One of the things about blogging that I love is that I get to see my thoughts evolve over time. The mindset I had when I started writing is not the same today. It keeps growing and evolving.
Something that’s always been a motto of mine is “Risk It All.” Essentially bet everything on yourself and this journey you want to travel. I would say this in countless blog posts and in real life conversations with strangers, friends, family, you name it. As a man I will admit telling people to risk it all was very irresponsible and reckless of me. I want to revise my thoughts to give you a better perspective.
Now what do I mean by risk it all? I can give you the most famous, fairy tale example.
A creative is suffering at a job. The job keeps their lights on in their crib the creative quits the job with a grand or 2 in their bank account and now they can create full time but with no income or way to survive. Then BOOM they’re successful.
How about this example. Just pack up your things or sell everything, become homeless, travel and wander around Europe or anywhere in the world until you find yourself.
That way of living was okay according to the advice I gave. What I should’ve said is quit the job after you find something more tolerable with fewer hours, budget and manage your money to make up for the hours you won’t work. If you can’t afford to leave money on the table like that then wake up earlier or stay up later to put more hours into what you want to do for a living. There has to be an adjustment somewhere in your system.
You’ve heard the saying that says “You have to be uncomfortable to get change” or “You go through hell to get to heaven.” Those quotes are true. No disputing them but they don’t say you have to be homeless. They don’t tell you to quit your job and empty out your savings account when you have kids to support. You have to be practical.
The stories you hear from famous people are somewhat romanticized. Some of them had a good amount of money stashed away to not work. Some of them did illegal shit to live without a job. Some really did starve and it worked out in the end for them and they will tell you over and over again that “You can do it too” but what they won’t tell you is to take the same road they took. Why? Because in hindsight they know if they could do it over again knowing what they know now they’d do it smarter and remove the starving part out of it. They wouldn’t risk it all.
This is why it’s important for you to not risk it all without a plan. When you finally put those 2 weeks in to leave that job that was hell for your soul, I don’t want you to have to go back to another job you’ll hate because your “Risk it all” journey didn’t work out and you’re flat broke in just a few months. I want that moment you quit to be the last job you’ll ever do that you don’t love or aren’t passionate about. I don’t want you to have that feeling of having to re-apply to something you know you’re gonna dislike. I want you to do what you love forever. In order to do that you have to be patient. Take your time. The things we think came to successful people fast did not. It took years. The grind is the slowest thing you’ll ever encounter ask anyone who’s successful and they’ll say the same.
If your job is too much for you to handle mentally then quit and get something else. There’s plenty of shitty jobs and they all don’t equate in shittiness. One is better than the other and one is worse than the other. Just maneuver it to the point where you are able to make time for creating what you want to create. And prepare to be patient and watch how just working on what you love 2-3 hours a day builds up. You can wake up early work on your brand a hour or 2 a day before you go to work then come home and work on it before you go to bed. Do that every work day and add in the amount of time you’ll put in on your off days and you’ll get far.
There’s this quote from the HBO show “Boardwalk Empire” that was said by the character Arnold Rothstein and it went like this
“I’ve made my living Mr.Thompson large part as a gambler. Some days I make 20 bets. Some days I make none. There are weeks sometimes months in fact when I don’t make a bet at all because there’s simply no play. So I wait, plan, marshal my resources, and when I finally see an opportunity and there is a bet to make… I bet it all.”
I like this quote. Now the only thing I wouldn’t do is wait for opportunity. Opportunities only come to people who take action. But you get the overall premise of what Arnold meant.
Don’t risk it all for the sake of risking it all. What’s the long term goal? What’s the play? Plan. Keep building. Keep working and when you feel you can make a living doing what you love, quit and push all your chips to the center of the table.
Quarterbacks in Football in good offenses don’t throw hail mary’s every snap. They don’t risk it all every play. They balance the pass attack with the running attack then set up the play action to improve the percentage of scoring on the big play. They set up the score. They don’t risk it all on 1st and 2nd down UNLESS the play is there without a doubt. Equate that to your job. You’re seeing what the defense gives you and looking for ways to exploit the holes in their scheme to your advantage. Keep building your brand while you’re at that job. Pick your spots, take the field goals to get some points on the board, and set yourself up for that touchdown.
There’s been a study about how the people who didn’t quit their job and built their business while being employed succeeded at a higher rate than the people who risked it all and quit their job and tried to start their business. Not saying that you won’t succeed if you do the latter but would you rather build a bridge or jump off a cliff? Think about it.
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