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Business will NOT fix all your problems

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Mike Partee

(Formerly UnrealCreative)
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Got to chat with someone today. Good kid about my age who's starting off in online business.

He's in a position I'm sure we've all been at some point. Reading all the blogs, soaking in ridiculous amounts of bro-marketer content, all peddeling the same b.s. ebooks and courses.

Naturally, I wanted to break him out of this mold and show business for what it is.

Helping people.

Bringing value.

Making deals.

Not 'passive income' or 'following your passion' or 'lifestyle design.'

Now, I usually refrain from chatting to this person in-depth because the conversations turns into tough love, and he's still steeped in the wantrepreneur world. The lightbulb hasn't gone off yet.

So, let's sit back and watch what happens, I thought. Maybe he'll 'get it' soon enough.

Nope.

He's been spinning his tires for the past 6 months. No progress - still reading and listening to the same garbage without taking any meaningful action towards creating a business.

We could have gone through the same tough love,
but more advice is surface-level and wouldn't make a meaningful difference.

I wanted to get to the bottom of this.
I asked, WHY do you want to be in business?

This simple question opened the floodgates.

He was constantly surrounded by soul-crushing negativity and drama.
From parents, family, and co-workers, with absolutely zero people to turn to.

At 20 years old, he has never moved out and lives in a toxic environment.
He ended up dropping out, failing at nearly everything he did afterwords.
Aimless and ending up at a dead-end job.

His whole world was crushed just by examining his expression,
left with zero hope for the future.

There's no telling what other hidden devils he's fighting.
The stuff you never share with anyone, fearing to even confront yourself.

His ultimate response?
"If I had a business, It would mean that I am autonomous and don't have to live with my parents anymore."

He recently decided to join the Navy just to have an 'out.'
Cool, it's a step up I guess.

But I also asked him WHY he wanted to join the Navy.

Same Response.
"It would mean that I am autonomous and don't have to live with my parents anymore."

Now I asked, paraphrasing;

"You don't really want to be in business or join the Navy,
you just want to feel the way you believe it will make you feel."

"Now, let's focus on the issue at hand: You want to be autonomous and out of your parent's house.
How else can you achieve autonomy and move out?"

I'm sure he'll answer this question on his own, but the point is this:

If you're struggling emotionally, financially, with your family, or whatever...
Entrepreneurship is NOT. THE. ANSWER.

You need to face your largest, glaring problems head-on.

After you've stomped those problems into the ground, you can ask "How else can I achieve x?"
If you ask this simple question, you may realize that the answer may not even lie in business!
For example, achieving Autonomy / Self Reliance for this guy at this point in his life would mean to simply move out. He has the financial ability to, but something was holding him back.

IF you decide business is something you'd like to get into, realize that it will be the hardest thing you ever embark on. Unless you free yourself from the problems that plague your mind, you will sabotage yourself AND your business.

There may be ONE big thing that's stopping you.
For me, a few months ago it was simply not making enough money at my job,
stubborn and unwilling to take a second job or freelance.
Not willing to do whatever it takes to make more.

Things only changed when literally the only way I could eat was to hustle.
Only at that point was I humbled, and the business eventually blew up.

Later in this conversation, I stared cold into his eyes and said:
"This business stuff is only going to be an escape from reality unless you make a change."

If you were on a marathon run and had a 75lb weight dangling around your left leg,
how far do you think you'd go?

Drop the weight.
Only then can you run like hell.

...

The second point is be kind.

There are a lot of people in the world with real, debilitating problems; Even others on the forum.

It can be very easy to look at someone action-faking, step up on the advice soapbox,
and get frustrated when it's not acted on.

But is it worth getting frustrated?

If you really take a moment to consider it,
there may be people on this forum that don't actually want a business deep down.

They just want a better life and are moderately interested in business - that's okay.

I could have written off this kid.

Instead he entrusted someone with offloading deep pain:
The impact of which is likely greater than any business advice I could ever give.

...

This probably has been addressed elsewhere, but felt compelled to share here.

Maybe you got sucked into the self-help illuminati ring looking for answers and ended up here.

The point is if you ask yourself the right questions, you'll find the right answers.

They're right in front of you - Business is not the magic bullet to all life's problems.
 

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RogueInnovation

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I like what you said, it shows maturity.
I smell something a little off though.
I think you may be incidentally trivialising some of the harsh truths of the world.

The really hard thing to accept is, the system isn't designed to help you, it is designed to USE you while reducing risk of uprising.
Uprisings are sort of bad, short term it can really create disaster, and it doesn't fix most underlying problems, but it is a real thing and no system of "control" can stop it.
My point is it is that a system created to use you is an ugly thing, and it is held in check by an ugly thing, so how then is it EVER going to act as your fairy god mother?

The problem of "oh I hate living with my parents" is a first world problem, or a QUALITY problem to have.
If he wants to just survive, do freelancing, move to thailand, or another country with repressed economy. Not a hard fix for most first world people, you just use currency to your advantage. America is really expensive to live in, that is probably his issue.

You can't wait for revolution to make this happen, you can't wait for the whole world to agree with you that things suck and need to change (its bezerk to wait for upheaval, sane to criticise BS).
You need to change things where you are, create good jobs, create stable working environments, and in doing this, be lifted up by the people you help.

For example, there is a guy in the Sahara desert right now, an entreprenuer.
He is building houses out of plastic bottles filled with sand, using them as bricks, to build houses that can sustain families who are stranded in the desert due to the war in Libya. Normal mud houses wash away in the rains and arent all that good in the heat, but his houses are water proof and 4x better at insulating against heat.

There are quality problems, and then there are real problems.
Business isn't about moaning about not being able to play xbox. Cuz if all people sat down playing xbox, the world would just fall apart.
So if people moan, about silly things like that, who cares.
But, when danger is around, lets do what we can yeah?

There in the mud, is where the true heart of entrepreneurship is found if you are willing to look.
Mud, becomes clay, clay becomes a pot, a pot becomes access to water.


Start there if your head is up your own butt. :p

I am not building houses in the desert for refugees.
I'm too full of BS to try that.
But I do take a portion of a community and help improve it.

Thats it man, thats all it is
 
Last edited:

Iammelissamoore

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Business comes to people in many shades, tints and situations.

I will admit, it is great that your friend has you to guide him away from being self-destructive; however, because he doesn't have the "right" answer, OR, the answer you wish to hear as his reason for going into business, it doesn't mean he won't figure things out. Surely entrepreneurship doesn't automatically make us all happy-go-luckies immediately, as on some days we experience excellence, others - challenges; however, it is not the end, just solutions disguised as challenges to either push us further or signal to us to breathe by taking a break before continuing again.

We are all guilty of wishing to steer our friends and family in the direction of success when we find the light, but, the same way we organically find our light is usually one of the best ways to allow them to find theirs. As I say, it's great that you are offering him strength to get ahead.

What I think your friend is looking for through business is Freedom and that is what ALL of us strive for on the forum; whether it is the freedom to fly all over the globe; the freedom to sit in solace without worrying about basic necessities; or the freedom to just be better versions of ourselves unapologetically. The fact is that your friend has already began his quest and while he will bump his head a great number of times, if indeed he is genuine about his quest, as time goes, he will grow and his will be led in the right direction. Continue being a great friend to him as you already are, and whenever he asks your assistance guide him in whichever positive way you can as you have already begun, but do not force him.

We all begin our journeys feeling lost, but, our yearning for betterment helps place us on the right pathway as we become brave and use our inner power to get our hands dirty doing constructive things until we gain desired outcomes, while, of course, learning the valuable lessons along the way.
 

ZF Lee

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I am not building houses in the desert for refugees.
I'm too full of BS to try that.
But I do take a portion of a community and help improve it.
Let's hope the refugees don't need to stay in plastic bottle houses for too long....even if the structures are stable, I'm worried about the ventilation. But it's not BS though...the building concept behind it could be a potential winner if you change the materials into something more industry-worthy.

"If I had a business, It would mean that I am autonomous and don't have to live with my parents anymore."
FTE feels kind of weak.
Just about everyone wants to be autonomous, so much that it is pretty much cliche.
And you can have a job and still earn enough to be autonomous, you know?
Or you can go and study in a college and be autonomous. I'm doing the latter presently.

Was there more to this conversation, @UnrealCreative ? My interest is surprisingly perked.
From the way you described the boy, I think he had a feud with his parents...

Recommend the boy an UNSCRIPTED book. It would help him a lot.

The feedback mechanism part as well as the macro-micro processes would do him good.
The really hard thing to accept is, the system isn't designed to help you, it is designed to USE you while reducing risk of uprising.
Uprisings are sort of bad, short term it can really create disaster, and it doesn't fix most underlying problems, but it is a real thing and no system of "control" can stop it.
My point is it is that a system created to use you is an ugly thing, and it is held in check by an ugly thing, so how then is it EVER going to act as your fairy god mother?

The problem of "oh I hate living with my parents" is a first world problem, or a QUALITY problem to have.
If he wants to just survive, do freelancing, move to thailand, or another country with repressed economy. Not a hard fix for most first world people, you just use currency to your advantage. America is really expensive to live in, that is probably his issue.
Yup. Good points.
Most people just want to live, have their moderate standards of freedom and liberty. It's not that people are generally emotionally weak, though. It' s that we, as social creatures, hate being alone. A system will help congregate people towards their common interests.

That is why many cities are built around industrial or trade hubs, central point of national economies for profit.

And @UnrealCreative , if the boy picks up UNSCRIPTED, tell him it's not just a 'go rogue' book. The lad might take it the wrong way, as @RogueInnovation explained.

And you don't have to just go to Thailand. Just come to my country....it still has a decent standard of living and lower exchange rate (for the USD, at least)...hehehe

Another first world problem might be, "I don't want to be stuck in heavy commute" or "I don't want to be stuck in debt" lol.
 

RogueInnovation

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Let's hope the refugees don't need to stay in plastic bottle houses for too long....even if the structures are stable, I'm worried about the ventilation. But it's not BS though...the building concept behind it could be a potential winner if you change the materials into something more industry-worthy.
They put cement mortar around it so the plastic isn't really a big issue.
I wish he was a better entrepreneur.
He's bad at sourcing plastic bottles, and getting enough water to help compact the sand inside them.
He also needs a charity event or charitable investor for the materials (he has some investment from the UN but should look for more)
He needs more of an industrial approach and organise a larger workforce.
He needs to store bottles somewhere on site, have them filled via a process, and then have them moved to construction areas.

He's a good innovator but needs a good manager imo. I mean if he wants to build 10 000+ of them, he has a long way to go. I believe he is at 25. Still he is the exact opposite of bro-marketing, and in that way inspiring.
 

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