I’ve been working for almost two years on what appeared to be wasted ventures.
I’m not an expert, and this isn’t advice as to how you should do things for yourself. This is just my experience.
I worked hard in my spare time to learn web development and user experience design. I got pretty good. But when I tried to ‘become a web developer’ it just didn’t suit me.
I worked hard in my spare time to learn growth hacking and SEO. I got pretty good. But when I tried to ‘become a growth hacker’ it just didn’t suit me.
I worked hard in my spare time to learn online marketing, copywriting and branding. I got pretty good. But when I tried to ‘become an online marketer’ it just didn’t suit me.
I thought I had failed. Two years of getting up at 5AM, putting in 2–3 hours a day writing, reading, learning, coding and implementing. I had nothing to show for it.
After all, the motivation was always money. Just being honest. My family is swamped in debt, living paycheck to paycheck. I knew the only answer was increased income — but I knew I was better than just obtaining another paycheck in exchange for my time.
I was supposed to be solving that problem, not spending hours on end growing and learning. That’s what college was supposed to be for.
Now, I have an application for everything I have learned. It was only after I launched the website for Blacklet that I realised this.
It was my web development experience that allowed me to develop a fast performing and quality website for desktop and mobile. Not having to farm that out saved me money and time.
It was my copywriting and marketing education that allowed me to land an influencer with over 90k followers on Instagram that will do a review and promote my product, simply because I asked.
It was my growth hacking skills that influenced my friends to grow their own influence. The results are amazing and it gets better every day. I will use these skills myself to grow Blacklet.
I didn’t know why I was learning these things. It didn’t make sense when I was doing it. I just knew I needed to do it.
The common thread we all share is the need to do what we were made to do. There is something innate in you that you are excellent at or interests you to the point where you will do it for free for two years.
I encourage you to find out what that is for yourself. Spend time thinking, experimenting, growing mentally, physically and spiritually. Work hard in your spare time.
When I look back, after all of the success that I have planned for the future, I will be glad that I wrote most of it down. I think it will be an encouragement to people who need to go on their own journey to find who they are and what they were meant to do.
I’m nowhere near done growing or figuring out what I was meant to do. My best work is in the future, and will be a culmination of all of the little successes along the way.
One thing I do have to say, is you should not learn simply to learn cool things. You should learn so you can apply it to your life and become a better version of yourself.
At a certain point, more knowledge has no value. Only application and doing will allow you to grow and succeed.
I spent two years learning, and had my own applications along the way. Doing work for free (River Rochester Website), doing favors for my friends (Jeremiah Thomas’ and Marijke Fetzner’s Websites), helping others get on their own path (Growth and Audience Building for My Wife Hannah).
The sooner you can get on the journey to finding out who you are and what you were meant to do, the sooner you can help others and be on your path to success.
I hope this encourages you today!