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Lex DeVille

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I got lucky. Amazon picked my books to promote and I benefited from it. If it weren't for them, I'd have nothing. So it's a similar kind of success to a guy who picked the right crypto to buy and was lucky enough to sell it at the right time. He achieved success well above what most amateur investors would ever hope for, yet you can't say he's really successful.

That's how I feel about myself. The proof is that now that Amazon isn't helping authors much anymore, my books aren't successful. I don't know shit about how to really operate this business. How else can you interpret it if despite having the biggest following you've ever had and much better writing skills than in the past you can't even make a few thousand dollars on a book (compared to six figures in the past)?



Yeah, I never said I have love for myself. If anything, it's advancing self-hate.



I'm in a relationship that'll be ten years next year. It has never really taken that much work. Whenever I hear how hard it supposedly is, it feels like people just are in a wrong relationship.



I've been traveling through the Canary Islands since the beginning of October, changing islands every two weeks or so. So I'm constantly seeing new things. I know that if I were stuck back at home I'd feel so much worse I probably wouldn't even have the energy to write this response. So at least there's this.

A couple of weeks ago I started learning how to freedive. My coach helped me regain some confidence in myself. But then we switched the islands, I started working with another coach and he promptly destroyed any confidence I had that I can ever learn how to freedive (or get good at anything for that matter).

It's sad but it seems like I'm very dependent on any self-esteem on some kind of an external accomplishment. Without it, I'm nothing.



I kind of wish I could teach people how to get comfortable in open water but it's impossible to do that where I live. Perhaps one day when I live in a better place for that.

Other than that, I get your point. I don't seem to be even 1/10th as empathetic as you are, though. I don't care much about teaching if I'm not getting any compensation for it.



Because I feel any of the following:
  • it's shit,
  • it's useless,
  • it doesn't change anything,
  • it's too hard because I'm too stupid to understand it,
  • others do it better,
  • it's not going to produce the results I'm after,
  • it'll take too much time and effort to get it right only to see it tank anyway.



Like I mentioned before, my skills are way worse than others think. I got lucky in this business. I see tons of new freelance writers with a distinct writing style who do know how to write well. My writing quality is primitive compared to them.



At this point I don't feel like producing only to never get anything out of it. I've wasted so much time and money on writing the last few years with nothing to show for it that I hate the thought of doing this again. Also, hard not to transmit in your writing the feelings of unworthiness and lack of confidence, which leads to a book nobody believes.



That's assuming you have an end goal. If you don't have any, you don't give a shit. I've been reading autobiographies of very driven people recently and I can't relate to them. It's interesting to see that some people have this much energy as it's a foreign concept to me.

I don't think any answer that doesn't come from yourself will be the answer for you. Nobody knows what you are going through except you. We are all alone, 7-billion journies of "me."

You know that you are responsible for your choices and actions. That you have to choose to figure this out (or not). That there is only "you" and that the rest of us are just the result of your brain and body turning the data of our letters into words and meanings for you.

You have to find your meaning and purpose. You have to find an end goal and things to live for. You have to create reality around you. You know that you do not have to do any of that if you choose not to.

I think you also know that somewhere, deep down inside, you like how you feel, and you like the release from responsibility that you feel by ignoring what you know is true, and so you allow those feelings to continue, and you will allow them to continue until you are ready for them not to continue. You will feel how you feel until you decide you are ready to not feel that way anymore.

Every entrepreneur knows the truth of their own responsibility. Facing that truth under the blanket of depression is a struggle because you know that truth, and you also know that there is only one person who can help you. But again, even if you deny it to yourself, I believe you like what you feel on some level because it is better than feeling nothing at all and because it is more comforting than the truth that stands before you.

Oracle.gif
Smith.gif
Neo.gif

Keep searching for your answer.
 
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Madame Peccato

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That there is only "you" and that the rest of us are just the result of your brain and body turning the data of our letters into words and meanings for you.
I LOVE this sentence. It's so good.
 

Andy Black

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I struggled through it. It's mostly just one person that causes drama.

I'm trying to teach my 4-year-old good habits with things like food, behavior etc. But one person constantly undermines my parenting by rewarding negative behaviors (like fit-throwing), and by pushing every kind of sweet imaginable despite their own failing health resulting from food addiction.

It's nothing new. Happens every time I come over, and I try to be reasonable with it on holidays because I know there will be sweets. It's not like I don't let my daughter have sweets. But it is in moderation because we've reached a point where she doesn't want to eat anything else.

On Thanksgiving, this happens repeatedly across many hours, regardless of how many times I say "no" to something whether it is food, behavior, requests.

By noon I've been awake 12 hours, and introversion kicks into overdrive. At that point, every challenge to my parenting goes from minor annoyance to seething rage. I never let it out, but it sucks because even though I want to hang out with the rest of my family, one person makes it miserable for me, and the result is that I become quiet, detached, and probably miserable for others to be around. So I leave and go home before I say something that I probably won't regret, but will hurt that person all the same. History tells me that if I don't leave immediately, real drama will follow in short order.

I take pride in this enormous restraint and imagine that lesser men would give into such great temptations of emotion, thus resulting in Thanksgiving drama. :D
That would bug the heck out of me.

I guess you’ve taken that person aside and explained your thoughts on what they’re doing and what will happen if they keep doing it?
 

Lex DeVille

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That would bug the heck out of me.

I guess you’ve taken that person aside and explained your thoughts on what they’re doing and what will happen if they keep doing it?

Yes, but it doesn't matter. It isn't someone I can just cut out of my daughter's life. Not without it coming back to bite me in the a$$ later on. Another one of life's rock > Me < hard place issues. So I deal with it.
 
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MTF

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You are for sure selling yourself too short.

The book you helped me put together, and promote, changed my business.
It was easily worth six figures in attracting customers and business branding.

And I am a small business - imagine helping someone with a massive audience.

You for sure have skills and they could be applied in many different ways to provide a ton of value.

If someone else was to use your current skills/savings/experience what might they do to reach the next level?

The way I see it, you delivered extraordinary resources to start with, Jenna wrote the book, and I only oversaw the process that required some basic organizational skills.

The book is successful because of you and your already quite substantial following and credibility. Sort of like telling a ghostwriter the autobiography they wrote succeeded because of them—not really, it was 90-95% because of the fame of the real author.

@MTF

Read you’re own posts as if they were written by someone else.

What would you conclude?

More importantly, what would you advise?

(This works for all of us btw.)

I'd conclude they're f**** nuts lol.

Then I'd probably say they should give themselves as much time as they want to find something new that would inspire them instead of just doing whatever that they would quickly want to stop doing.

Which is what I've been doing for roughly the last year and a half (and definitely the last full year already) and I don't think I'm anywhere close to finding the answer.

@MTF

If I was you (and based on what you said) I would look at two main things:

- Is amazon no longer worth it? (seems to be the case)

- And if so where else can my writing skills/a book provide the most value?

If it isn't possible to make a lot directly selling your books then where can those same skills make the most indirectly?

If it's a service then it's not worth as it's way too time-consuming and can't be scaled without employees I don't want to have (and they wouldn't want to have me as a boss).

I'm limited as a lone wolf but it's a non-negotiable thing for me. I can't deal with people daily.

I don't think any answer that doesn't come from yourself will be the answer for you. Nobody knows what you are going through except you. We are all alone, 7-billion journies of "me."

You know that you are responsible for your choices and actions. That you have to choose to figure this out (or not). That there is only "you" and that the rest of us are just the result of your brain and body turning the data of our letters into words and meanings for you.

You have to find your meaning and purpose. You have to find an end goal and things to live for. You have to create reality around you. You know that you do not have to do any of that if you choose not to.

I think you also know that somewhere, deep down inside, you like how you feel, and you like the release from responsibility that you feel by ignoring what you know is true, and so you allow those feelings to continue, and you will allow them to continue until you are ready for them not to continue. You will feel how you feel until you decide you are ready to not feel that way anymore.

Every entrepreneur knows the truth of their own responsibility. Facing that truth under the blanket of depression is a struggle because you know that truth, and you also know that there is only one person who can help you. But again, even if you deny it to yourself, I believe you like what you feel on some level because it is better than feeling nothing at all and because it is more comforting than the truth that stands before you.

Thanks, Lex. I agree with you with a lot of what you said. I sometimes have glimpses of feeling good and feeling energized and ready to do something new so maybe I need to figure out a way to stretch these and then in these moments find a new "mission."
 

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A new variant…

D5677645-EDE4-4A95-9A64-37DF084B7517.jpeg


D2700024-F44D-47A3-899C-CE586E5B06A1.jpeg
 
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theag

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I’ve enjoyed reading so many of @MTF threads and posts. So much good stuff, GOLD stuff. But right now, I’m tired of your negativity.

Whatever people say to you isn’t helping. You’ve been in a slump for months, if not longer.

Other than posting here about it, have you done anything else? I know you’ve travelled. But I mean, have you sought professional help? You sound depressed. You may need more than this forum to get out from it.
 
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MTF

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Other than posting here about it, have you done anything else? I know you’ve travelled. But I mean, have you sought professional help? You sound depressed. You may need more than this forum to get out from it.

I appreciate you calling me out.

Freediving is currently my main way to help myself as it's heavily focused on relaxation and being present. At the moment I can't do that, though (hope to resume within roughly a week on another island with another coach).

I also snorkel every day to be in the water and enjoy the beauty of the ocean and that definitely helps as well. When I go into water, the problems above the surface seem to be much farther away, if at all relevant.

To prepare for freediving, I also started doing static breath holds which, to me, feel like what meditation should feel like. All these are helping but I sometimes still have worse days.

My question that started the discussion in this thread was specifically about low confidence as I've been struggling with this recently. I realized I have self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors when I learn new stuff. I've spoken with a teacher who helped me uncover it and helps me address this during our 3x a week sessions (these are for improving my accent but there's a ton of psychology behind it).

Also, I have qualifications to teach people how to swim freestyle but after my instructor course I didn't practice this anymore. When I go back to Poland I might ask the master coach to let me tag along as he does his workshops (assuming my skin handles spending time in swimming pools as I have a problem with that). This is in response to @Andy Black's suggestion to teach and me trying to figure out what I could do next that I would enjoy doing for more than just money.
 

Kak

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I appreciate you calling me out.
You’re more than you think you are, and I know you’ll refute that, but that’s circular logic.

Because I know you don’t think shit of yourself, but I’m saying you’re more than YOU think you are. You’re not the authority on that observation, I am.

You need some David Goggins in your life, but don’t we all. (Knowing this will go over about as well as my beliefs walking into the DNC)

View: https://twitter.com/davidgoggins/status/1323715797131300865?s=20
 

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How crazy do Thanksgiving dinners get with relatives? Does anyone have any funny stories??

I have seen 3 separate people online today advising how to avoid drama etc.

Please share the drama with us Europeans on the forum haha.

I went to my aunt & uncle's. Their kids & grandkids came over.

Everyone was excited to see each other and we had a lovely time.
 
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ZF Lee

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How’s everyone’s Black Friday? Anyone buying any cool deals?
Stock markets going on Black Friday too due to the South African variant news :clench:

Not buying anything though...I somehow don't like the mantra of 'buy the dip' that is thrown out by one too many finance influencers. Not all dips are worth the buy.
 

ZF Lee

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I struggled through it. It's mostly just one person that causes drama.

I'm trying to teach my 4-year-old good habits with things like food, behavior etc. But one person constantly undermines my parenting by rewarding negative behaviors (like fit-throwing), and by pushing every kind of sweet imaginable despite their own failing health resulting from food addiction.

It's nothing new. Happens every time I come over, and I try to be reasonable with it on holidays because I know there will be sweets. It's not like I don't let my daughter have sweets. But it is in moderation because we've reached a point where she doesn't want to eat anything else.

On Thanksgiving, this happens repeatedly across many hours, regardless of how many times I say "no" to something whether it is food, behavior, requests.

By noon I've been awake 12 hours, and introversion kicks into overdrive. At that point, every challenge to my parenting goes from minor annoyance to seething rage. I never let it out, but it sucks because even though I want to hang out with the rest of my family, one person makes it miserable for me, and the result is that I become quiet, detached, and probably miserable for others to be around. So I leave and go home before I say something that I probably won't regret, but will hurt that person all the same. History tells me that if I don't leave immediately, real drama will follow in short order.

I take pride in this enormous restraint and imagine that lesser men would give into such great temptations of emotion, thus resulting in Thanksgiving drama. :D
You are a great dad, Lex.

Thank you for sharing. It's very rare that I hear how dads fight to keep their kids cared for.

For my own family gatherings, I'm more likely to see most folks drowned in front of their phones...there's no drama, but it's also very bad. Sad.
 

thechosen1

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Well today is one of the days MJ talks about in TMF and Unscripted !

People who value their time jealously when it comes to work, but not at all when it comes to consumption.
 
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Prince33

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You’re more than you think you are, and I know you’ll refute that, but that’s circular logic.

Because I know you don’t think shit of yourself, but I’m saying you’re more than YOU think you are. You’re not the authority on that observation, I am.

You need some David Goggins in your life, but don’t we all. (Knowing this will go over about as well as my beliefs walking into the DNC)

View: https://twitter.com/davidgoggins/status/1323715797131300865?s=20

Enjoy living your life waking up everyday expecting the world to burn down so you have to stay 'hard' and expect a challenge every waking day.
I see the toxic hustle culture of the late 10s is still alive and well.
What's the point of living everyday if you're on edge in anticipation of some challenge?

That good ole fashion work work work hustle hustle hustle be hard and tough with no play American mentality. Then get old and die.

And people wonder why we're a anxiety ridden, depressed, high suicide rate, broke, overweight, indebted, unhappy nation. (as most the West)

Yes, be prepared, stay prepped and be strong. But all day everyday thinking about this stuff? Good luck.
 

Devampre

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Because I feel any of the following:
  • it's shit,
  • it's useless,
  • it doesn't change anything,
  • it's too hard because I'm too stupid to understand it,
  • others do it better,
  • it's not going to produce the results I'm after,
  • it'll take too much time and effort to get it right only to see it tank anyway.

Sound as though this is more about your feelings toward the works rather than the works themselves.

Have you vver read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield? That might help if what you are experiencing feels more like "writer's block."

However, if this feels like more than just "writer's block," perhaps reach out to a therapist. Even if it isn't "necessary" it could fast track you to where you want to be.

Best of luck :)
 

Kak

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Enjoy living your life waking up everyday expecting the world to burn down so you have to stay 'hard' and expect a challenge every waking day.
I see the toxic hustle culture of the late 10s is still alive and well.
What's the point of living everyday if you're on edge in anticipation of some challenge?

That good ole fashion work work work hustle hustle hustle be hard and tough with no play American mentality. Then get old and die.

And people wonder why we're a anxiety ridden, depressed, high suicide rate, broke, overweight, indebted, unhappy nation. (as most the West)

Yes, be prepared, stay prepped and be strong. But all day everyday thinking about this stuff? Good luck.
“Toxic hustle culture of the late 10s.” :rofl: OMG. I must have missed the memo that:“WoRkInGs hArD ON sOmEthInG iS StOopiD nOw.”

5A077542-E0F1-4589-9E17-93F746AA25A2.jpeg
 
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Lex DeVille

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I am 100% disgusted with PayPal.

A week or so ago they limited my account for no apparent reason. They demanded information about my business which I tried to provide, but some of their systems returned errors when uploading documents so I had to call in for alternative means to provide information.

Once I did that, they demanded more information, which I provided. Then they demanded more, which I attempted to provide, and was once again met with more uploading errors from their system.

At this point, I lost my cool and sent them a nasty message calling them a fraud and telling them I have removed PayPal from all of my payment processors. Suddenly, everything was cleared, my limitation was lifted, and I wasn't required to provide any further information.

They wanted to know things like:
  • Explain your business in detail
  • Tell us why you recently increased your prices
  • Explain all of these invoices
  • Provide receipts for all of the invoices you explained
  • Provide proof that you delivered something for all of those invoices
  • Explain your business again
  • Explain this $200 that a client sent as a bonus for a late payment
  • Give us all of your information, phone, address, social, business documents

They put my account on lockdown for days and I wasn't able to withdraw money. All I could do was receive money into PayPal for them to hold hostage.

Once everything was clear, I added PayPal back into my payment processors (only some of them).

And now here we are. Black Friday. Biggest shopping weekend of the year, and PayPal has limited my account again for no apparent reason.

This time they demand:

  1. My business information (which has not changed at all from a week ago)

  2. Inventory receipts (which I do not have because I do not carry inventory which I already explained in detail to them multiple times a week ago)

  3. Vendor/Supplier contact information for my inventory (which I do not have for reason #2 above)

My account is limited and I cannot withdraw money again (thankfully, I withdrew this morning).

I called PayPal immediately about this bullshit.

Their response was that it was a "system-triggered limitation" and that they have everything they need to resolve this error... so I can expect that their review will be finished within 3 or 4 days or maybe more.

F*ck you PayPal. I'm out.
 

Antifragile

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Enjoy living your life waking up everyday expecting the world to burn down so you have to stay 'hard' and expect a challenge every waking day.
I see the toxic hustle culture of the late 10s is still alive and well.
What's the point of living everyday if you're on edge in anticipation of some challenge?

That good ole fashion work work work hustle hustle hustle be hard and tough with no play American mentality. Then get old and die.

And people wonder why we're a anxiety ridden, depressed, high suicide rate, broke, overweight, indebted, unhappy nation. (as most the West)

Yes, be prepared, stay prepped and be strong. But all day everyday thinking about this stuff? Good luck.

WTF are you talking about? Seriously. Goggins is now fat, depressed, indebted and unhappy? When did that happen?

Are you one of those clever guys running east looking for sunset? :rofl:

People are too F*cking soft these days. Oh no, mommy, they told me I have to work hard and do my own laundry.

Give me F*cking break.

Depression comes from too much comfort lately. Same with obesity and the rest you listed. You've got it backwards.
 
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thechosen1

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WTF are you talking about? Seriously. Goggins is now fat, depressed, indebted and unhappy? When did that happen?

Are you one of those clever guys running east looking for sunset? :rofl:

People are too f*cking soft these days. Oh no, mommy, they told me I have to work hard and do my own laundry.

Give me f*cking break.

Depression comes from too much comfort lately. Same with obesity and the rest you listed. You've got it backwards.
This is absolutely the case.

It’s hard to be depressed when you are laser focused on a goal.

That’s a feeling I crave, and that all the successful people on the forum probably do too.

The inaction is the real killer.
 

jdm667

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I am 100% disgusted with PayPal.

A week or so ago they limited my account for no apparent reason. They demanded information about my business which I tried to provide, but some of their systems returned errors when uploading documents so I had to call in for alternative means to provide information.

Once I did that, they demanded more information, which I provided. Then they demanded more, which I attempted to provide, and was once again met with more uploading errors from their system.

At this point, I lost my cool and sent them a nasty message calling them a fraud and telling them I have removed PayPal from all of my payment processors. Suddenly, everything was cleared, my limitation was lifted, and I wasn't required to provide any further information.

They wanted to know things like:
  • Explain your business in detail
  • Tell us why you recently increased your prices
  • Explain all of these invoices
  • Provide receipts for all of the invoices you explained
  • Provide proof that you delivered something for all of those invoices
  • Explain your business again
  • Explain this $200 that a client sent as a bonus for a late payment
  • Give us all of your information, phone, address, social, business documents

They put my account on lockdown for days and I wasn't able to withdraw money. All I could do was receive money into PayPal for them to hold hostage.

Once everything was clear, I added PayPal back into my payment processors (only some of them).

And now here we are. Black Friday. Biggest shopping weekend of the year, and PayPal has limited my account again for no apparent reason.

This time they demand:

  1. My business information (which has not changed at all from a week ago)

  2. Inventory receipts (which I do not have because I do not carry inventory which I already explained in detail to them multiple times a week ago)

  3. Vendor/Supplier contact information for my inventory (which I do not have for reason #2 above)

My account is limited and I cannot withdraw money again (thankfully, I withdrew this morning).

I called PayPal immediately about this bullshit.

Their response was that it was a "system-triggered limitation" and that they have everything they need to resolve this error... so I can expect that their review will be finished within 3 or 4 days or maybe more.

f*ck you PayPal. I'm out.
I cannot tell if this is due to PayPal's BS policies or just them trying to comply with the government's "Know Your Customer" laws.

Seems like overkill either way - sorry this happened. Perhaps it is another fastlane business opportunity in disguise?
 
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msufan

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I appreciate you calling me out.

Freediving is currently my main way to help myself as it's heavily focused on relaxation and being present. At the moment I can't do that, though (hope to resume within roughly a week on another island with another coach).

I also snorkel every day to be in the water and enjoy the beauty of the ocean and that definitely helps as well. When I go into water, the problems above the surface seem to be much farther away, if at all relevant.

To prepare for freediving, I also started doing static breath holds which, to me, feel like what meditation should feel like. All these are helping but I sometimes still have worse days.

My question that started the discussion in this thread was specifically about low confidence as I've been struggling with this recently. I realized I have self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors when I learn new stuff. I've spoken with a teacher who helped me uncover it and helps me address this during our 3x a week sessions (these are for improving my accent but there's a ton of psychology behind it).

Also, I have qualifications to teach people how to swim freestyle but after my instructor course I didn't practice this anymore. When I go back to Poland I might ask the master coach to let me tag along as he does his workshops (assuming my skin handles spending time in swimming pools as I have a problem with that). This is in response to @Andy Black's suggestion to teach and me trying to figure out what I could do next that I would enjoy doing for more than just money.
MTF -- I appreciate all of your posts. Just thought I'd chime in with story time here: I have been a public school teacher (in the U.S.) for the past 20+ years. In my early years, I was the same as you -- confident to the point of cocky. I figured I would save every kid and would be by far the best teacher in my district. Like you, I had early success -- multiple teacher of the year awards, the best test scores in the district, and so on. Kind of like your books taking off.

22 years later, my attitude has softened. I taught one kid in particular who I thought I had transformed, and then I watched him go back to his old ways and get arrested for armed robbery. I began to see that my role as a teacher was influential, but parents and friends and family were often even more influential. And when that happened, I stopped believing in myself and in the effectiveness of what I was doing. I lost heart. And my impact slowly waned.

Even though my first years of overconfidence were not warranted, that cockiness actually saved the day for me, allowing me to keep going when times were hard. After all, I figured back then, who could possibly do this difficult job better than me?

I watched a documentary called Waiting for Superman, and one main teacher interviewed in it said the same thing: "I thought I would fix the education system -- and that would just be my first year."

So I think what you are going through is actually quite normal. Many of us start out believing that we are indestructible. And then life happens, and slowly we come to a more modest realization: our work does matter, but we are not so uniquely impressive after all. I think there is wisdom in this revelation, but yet there is a big advantage in the foolish optimism of youth. We were perhaps better off being less wise and not knowing what we didn't know. It's sort of like the Dunning-Kruger effect saves us all and keeps us going when we really don't know much of anything just yet.

I can't say that I have all the answers to what will kickstart your next venture -- I am actually not teaching this year (COVID, plus what I've described above, made it rough and I left) and I am looking for the next thing as well. But I hope you can know that you aren't alone in this dip.
 

MTF

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I can't say that I have all the answers to what will kickstart your next venture -- I am actually not teaching this year (COVID, plus what I've described above, made it rough and I left) and I am looking for the next thing as well. But I hope you can know that you aren't alone in this dip.

Thank you for this post. I can definitely relate to what you said and can understand why you lost your heart as well, particularly in such a demanding job as yours.
 
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MTF -- I appreciate all of your posts. Just thought I'd chime in with story time here: I have been a public school teacher (in the U.S.) for the past 20+ years. In my early years, I was the same as you -- confident to the point of cocky. I figured I would save every kid and would be by far the best teacher in my district. Like you, I had early success -- multiple teacher of the year awards, the best test scores in the district, and so on. Kind of like your books taking off.

22 years later, my attitude has softened. I taught one kid in particular who I thought I had transformed, and then I watched him go back to his old ways and get arrested for armed robbery. I began to see that my role as a teacher was influential, but parents and friends and family were often even more influential. And when that happened, I stopped believing in myself and in the effectiveness of what I was doing. I lost heart. And my impact slowly waned.

Even though my first years of overconfidence were not warranted, that cockiness actually saved the day for me, allowing me to keep going when times were hard. After all, I figured back then, who could possibly do this difficult job better than me?

I watched a documentary called Waiting for Superman, and one main teacher interviewed in it said the same thing: "I thought I would fix the education system -- and that would just be my first year."

So I think what you are going through is actually quite normal. Many of us start out believing that we are indestructible. And then life happens, and slowly we come to a more modest realization: our work does matter, but we are not so uniquely impressive after all. I think there is wisdom in this revelation, but yet there is a big advantage in the foolish optimism of youth. We were perhaps better off being less wise and not knowing what we didn't know. It's sort of like the Dunning-Kruger effect saves us all and keeps us going when we really don't know much of anything just yet.

I can't say that I have all the answers to what will kickstart your next venture -- I am actually not teaching this year (COVID, plus what I've described above, made it rough and I left) and I am looking for the next thing as well. But I hope you can know that you aren't alone in this dip.
I think I mentioned yesterday that a great way to figure out how much we know is to teach someone. It becomes apparent immediately how much of what we know we take for granted.

@MTF replied that he’s not as empathetic as me, so doesn’t have the desire to teach people that he thinks I have.

I’ve been meaning to reply and your great post prompted me @msufan.

I’m reminded once again of the Mother Theresa quote in my signature:

“Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person closest to you.”

@msufan … have you got examples of where you turned a youngsters life around? Focus on those.

I did maths grinds for local youngsters to help them pass their exams. I did them free, and I didn’t enjoy them because it’s so damn hard work.

But I did help over a handful of local kids, nieces, and nephews pass their exams and get into college, the army, or train to be a mechanic.

Very rarely did they come back and tell me what they’re doing, but two moments that stood out for me are my “reward”.

On two different occasions two young men realised they *could* do maths, if they only had a bit more time to prepare.

On another note, I have a free Google Ads clinic for a paid group (exactly the same day @MTF said it’s easier for me to teach because I’m empathetic).

I wasn’t in the mood as I had a head cold. Plus I always seem to be saying the same things on these calls.

Only 3 people were on the call, but I had a blast helping them.

I came off the call buzzing. I’d spoken to three business owners and even seen them on screen and learned about what they’re struggling with. I may have helped saved a business or two.

Maybe I’m not a good teacher because I have empathy?

Maybe my empathy comes from forcing myself to teach people, even when I don’t feel like it?

Help people one at a time. Do it via Zoom, or in person.

SEE that each number is actually a person just like you and me, with hopes, dreams, worries, and fears.
 

Actionfaker

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How does one regain confidence in their skills? Any books, articles, suggestions, personal experiences?

Whatever I start these days or any new ideas I have, I quickly shoot them down. And in general, I feel like I have zero knowledge and value to share with others.

I can't get out of this cycle and can't imagine that in the past I used to just do lots of stuff without ever questioning myself. I look back and think I was one arrogant m*****ucker.
Interesting post and I liked all responses, especially @Primeperiwinkle 's one which in my opinion warrants a new forum function where you can simultaneously laugh at, love and thank a post.

Just observing here, but (as someone who feels like he hasn't been particularly good at any skill in particular for a long time) it seems like you're kind of stuck in a fixed mindset. As mentioned, only you can figure out what it is that you're after, but perhaps (part of) the reason you're struggling is you haven't been able to find a strong WHY/purpose. Originally (part of) this might have been escaping the rat race and now you have (mad props btw! I know it isn't, but just this should be enough reason for you to feel good about yourself, 99.9% or whatever amount of people never will) and you just don't have as strong a purpose to continuously and consistently do the work. What do you come up with if you do the thought experiment from MJ's new book about your purpose after you're more than set for life and done all you want?

The fixed mindset I referred to is from the book Mindset by Carol Dweck I'm currently reading (would recommend it). In case you don't know the book, it's about the fixed mindset and the growth mindset, kind of similar to what @Kak always talks about with the external and internal locus of control. Reading your posts, it seems like you're stuck on believing your writing (and other skills) isn't particularly good and you won't even attempt starting a new project anymore, because what's the point, others are better at it/it won't be good etc. as if it were a fixed deal.

Now, let's just assume your writing is shit/average at best and all your success with it was mostly due to luck and being at the right place at the right time, as you seem to insist on this (no one else seems to believe so, but let's act as if this were true). So what? Does this destroy your self-worth? Can you only feel good about yourself if you can prove to yourself you're a good writer/salesman? Well, if that's the case, or it would help you feel better, then it's obvious what you need to do: learn to become a better writer/at sales/whatever. What are you doing to improve, how do you measure your skill?

In case you feel like you can't improve to the level you want to be at (obviously false, well in almost all situations at least) dig down and find out where these limiting beliefs come from. If it's more about motivation and you don't REALLY want to improve/become (or stay) very good at something now, go back to the purpose thought experiment or, if you're in a place right now where you feel like you don't really want to dedicate yourself to anything in particular, then that's OK too. Only you can decide this for yourself, don't let others pressure you into thinking you must do great things asap (obviously don't mistake short-term for delayed gratification either).

To summarize: you're probably a lot better than you're giving yourself credit for already now and you have the option to decide you're going to get A LOT better still.
 
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