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Bekit

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I took a quick look through your threads just now.

Your intro:

You felt lost and wanted to quit college.

I know I want to live a great extraordinary life, I want to be recognized as a great figure.
I recently told my parents about these thoughts I’m having about dropping out. They didn’t take it well. My dad has been pretty depressed since I told him a week ago. He thinks I’m getting brainwashed online and that I have no idea how the real world works. He doesn’t know if I’m even made for business and entrepreneurship. I don’t know either, all I know is that I want to be great. However, my actions have not supported this. I have been very lazy, and even though I did well (in terms of marks) in my first year of university, I have yet to make money on my own, and I have yet to start working on any business.
I spend time watching sports and tv shows and being pissed off about my life. I pretty much don’t have any real skills. I do dish washing as a part time job. However, I sense that I have something “special” inside of me.

Fortunately, you decided not to quit.

I'm studying business at school. One of the top schools in my country. It opens doors in terms of networking and there a lot of opportunities around. Honestly, I was considering quitting school (just finished my first year). I decided against it for now.

You tried Lex's Upwork tutorial, but gave up the same day.

Alright, I'm committing. Thanks man.
  • Why are you doing this?
I want freedom over my life. I'm 19 and I grew up in a family that is stuck in the SCRIPTED perspective. I don't want to live that life. I want control and power over my circumstances. I want time to be on my side. I want to have fun and enjoy myself. I want to bring positive change to people and to humanity. I want to grow to my full potential and I know how difficult that is going to be. Entrepreneurship is the way to to do that, and I need to start somewhere. I haven't done shit so far. I've just been reading books since I was 16 when I discovered this forum and TMF. It's time for action. Since you're such a big member of this forum, I will give this a shot.
  • Describe your endgame in specific detail...
My endgame in life? Sure I'll give it a shot. I want to be remembered as one of the greatest people of all time. I want a real legacy behind my name, one where I helped many people. But I also want to feel as though I lived life to my full capacity.
Hey I'm sorry. Just watched the first couple videos and seems like I got the wrong idea about what this thread was going to be. Unfortunately I don't think I can freelance at Upwork because I don't have any freelancing skills. I thought this video series was going to be teaching some of those skills so that I could use them when freelancing. Anyways, my bad.

You started a progress thread and got some really good advice.

You had a minimum wage job as a dishwasher and landed a better-paying job that allowed you to work from home on a company laptop. This sounds like a dream to give you the flexibility to pursue entrepreneurship.
- Working as a dish washer, minimum wage (14 bucks an hour for 42 hours bi-weekly). Been working there for over a month. So I make 294$ a week on 21 hours.
- Had a job interview at a prestigious company (connection from parents). Got the job. Training starts in 2 weeks. I will be working 40 hours a week there as a technician help-desk person. I have no experience in tech or in a professional setting so this will be good for me. Also, the pay will be 18$/hour instead of 14$, and will rise to 22$/hour once school starts in September (they want me to work 10 hrs/week during the school year). Also, this is a job where I will be working from home on a laptop they give me, so no cost of transportation. So I will be making 720$ a week on 40 hours soon. And 220$ a week on 10 hours when the school year starts.

The job apparently brought you good things.
So I got a job, made some good money. Then I got some nice fitting clothes. I went to the gym consistently. Then I made big strides socially. Pretty much I improved my overall confidence and happiness in life.

You don't have a clear goal and don't really know how to set one.

My goals are super vague long-term goals. As for specific short-term ones, those are difficult as of now because I still haven't figured out what product/service/business to focus on. I'm going to be trying a bunch of things and seeing what works and go from there.
The thing is, these lifetime goals are so vague. I know I want to have a big audience, I know I want to run successful businesses, I know I want to reach my highest potential in all areas of life. But these vague goals can't get more specific because most of the specifics are learned during the process, and these specifics are always changing.

Your schedule is not very disciplined.

I usually wake up at 10-11 am. I do, however, unfortunately consume too much and produce too little (or nothing at all). Definitely something I need to change.

You do have high expectations for yourself.

the very fact that I'm even existing is a freaking miracle, and to be in this poisition, at 19 years of age, in a great developed country with a healthy body is something to be very grateful for. I've had very high expectations for myself and this has led to a form of paralysis. I've been trying to let go of those expectations and live more so in the moment.

You realize that you need discipline and work ethic.

- Wasted most of my time doing stuff like watching TV. Utter waste of time. I need to be better. I need to have more precise goals/commitments and create an environment that makes it easier for me to make good progress. Discipline is the most important thing and I'm seriously lacking in this area. My work ethic is garbage.
- I just couldn't bring myself to do anything productive. I tried learning about freelancing from reading some of Lex's posts but I didn't get far. I don't know what's wrong with me. I seem to have no motivation, no urgency, and no energy to do anything productive in reaching financial independence. I'm beating myself up over this.

Today's rating:
- Bad day. Just stayed in bed. Went outside a few times but did nothing productive. At this point, this is worse than action-faking because there isn't even any action being taken. I'm embarrassed.

You've actually had a bunch of really good contacts with potential mentors.

- Was considering dropping out but met with an entrepreneur over coffee two weeks ago who convinced me it would be best to not drop out until I have a business running and making real progress. He also recommended starting the t-shirt Shopify store I will mention soon.
- I've been talking to this entrepreneur who made it big time and who went to my university. We spoke on the phone and he talked about all the different side hustles he did when he was at my uni, stuff I had never thought about, maybe I could do some of those things next year. I set up a meeting at his office. Now he owns a big business.
- Found a guy a few years older who is doing social media for 6-7 businesses. I'm setting something up with him to go under his wing and just to try to add value and to learn as much as I can from him, I don't care about the money right now. Goal should be to learn as much and then to try to replicate what he does with just one business to start with.
- Got in contact with an old friend of mine (who used to be my boss for another job and who's like 10 years older than me). This guy is a true entrepreneur. He's tried it all and seems to be pretty damn successful from what we talked about on the phone. I'm going to look to set up a proper meeting with him and to see if he knows what is a good avenue/industry to focus on at the moment.

You experience a fair amount of anger at times. This reduces your ability to produce.

Those guys all have their own businesses and legit websites. I hate to admit it, but seeing their success really pissed me off. That ruined another big chunk of my day. I tried my best to be stoic and compare myself to who I was yesterday instead of other people but it was hard. I was just super angry the second half of the day.
I'm truly pissed off at things. I just want to have a damn FTE moment. I want to be focused and happy with my process.
- This thread has just become a joke. Like what's the damn point anymore. I feel like everyone reading this probably thinks I'm a dreampreneur, action faker, and the million of other words used to describe wannabe entrepreneurs. I need to pull it together.

You've asked for a fair amount of advice.

You started a business! Yay!
I created an online business with my cofounder a few weeks ago. So far, we've done some market research, an experiment to test our idea, wrote a 10 page business plan, created a prototype website, applied for funding, and interviewed several potential CTOs.

That was April 22, 2020.

By April 28, you and your cofounder had already decided to part ways.

My cofounder and I decided it would be best to part ways.

On May 4, you were still excited about the business and asking about how to build your social media presence.

By May 6, you were losing interest. You're not even really sure why or what to do about it.
I've quickly lost passion for the business I started a month ago. I used to work all day on it. Now It's hard for me to sit down even for half an hour.
I started a business a month ago, and I was really into it and working all day everyday on it. But about a week ago I just lost all passion it seems. I can't even sit down for an hour to work on it. Why do you think that happened?

And on May 12, you shared your observation that you work better with others.
I've noticed that I can't work alone. I start thinking instead of doing. I start over analyzing every single decision and start doubting myself.

But when I work with others, or with a partner, everything is put into perspective. It's almost as though I don't want to let my partner down, or my partner's image of me down. A business partner keeps me accountable, and I work hard without over analyzing every decision.

Is anyone else like this?

I'm curious to understand why I'm like this. It isn't even just business. For school, for example, I'm 10 times more productive if I have a study buddy, if I head to the library with someone.

With some other things I'm different. When it comes to working out, for example, I'm very self-motivated and can work out every single day.

Here's what stands out to me the most from all this. This is the common thread I see running through your posts.

I think you struggle with self-motivation. And that defeats your progress, which leads to self-hatred and beating yourself up.

(I say this out of kindness, not out of accusation or "piling on" to the self-beating you're already giving yourself. I am very similar. I know how it feels. I know how frustrating it can be to just not be able to MAKE YOURSELF DO WHAT YOU KNOW IS IN YOUR BEST INTEREST.)

Is there a way to manufacture urgency? I've noticed that the time when I was most willing to work hard and concentrate on creating a Fastlane business was when I told my parents I was dropping out of University. They told me I would be kicked out of the house. That created great pressure for me and I had pretty great focus for like a week. But then I decided I'd go back for a second year, and I found that I was back in the comfort-feeling of my own home. I'm trying to figure out a way to create that same urgency but without making such a reckless decision.
How do you think I should deal with the negative emotions associated with wanting so much but making so little progress?
How are you able to stay focused all day long and sustain the level of energy you need to both do your job and work on your business/life? Does it get difficult sometimes?
I wish I were like you... my goals so desirable that I can't stop working toward them. For some reason it seems to have the opposite effect on me. I find it hard to feel motivated and "alive" during the process. Perhaps it's a biological issue. Or maybe this will change once I get some momentum going my way, once I start to see results.
I have felt that feeling a "flow" a few times in my life, however. When something is so compelling that you just don't want to stop.

So - here are some practical thoughts that I think can help you get out of the negative feedback loop you're currently stuck in, and change it for a positive one.

  1. You will likely continue to experience failure and frustration until you man up and develop self-discipline. It is urgent that you do this now. Otherwise, you could end up twice your age, still leaning on other people to crack the whip over you to get you to produce. 40-year-old you WILL NOT FIND THIS FUN. I would recommend a dopamine fast to kick off the process. Hike the Appalachian Trail or something. Get yourself outdoors and away from devices and TV, at least for a few days. Detox your brain from the dopamine drip you've been feeding it. Dig up the soil and plant a garden. Whatever. Interact with the physical world, not the digital one, for a few days.
  2. Design a setup where you can START winning and KEEP winning. Find the smallest possible WIN that contributes to your goals. In your old execution thread, your "WIN" that you were working for was "Making a sale." No. Break it down further than that. What do you need to do prior that sale, in order to lead up to a sale? Who do you need to BE in order to get that sale? Maybe you say, "OK, my win will be waking up at 6:00 AM every day for a week." No. Break it down even further, because waking up like that is not going to be a slam dunk. So you say, OK, my win will be waking up ONCE at 6:00 AM. No. Break it down even before that. Because you'll be going to bed too late to get up at 6:00 AM. So you say, "OK, my win will be to go to bed by 9:00." But then, you're not going to be tired at 9:00, so you're going to be tempted to stay on your computer. So you back up to the REAL step. "OK, my win will be that every time I catch myself wasting time on a distraction, IN THAT SAME MOMENT, I'm going to STOP and do something productive." (Define what it is so it's concrete. Also define a reward, and deliver that reward to yourself consistently. Even if it's just a silly reward like one chocolate chip.). NOW you're on track. This is defining your wins in a direction that will serve you.
  3. Verbal thrashings will not make you more productive or more motivated. What you're trying to do is alternatively hype yourself up into action (works for a while and then fails) and then scold yourself for not acting up to your standards (works for a while and then fails). This is not the solution.
  4. There may be a biological component to what you're experiencing. The way you describe yourself sounds similar to ADHD. Read about the executive function in the brain. Your executive function is the part of you that says, "OK, I'm going to do this now." You maybe be struggling to get the executive function to turn on. If this is the case, there are two easy ways to self-medicate. Try experimenting with yourself with these two things to see if it helps. One is caffeine. Try drinking coffee shortly before doing a task you struggle with. See if this improves your ability to DO what you've DECIDED to do. The second one is vigorous exercise (whatever level of physical exertion that will leave you breathless and sweating). Try exercise immediately before you sit down to do something that requires focus.
  5. There may be a psychological component to what you're experiencing. I suspect depression. There is so much help to be found in therapy, and the outcome can be removing that mysterious inner "boredom" that causes you to reject idea after idea.
  6. There may also be an inner resistance to the idea of what "working" and "adulthood" means. I have had to deal with this. Everything on the inside of me would be screaming, "NO! I don't consent to this. I want to be GREAT! I want to do things that are COOL! I want to be amazing! I reject drudgery! I reject monotony. I'm not ok with the next few decades of my life being dedicated to toiling and slaving away." It can be very difficult to come to terms with this, square your shoulders, look work in the face, and say, "OK. This is my existence until I make it. Deal." Work is not fun or pretty or sexy. It's the RESULTS of work that we like. As children, we enjoyed the results of our PARENTS' work without having to put in the work. As adults, we don't get to skip ahead to the results. It's a rude awakening.
[edit: This posted prematurely while I was still fleshing out my thoughts on #2]
 
Last edited:

MJ DeMarco

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I want to be working on something cool right now, on something that I like. But no matter hard or how much I try I can't seem to figure it out. I started this online business a couple months ago, but it never went anywhere. I've tried things like dropshipping and creating an online store for tshirts a couple years ago but quickly gave up. I grow to hate those things. I just don't know what to do anymore. I'm so tired and frustrated.

All I'm trying to do right now is work on some cool project where I can work on my skills and make progress. But I don't know what. I don't know what I like or what I'm passionate about. I've read dozens of success and business books but to no avail. I'm tired of thinking. I'm tired of reading. I just want to get to work, but I just can't figure out what to work on. My mind goes blank. Every idea that I think of, I'm either don't like, don't have the means to, or the idea is garbage. I don't know what to do.

Has anyone ever been in my shoes? How did you figure things out?

Gee, all those words and not one mention of value. Perhaps there's a correlation there.
 

MJ DeMarco

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I took a quick look through your threads just now.

Your intro:

You felt lost and wanted to quit college.



Fortunately, you decided not to quit.



You tried Lex's Upwork tutorial, but gave up the same day.




You started a progress thread and got some really good advice.

You had a minimum wage job as a dishwasher and landed a better-paying job that allowed you to work from home on a company laptop. This sounds like a dream to give you the flexibility to pursue entrepreneurship.


The job apparently brought you good things.


You don't have a clear goal and don't really know how to set one.




Your schedule is not very disciplined.



You do have high expectations for yourself.



You realize that you need discipline and work ethic.




You've actually had a bunch of really good contacts with potential mentors.






You experience a fair amount of anger at times. This reduces your ability to produce.





You've asked for a fair amount of advice.

You started a business! Yay!


That was April 22, 2020.

By April 28, you and your cofounder had already decided to part ways.



On May 4, you were still excited about the business and asking about how to build your social media presence.

By May 6, you were losing interest. You're not even really sure why or what to do about it.



And on May 12, you shared your observation that you work better with others.


Here's what stands out to me the most from all this. This is the common thread I see running through your posts.

I think you struggle with self-motivation. And that defeats your progress, which leads to self-hatred and beating yourself up.

(I say this out of kindness, not out of accusation or "piling on" to the self-beating you're already giving yourself. I am very similar. I know how it feels. I know how frustrating it can be to just not be able to MAKE YOURSELF DO WHAT YOU KNOW IS IN YOUR BEST INTEREST.)





So - here are some practical thoughts that I think can help you get out of the negative feedback loop you're currently stuck in, and change it for a positive one.

  1. You will likely continue to experience failure and frustration until you man up and develop self-discipline. It is urgent that you do this now. Otherwise, you could end up twice your age, still leaning on other people to crack the whip over you to get you to produce. 40-year-old you WILL NOT FIND THIS FUN. I would recommend a dopamine fast to kick off the process. Hike the Appalachian Trail or something. Get yourself outdoors and away from devices and TV, at least for a few days. Detox your brain from the dopamine drip you've been feeding it. Dig up the soil and plant a garden. Whatever. Interact with the physical world, not the digital one, for a few days.
  2. Design a setup where you can START winning and KEEP winning. Find the smallest possible WIN that contributes to your goals. In your old execution thread, your "WIN" that you were working for was "Making a sale." No. Break it down further than that. What do you need to do prior that sale, in order to lead up to a sale? Who do you need to BE in order to get that sale? Maybe you say, "OK, my win will be waking up at 6:00 AM every day for a week." No. Break it down even further, because waking up like that is not going to be a slam dunk. So you say, OK, my win will be waking up ONCE at 6:00 AM. No. Break it down even before that. Because you'll be going to bed too late to get up at 6:00 AM. So you say, "OK, my win will be to go to bed by 9:00." But then, you're not going to be tired at 9:00, so you're going to be tempted to stay on your computer. So you back up to the REAL step. "OK, my win will be that every time I catch myself wasting time on a distraction, IN THAT SAME MOMENT, I'm going to STOP and do something productive." (Define what it is so it's concrete. Also define a reward, and deliver that reward to yourself consistently. Even if it's just a silly reward like one chocolate chip.). NOW you're on track. This is defining your wins in a direction that will serve you.
  3. Verbal thrashings will not make you more productive or more motivated. What you're trying to do is alternatively hype yourself up into action (works for a while and then fails) and then scold yourself for not acting up to your standards (works for a while and then fails). This is not the solution.
  4. There may be a biological component to what you're experiencing. The way you describe yourself sounds similar to ADHD. Read about the executive function in the brain. Your executive function is the part of you that says, "OK, I'm going to do this now." You maybe be struggling to get the executive function to turn on. If this is the case, there are two easy ways to self-medicate. Try experimenting with yourself with these two things to see if it helps. One is caffeine. Try drinking coffee shortly before doing a task you struggle with. See if this improves your ability to DO what you've DECIDED to do. The second one is vigorous exercise (whatever level of physical exertion that will leave you breathless and sweating). Try exercise immediately before you sit down to do something that requires focus.
  5. There may be a psychological component to what you're experiencing. I suspect depression. There is so much help to be found in therapy, and the outcome can be removing that mysterious inner "boredom" that causes you to reject idea after idea.
  6. There may also be an inner resistance to the idea of what "working" and "adulthood" means. I have had to deal with this. Everything on the inside of me would be screaming, "NO! I don't consent to this. I want to be GREAT! I want to do things that are COOL! I want to be amazing! I reject drudgery! I reject monotony. I'm not ok with the next few decades of my life being dedicated to toiling and slaving away." It can be very difficult to come to terms with this, square your shoulders, look work in the face, and say, "OK. This is my existence until I make it. Deal." Work is not fun or pretty or sexy. It's the RESULTS of work that we like. As children, we enjoyed the results of our PARENTS' work without having to put in the work. As adults, we don't get to skip ahead to the results. It's a rude awakening.
[edit: This posted prematurely while I was still fleshing out my thoughts on #2]

Wow, just wow.

You should have charged $250/hour for that.

Thank you for taking time for trying to help someone. If it doesn't help him, it will help others.
 

Mike Partee

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@TheProcess got your DM.

Wow. There's lots of great stuff here, especially @Bekit's reply.

I'll echo that there's nothing in your way other than that chunk of grey matter between your two ears. Everyone gets in their own way (and in their own heads) eventually.

Welcome to the club – it's unproductive being frustrated.

Thankfully, this is only worse when younger and gets a lot better with age.
Experience is a great teacher, and there's a few things that've helped over the years...

– Go out and live. Keep trying things, absolutely anything that interests or calls you. Hobbies and interests have a unique pull to them that will change you as a result of pursuing them. But only if you...

– Do hard things. Learning something new or pursuing a new project will suck at points. But struggling in a worthwhile pursuit has its own reward. Do not be flustered longer than necessary, it means you're growing. Remember this when doing anything hard.

– When you stumble upon something you REALLY want and are drawing a blank on how to get it, doing ANYTHING is better than doing nothing. If it gets you what you want, keep doing it. If not, change your approach until it does.

– Through living your day-to-day existence you'll eventually stumble on something you can do for others, either a service or a product you can create, that people really need. Make progress the fastest by focusing on the lowest hanging fruit. If you had a gun to your head and had to make your first sale executing on X business idea, what would you do? Focus on that, and adjust. People will give you an indication you're on the right track.

– Emphasis on LIVING. Money / Business is literally one *tiny* part of your life.
Have you lived lately? How is your health, friends, romance, family, mindset, spirituality, hobbies?

If you don't have a business yet it's not the end of the f*cking world, look at all the other things you can experience and be happy with. Stop beating yourself up; people and circumstances will do that on its own ;)
 
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Phikey

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How are you actually adding value with your businesses?
Who are you helping?
How are you helping them?
What problem are you solving?
How does your product or service solve that problem?

Money is just a way to signify value that can be transferred. People will give you that value-ticket if you give them something they perceive as more valuable.
If you change your mindset to giving back as much as possible then you'll be surprised at how the money flows in.

Your post was very "Me, Me, Me". A lot of people want to start a business so they can live a life of freedom. That's totally fine, but don't forget that your business doesn't exist in a vacuum and it REQUIRES other people to interact with it. If you structure your whole business so it just allows you to make easy cash with little effort then you'll be limited to only a few business models and they are incredibly competitive anyway because everyone else has the same mindset.

If you check out the successful businesses talked about here on the FLF, they're really giving back and focusing on how they add value. It's a real mindset shift. Have you read TMF and Unscripted? Both books go into this in detail.
 

JHZ

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So your going to be another Youtuber?

Dude, get a job you are not meant for this.
I don't think its fair to the OP to just say "You are not meant for this, give up". Lots of folks struggle at the beginning to find their way and make progress. Action faking and indecision is not a fixed attribute that can not be changed, its a habit that can be worked on.

As for a YouTube channel, a member of the forum has a progress thread doing exactly that, he is doing pretty well. Also, don't trash the idea of getting a job. A job is not giving up, a job can be a way for you to grow , learn, get some real world experience and acquire capital. Whatever you choose to do, just start.
 

Andy Black

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Hopefully spurring him on with insults, if he doesn't take offense to it, I will keep calling him an action faker until he either gets offended and does something to prove me wrong.

Otherwise I unfortunately get to say '' I told you so '' Anger is one of the greatest motivaters in the world.
I'm not saying @TheProcess is, but sometimes people are in a bad place mentally and the tough love approach may make things much worse. You've said your piece, and now you've explained it's coming from a good place. @TheProcess seems to be taking advice on the chin, and has the manners to reply and thank people who have taken the effort to help him. These show good character traits. Remember that Rome wasn't built in a day, so may I ask you to give him a bit of slack to work things out?

You may well be or become best friends over this, but remember that he's displaying bravery putting himself out there. There's lots of people lurking in the forum who we'd all agree would do better to stop just consuming and to start producing.
 

TheProcess

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I want to be working on something right now, on something that I like. But no matter hard or how much I try I can't seem to figure it out. I started this online business a couple months ago, but it never went anywhere. I've tried things dropshipping and created an online store for t-shirts a couple years ago but quickly gave up.I just don't know what to do anymore. I'm tired and frustrated.

All I'm trying to do right now is work on a cool project where I can work on my skills and make progress. But I don't know what. I don't know what I like or what I'm passionate about. I've read dozens of success and business books but to no avail. I'm tired of thinking. I'm tired of reading. I just want to get to work, but I just can't figure out what to work on. My mind goes blank. Every idea that I think of, I either don't like, don't have the means to do it, or the idea is garbage. I don't know what to do.

Has anyone ever been in my shoes? How did you figure things out?

Edit: Spelling.
 

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Last edited:

Phikey

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How did you personally get out of that situation?
  • Keep trying things (but don't get shiny object syndrome)
  • Look for positive responses from the market or anybody that you interact with
  • Once you make some money or see that you're helping anyone at all, focus in on that.
  • You want to look for these feedback loops. @MJ DeMarco talks about them as 'echos' in his book
  • Don't give up. It's hard but if it were easy, everyone would be doing it
I really empathize with this thread and what you're going through. I think a lot of other people do here too, that's why there are so many people trying to help you. Everyone that's made it has been through the same thing. Few people knew what they were going to do from the start. Everyone has had those days of doubt. Everyone has questioned if what they were doing were worth it.
You just gotta keep going and build from where you are.
I think a good thing to do is to make sure you compare yourself today to who you were yesterday and not to who you want to be in 5-10 years. You will get paralyzed if you keep thinking you need to be a millionaire and making stacks of cash when you need to start somewhere from the ground.
 

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I would suggest that first of all, stop beating yourself up. You are 20, I get that you are hungry and want to jump straight into doing some cool projects, but things take time. I've been in your shoes. Everyday I was tired of being a wantpreneur, an action-faker, and it only made me more miserable, and the self loathing intensified.

It seems that your lack of clarity is originated by a lack of a clear objective. It seems that right now, your focus is "I just want to start a business that makes money", whereas your focus should be "I noticed this problem/possible improvement and I want to offer a solution". When your objective is clear, the next steps you have to take become crystal clear. MJ talks about it in this video:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19zXV4Tptcw


If your focus is on "start a business" no wonder why you can not figure out what to do next! Thats a very broad focus (Should I drop ship, learn to code, find a supplier in China, cold call businesses?) but if your focus is say "Make a device that helps you find your lost AirPods" (happened to me the last week, spent about 3 hours turning my house upside down, super frustrating, and also a potential business idea) then what to do suddenly becomes super clear! (find out if there is already an existing solution out there, figure out what could be done better, learn how something like that could be designed and manufactured, make your own design, etc.)

Note that I said clear, not easy or convenient.

I started this online business a couple months ago, but it never went anywhere. I've tried things dropshipping and created an online store for t-shirts a couple years ago but quickly gave up

It seems that so far in your entrepreneurial journey, you have started projects that are easy and convenient, not necessarily businesses that are solving a problem or focused on a need. Which is fine! You are still learning (as am I) and sometimes those projects, although not very profitable, can help with your growth. So you can later start pursuing bigger and better things.

Every idea that I think of, I either don't like, don't have the means to do it, or the idea is garbage. I don't know what to do.

Again, just guessing, but I get the feel like the ideas you have could actually be good, but maybe are things that are too difficult, or things you don't know how to do. But, if you remember, that IS the opportunity! Building solutions that are hard, take time, and force you to learn and grow.

Overall, from what I've seen on the last posts, it seems that you are doing fine, you are just still learning (again, as I'm also am :) ) If you only get one thing from this message let it be that beating yourself up is not helping you becoming the version of yourself that you want (if you want more info about being more compassionate with yourself, I suggest you read "Self Compassion" By Kristin Neff ) and that you need to shift your focus from money to value and problem solving.

Perhaps you could start with a side hustle that helps/offers value to people, makes you learn new things, grow and acquire some capital that you can then use to fund other projects (note that all of this will take some time and effort!)

Keep it going man, I bet that you have already taken more action than a lot of people, you just need to shift that action into the correct things. If you ever feel down or want to talk with someone about feeling stuck just PM me. I'm not an expert by any means, but I see myself in a lot of what you said and I know how bad it can feel.

Hope that helps, have a great day
 

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I took a quick look through your threads just now.

Your intro:

You felt lost and wanted to quit college.



Fortunately, you decided not to quit.



You tried Lex's Upwork tutorial, but gave up the same day.




You started a progress thread and got some really good advice.

You had a minimum wage job as a dishwasher and landed a better-paying job that allowed you to work from home on a company laptop. This sounds like a dream to give you the flexibility to pursue entrepreneurship.


The job apparently brought you good things.


You don't have a clear goal and don't really know how to set one.




Your schedule is not very disciplined.



You do have high expectations for yourself.



You realize that you need discipline and work ethic.




You've actually had a bunch of really good contacts with potential mentors.






You experience a fair amount of anger at times. This reduces your ability to produce.





You've asked for a fair amount of advice.

You started a business! Yay!


That was April 22, 2020.

By April 28, you and your cofounder had already decided to part ways.



On May 4, you were still excited about the business and asking about how to build your social media presence.

By May 6, you were losing interest. You're not even really sure why or what to do about it.



And on May 12, you shared your observation that you work better with others.


Here's what stands out to me the most from all this. This is the common thread I see running through your posts.

I think you struggle with self-motivation. And that defeats your progress, which leads to self-hatred and beating yourself up.

(I say this out of kindness, not out of accusation or "piling on" to the self-beating you're already giving yourself. I am very similar. I know how it feels. I know how frustrating it can be to just not be able to MAKE YOURSELF DO WHAT YOU KNOW IS IN YOUR BEST INTEREST.)





So - here are some practical thoughts that I think can help you get out of the negative feedback loop you're currently stuck in, and change it for a positive one.

  1. You will likely continue to experience failure and frustration until you man up and develop self-discipline. It is urgent that you do this now. Otherwise, you could end up twice your age, still leaning on other people to crack the whip over you to get you to produce. 40-year-old you WILL NOT FIND THIS FUN. I would recommend a dopamine fast to kick off the process. Hike the Appalachian Trail or something. Get yourself outdoors and away from devices and TV, at least for a few days. Detox your brain from the dopamine drip you've been feeding it. Dig up the soil and plant a garden. Whatever. Interact with the physical world, not the digital one, for a few days.
  2. Design a setup where you can START winning and KEEP winning. Find the smallest possible WIN that contributes to your goals. In your old execution thread, your "WIN" that you were working for was "Making a sale." No. Break it down further than that. What do you need to do prior that sale, in order to lead up to a sale? Who do you need to BE in order to get that sale? Maybe you say, "OK, my win will be waking up at 6:00 AM every day for a week." No. Break it down even further, because waking up like that is not going to be a slam dunk. So you say, OK, my win will be waking up ONCE at 6:00 AM. No. Break it down even before that. Because you'll be going to bed too late to get up at 6:00 AM. So you say, "OK, my win will be to go to bed by 9:00." But then, you're not going to be tired at 9:00, so you're going to be tempted to stay on your computer. So you back up to the REAL step. "OK, my win will be that every time I catch myself wasting time on a distraction, IN THAT SAME MOMENT, I'm going to STOP and do something productive." (Define what it is so it's concrete. Also define a reward, and deliver that reward to yourself consistently. Even if it's just a silly reward like one chocolate chip.). NOW you're on track. This is defining your wins in a direction that will serve you.
  3. Verbal thrashings will not make you more productive or more motivated. What you're trying to do is alternatively hype yourself up into action (works for a while and then fails) and then scold yourself for not acting up to your standards (works for a while and then fails). This is not the solution.
  4. There may be a biological component to what you're experiencing. The way you describe yourself sounds similar to ADHD. Read about the executive function in the brain. Your executive function is the part of you that says, "OK, I'm going to do this now." You maybe be struggling to get the executive function to turn on. If this is the case, there are two easy ways to self-medicate. Try experimenting with yourself with these two things to see if it helps. One is caffeine. Try drinking coffee shortly before doing a task you struggle with. See if this improves your ability to DO what you've DECIDED to do. The second one is vigorous exercise (whatever level of physical exertion that will leave you breathless and sweating). Try exercise immediately before you sit down to do something that requires focus.
  5. There may be a psychological component to what you're experiencing. I suspect depression. There is so much help to be found in therapy, and the outcome can be removing that mysterious inner "boredom" that causes you to reject idea after idea.
  6. There may also be an inner resistance to the idea of what "working" and "adulthood" means. I have had to deal with this. Everything on the inside of me would be screaming, "NO! I don't consent to this. I want to be GREAT! I want to do things that are COOL! I want to be amazing! I reject drudgery! I reject monotony. I'm not ok with the next few decades of my life being dedicated to toiling and slaving away." It can be very difficult to come to terms with this, square your shoulders, look work in the face, and say, "OK. This is my existence until I make it. Deal." Work is not fun or pretty or sexy. It's the RESULTS of work that we like. As children, we enjoyed the results of our PARENTS' work without having to put in the work. As adults, we don't get to skip ahead to the results. It's a rude awakening.
[edit: This posted prematurely while I was still fleshing out my thoughts on #2]

I am very glad you have chosen to spend time here helping people. You are an encouragement.
 

Phikey

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I'm good at some sports. I'm good at public speaking. What do I think is cool? I don't know.
A couple of ideas right here:
  • Start a youtube channel that helps people learn different parts of the sport - maybe some part that you're very good at like the technical aspects of a baseball swing. (you can sell a course/ebook)
  • Start a podcast where you interview coaches for teenage sporting teams and help other coaches learn how to deal with the big problems they face (you can sell a course/ebook)
Once you get that first subscriber, comment, sale or bit of feedback from the market - you know you're onto the right path (or if you need to change your strategy a bit). These feedback loops are really important for figuring out how your business adds value. If you just try to create a business idea and execute from scratch without any feedback from the market, it's going to be very very very hard to succeed.
Make something basic, get it out there, and see what people say. Keep tweaking it until you create something that really helps people and they'll line up to give up their cash.
 

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I took a quick look through your threads just now.

Your intro:

You felt lost and wanted to quit college.



Fortunately, you decided not to quit.



You tried Lex's Upwork tutorial, but gave up the same day.




You started a progress thread and got some really good advice.

You had a minimum wage job as a dishwasher and landed a better-paying job that allowed you to work from home on a company laptop. This sounds like a dream to give you the flexibility to pursue entrepreneurship.


The job apparently brought you good things.


You don't have a clear goal and don't really know how to set one.




Your schedule is not very disciplined.



You do have high expectations for yourself.



You realize that you need discipline and work ethic.




You've actually had a bunch of really good contacts with potential mentors.






You experience a fair amount of anger at times. This reduces your ability to produce.





You've asked for a fair amount of advice.

You started a business! Yay!


That was April 22, 2020.

By April 28, you and your cofounder had already decided to part ways.



On May 4, you were still excited about the business and asking about how to build your social media presence.

By May 6, you were losing interest. You're not even really sure why or what to do about it.



And on May 12, you shared your observation that you work better with others.


Here's what stands out to me the most from all this. This is the common thread I see running through your posts.

I think you struggle with self-motivation. And that defeats your progress, which leads to self-hatred and beating yourself up.

(I say this out of kindness, not out of accusation or "piling on" to the self-beating you're already giving yourself. I am very similar. I know how it feels. I know how frustrating it can be to just not be able to MAKE YOURSELF DO WHAT YOU KNOW IS IN YOUR BEST INTEREST.)





So - here are some practical thoughts that I think can help you get out of the negative feedback loop you're currently stuck in, and change it for a positive one.

  1. You will likely continue to experience failure and frustration until you man up and develop self-discipline. It is urgent that you do this now. Otherwise, you could end up twice your age, still leaning on other people to crack the whip over you to get you to produce. 40-year-old you WILL NOT FIND THIS FUN. I would recommend a dopamine fast to kick off the process. Hike the Appalachian Trail or something. Get yourself outdoors and away from devices and TV, at least for a few days. Detox your brain from the dopamine drip you've been feeding it. Dig up the soil and plant a garden. Whatever. Interact with the physical world, not the digital one, for a few days.
  2. Design a setup where you can START winning and KEEP winning. Find the smallest possible WIN that contributes to your goals. In your old execution thread, your "WIN" that you were working for was "Making a sale." No. Break it down further than that. What do you need to do prior that sale, in order to lead up to a sale? Who do you need to BE in order to get that sale? Maybe you say, "OK, my win will be waking up at 6:00 AM every day for a week." No. Break it down even further, because waking up like that is not going to be a slam dunk. So you say, OK, my win will be waking up ONCE at 6:00 AM. No. Break it down even before that. Because you'll be going to bed too late to get up at 6:00 AM. So you say, "OK, my win will be to go to bed by 9:00." But then, you're not going to be tired at 9:00, so you're going to be tempted to stay on your computer. So you back up to the REAL step. "OK, my win will be that every time I catch myself wasting time on a distraction, IN THAT SAME MOMENT, I'm going to STOP and do something productive." (Define what it is so it's concrete. Also define a reward, and deliver that reward to yourself consistently. Even if it's just a silly reward like one chocolate chip.). NOW you're on track. This is defining your wins in a direction that will serve you.
  3. Verbal thrashings will not make you more productive or more motivated. What you're trying to do is alternatively hype yourself up into action (works for a while and then fails) and then scold yourself for not acting up to your standards (works for a while and then fails). This is not the solution.
  4. There may be a biological component to what you're experiencing. The way you describe yourself sounds similar to ADHD. Read about the executive function in the brain. Your executive function is the part of you that says, "OK, I'm going to do this now." You maybe be struggling to get the executive function to turn on. If this is the case, there are two easy ways to self-medicate. Try experimenting with yourself with these two things to see if it helps. One is caffeine. Try drinking coffee shortly before doing a task you struggle with. See if this improves your ability to DO what you've DECIDED to do. The second one is vigorous exercise (whatever level of physical exertion that will leave you breathless and sweating). Try exercise immediately before you sit down to do something that requires focus.
  5. There may be a psychological component to what you're experiencing. I suspect depression. There is so much help to be found in therapy, and the outcome can be removing that mysterious inner "boredom" that causes you to reject idea after idea.
  6. There may also be an inner resistance to the idea of what "working" and "adulthood" means. I have had to deal with this. Everything on the inside of me would be screaming, "NO! I don't consent to this. I want to be GREAT! I want to do things that are COOL! I want to be amazing! I reject drudgery! I reject monotony. I'm not ok with the next few decades of my life being dedicated to toiling and slaving away." It can be very difficult to come to terms with this, square your shoulders, look work in the face, and say, "OK. This is my existence until I make it. Deal." Work is not fun or pretty or sexy. It's the RESULTS of work that we like. As children, we enjoyed the results of our PARENTS' work without having to put in the work. As adults, we don't get to skip ahead to the results. It's a rude awakening.
[edit: This posted prematurely while I was still fleshing out my thoughts on #2]

Amazing!!!

This post clearly took a ton of effort and time.

Very cool @Bekit.

Edit - ha same time as MJ. @Andy Black shared this with the mods as he has blown away also.
So much value in one post.
 

Andy Black

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I want to be working on something right now, on something that I like. But no matter hard or how much I try I can't seem to figure it out. I started this online business a couple months ago, but it never went anywhere. I've tried things dropshipping and created an online store for t-shirts a couple years ago but quickly gave up.I just don't know what to do anymore. I'm tired and frustrated.

All I'm trying to do right now is work on a cool project where I can work on my skills and make progress. But I don't know what. I don't know what I like or what I'm passionate about. I've read dozens of success and business books but to no avail. I'm tired of thinking. I'm tired of reading. I just want to get to work, but I just can't figure out what to work on. My mind goes blank. Every idea that I think of, I either don't like, don't have the means to do it, or the idea is garbage. I don't know what to do.

Has anyone ever been in my shoes? How did you figure things out?

Edit: Spelling.
Maybe listen to this:
> HOT TOPIC - (Audio) Who have you helped?
 

sparechange

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I want to be working on something right now, on something that I like. But no matter hard or how much I try I can't seem to figure it out. I started this online business a couple months ago, but it never went anywhere. I've tried things dropshipping and created an online store for t-shirts a couple years ago but quickly gave up.I just don't know what to do anymore. I'm tired and frustrated.

All I'm trying to do right now is work on a cool project where I can work on my skills and make progress. But I don't know what. I don't know what I like or what I'm passionate about. I've read dozens of success and business books but to no avail. I'm tired of thinking. I'm tired of reading. I just want to get to work, but I just can't figure out what to work on. My mind goes blank. Every idea that I think of, I either don't like, don't have the means to do it, or the idea is garbage. I don't know what to do.

Has anyone ever been in my shoes? How did you figure things out?

Edit: Spelling.

Noone needs another drop shipping store first of all.

Second of all, noone needs another tshirt store (there is millions of them already) You are chasing a cat with tuna when you need to be doing the opposite.

You are ''pushing money'' away from you by chasing it, attract it with creating real value, not chasing it away by offering crappy t shirts or Chinese dropped shipped garbage like all the millions of bozos in the online space. As MJ always says noone cares about your passions or what you want to do, people are selfish, exploit their selfishness by PROVIDING to them.

Your making it harder than it is.
 

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@TheProcess What have you done today? More action faking?
Post something constructive. I’m 100% convinced your words aren’t helping. And it’s not just that - it doesn’t seem like you want to. Seems like you enjoy a chance to try and bully.
 

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You sound exactly like me when I was at that age.....

I feel all these boils down to getting no traction in whatever you do.
Put it this way; if you had earned $4k from all those dropshipping hustles you did, would you have given up or continued to scale that bigger?

What you need to do now, at 20 years of age, is to get more life experiences, work for someone, and above all, get good at a skill, be well-versed in whatever domain you work in.

If you look at the successful folks on this forum, most of them had a skill of sorts which they then used to help them make it big. MJ knew programming in his early days; that helped him get his big break. Ravens_shadow does Vfx software; he knew coding and was working in that industry if I remember correctly. Lex_deville was great at copywriting and his business was based on that.
Eliquid - digital marketing. Fox - web design.

Forget about CENTS and Unscripted and Fastlane for now. Focus on a skill first, get good and run with that. When you get good at a skill and are well-versed in your domain, you'll be able to see the problems and solutions in that industry, you'll be so familiar with the target audience of that same indsutry, and then you can create a business to fix that.
 

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Yes I did help future me today. I've been on this forum for a couple hours digesting the gold and notable threads and trying to contact some members. I work out daily.

I consider that action faking, you can read for the rest of your life. All you need is Unscripted or TMF.

Contacting members? Why, stop being an action faker, and do something.
 

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Action faker

Youtube can be great sure, but op is a money chasing action faker imo, reading a bunch of threads and whatever is not going to help him.

Once he realizes how hard Youtube is I'm sure he will quickly quit that as well, and the cycle continues. Hopefully he can prove me wrong, but I doubt it.

Having a career is not a bad thing, infact I'd even go as far to say that for most people its a much better option.

@TheProcess What have you done today? More action faking?

I’m curious what your motives are @sparechange.
 

sparechange

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This is all from @ZCP (not my writing at all)



The ZCP Challenge:
DO something different. Change it up. Eat different stuff. Hang out with different people. Do different things. Make it a 2 week physical / mental / spiritual / business bath in OTHER stimuli.

Put a 1/2 day a week into intense reading and study. Doesn't matter the topic. Use it to load the brain for the week. (I do mine on Saturday mornings).

Get your sleep and diet right. It's two weeks. You can do it!

Then sit down and write out what you want to do, your outcome, what matters to you.
Report back and tell us the three things you will do to MAKE THAT HAPPEN.

You got this!!



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

start with 'what is your why?' ........ all will line up once you have that in place

then you go to 'what is my specific outcome?' ..... do for each area of your life

then 'how do i obtain that outcome?' ....... this will start the how

then 'what three things can i do this week to help achieve my desired outcome?' ..... this will lead to what

then 'what do i need to know to be able to do those things?' ..... this leads to what to study / learn

TLDR; here is your step by step....

now go get it done!


sounds like a bunch of excuses. put 1 hour into it (with full focus) today.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Provide value and you will never be without.

I did something this past week ..... changed my 'primary question' .....

Instead of constantly kicking my own a$$ about what I hadn't done, or how I was going to fail, or why i hadn't done this or hadn't done that .........

I changed my question.

How can I give myself some credit for the awesomeness that I have accomplished?

Changed my whole perspective.... more importantly, it changed my interactions with others. Staff, loved ones, people in general.

Positive energy. Thankfulness. Joy.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

just get started.

need more than that? no you don't.

if you feel you still do:
-what is your why?
-what life do you want?
-how much will it cost?
-what steps are needed to achieve that?
-then go do it
-fail (loop)
-pivot (loop)
-succeed

'but i need more than that', you say. no you don't.

when you get down to the first fail, report back.
 

sparechange

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CKl_GPFWoAASkDy.jpg

I think OP did in fact ''give up''

Maybe in the months to come, when he is slaving away at a horrible job, getting yelled at by managers from third world countries with broken English then perhaps he will have a new appreciation of entrepreneurship.

MJ describes it as a ''FTE'', and I think the OP needs to have one to change his mindset, otherwise, a slave will always be a slave when bribed with a steady paycheck and food in the belly.

Entrepreneurship is basically going failure to failure, losing money sometimes and still being enthusiastic after dealing with constant rejection, doesn't exactly sound like fun right? That is why some people are just more suited towards a ''steady career''

A fellow slave at the time while doing construction in the middle of winter (FTE) mentioned his savings, we were talking about paychecks and how our boss sometimes doesn't pay on time (great guy though)

My fellow slave brought up that he has less than $100 in savings. This man was in his 60's! If the thought of being in old age while broke worrying about missing rent, and not having enough money to blow on Starbucks because you can't afford it, that is a very big problem. If something like that doesn't motivate you, nothing will. Check out Walmart, or any grocery store. See that cashier? How old are they? Do you want to be like that person? Living paycheck to paycheck!?

Or would you rather be on a yacht sailing the sea during the retirement years? If you want to take this experiment even further, check out your local homeless shelters. You will see a common theme of elderly people that have spent most of their life working and suddenly age becomes a factor, I've seen it all the time.
 
Last edited:

BlackMagician

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View attachment 33762

I think OP did in fact ''give up''

Maybe in the months to come, when he is slaving away at a horrible job, getting yelled at by managers from third world countries with broken English then perhaps he will have a new appreciation of entrepreneurship.

MJ describes it as a ''FTE'', and I think the OP needs to have one to change his mindset, otherwise, a slave will always be a slave when bribed with a steady paycheck and food in the belly.

Entrepreneurship is basically going failure to failure, losing money sometimes and still being enthusiastic after dealing with constant rejection, doesn't exactly sound like fun right? That is why some people are just more suited towards a ''steady career''

A fellow slave at the time while doing construction in the middle of winter (FTE) mentioned his savings, we were talking about paychecks and how our boss sometimes doesn't pay on time (great guy though)

My fellow slave brought up that he has less than $100 in savings. This man was in his 60's! If the thought of being in old age while broke worrying about missing rent, and not having enough money to blow on Starbucks because you can't afford it, that is a very big problem. If something like that doesn't motivate you, nothing will. Check out Walmart, or any grocery store. See that cashier? How old are they? Do you want to be like that person? Living paycheck to paycheck!?

Or would you rather be on a yacht sailing the sea during the retirement years? If you want to take this experiment even further, check out your local homeless shelters. You will see a common theme of elderly people that have spent most of their life working and suddenly age becomes a factor, I've seen it all the time.

Most of the best advice and care for being Motivated and get things done has been given in this thread by all the legendary posters. The words in this thread are gems, dropped from sky, 1 by 1.

How @Bekit deconstructed his mindset and showed a path to start.
How @Andy Black shared thread links to get out of that limited mindset.
How @ZCP (thank you) gave him the only thought process he needs to achieve his desire life.
How @sparechange pointed action faking. Utilized his anger to motive him. The way he kicked his a** so that he starts taking actions. The 'CARE' sparechange showed made me remember our 'Eric Cheescakes" buddy. How ZCP gave the similar 'CARE' to him.

How @everyone else has told him that nothing is stopping you than yourself. How failure is a part of the process. how you need to grit and dedication & how to achieve these.

In this thread, each and every post is filled with what newcomers with the limited mindset needed to start something on their Entrepreneur journey.

@TheProcess so buddy, show us what have you done? If you haven't, what will you do? don't let the advice go to waste for you. I am sure others will feel blessed after reading this read(i am). What will you take from all this and take action?

Let us know what have you done?
 

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You can likely use a smartphone if you have one. A wee tripod can help, but isn't necessary. Just don't go down the rabbit-hole of buying equipment. Get something recorded and uploaded tonight?

Watch the video here. It's only 2 mins.

You can likely use Zoom or Loom to record video from your laptop. I did a quick video here this morning with just my headphones as the mic. Sure, sound isn't great, but I didn't let that stop me hitting record when I thought the discussion might have helped others.

last year I wanted to start a youtube chanel together with my son. About small dirt bikesˋ tuning.
Any time I just started. Took my phone and sayd: take a video of me doing that ...
Answer: no, you need intro, need logo, need .....
Nevertheless I insisted to do it now.
A bad video. Many likes, many answers. Done!

We didn’t go much further, but we did something. With no real equipment.
But with Andyˋs advice. Thanks Andy!
 
Last edited:

Andy Black

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sparechange

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Thank you! I appreciate the encouragement. I have a question.

You said: "whereas your focus should be "I noticed this problem/possible improvement and I want to offer a solution""

I honestly have been thinking and I just can't think of anything. How can I go about finding problems?

Man there is so many problems in the world, solve some, and the universe will return what you give to it. Entrepreneurship is totally a give and receive type game, all the people that have won at it have impacted tons of people on a massive scale and likely sold hundreds of thousands if not millions of products, or sold services to other human beings.

Start small, in the community. Sell 10 of something that's valuable, 100 and so on. People will line up and beg you to take their money, look at luxury brands, just the other day I was at the mall, and even during this ''pandemic'' there were dozens of people standing in a crowded mall looking to give away hundreds, if not thousands of dollars of their own hard earned money to Apple, Lululemon and some crappy jewelry stores.

Don't chase money, attract it.. learn the art of sales and why people blow money on useless things, most things on the market are total garbage. People make millions of dollars selling socks and pet rocks (that's perceived value) Which hopefully you understand the difference.

You know whats a problem in my area? Scumbags that break into cars, how about unbreakable windows? How many bazillions of dollars could you make solving that problem?
 

Andy Black

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Holy cow this thread is dripping in gold. Thank you to all the contributors posting helpful thread one after the other, this is going directly on my bookmark bar to keep looking back on when I get stuck.
This is why we all keep coming back to the forum. Thank you for your feedback. Thank you to all the contributers in this thread.
 

manth0ny

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I can relate(I think). I know in my heart of hearts that I want to be financially free and realized a long time ago that I wouldn't get there working 9-5 M-F or in my case usually 4-2 Tue-Sa as I worked in the restaurant industry for years. I'd get serious anxiety thinking of having to do that for the next 40-60! To abate that feeling I'd have a self-imposed shelf life for any current job, usually working in one place for no more than 2-3 years...the new restaurant would give me "new"challenges(new menu items, new staff to get to know, new route to work) but the newness would eventually wear off and I'd get that panic feeling again. I started thinking that in order for my situation to fundamentally change that I needed to change, my mindset needed to change...I pretty much needed a wholesale change. So I read all the books, listened to some tapes and started to brew up some brilliant ideas that would lead me to my destiny. NOPE! All I did was create more anxiety by brainstorming ideas that I had no clue on how to develop, start, market or see to fruition, giving me even worse anxiety (If I can't do this than I WILL have to work for the man until I'm 90!). I have a pretty good idea of what the rest of my life would like if I remain scripted and it ultimately gives me a way bigger NO EFFING WAY feeling than maybe being uncomfortable thinking of creating something myself and struggling sometimes. When I'm working and and something irks me, I take it and vision myself writing it down on paper and then throwing it into a furnace that burns inside me to fuel my pursuit. Maybe that sounds too new age for some, but believe me whenever I need a little kick in the butt I think of the encyclopedia's worth of paper notes that I've tossed into that furnace and I can see how big the flames have grown, how hot the fire has become and I know I can't succumb to mediocrity...I have to strive for more! So I keep on thinking up new ideas and I still have no idea how to facilitate 90% of them. I just keep taking the next easiest step whenever I'm dead stuck and keep plugging away. Listen, I don't know if anything I've written will or can help...but just know that you're not alone in your posted thoughts.
 

TheProcess

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I took a quick look through your threads just now.

Your intro:

You felt lost and wanted to quit college.



Fortunately, you decided not to quit.



You tried Lex's Upwork tutorial, but gave up the same day.




You started a progress thread and got some really good advice.

You had a minimum wage job as a dishwasher and landed a better-paying job that allowed you to work from home on a company laptop. This sounds like a dream to give you the flexibility to pursue entrepreneurship.


The job apparently brought you good things.


You don't have a clear goal and don't really know how to set one.




Your schedule is not very disciplined.



You do have high expectations for yourself.



You realize that you need discipline and work ethic.




You've actually had a bunch of really good contacts with potential mentors.






You experience a fair amount of anger at times. This reduces your ability to produce.





You've asked for a fair amount of advice.

You started a business! Yay!


That was April 22, 2020.

By April 28, you and your cofounder had already decided to part ways.



On May 4, you were still excited about the business and asking about how to build your social media presence.

By May 6, you were losing interest. You're not even really sure why or what to do about it.



And on May 12, you shared your observation that you work better with others.


Here's what stands out to me the most from all this. This is the common thread I see running through your posts.

I think you struggle with self-motivation. And that defeats your progress, which leads to self-hatred and beating yourself up.

(I say this out of kindness, not out of accusation or "piling on" to the self-beating you're already giving yourself. I am very similar. I know how it feels. I know how frustrating it can be to just not be able to MAKE YOURSELF DO WHAT YOU KNOW IS IN YOUR BEST INTEREST.)





So - here are some practical thoughts that I think can help you get out of the negative feedback loop you're currently stuck in, and change it for a positive one.

  1. You will likely continue to experience failure and frustration until you man up and develop self-discipline. It is urgent that you do this now. Otherwise, you could end up twice your age, still leaning on other people to crack the whip over you to get you to produce. 40-year-old you WILL NOT FIND THIS FUN. I would recommend a dopamine fast to kick off the process. Hike the Appalachian Trail or something. Get yourself outdoors and away from devices and TV, at least for a few days. Detox your brain from the dopamine drip you've been feeding it. Dig up the soil and plant a garden. Whatever. Interact with the physical world, not the digital one, for a few days.
  2. Design a setup where you can START winning and KEEP winning. Find the smallest possible WIN that contributes to your goals. In your old execution thread, your "WIN" that you were working for was "Making a sale." No. Break it down further than that. What do you need to do prior that sale, in order to lead up to a sale? Who do you need to BE in order to get that sale? Maybe you say, "OK, my win will be waking up at 6:00 AM every day for a week." No. Break it down even further, because waking up like that is not going to be a slam dunk. So you say, OK, my win will be waking up ONCE at 6:00 AM. No. Break it down even before that. Because you'll be going to bed too late to get up at 6:00 AM. So you say, "OK, my win will be to go to bed by 9:00." But then, you're not going to be tired at 9:00, so you're going to be tempted to stay on your computer. So you back up to the REAL step. "OK, my win will be that every time I catch myself wasting time on a distraction, IN THAT SAME MOMENT, I'm going to STOP and do something productive." (Define what it is so it's concrete). NOW you're on track. This is defining your wins in a direction that will serve you.
  3. Verbal thrashings will not make you more productive or more motivated. What you're trying to do is alternatively hype yourself up into action (works for a while and then fails) and then scold yourself for not acting up to your standards (works for a while and then fails). This is not the solution.
  4. There may be a biological component to what you're experiencing. The way you describe yourself sounds similar to ADHD. Read about the executive function in the brain. Your executive function is the part of you that says, "OK, I'm going to do this now." You maybe be struggling to get the executive function to turn on. If this is the case, there are two easy ways to self-medicate. Try experimenting with yourself with these two things to see if it helps. One is caffeine. Try drinking coffee shortly before doing a task you struggle with. See if this improves your ability to DO what you've DECIDED to do. The second one is vigorous exercise (whatever level of physical exertion that will leave you breathless and sweating). Try exercise immediately before you sit down to do something that requires focus.
  5. There may be a psychological component to what you're experiencing. I suspect depression. There is so much help to be found in therapy, and the outcome can be removing that mysterious inner "boredom" that causes you to reject idea after idea.
  6. There may also be an inner resistance to the idea of what "working" and "adulthood" means. I have had to deal with this. Everything on the inside of me would be screaming, "NO! I don't consent to this. I want to be GREAT! I want to do things that are COOL! I want to be amazing! I reject drudgery! I reject monotony. I'm not ok with the next few decades of my life being dedicated to toiling and slaving away." It can be very difficult to come to terms with this, square your shoulders, look work in the face, and say, "OK. This is my existence until I make it. Deal." Work is not fun or pretty or sexy. It's the RESULTS of work that we like. As children, we enjoyed the results of our PARENTS' work without having to put in the work. As adults, we don't get to skip ahead to the results. It's a rude awakening.
Wow. Thank you. I'm going to DM you.
 

Andy Black

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Before I go all in on something it needs to makes sense and resonate with me.
Why do you have to go “all-in”?

Why does it need to “resonate with me”?


Say your goal is to help people, then would you let someone struggle because helping them isn’t “all-in”, or because it doesn’t “resonate with me”?


Another thread that may help, although I’m wondering if linking to these is helping:
> Clarity of Purpose


Lots of people telling you to just start.

Pick a direction. Get started. Keep going.

Get market feedback as soon as possible. The simplest is to help people, and have someone say thanks in return.

Do that, then figure out how to help someone and get someone to pay you as well as thank you.

Start getting referrals and repeat business and you’re onto something.
 

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