on my profession and to get a job.
Classes were at night, so I’d spend all day sitting in my room feeling lost and confused.
Trying to figure out your life when you’re that young is no joke.
When I couldn’t find the answers I was looking for (which was most of the time), I would play video games or watch YouTube.
That was the first time I started watching YouTube on a day-to-day basis.
That’s also when I first got introduced to the online business world.
Consultants, freelancers, big e-commerce and dropshiping guys, travel bloggers. They were all showing up on my feed. Living the dream life, with all the freedom and money one could dream of. All by working online.
That was a reality shock for me.
There I was in my room feeling like a complete loser. Worrying how I was going to make money to start living, without hating what I was doing. And these people were living what I thought was the best life possible. And making a lot of money while doing it.
I already knew I didn’t want to just take any job to get a paycheck every month.
I have always wanted something more.
I wanted to find a professional path where I could enjoy what I was doing and not have to worry about money at all.
That was my dream.
From that time, my entrepreneurial journey began. I put my all into learning everything I could on how to start some sort of online business.
For me, that was the key to the financial and time freedom I was craving.
I was really young and I didn’t know what I was doing. I would just consume any free advice I could get my hands on and give it a try. Nothing ever really worked out though. It was depressing.
Had to take some dead-end jobs in the hopes of getting somewhere. I would always quit these jobs after 2 or 3 months. I could not help but feel I was wasting my life and was capable of more.
Why am I saying all this?
Over the past 10 years, I’ve been on this journey of trying to make sense of this monster of a task that is making money online doing something you’re passionate about.
Even though I didn’t achieve the success I wanted, I’ve learned a lot from my mistakes. I want to share what I’ve learned from those mistakes so you can have a jump start and skip all the frustration I had to deal with over these 10 years.
That’s like a decade of suffering that you’re going to be able to avoid.
77% Of People Get Stuck
I think we can all agree that most jobs at regular companies suck.
It’s soulless, you’re in it for the money, there’s no real opportunity to become who you’re meant to be, and you’re more often than not stuck in a very toxic environment.
To be fair, I do think there are amazing companies out there. And probably a lot of good work environments too.
It’s just not the reality of most people. And it was also not my reality.
For me I always saw it as if I don’t like how these places are, I should just go ahead and create my own place. That was one of my goals for a long time. Start a business, make money, hire people, and be the boss I wish I had when I was starting out.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have gotten the opportunity to start doing that now in a certain capacity. But that’s a story for another time.
If you find yourself in this position of not seeing a way out of the corporate habit hole, and you’re almost losing all your hope, this article is for you.
And I would tell you to create your own path as well.
Working on your own stuff and seeing to life your most personal dreams is probably the thing that is going to make you feel more fulfilled and realized than any other.
The problem I think is most people (perhaps older ones) don’t even consider it to be a feasible option.
Like they just don’t believe that they are capable of creating their own path.
And of the people who do believe they can, 99.9% of them don’t know how to make it a reality.
5 Step Framework To Create Your Own Path
When I say create your own path, this is what I mean:
- Find something you are passionate about
- Learn how to be able to make a living doing that
- Apply yourself to making it a reality.
On a very high level, this is what you need to do.
It sounds simple, and it is. But it’s not easy.
Here’s what you need to get started.
1. Pursue What Excites You
When I was trying to start my own online business, I would always go to YouTube.
That was my research tool.
I would find videos like “the best online business ideas” or “23 business to start in 2016”
These guys would show you business ideas that were trending at the time and supposedly would be very easy to start with no money and working only 2 minutes a day.
I would then give it a go to some idea I saw could be my next big thing. I had tried other ideas before, but whenever I found a new idea, that was the one that would get me out of that situation. At least that’s what I thought.
After a while, I would give up on that new idea too.
Looking back now, what made me not want to keep pursuing those ideas is the fact that none of them were authentic to me. They were more like shortcuts.
A sort of band-aid way for me to get what I wanted. A quick and easy fix.
But they were not what I really wanted.
One of the main things I wanted back then was personal realization.
I wanted to feel fulfillment and accomplishment from the work I was doing.
And that only happens when you are working on things that you really care about.
I was trying to find my thing by looking out there, following other people’s advice, when in reality I should’ve been listening to myself.
You know what you want, you know what is going to make you happy. You just either don’t believe it or don’t want to accept it.
When it comes to work, you have to find something that is authentic to you, rather than trying things that others say you should do.
Every path you choose requires time and effort to make it work.
That’s true for the regular ones everyone tells you to do, or the ones you truly love and want to do.
So if you’re smart, you’re gonna put all that time and effort into something you actually want to see to life.
As obvious as it may sound, we don’t always think about it that way.
Here’s an exercise for you.
Make a list of things that excite you.
- What are the things you can’t shut up about?
- What makes you tick?
- What are you naturally drawn towards?
If there’s something you would be doing no matter what, even if you’re not making money from it, that’s a good candidate to be your thing.
Write down that list. And with that list, you’ll have your foundation of things you can try and explore.
I guarantee you that pursuing these things is going to be much more rewarding and fulfilling than trying out the best 17 business ideas of 2024.
Being successful is more about how happy you are with the life you are living, rather than how much money you are able to take home.
So choose your money-making path based on what is authentic to you. Because here’s another secret: you can make any of these paths work and make you money with the right skills.
2. Explore Your Interests
After I found out that following trends and starting ventures because they were hot at the time or the new best way to make quick and easy money (which they were not, but that’s how people would sell it), I was confronted with another obstacle.
I was always a very creative kid. I loved to draw, play with my legos, play videos games, watch movies, copy scenes from the movies I liked with my toys and add my own story spin.
I was interested in many things, and I would spend a lot of time playing around with all of them.
I’m still like that to this day. Making my own movies, games, and products, is still on my bucket list.
So when I saw that going with the trends was not the way for me, I had to reach deep down inside and pick a path that was aligned with my interests.
The problem was that I had many interests to choose from, and I didn’t know which one to pick.
Since I could not make up my mind as to which one to pick, I didn’t pick any of them.
What ended up happening was that I would struggle to pick something and eventually would give up on trying to pick and would just do anything that felt easier at the time. And by anything I mean the clickbaity advice from the videos I found online.
Not knowing which interest I would commit to made me not commit to anyone.
If you can relate to it somehow, here’s what I would tell you.
It’s good to have many interests and you don’t have to pick one and let the others fall into oblivion.
The way to go here is to explore all your interests 1-3 at a time and see for yourself how you like pursuing them.
From your list of interests you’d like to pursue, choose which ones you’d be giving a go first, and commit to making them work for at least 6 months.
Why 1-3 interests?
Let’s be real, it’s hard to juggle 20 things at the same time. Speaking as someone who wants to do 20 things at the same time.
You can do it if you’d like. Gary Vee said once that he prefers to juggle 17 balls with the risk of most of them falling and only a few working out because trying them all is what makes him happy.
My only advice is if that’s been hard for you, try to focus on a few of them at a time.
Why 6 months?
I would even say for longer, to be honest, but 6 months is the bare minimum of time to make some sort of substantial progress in anything. Committing to a set period of time also helps you not jump ship at the first sight of challenges.
If you don’t know by now, pushing through difficult times is what creates success.
A lot of people say that you should focus on only one thing and specialize in that.
That’s also valid. And yeah, when you split your focus on many things each one of them only gets a small percentage of your time and energy. Making them take longer to evolve.
You can pick one and focus, or you can try 1-3 at a time and see what happens. Or you can go full berserker and do all your 20 ideas at the same time.
The point is that you should be making progress towards some interest that is meaningful to you, instead of being paralyzed by your inability to pick something and stick to it like I did.
3. Reframe Your Perspective On Money And Work
Ever since I was young I knew deep down that the conventional route was not for me.
It just never made sense how people would just work all day, every day of the week. Wait for the weekend to go out and have fun. Pay the bills at the end of the month. And repeat that over and over again until they die.
Like seriously, my friends even thought I was crazy for thinking there was something wrong with it.
“It’s just the way things are”, they would say. “Stop being such a baby”.
It’s like everyone is conditioned to think inside of this little box.
What I found out is that reality is whatever you want it to be.
That’s how there are people out there making money online while living their best life. They would not conform to the norm.
And neither should you.
Why is it that in order to make money we need to take on work that makes us feel miserable?
This might have been the case 50 years ago when there was no other option and starting your own thing was 100x harder, but things have changed.
The internet has created so many opportunities I would need my hands and yours to count, and we’d still be short of fingers.
If you can offer something that someone values and they pay you money for it, that’s as real as work can get.
Business is nothing but an exchange of value.
The trick here is to find something you can provide of value to the right person, and build from there.
To create your own path you must learn how to be valuable. To be valuable, you need to be able to solve one problem for one person.
The bigger the problem and the better you can solve it, the more you can charge for that.
In your areas of interest, list out the people you could help by solving one of their problems.
It’s usually easier to think through the lenses of what problems have you solved for yourself. That’s a classic entrepreneurial troupe.
But it can be anything, as long as you have a genuine passion for that area.
Solving a problem can be as simple as offering entertainment, like talking about your favorite TV show’s theories. Or covering the game industry news.
Or you can go all businessy offering a service like making websites or teaching people how to do marketing.
The point is, there’s always a business opportunity no matter the field of interest you choose.
So since any path is going to require work and time, invest in the one you’d want to be doing for a very long period time (like the rest of your life).
And now that you know all it takes is learning to be valuable, you need to acquire that skill.
4. Acquire The Skillset You’re Lacking
One of the first online business ideas I tried was starting a consulting business.
I saw an ad on Facebook from a guy who claimed to be making over 6 figures every month with his consulting gig. I clicked on it and was sent to see his live webinar. By the end of it, there was a limited-time offer to buy his course.
Back then this tactic had not been that exploited yet. And I was not aware of it. You know, it was like 2014 or something.
I watched the whole thing, thought the idea was cool, and began to design and build my own website. I didn’t buy his course, cause I was broke, but anyway.
Then I hit my first roadblock.
I was a youngster back then. Must have not been more than 22 years old. I can’t quite remember exactly when this happened.
While I was building that website, I realized I didn’t have any skills I could sell. When you’re offering consulting services, you’re selling the promise of helping someone solve a problem they’re having.
And so I lacked the only thing that I should have to at least get started.
Back then the only thing I was close to being good at was programming. That’s how I was building my website. And even that was far from being remotely good.
When you’re young, you have a huge skill gap that needs to be filled.
The quicker you can fill that gap, the faster you’ll get closer to your end goal.
As Alex Hormozi says, there are only two ways you can learn any skill: either with time or with money.
When you don’t have money, you need to pay for your learning with time. Buying a skill with time means you try to learn it on your own, fail on your own, and improve based on your own experience.
If you have money, you can pay others to share with you their experience. They also paid for that with time (or maybe money), but you can use your money to buy back the time you would have spent learning that skill on your own.
That’s the only “shortcut” there is to learning. It still requires you to put in the work to practice that skill, but it saves you a ton of time to figure things out on your own.
Needless to say, I never took that consulting business off the ground. I didn’t know how to acquire the skills I needed. Heck, I didn’t even know what skills I needed to acquire to be successful.
This is one of the advantages of paying someone for their skill. Like a mentor, advisor, or consultant. Someone that has trailed the path you want to trail, that has failed and gotten valuable lessons that you can only get from experience.
I had to pay my dues with time, and it was painful. It got me where I am today. And luckily you can take what I am saying, extract what you can from it, and use it to save you some time on your own journey.
5. Get Started And Don’t Claim To Be Someone You’re Not
Another problem people who are starting out face is their lack of experience.
And just to be clear, this is not the same as skill.
Skill is knowing how to do something, experience is having done that something before.
If I tell you to pick up your phone and record a video talking about one of the things you are passionate about, your mind might quickly jump in to try and stop you:
“Who are you to be talking about these things? You’re not an expert!”
I can assure you every successful person felt like a fraud at some point in their life.
Do you know what beats negative self-talk?
And here’s one for you.
You don’t need to be an expert to talk about something, you can say you are an enthusiast.
I got that from Gary Vee.
If you want to talk about something you love but have never done that before, or don’t have professional experience in, just be honest. Tell the truth. Don’t claim to be an expert. Say you’re an enthusiast.
That’s what I am doing right now.
I love telling people they should not get a regular job, and instead follow their passions and build a business around it. I’ve never done it before, I kinda did it, but I don’t really count it as a big success. I always struggled thinking I should not be giving advice on it because what I did was not good enough.
People struggle with imposter syndrome because they pretend to be someone they’re not. And that’s exactly what you need to avoid.
Everyone tells you you need to be an expert in your field. But you don’t need to be an expert at something to have something valuable to say.
Just don’t fake your way to it.
So, start now, be honest about where you’re at in your journey, and start gaining the experience you are missing by providing the little value you can at the moment.
Before you notice, that value is going to grow and compound, as you are growing and compounding.
And there you have it, you’ve got 10 years ahead of the 77% of people who are not willing to fall on their faces to get started.
I can’t even tell you how many times I embarrassed myself for not knowing anything about anything but still gave it a try.
Bonus: Learn To Deal With Your Insecurities
One of the major causes of my problems was the huge amount of insecurity that I had growing up.
I was bullied at school, made fun of for who I was, and started hating myself. I had severe issues with self-acceptance and confidence.
In my business journey, that made me either be:
- Extremely perfectionist to the point of not kicking things off for thinking they were not good enough
- Or have an extreme lack of confidence that I could make something work to the point of not even giving it a try.
It’s a shitty place to be in.
What I’ve learned is that you have to start even if it sucks. And the way you get better is by being bad at it. There is no other shortcut. You have to face this head-on.
The things I went through that caused all my trauma were very real, but the repercussions of them were not.
What I mean by that is I was the one giving voice to other people’s opinions.
And when I started realizing that was all in my head, I started to be free of them.
It took some time, but it got out. Still haven’t gotten out 100%, but it is in the process of getting out.
You have to find your own way to shift your perspective around the insecurities you have.
Because if you don’t, you’re gonna let the ghosts of the past control your life entirely.
Let the past be in the past, so you can look forward and create a better future.
Get After What You Want
If you take this approach, you’ll have created the inner foundation - the beliefs and the values - that will get you ahead of everyone who is working jobs they don’t like just because they need the money.
Then, all you need to do is take action:
- Choose the right path based on who you are
- Try out all your ideas
- Change your perspective on work and money
- Identify the skills you need to acquire
- Get started and be humble
You’ll get ahead of 77% of people because you will be doing what these 77% wish they were but are not.