I come from a background of conformity. Excelling nonetheless, but within the mold provided to me. I am a product of the machine of the public school system. The system that cranks out good employees for large corporations.
I never once thought about what I was actually good at. I just looked at what my grades told me I was good at. I never once thought about what I actually wanted, I just picked what was most interesting from the list. I never once tried to explore my options, I only knew what the system told me my options were.
This path leads to a comfortable life. The most average, middle class life. It pays the bills, puts food on the table and even lets me go out to dinner every once in a while.
This is all I knew. I didn’t have anyone in my life telling me there was another way. I thought I needed to take on my student loan debt because it was the only way to get a degree, which was the only way to get a job, which was the only way to get paid.
For 20 years this has been ingrained into my head. It’s burned into my brain. I was on autopilot. Not only was I a part of the system, I was the system. I exchanged my time for money to pay bills that I didn’t need. Wash, rinse, repeat.
About A Year Ago
It finally dawned on me.
I’ve talked about this before, but this inspiration came from YouTube. One day I figured out that there were people who put out content everyday, and it was really good! I watched it for entertainment, but then I realized something…
These people make a living doing this.
This isn’t a job, this isn’t a cubicle. This isn’t a daily 9–5. This is a lifestyle of creativity, flexibility and freedom.
Sure, I knew who the CEOs of businesses were, but I never thought about the fact that they branched out on their own and started those businesses. I never thought of them as normal people.
Then I began seeing it everywhere. People out there hustling to get paid while doing what they truly love and enjoy. Art, music, programming, contracting, all over the place.
Then I began to think about where I was at in my life.
Happily married, but swimming in loads of debt. A job that’s considered “great”, but doesn’t feel great. It feels more like I am trapped.
Not only that, but it’s an extension of the system. If I just follow the rules for another 30 years, I’ll finally be able to reap the rewards of the system.
What are the rewards? A decent retirement, maybe enough money to move somewhere with nice weather and less stress. More time to spend with my family.
Why can’t I have that now? Why can’t I take mini retirements and travel the world? Why can’t I live wherever I want? Why can’t I spend more time with my family today?
These questions fueled my newly burning fire. A desire to seek out a lifestyle of freedom. A desire to break the mold, and exit the system.
I began furiously consuming content from entrepreneurs, business people and creatives. Sean McCabe, Gary Vaynerchuck, Casey Neistat. I began reading books like Essentialism, Deep Work, The 10x Rule and Start With Why.
I took it all like a firehose. I absorbed all of it. I felt empowered, like I could take on the world and show everyone that I could make something of myself. That I could hustle and make a dollar on my own intuition, knowledge and hard work.
After a few months of this, one message broke through everything: Do. It’s a simple message, but a powerful one. It’s what distinguishes successful people from unsuccessful people. It’s what makes this whole entrepreneurial journey hard. You have to get out of your comfort zone and do something that creates value.
Today I have clarity as to how I am going to break that mold. What I am going to do.
I have three goals — get out of debt, work remotely / from home and to have the ability to do what I actually want, which is making progressive web apps.
There is so much I have learned about making businesses, building an audience and hustling day in and day out.
Here is how I am going to do that.
I am going to start a web design and local SEO business, purely to get out of debt faster. It’s not because I love doing it, it’s because it’s what I am good at and can deploy it very quickly.
Why not just start making web apps? Because I need money sooner than later. I don’t have years to learn all that I need to know and build a customer base for a passive income, I need to hustle now and get clients that pay cash today.
I am also going to be building an audience by documenting my journey. I call it — Cube to Remote. My journey from working in a soul-sucking day job to working wherever I want, whenever I want and as hard as I want.
This sounds great when I say it out loud but actually doing it is a different story.
I still have remnants of the system I was groomed to be a part of. It still knocks at my door to make sure I am not breaking the mold, or doing anything that would invoke risk.
The truth is, anything that is great invokes risk. Anything that is better than average takes guts, courage and sacrifice. It’s risky to put my day job on edge. I get paralyzed when I think about it. How I am I going to pay my monthly bills? How am I going to put food on the table for my family? What if I fail?
What if I fail?
What if I fail?
What if I fail?
What if I succeed?
The downside to me leaving my day job is having to work two jobs, or working for less money. I might have to move to cheaper housing, or cut back on our internet bill. I might make $50k, $40k or $30k.
But the upside, oh the upside!
The upside is infinite. It’s scalable beyond anything I can imagine. The amount of money that I can make is double, triple, 10x what I am making now. I would be living a lifestyle that I choose, and be working when I want and how I want.
Isn’t that risk worth it?
It is, and I am deciding that now. No more excuses, no more paralysis. This is the best thing for my future.
I have been afraid of failure in the past, but not anymore. I am not afraid to break the mold that the system gave me. I am taking my life on a different course, and it’s going to be amazing.
Right now I have some loose ends to clean up. I need to finish making some websites for my current clients (mostly friends and family), and then I can move on to making my web design and Local SEO business.
I will also be working on a product based startup. Stay tuned to find out more about my startup journey!
I’m excited, I’m scared, I’m ready.
Thank you everyone for your support and feedback during this time of learning and growing. It’s been an amazing journey.
It’s time for me to do.