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Craft A New Life For Yourself (An FTE Tale)

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Learning/Hustling the Fastlane
May 4, 2016

You roll out of your car in haste, grabbing your lanyard. You walk to the office building, and swipe it against the door card reader to clock in. You say pleasant "mornings" to the other worker drones with a half-baked smile on your face.

Today is yet another Monday.

You do genuinely care about their weekends, but you don't care to be there, in that noisy, intrusive open office.

You sit down in front of your computer. Your stomach drops at the emails relating to tasks that your boss is too cheap to automate but would save the business money if they did.

You don't care.

You look over your shoulder, open a window on your sluggish PC that has all sorts of ridiculously restrictive Internet filters that sometimes prevent you from doing your job, and resize the window so no one else can see.

The textures of card decks and graphics of face cards seem much more appealing right now, as you open up solitaire and sigh.

You finish out the month, with little money left over for anything. Your company is paid first always, and you're paid last. You need a holiday.

To say that some people HATE their jobs, is a gross understatement. The account above is someone that can at least tolerate things as they are, but may want out.

Sadly this picture is all too common, and it's sometimes paired with people that go home each evening and long for money and run around in circles trying to get a side business going - putting their relationships and lives in turmoil in the process.

Their time is eaten up by work, work, work with nothing to show for it. They feel overwhelmed by the boredom and frustrations with their day job, and then to top it off, they feel pinched by the learning load this side business has presented itself with.

They suddenly find themselves eating an oversized pizza most evenings, because even though they had mastered a decent diet and fitness habits moreso than the average person, their feelings of dread consume them and get the better of them.

Until one day, that person finally screams...


I was there. I was that person. I don't remember screaming those words out loud, but I certainly did it internally.

Well that account isn't fully true. I didn't have a car either and took the bus to work. I simply couldn't afford one.

In certain respects, I was glad back then that I didn't have a car, because that would mean that I was on a less-than-crap salary and I'd feel more chained to my lovely paychecks.

Given my paltry low pay, when I started getting enough customers, transitioning to my business full-time felt like I had NOTHING to lose.

I dropped the anger. I tackled things sideways. I learned to LOVE.

Instead of getting frustrated with learning web design, and feeling rushed to churn out logos, I created digital cubist art of magpies instead (albeit stuff I couldn't sell). It's what you do when you can't afford a freelance designer and want to learn.

I chose to write out lots of crap code, instead of getting bothered and frustrated by perfectionism.

I wrote outlandish sales copy, and email newsletters, to push my boundaries in what I could write and have fun in the process.

No more boring. No more mister nice guy.

And... I scheduled time for video games and goofing around too (as if the stuff above wasn't goofing around).

And guess what happened...
My life turned around before I knew it.

This experience for many is all too true. People don't set the right benchmark for the skills they need to learn for their side venture. They pressure themselves irrationally and, the hours on the side business become more of a chore than the day job itself.

You can't develop an exercise routine around running, if you fundamentally HATE running. You're better off taking up salsa dancing first, or doing swimming, or yoga, until you feel better with the idea of moving your body in general.

Move your body. Move your MIND.

Get used to moving your mind around the new skills, and the payoff will happen. This is what I mean by tackling problems sideways.

Problems tackled sideways are no longer problems. They're practices, they're hours that are put in for genuine learning, they're times of growth, they're facets of your daily life.

The person that desperately wants to go running to lose weight but can barely leap with one foot in front of the other - is the person where their weight loss routine isn't routine - it's a problem, a drudgery - and then it's quickly neglected.

If they went and did yoga first, they would soon feel more comfortable running, then they could have had both comfortably in their routine. That's ultimate power.

Take the problems and learning of your side business, and tackle them sideways. Get moving. Get thinking. Make it part of your normal routine, make it less of a burden, and soon you will find yourself being successful, and for once, enjoying the process too.

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