“What do you do for a living?” God, I used to hate hearing that when I met new people!
I would internally cringe at the question. By 2015, I really hated my job. Sure, I worked an online job from home. Yeah, it paid the bills (barely). And sure, I got to go to work in my PJ’s but I wasn’t fulfilled in the freelance work that I was doing. I felt stuck, un-able scale up and it began to take it’s toll on me mentally, socially and even physically. That was business mistake #1 – doing a job I really didn’t want to do.
My breaking point was the year I signed $125,000 in SEO clients – and by the end of the year, all I got out of it was $25,000! We’re talking legally-binding SIGNED CONTRACTS! – can you imagine going from having the best year of sales of your life, to barley scraping by? It felt as though that entire year I was kicking myself going – “if only these bastards would pay up!” I took most of them to court – but a lot of them were dead-beats. Not even worth the time it took me to get them to court.
I was bringing in money but not a lot – enough to get by. And my wife and I were working way too hard, working 50-60, sometimes 70 hour weeks – bending over backwards for clients who were scamming us out of our money! I hated my clients, my job and life in general! Mistake #2 – getting paid less than your worth. It was like a bad twilight episode (ya know, the one where the client scam over the SEO company – instead of the other way around).
After sitting down with my wife and talking about what we could do better – she said “that’s easy – we’re not focused on doing just ONE THING”
That was mistake #3 – We weren’t focused on just ONE THING. We had to get focused. I needed to decide what my purpose in life was going to be. What niche did I really want to be in? What audience was I truly looking to serve? Did I really want to be an “SEO guy” for the next 20 years? At the time, I had my hand in 4 or more business projects – 2 of them were making over $500 a month and the other two about $500 combined. “Money is money” I used to say – but I’ve stopped using that expression because money will come to you in the form that you accept – remember that! When I was desperate – I attracted desperate unqualified customers. Just like in physics – like attracts like – always!
As humans we need focus because focus creates momentum and power. When our brains have to switch activities it interrupts our momentum and this is called ‘stress’. The more tasks we engage in at a time, the more stressed and un-focused we become. When we’re overly stressed or committed to too many things and continue to keep going – often times we quickly grown tired or feel unmotivated to even start an activity. (While there is a chemical change called cortisol production, happening in the body) I am using this opportunity to show you how closely our thoughts, actions and behaviors are all intertwined. Things like a cluttered work environment, a list of unfinished business projects or continual discussions of ‘a great new business idea’ are all symptoms of unfocused people.
Mistake #4 – at first, I didn’t know what I wanted. If focus creates power, what creates focus? Questions help us define & control our focus. Questions like these will help you better narrow down what type of career you should dive into and what jobs to stay clear of:
- “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?”
- “what are you passionate about?”
- “What things do you enjoy doing?”
- “What tasks do you want to do on a daily basis?”
- “what are tasks you never want to do?”
- “where do you want to work?” (indoors, outdoors, office, from home?, traveling?)
- “where do you see yourself in 5, 10, 20 years from now?”
- “What are your financial goals (monthly, yearly, lifetime)?”
If you haven’t done so already, write down & answer these for yourself right now.
Finally – What is the first step/task you need to do to accomplish your monthly financial goal? Leave it in the comment section below!
Let’s break the cycle by stay focused & turning your passion into profits!
p.s. if I had to add a Mistake #5 – I got into debt because I wasn’t focused. I can speak from personal experience when I say having debt limits your options. Limited is exactly how I felt at age 24 when I had maxed out all 3 of my credit cards and had over $15,000 in personal debt.
If you’ve ever been significantly in debt, you’ll find there’s very little wiggly room for personal spending or investing to grow your business. Financial burdens also have a tendency to bring social and relationship strain as well as a host of other problems like lowering your credit score. *In a nutshell, do everything you can to maintain a budget, and stay in the green at the end of each month and if you can, make depositing into your saving account a habit as you’re able.