On My Mind (Looking at 30)

On My Mind (Looking at 30)

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Starting From Zero

Hitting 30 years old was a turning point in my career (and life in general). There's an excitement for the future I feel that's hard to describe. It's like when we were children and we found something we loved.

It marks the starting point when I probably won't be the "youngest" anymore. It also implies that I'll be taken more seriously (as if it worked that way). I know that's true.

I remember when I first found out my father passed away. It was early in the morning, and the news arrived via a Facebook message from a thoughtless cousin (one I'd never actually met). She sent me this message of condolences and I (obviously) took a big hit personally. It was obviously hard for me because I was so bitter and angry afterward.

The idea of reaching 30 and being where I am never dawned on me. I always imagined going through intense struggles until my death as I did back that. I can happily say that it's behind me. That was my zero. Since then it's all changed for the better.

Now I have to say that I'm excited about the future.

Here are some of the details.

Hard, Tough Work

It sucks to say it this way because it feels like I'm needlessly hyping myself up. But it's true. I worked 2 (sometimes 3) jobs for the following 5 years. Even now I work more than one job, but it's by choice now. I want to do what I'm doing. It's not construction at 5 am followed by university and then a night job the way it used to be.

There were many lessons in the "blood, sweat, and tears" of that time. What it means to work hard, have good friends, and what it means to do work you enjoy (or hate). Living through them until now has been humbling.

I'll never forget people I went to school with laughing and making jokes about how I took a job at a hookah lounge. Frankly, that lounge is where I learned more lessons about business than most people do through a full degree.

The lesson is that, unfortunately, life isn't what you see on IG. Nor is it the shit that makes headlines. It can be brutal.

But, there's always something to be thankful for. I think that's the biggest lesson. At the time when I thought that my life was over, it turned around with dedicated effort and patience. Yes, it was hard, but I came out better for it.

Learning How To Learn:

Now I had to find my own way. That meant having to learn how to learn all over again, in a different way. I dove into a new love of reading believing that it would give me what I needed to get through that dark time.

My approach was thought out (one thing I did right among many wrongs). I decided to study history differently. I was already a history major in uni, but my focus shifted. Human nature was my new area of study. Philosophy, psychology, history, business - the realms of study that taught me about people. I looked there first. History repeats itself because human nature repeats itself.

After doing so, I then moved straight into studying communication and practiced my writing skills. Writing online is probably the highest leverage thing we can learn and apply daily. I did it until I landed a job in sales. It went well for me.

But what I didn't realize was how lucrative b2b sales could really be. Admittedly I didn't know shit about negotiating at first and so my first sales gig didn't make me as much money as I would have liked.

Having learned how to learn helped though. Studying the subjects above taught me a lot about internalizing new information and applying it. I learned quickly and went on to a fairly successful career. More importantly, learning how to learn exposed me to a human being's capacity to do whatever they want in life.

Think about it. People with decades of valuable experience wrote it all down for you, for $20. Isn't that crazy? Isn't that such a steal? Reading is how we can change our lives. I'm living proof of this.

Finding Purpose

This is cheesy but it's true. What happens to us after we're not in survival mode anymore? I'll tell you it's a lot of time unpacking the bullshit that made us the way we are (what we don't like anyway). It's also aimless wandering about life. There are a few key lessons here, and it took me a while to get to this point.

  1. Why do you do what you do?
  2. What do you actually care about?
  3. How can you create a more rich and fulfilling life for yourself?

Not having to worry about the next paycheque made it possible for me to address these questions. From working 3 jobs to having the time to think about this itself was game-changing. Wtf did I even want to do? Was an interesting self-exploration.

I landed on a few things:

  1. Helping people like me avoid the mistakes I made.
  2. Creating the optionality to do whatever I want - whenever I want.
  3. Key priorities: family, freedom, and building businesses (milking profits).

The Fun Stuff:

Stopping and forward, I now see myself in an interesting position to do whatever I want. I have a full-time job but have the financial position to leave it if I want to. The thing is: I stay because I like it. The work, people, and vibe are all awesome. It's good for me and I hope I'm good for them.

But it also means I can start whatever business I want for myself. This feeling is very empowering and at the same time kind of scary. Not being in survival mode means. that it's not on me. It's a privilege.

So as I evaluate what I care about or not, and how to make the most of it, I'm excited to share more with everyone.

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Thanks for reading.