Stop Waiting to be Chosen (And Be Your Own Hero)

by Alexander Heyne · 31 comments

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Cut the shit.

So many of you could be uber successful, happy and fulfilled if you stopped waiting for the savior on the glowing white steed to come save you and say, “yes, you’re special! Now go!”

I hear it every day, and I went through it all myself:

I can’t be a coach because I’m not an expert.

I won’t get that job because everyone else has degrees and I don’t.

I can’t travel the world because it’s expensive.

I can’t be successful and be a great husband/wife and have a healthy family life.

All of these beliefs have the same origin: you’re waiting for the white knight.

You’re waiting to be chosen.

Stop Waiting For Prince Charming & Your Savior (He’s an Uggo, Anyways)

Prince Charming Gif

ALL of these have the same underlying feeling – we’re waiting for someone to come along and give us a pep talk.

You are good enough.

You can do it!

Kick ass!

And those thing are great, if you have them. But if you don’t, then what?

YOU need to choose YOURSELF.

I’ve witnessed these incredible transformations – you see a person who is on the fence, or who is highly doubting herself and the second you tell her that 100% of her excuses are legitimate bullshit, she opens up.

She takes action.

The fear goes away just 1% – enough to allow her to see success.

She finally commits, takes off, and then flies.

What changed? Almost nothing! I gave her permission – I said, “these are all bullshit, so get creating and get started.” And it’s amazing what actually happens when you give someone permission to act – they act.

So many people are sitting around telling themselves some bullshit story about why they aren’t doing well, and I went through the entire goddamn list myself.

I’m an introvert, I suck at making friends.

I’m a first time business person, I don’t have any skills.

I’ve never done this before and I don’t know any other people < in this field >.

How in the hell do I even do this, anyway?

At the end of the day though, I didn’t possess some magical confidence, the only thing I possessed was an utter hatred of my daily life, imagining the cubicle existence of the average person who dies before having done anything they want in life.

Fuck that.

How I Chose Myself (And Figured It Out)

IMG_1920

When I started Milk The Pigeon, I started it because I didn’t see a single person that was living out their dream. In other words, a conscious life they had created mentally, that they then created in the physical world.

I didn’t know one.

So I figured, “Fuck it, I’ll be the first then.”

Even though I later realized that there are lots of people like this (thanks internet), for whatever reason I was frustrated and pissed off enough that I told myself I would do it and figure it out.

The very first article I ever wrote was “The Generation of Dreamers is Dead.

I wrote how I was beyond frustrated that I couldn’t find ANYONE that was committed – as long as it took – to create that dream life.

I didn’t have a SINGLE friend who was willing to be poor for a decade, start and quit 7, 8, 9, 10 jobs (yes, did that), and suffer to the point of depression because he or she had so much commitment to the dream.

Not one.

Needless to say, it’s been a long (and often lonely) few years, but there’s something else here: I chose myself.

How to Become “Expert Enough” 

Master The Day Book

People have introduced me as an “expert” because my book is an Amazon bestseller, and has really good reviews.

One thing that comes up a lot here is that people wait until it’s the right time, until someone says “yeah, you’re good enough!” or until they’re an expert to begin.

It’s almost that perfectionism, the feeling that a lot of guys in their 20s have that, “I can’t get married or settle down until I’m already successful.”

Clearly it makes no sense.

But if you wanted to theoretically acquire the skills required to be skilled enough to be paid for your skills, here’s how.

Don’t forget, the line between expert and non-expert is blurry.

Does it require a PhD? An M.D.? 10 years experience? Or just the ability to get people results? For example, I wrote my book which became an Amazon bestseller, but a lot more importantly, has great reviews because it’s helped people.

I’ve never once called myself an expert, but lots of people do once they see my book and the reviews its gotten.

So who’s right?

Even though I took a lot longer (e.g. I’ve been lifting weights in the gym 4-5x a week for 10 years now – since I went into college at 18), you could actually acquire the skillset required to be proficient enough to sell your services in 6 months or less.

The 6 Month “Expert” – Getting Paid For Actually Helping People

Is Alexander Heyne picture James Franco?

Does putting extremely pretentious modeling pictures of myself like this on my “about” page make me an expert?

What does an expert know that you don’t?

Well, most experts I’ve met know a lot more than the average person, but that’s really not that impressive since the average person knows jack shit and watches endless TV rather than taking time to read / grow / improve.

Here’s how I view an “expert” on writing, for example:

  1. They’ve read other experts on writing
  2. They know the basic principles of writing
  3. They’ve written

So what are these major categories?

They’ve read about the subject (consuming).

They know the basic principles (the skeleton skillset).

They’ve written (concrete skills).

And seeing how many “social media experts” I’ve seen come up over the last three years, who are so laughably bad, the bar is set pretty low.

But here’s what you can legitimately become a freelancer with:

Month One – Modeling

Web design

Here’s the first step: read the other ‘experts’ on your craft.

  1. Go to amazon.com
  2. Type in “web design” for example or “how to write” or “programming” or “video editing”
  3. Order the top 10 books that are highest rated
  4. Read them (approx. 7 hours per 200 page technical book = 70 hours of reading)

Month Two – The One Page Summary

Put together one page summaries on the key principles in the books.

Structure them like this.

The Big Idea is:

The core, tactical principles are:

1.

2.

3.

Three habits I can start doing today:

1.

2.

3.

Month Three – Synthesize

Synthesize the basic principles.

Okay, so you’ve read ten of the top books. Now what are the similarities in the principles?

If you’re a fitness coach, you might have realized, okay, diet is 80% of the work.

And X Y and Z are the main principles I need to help my clients with in order to get them results.

And you can use weight training for both men and women to tone them up, then intermittent fasting as an advanced concept.

If it’s writing, you might learn about storytelling, sentence structure, beginning stories in media res, etc.

If it’s programming, you might have learned what the heck programming really is, and how it works.

Month Four – Six: Deliberate Practice & Skill Acquisition (One Hour a Day Philosophy)

At this point, theory virtually doesn’t matter, because if someone is paying you, they just want results.

So in month four, the key thing is to get three free clients.

If you’re a programmer, just try creating something (you’re own web page).

Set aside 1 hour a day.

If it’s writing, just start writing articles and pitching them to The Huffington Post or other websites that are smaller that you’re currently afraid of.

If you’re a designer, offer to design a friend’s website for free. Get the actual skillset, break shit, and then figure out why you broke it.

If you’re working on coaching, coach a few friends for free! Do hourlong coaching sessions, get their feedback, see if it helped, etc.

You’ll quickly realize if you’re good, what needs improving, what you may like or not like, etc.

Month Five – Get A (or More) Free Clients

The next step is to actually get more clients, free ones (or if you feel comfortable, paid ones).

First, go through friends, then just go to local events using meetup.com, post your services on craigslist, or start setting up a website.

But by this point, you already have a skillset that’s valuable and you’re good enough.

Month Six – Make It Happen

It’s time to start charging. I’ll keep it simple, because even though this is another huge mental hurdle for new people (please don’t charge $10/hour), it’s best learned in the trenches.

Two things:

1. Charge monthly (because you can’t feed yourself on hourly jobs)

2. Charge more than you feel comfortable with

If you feel like $50 a month makes you comfortable, charge $100 a month.

Stop Waiting – All The Greats “Figured” It Out

Kung

It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.

- Leonardo da Vinci

It’s a little secret that most successful people just “figured it out.”

Entrepreneurship (like life) is sometimes like running face-first into a wall, smashing your head, and then trying to figure out how it got there, and how to get over it or around it.

You just look around, test, and figure it out. There often isn’t a roadmap.

Guys, do you think I had a damn clue about how to build a business?

How to write a book?

How to have a remote job, or how to write, or how to give talks, or how to travel on a shoe string budget?

You can figure all this shit out.

And as long as you have that mindset, you will be successful – because anything can be learned. Literally almost anything. And you have the most unfair advantage of all – the internet. Consider that no one in human history has had the internet like you do now.

You can google something and half a second later have a dozen tutorials on how to learn a skill.

Do you realize how unfair of an advantage that is over anyone else that has ever existed in history?

Look, you can come up with a story all day long, or you can get your ass to work, but you can’t do both.

Choose yourself, stop waiting for prince charming (or your mom, or a mentor, or me) to tell you you’re good enough, and figure it out.

You can do it.

We all start somewhere – so just start.

-Alex

Thoughts on this? Share them below.

Images: “Dreams” used with permission from freedigitalphotos.net,

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

P April 14, 2016 at 12:50 pm

Sometimes your post make me feel like you are my “savior on the glowing white steed” – thank you for being so refreshingly honest and disarmingly insightful.

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Alexander Heyne April 14, 2016 at 3:08 pm

I always got your back, P! happy to help :-)

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Jenn April 14, 2016 at 1:18 pm

You have really good timing ! I also wanted to say that you’re one of the most inspiring people in my opinion and thank you ☀️

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Alexander Heyne April 14, 2016 at 3:07 pm

Hey Jenn,

Awesome, glad you liked it and it helped :-)

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Abdul April 14, 2016 at 1:35 pm

I needed this shi*****t today….I have been putting off building my own web application for minute now. I spent time learning to become a web developer but did not execute on the site after I got the skills. Always talked myself out of it “they are others already doing x” shit. I do not know if the site will make money because I never tried.
However, today just figured out that I am tired of the way shit is with right now. And that I need to start executing and producing results period. I really want to travel and live….. Thanks for your post.

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Alexander Heyne April 14, 2016 at 3:08 pm

BOOM! Love it Abdul. Make it happen, and let me know how it goes, and how I can help.
-Alex

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Marilia April 14, 2016 at 7:23 pm

Alexander… wow!

I really needded to read this. Thank you so much for this post.

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Alexander Heyne April 14, 2016 at 8:35 pm

I’m glad you liked it Marilia :-) Hope it helped.

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Mai Lien April 14, 2016 at 9:04 pm

I love this article. Thanks a lot.

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Alexander Heyne April 18, 2016 at 3:48 pm

Glad you liked it Mai Lien :-)

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Mikea April 14, 2016 at 9:37 pm

<3

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Alexander Heyne April 18, 2016 at 3:48 pm

<3

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Ariel Bakshandeh April 15, 2016 at 12:18 am

Excellent post and it’s not as you’re talking to a person who is a conformist. I became my own hero as well. I went to Japan, New Zealand, and Australia by myself and met up with a bunch of friends I made on skype and had the time of my life. By the way I have a YouTube channel too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeIZz4wbt78

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Alexander Heyne April 18, 2016 at 3:48 pm

Awesome thanks Ariel! Will check it out

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simon April 15, 2016 at 6:22 am

wow/. At the moment, this is possibly the best read ever. Worked in insurance for 10 years, didn’t like the treatment towards end , go very low, quite with stress and sued them. Got back on my feet, got a job as high flyer at a bank, there 6 months, job ended due to changes in set up, got paid off. \hated it whilst there. Was this really for me? Office jobs? There is another big calling inside of me but i dont know what. I know i do not want to spend all my ife making other people money whilst i get paid enough just to live whilst getting worn out. Spent 6 months out of work with my 4 kids and wife. Started doing a lot of cooking and bread making that i had forgotten as a kid ( now 41) i used to love doing. Then friend offered me a job running a new bistro for him. Never did it before but was up for that. & weeks later he closes it as he has other work commitments taking his time and money. So, for the last month i have been very low. Debating weather to start own home baking job selling and farmers markets initially. Was un sure, but reading this makes me think I NEED TO DO SOMETHING or i will never know. THANKYOU

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Alexander Heyne April 18, 2016 at 3:47 pm

Hey Simon,

I’m glad you liked it :-) And yes, you’re totally right – do something, anything. Sometimes you never know until you start taking a few steps.

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simon April 15, 2016 at 6:23 am

is 41 too old to start again??????

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Alexander Heyne April 18, 2016 at 3:46 pm

Unless you’re dead, it’s never too late. Why live another day unhappy? Get started.

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Pablo April 15, 2016 at 5:57 pm

GREAT BLOG POST ALEX!

Question: How do you prioritize which skills/knowledge to learn? In your case: fitness, copy, writing, publishing, marketing, etc.

P.S: You should add your YouTube channel (Modern Health Monk) somewhere in Milk The Pigeon! Is great content and many people could be interested.

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Alexander Heyne April 18, 2016 at 3:46 pm

Hey Pablo,

It really comes down to your primary goals – e.g. if you are building a business, you need $$ to pay bills, so then you need to figure out which of those provides you with an income (maybe it’s content – because that’s how you get sales, or how to sell, etc.)

And yes, that’s a great idea! Might have to send out a link soon ;-)

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Kelsey April 17, 2016 at 4:41 pm

Thanks for the great article, Alexander. As some who is completely starting over in a new career I find myself lost in these excuses. Much of it comes from giving myself permission to want what I want and go after it. Thanks for the inspiration to keep going!

Kelsey

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Alexander Heyne April 18, 2016 at 3:45 pm

Hey Kelsey,

Glad you liked it – keep on swimming :-)

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Jasmine Greene April 19, 2016 at 10:42 am

Hi Alex,

I’ve been a long time reader, but first (or maybe second?) time poster. I’ve been going through the same thought process recently that you wrote about. I feel like so many of us are waiting for permission to do what we want because we somehow think that we’re selfish or “stupid” to go after our dreams. It’s become so engrained in our minds that we have to work a job we hate because that’s just the way things are. We’re often told by the older generation and media outlets that we’re not “unique snowflakes” and we should just shuffle around in mediocrity because only there are only a few exceptional people in the world. It’s a silly way to think and one that keeps people afraid to dream and pursue their interests. While sure we’re not all geniuses, I do believe we all have something unique to offer the world whether it’s on a large or small scale. Thanks for the inspiration.

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Alexander Heyne April 21, 2016 at 11:27 am

Hey Jasmine,

You’re very welcome, and I completely agree with everything you said above. The hard part then, is not giving up. Just keep swimming <== Nemo reference.

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Mollie April 28, 2016 at 3:23 pm

Hey Alexander
Thank you so much for your writings im my “middling” thirties and find your take on life so refreshing and motivational , some of your teachings are helping me at the moment move through a time of leaving my job that is sadly gotten uninspiring to me and looking for my next challenge doing this is quite nerve wracking as I’ve put my notice in and with no job on the horizon and my children to support your teachings give me the nerve to keep going ! Trusting in the process !
Keep up the good teachings they reach far and wide
Love from the UK
Mollie

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Alexander Heyne April 29, 2016 at 12:12 pm

Thanks Mollie, glad they helped :-) And yes, I totally feel you there, having been there a dozen times myself!

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sukka May 27, 2016 at 6:41 am

iam the chosen

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Alexander Heyne June 6, 2016 at 10:51 am

Boom!

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Tisha June 17, 2016 at 1:49 am

Love this! Thank you

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Alexander Heyne June 17, 2016 at 10:41 am

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