TDW #005: 5 Hidden Benefits From Betting On Yourself
In 2013 I was stuck in a dead-end job earning less than $30,000/year.
Money was never a strong motivator for me. But being newly married with a baby on the way made me painfully aware I needed more of it. Most importantly, I wasn’t satisfied professionally. Something was missing. I just couldn’t figure out what.
Before we go any further, you should have a bit more background about me. For 10 years after I graduated college, I worked in a church as a pastor. I married people. I buried people. Wore the robes. Preached the sermons…the whole bit.
I thought I’d retire as a pastor.
But there was one massively oversized problem: it just wasn’t doing it for me.
Sounds weird to say it–even to this day. But it was (and still is) the truth. I knew I needed something different. Just didn’t know what that ‘different’ was.
And with that new baby on the way, I had a choice to make:
- Stay the course & settle at a job paying $30,000/year
- Bet on myself & take things into my own hands
I chose the latter. I quit the church and started my first online education business where I turned my ideas into income. Within 12 months of launching I went from $30,000/year to $30,000/month. Needless to say, that choice made all the difference.
The process wasn’t easy. But it was necessary. In this week’s edition, I want to share the five most important lessons I learned along the way.
1. Money Actually Matters
Working a job you love is great. Especially if it's for a good cause or you're helping others in the process. But make sure it pays well enough for you to live, invest, and dream big.
I didn’t know it at the time, but barely scraping by puts an incredible amount of stress on a person.
I’m a huge advocate of making as much money as you possibly can, as ethically as you can, for as long as you can. There’s no nobility in poverty. Money matters.
2. Knowing Your Worth
The day I quit was also the day I realized my worth. I had been on the fence about leaving. How do you ever know for sure? Then one day, my boss said to me: "I own you for 40 hours/week."
That was the last straw.
Church or no church, there was no way I was going to let someone else treat me like a piece of property. I had to look at myself in the mirror at the end of each day. No one else. How would I respect myself if I stayed in an environment like that?
Surely I was worth more than being someone else's 40-hour-per-week wage slave. I just didn’t know it yet. So I left and skyrocketed my income.
Where you are now is due to all the decisions you’ve made up until this point. Nobody else can make decisions for you. Just you.
Nobody else is to blame. Just you. Taking accountability is the first step to fixing it.
Know your worth. Then double it. And then add tax.
3. Respecting Others
Acknowledge the dignity and worth inherent in every person you work with (or that works for you). Even when they don’t deserve it. Especially when they don’t deserve it.
Showing respect for others has an added side benefit of increasing your own self-worth. Your brain sends a signal that says, “if other people are worthy of respect…that means I am a person worthy of respect.” Your subconscious latches onto this. You then project more confidence. Which, in turn, attracts more respect!
You'll never get far in life by burning bridges. So work on building more bridges instead. The next person you meet might just change your life.
4. Be Different
If you follow the 99%, you'll end up just like them. And for the record, 99% of people are:
This doesn’t make them evil or bad or unintelligent. I know because I was one of them for many years. Life is hard and it’s easier to go with the crowd. Do what everyone else is doing.
But like the saying says, “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
If you want to become the 1% outlier you need to be brave enough to walk your own path. That might mean you need to quit your job like I did. Or you start a new business. Or let your current business die.
Not sure what that first step looks like? It’s actually pretty easy to find out. Ask yourself the question, “what’s one thing I am avoiding right now?” Write down the first answer that immediately pops into your head. Next, go do that one thing you wrote down.
Congrats! You’re now on your own path.
Don't copy the trend.
5. Take More Risks
The biggest risk you can take is not taking any risks at all. Why? Because you'll end up on your deathbed filled with regret.
I got to a point at my job where I knew the “next step” was to quit and start my own thing. I had messages coming in every week from people who wanted help with their digital marketing. I did a few consulting gigs outside the church and knew I had something valuable to offer the world.
The only question was…would I take the risk?
We face this question a million times a day. Most of the time the risk isn’t worth taking. But sometimes…it is. It’s your job to know the difference between the two.
I shudder to think what would have happened if I had stayed at the church. No way to know. But my life would look completely different than it does now. (And not in a good way.)
When in doubt, ask yourself this: "what would my 80-year old self tell me to do?"
Do something your future-self will thank you for.
Wrapping It All Up
The point is this: you have to bet on yourself.
There will be naysayers. There will be doubts. And there will be plenty of obstacles thrown in your path. It’s a rough road to travel at times, but if you refuse to give up…passion, perseverance and a little bit of faith will lead you all the way home.
If this resonates with you or struck a chord (bad or good), send me a DM on Twitter. I read and respond to every message.
Thanks for reading. See you next week!
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