How to Go From “My Life/Job Sucks” To “My Very Existence is the Shit”

by Alexander Heyne · 13 comments

 

This post is written for those of you who are in a life that they cannot stand. Waking up is a chore.  Everything you do throughout the day feels like total bullshit.

Life feels meaningless. Everything you do feels like you’re just wasting time and burning the candle at both ends while getting closer to death. You know you have to change something. You can feel it. But you’re not sure what move to take.

Many of you also want to build a business to fund this freedom you keep dreaming of. But there’s a problem.

Almost everyone I meet that wants to start a business gets stuck on the same few things:

The first is usually: What kind of business do I start?

The second is usually resistance mixed with fear: “I’m not so sure… this sounds really hard… this is going to be a long road.. but I’m not an expert.. “(and a bunch of other BS objections and excuses).

There are other objections too, like:

  • Do I quit my job and start the business?
  • Do I start the business while working my job?
  • Do I quit my life and move abroad to build a business where it’s cheaper to live?
  • How much time am I going to need to invest? … And many other questions

Here’s a quick down-n-dirty guide to getting shit done and beating these objections up.

Making the Scary as Hell Leap

I’ve talked before about how I think fixing your work should be one of the first things you do if your life is totally in the shithole.

Work fills the vast majority of hours for most of us during the day — and it will also affect our mood and happiness immensely.

Also, having work that you control gives you the freedom to then make other lifestyle changes and still control your income.  Win. If you’re unhappy with where you live, you can move.

If you’re unhappy with your friend group and social life, and are tired of lame ass friends that aren’t going anywhere in life, you can change that.

Right about the same time I was trying to figure out how to explain this process to a friend, I stumbled upon a gem in Michael Ellsberg’s The Education of Millionaires. 

This is his four step process for transitioning from a miserable, shitty existence to work you enjoy, that is meaningful, and pays you well. It was a fantastic “A-ha!” moment for me to see this in such a simplified way.

Side Note: Don’t Quit Your Job and Go at it Full-Time 

I agree with these steps because I formerly quit my job and tried to start a business prematurely, and underestimated what the process entailed.

I didn’t realize that becoming a first-time entrepreneur meant a few things:

The process will take longer than you think. Account for that.  Don’t jump ship just yet — get all those failures under your belt while you are still working and have a safety net and a daily routine that will keep you sane.

The four steps (VERY over-simplified):

  1. Pay your bills, working any job (no matter how shitty or meaningless).
  2. Use your free time to test out various side hustles, hobbies, passions, etc. Find stuff that’s meaningful to you.
  3. Take as long as it takes to fail, find out what you enjoy (and what you hate), and build up a side income.
  4. Transition to full-time working on that project.

#1 Pay your bills, working any job (no matter how shitty or meaningless).

It makes your life infinitely more enjoyable and more stress free if you aren’t worrying about money in addition to starting a business. Also, most entrepreneurs I know had their financial shit together first before launching their own thing.

Quitting your job prematurely puts a lot of stress on yourself (unless you have a massive savings built up), and the process is going to take a lot longer than you think.

Also, keeping a predictable routine will keep you sane with the unpredictability of your side hustle at the start.

#2 Use your free time to test out various side hustles, hobbies, passions, etc. Find meaning.

Read my post on the 1 month test that will change your life (which will also help you find what you’re passionate about).

Also read this guide on on the 5 most useful tools for finding “your work” in life.

Spend time re-discovering what work you would be passionate about doing. But remember this: you often won’t know until you start doing it.

It took me 1.5 years of experimenting with stuff (Read: TESTING AND STARTING SHIT – here’s how to do thatto finally figure out what I liked doing, reading, and talking about.

Remember to test for demand, and then get paying clients as soon as possible. Don’t waste time on business cards or other bullshit.  They are procrastination tools.

#3 Take as long as it takes to fail, find out what you enjoy (and what you hate), and build up a side income.

This process can take a long time. It took me almost 2 years of testing and failures. Make sure to have fun with the process otherwise you’ll put too much stress on yourself being so serious.

I actually got really depressed during this point because I wanted success NOW, I wanted my own business, NOW, I wanted that little bit of money NOW so I could commit to it full-time.

My work that I once enjoyed and wanted to do suddenly became a “NEED TO.” Don’t turn “want to’s” into  “need to’s”– you’ll get unhappy really quick.

Read more about my previous business failures here.

#4 Once your side hustle is making enough, jump ship and commit to it full-time.

When you feel like your side-hustle is making you enough money to comfortably commit to it full-time, make the jump.

The dollar amount is up to you. Some people living abroad or overseas can get by with $10k/year USD and that’s a good enough amount to jump ship with.

Other people might have consulting clients that are also bringing in income.  Some people still keep their dayjob when they build up a profitable side-hustle. Just use your own judgement and remember that the dollar amount will depend on how risk-averse you are.

I’m a sore loser. I hate sacrificing my cake. I want to have that shit and eat it.  So I chose (and choose) to work while working on my side hustle — I don’t want to evaporate a few years of my life for success down the road. I’d rather keep my 1 month vacation abroad every year, and work more hours while drinking my daily espresso.

Remember to have fun

Some people might feel like it’s a stupid reminder to “have fun” but sometimes it’s pretty easy to be hustling all day, feel exhausted at the end of the day, and think, “shit, I thought I was switching to my own gig so I could actually have FUN?!”

Remember why you’re doing this — for enjoyment, to create a life like you daydream about in your head, to have freedom to travel, for unlimited income potential, and for the sheer fact that you literally are creating a life that is fucking awesome.  That’s why you’re doing this. And that, if you ask me, is more than worth it.

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