Why You Need To Stop Waiting for Your Big Break
A few days my good friend Dave Ursillo and I were featured on the CBS Sunday morning show. We had been both been eagerly anticipating this day because we thought it could be our break out moment. It’s not the first time on my journey through The Skool of Life and throughout the process of building BlogcastFM that I thought this would be the first big break:
- Probloggers 40 Bloggers to Watch in 2011 List: There’s no question that I was honored to be on that list. But for anybody who thinks that being on that list sent me thousands of subscribers, let me clear up that delusion right now. For me the most valuable thing that came out of it was a bunch of new people to interview that I didn’t know about. My traffic increased only slightly because of it.
- The Eye for Travel Speaking Gig: While this did actually result in me getting to put together a team of bloggers for the Fox Road Trip, it didn’t necessarily rocket me to social media stardom. It was just another small milestone on my journey.
- Speaking at Blogworld: You might think that speaking at Blogworld is the magic moment that will turn you into a blogging superstar. But I’m still the same blogger I was before, with a bit more credibility. I still have to do the same work to grow my blog and grow my business. Actually, what I’m finding is that the more my blog grows the harder I have to work. The standard for success has become much higher. The day I got back from Blogworld NYC I was already thinking about a topic for Blogworld LA.
I’ve heard stories in the past of a mainstream media mention resulting in a media circus, book deals, and more but after my segment aired the other day I realized that I need to stop waiting for some sort of big break because it’s not coming. I’d recommend you do the same. Do people get big breaks? Yes. But the reality of the big break is actually that it’s a byproduct of tons of work that you never see before it. There’s some unglamorous things I’ve had to do and deal with to get to where I’m at.
Many people will look at the lives of people who have had some success and assume that the journey was just as glamorous as the destination. For one thing, the journey never ends and how people get there is rarely a glamorous experience. My life over the last couple of years has been filled with what I’ve finally started to realize are just “character building experiences.” So I thought I’d give you a walk down memory lane with some of the not so glamorous things I had to do get here.
A True Beach Bum
In matter of weeks in April 2009 I went from MBA student, to broke-ass graduate/beach bum. I literally ran completely out of money as some of you already know. That was the beginning my first endless summer. Although it was filled with nothing but surf and sun, with the occasional job interview between, my time out of the water was far from glamorous. My parents would give me $50 a week and if you know anything about LA, that’s a real stretch. This included my money for gas, food, and everything else. So, every week I would go to the grocery store, buy a loaf of bread, throw some peanut butter and jelly in my duffel bag and head for the beach. When I got out of the water, I would take out my loaf of bread, make a few sandwiches and that was my breakfast and lunch. There was even a day when the birds got into my duffel bag and my bread was nowhere to be found. People even begin to say things to me like “dude, you live here don’t you?” because I was always at the beach. As I like to say “surfing is the perfect sport for the unemployed. It takes a shitload of time and doesn’t cost money.” Like Steve Jobs on Sundays I would go to the local Hare Krishna temple which was right around the corner from my house. The food was free and good.
In the midst of all this is I was attending networking events, often at fancy hotels bars, where the drinks cost 12 dollars. Being the resourceful person that I am, I decided to buy a flask and fill it with vodka. I would take it with me to every networking event, walk up to the bar and order a glass of water. Then I’d walk to the bathroom, dump out the water, and fill the glass with the vodka from my flask. When I had to pay a cover to attend the networking event I would email the organizer and offer to work at the door of the even because I couldn’t afford the 15 dollar cover. The good thing about this was that I literally met everybody. I’d recommend you do this once even if you don’t need to.
Living with my Parents at the age of 32
Shortly before I was about to run out of money I tried to convince my dad to allow me to take out a $6,000 dollar loan from the bank so I could keep living in LA. My dad fortunately was smart enough to convince me of the stupidity of this idea and instead had me move home. That first week at my parents house was terrible. I couldn’t believe after 15 years, multiple jobs, and 2 degrees I was right back where I started when I graduated from high school. I vowed then I’d never let myself get to the place again no matter what. For the first week I found myself living through a perpetual happy hour, only to realized I’d finished off half a bottle of vodka over the course of about three days. Then I realized I had one thing that most people always complain about not having enough of: TIME. So, I started to pour my heart and soul in the Skool of Life, and here we are 2 years later and it seems to have started paying off. I also got to know my parents, which most people don’t really get to do as an adult. They’re much cooler when you’re an adult than they are when you’re a kid.
Killing The Occasional Cockroach
I live a pretty simple life here in Costa Rica. The whole point of me coming here was so that I could save money while building my media empire. My apartment is nothing special. It’s about as simple as you can get and I’m guessing that most people really don’t have a high tolerance for these kinds of things. I think a little RAID would probably enable me to deal with the issue. But every few days I walk into my shower and find a cockroach. I haven’t ever seen bugs like this in California and they kind of freak me out so my natural tendency is to kill them. I guess that’s what my extra flip flops have come in handy for.
Stop Waiting to be Picked
The other day I was listening to an interview with Seth Godin where he said that we need stop waiting to be picked. Coincidentally an hour later I saw my friend Dave Ursillo update his facebook status with his plans to stop waiting for the book deal and self publish. I’m done waiting to be picked. With 2 years of content, which is probably several 100 posts and amazing resources like David Crandall’s new publishing company at my disposal, I’m done waiting to be picked. I already sent an email to David about getting this book done. By the end of this year The Skool of Life: The Things You Never Learned In Skool but Should Have will be published and you’ll be able to buy it. I’ve already written the introduction and I’ll release a snippet here and there. If you enroll I’ll be honored and if you don’t maybe my message is not for you. It’s time to get it out the world either way.