2015 was the best year of my life – easily. And a lot of really horrible shit happened.
Ever since I started Milk the Pigeon in 2011 (I think? Has it really been 5 years?), I had ONE, somewhat long-term goal:
Build a life that I could actually fucking enjoy day to day, and do that through self employment, which would give me freedom.
When I started Milk the Pigeon, I didn’t have a goddamn clue how to live this amazing life I dreamed of.
I didn’t have a single role model that was self employed in an online business, traveling, doing whatever they were most passionate about, living the dream, and working daily towards the thing they loved.
It actually didn’t need to be self employment or an online business, but I didn’t know ONE person.
So I figured I would just figure it out myself. Later on, I found that there are lots of people doing this, most of whom appear to be entrepreneurs because they have the freedom and flexibility to do whatever they want.
Today, I want to highlight what really happened in the last year and the most important habit that I think allowed this stuff to happen.
Am I a millionaire? Hell no, not yet.
Am I some guru? Nope, don’t want to do.
Am I 100% living my dream? Not yet.
But this is the first time since I started Milk the Pigeon that I am happy almost every day – working on what I want – excited about my future and my vision and the road ahead. And I can share with you the exact habits I took to get there.
First – how it went. Second – how to make it a reality for yourself. Third – a very unique opportunity I’m offering in 3 weeks.
What Went Awesome (And Horrible) in 2015
Let me tell you the ANTI highlight reel first.
I’m tired of this fucking entrepreneur bullshit where everyone tells you the highlight reel without the “REAL” reel, if you get what I’m saying.
Social media is great for seeing all the high moments of a person’s life, without anyone ever being honest.
That’s why on my personal facebook page, not only do I rarely post, but I very rarely post “highlight-reel” bullshit.
Here’s the reality of this last year.
- Despite what you see here, about 50% of this year I was unhappy on a daily basis. Overworked. Sleeping too little. Direction-less. Barely earning enough money to survive. Working three jobs at once including my business, when in reality, I only cared about my business – besides a Chinese Medicine gig I had, that rocked. Constant self-doubt, fear, not knowing if I was on the right path. Lots of waking up in a shit-eating mood.
- My closest friend killed himself. He was on the rise to the top, super successful, cleaned up his life, sure to be the next Tony Robbins. Shit just unraveled behind the scenes, and he chose to take a samurai’s death and go down with his honor in tact, rather than admitting to unraveling. It happened quick.
- I played and “had fun” way too little. In general, on a day to day basis, I appear to be a pretty serious guy. It’s not that i’m serious, it’s just that I work a lot, am super driven, and have a hard time being content – all good/bad traits.
That’s what the average day looked like for me. I think it’s super important to highlight that, because the internet has an entirely fucked way of making you hate your life, even if you were happy five minutes ago.
If you ask me if I’m a happy person, I’ll say, “Yeah, moderately happy.”
I’m sure that’ll change, and I have mindset issues, but I need to be 100% honest with you so you don’t get discouraged. Just keep plugging away.
FYI – before my friend killed himself, he appeared to be 100% fine. I talked to him the day before, and he was crushing it in his business & life, on a high note, pushing upward and onward. Super successful, sure to be the next tony robbins.
You have no clue how someone feels behind the scenes, even if they’re a close friend. Don’t forget that.
Now for the “good stuff.”
My First Real Book… And It Went WEll
First, my health book came out, hit #1 on 3 different health lists on Amazon, has gotten some amazing feedback (and emails almost daily).
Within a few hours of me notifying my health readers of the book, it was the #1 new release in healthy living.
A few weeks later, it was also the #1 new release in Nutrition, and another health and weight loss category.
Here it’s listed as kindle, but now it’s in print.
It was also a few steps down from Tim Ferriss’ book 4 hour body which was pretty neat.
I’ve been wanting to write a book (well, lots of books) ever since I started my health site and business, because A. It’s fucking cool to have a book, and for me it was surprisingly fun to write, and B. I really wanted to show people that there’s a different way to get the results they want physically.
I wanted to show people that the way to losing weight and feeling awesome (and living a great life, too) was about changing tiny habits, and then just staying the course.
It’s the same process I’ve used to get fitter, write my book, and really just figure out what the hell I was doing in my 20s.
Everything I’ve done (which honestly isn’t that much) has been because of doing tiny steps, done daily.
I was nervous that writing a book about weight loss – without ever mentioning what foods to eat – would backfire on me, but people liked it a lot.
Master The Day, in a strangely egotistical way, has kind of become my own mantra.
The #1 insight here for you is this: If you want to launch a book to “any kind” of bestseller status, build an audience long before.
I knew this, so I had “insider” knowledge. FYI Amazon isn’t a “real” bestseller – but it’s cool nonetheless.
#2 Went Full Time In My Business (Soon)
One of the biggest sources of both stress and enjoyment in the last three years has been building my business with a full time job.
I knew I wanted to create something that helped people, built an audience, etc, but also turned into a business.
And the reality is that working 3 hours a day after 9 or 10 hours at a job is extremely tiring and stressful by itself.
This year was the first time I scaled down my day job to half time, and I could sleep decent hours, have less stress, and really regain some work life balance.
I’ve been working 7 days a week for 3 years straight – that’s 1095 days I’ve worked every day on my business, give or take a week here and there.
#3 ‘Found’ My Calling/Passion
Really, the biggest “win” of anything this year was this: I found my calling/passion – Chinese Medicine – got accepted to my #1 school, and am moving to Portland, OR in August.
THE biggest question of my 20s has been simple, “What the fuck should I do with my life?”
And when I really narrowed that down, I realized what I was really asking was, “what should I really do for a career?”
I didn’t know that this was the question I was actually asking myself, but I realized that since we work 10 hours a day for our entire lives, it better be something we enjoy (or see a lot of value in doing).
It was when I was reading through the book Mastery by Robert Greene that something finally clicked for me.
In the book, he talks about all the old classical masters of antiquity, as well as some new ones, like Paul Graham, and despite absolutely loving this book, I realized something.
First… the PATH people took to find “their thing” was almost never a straight line.
Seriously, it would’ve been fucking awesome if it were that easy (like I said), but most of these people took years or many decades to find “their thing.”
Steve Jobs once said that he was very lucky to have found his calling at a young age – and I agree.
So I figured the sooner I found my thing, the sooner I could gain mastery, and most of all, just “play in a great river of interest” as Earl Nightingale said.
Anyway, when I was reading this book, you know how you visualize images and scenes when you read?
I found myself seeing myself as this old doctor-merlin-shaman type physician of the future, administering treatments, experimenting with herbal formulas, and more, and it just gave me chills.
Every page, the same image popped up.
I ignored it for the time being, and just got on with my life. A few months went by, and every time I came across Chinese Medicine, I’d get these full body chills. Then they became more and more often, and finally, every day I would wake up and it would be in my head.
It just wouldn’t leave me alone. When I finally researched schools (it’s a 4+ year doctoral program before I can practice), I got chills reading the curriculum, and would read it over, and over, and over.
I had found my thing.
Biggest source of angst in my 20s – gone almost overnight.
#4 – Got Featured in Ramit Sethi’s “Zero To Launch” Course
One of the cool, random things that happened this year was that I was featured in Ramit Sethi’s new course on how to build a successful online business.
Seeing as I’ve been a huge fan (especially curious as to how he built his business), it was really valuable for me to sit down with him, basically get a free coaching session on growing my business more, and I found we had a lot in common.
#5, Worked With (Another) One of the Biggest Online Marketing Gurus
As I was transitioning out of my day job, I was looking for more part time work that required less time (and was more useful for the direction I was going in). I ended up – by adding value, following along, and a little luck – working for Ryan Lee – one of the biggest internet marketin gurus, who has taught most of the people you and I are familiar with.
He lives close to me here in CT, and I took his advice, never asked for anything in return, and when he opened up a job opportunity, I was the first to email him back – and I got it.
I did coaching calls with him, and even ran some of the calls 100% by myself on the days when he wasn’t there or on vacation.
And I was the first person ever to work with him at his home, sitting on the laz-y-boy, doing webinars. It was pretty cool, but stressful as hell.
It’s not easy working for an entrepreneur, and even though our trial period of a couple months was good, we both decided it would be better to go in different directions.
I also decided that if I was ever going to be that stressed out again, it should be just for myself and building my own legacy.
Lots of Travel
It started off early, when I was working remotely and went to social media marketing world in San Diego. I had originally booked tickets with my friend who passed away, but decided to go anyway to get my mind off shit.
San Diego is a nice place:
I was also in L.A. seeing a Chinese Medicine school, and hanging out with family, and finally Portland to see the last Chinese Medicine school that I finally settled on.
Hollywood, L.A., California
Then I spent a few weeks in Colombia with my girlfriend later in the year.
Parapente in Medellin
Piedra del penol
I think Cartagena
This coming spring, in April May and June I’m looking to rent an apartment in Paris and work remotely, then travel to the Philippines and meet my girlfriend for a couple weeks before classes officially begin and I move.
The #1 Thing That Helped Me Do All This (& Something to Remember)
When I started MTP (2011 – 5 years ago), I had no fucking clue what I was doing with my life.
I share this for a very important reason – CHANGE DOES NOT HAPPEN FAST!
Don’t you think I WISHED I could build a six figure business in a year? Hell yeah, that would’ve been awesome! I’m still not there yet.
I’ve seen the timeline vary wildly, even among people hustling their asses off – there are so many damn other factors out of our control behind success. I’ve seen people make 100k in their first year that worked hard. I’ve also seen how 99% of online entrepreneurs never even make 100k.
Figuring out what I wanted to do with my “life” (aka career) took a long ass time too.
Think about this: I was writing articles here at 23, and thought/struggled DAILY with figuring out “my thing,” but it wasn’t until age 28 (5 years later) that I 100% “found” my calling and path (Chinese Medicine).
Don’t you think I wished I could’ve fucking figured that out 5 years ago?
Do you know how many shitshow jobs I worked in those intervening five years (over 10 – yes, an average of 2-3 jobs per year) PRAYING I could quit, stop earning $12 an hour, and do something cool that paid me well?
It takes time.
And the one thing that nobody wants to have is patience.
Remember that if you’re in the middle of the struggle, the dip, or the grind.
The #1 that helped me through this and stay consistent was my personal circle, my mastermind. We’ll talk more on this soon.
This is a big concept that’s been around for ages, but was really talked up in Think And Grow Rich.
A Limited (10 Person) Special Event Coming Soon…
Over the next few weeks, I want to do something new.
Something exclusive, something limited to 10 people max, and something where we could really work directly with each other to get awesome results.
Over the next few weeks I’m going to share some of the principles that have allowed me to do this kinda stuff – it’s not about being rich and famous, just doing what you want, and being fulfilled in the process.
After, I’m going to open 10 spots for a new Milk The Pigeon mastermind – where you’ll personally be in a mastermind with me and 9 others, so this year can truly be the one where it all changes.
If you’d like to get in ASAP, I’ll send a waitlist link next week.
Thoughts on this stuff? Share them below.