Nothing in life is free but life doesn’t always require money to achieve our goals. In many circumstances, money won’t help. There are some things in life that require more than just money, they take time, hard work, and sacrifice. The latter three seem to scare away most of the people I meet.
We all want money. We all want nice things and the freedom to do what we enjoy. For most of us in this industry and tech in general, none of that landed in our lap. We work long hours, make sacrifices, and are in a constant state of learning. All in an attempt to get where we want to be. Yet I talk to hundreds of people that seem to be unwilling to do any of the above but still seem to think they are going to get to the same place. I come across countless young people that fail to realize that one of the most important things a person or employer can give you is opportunity. That they are at one of the few times in life that they can take risk and make sacrifices that may never be able to do again.
I recently had a young man that was out of work for the winter come in looking for a job. I told him we were slow during the winter but if he wanted, I had about two days worth of chopping wood. Granted it was cold and the job involved manual labor, but it was a paying job. In my mind it was also a test. A test to see if he really wanted to work or he was merely going through the routine required by his wife or his unemployment. He passed on the job. Said he was looking for something more permanent. Little did he know that if he chopped the wood he would have instantly had a job on one of our landscape crews making a pretty good wage.
Its a dumb downed version but it still plays out the same. He wanted a job. He needed a job. He had a chance to show the owner of a good sized company his work ethic, but chose not to. He threw away possible opportunity. He wanted something verbally but in reality he no chance of every really getting it.
I meet people in every day life that are fascinated by my domains. They can’t believe that I buy and sell domain, build sites, and make money doing it. They all want me to show them. I tell them that I have never put one dime of money into my portfolio that it is all reinvestment of income over the last 10 years. I’m not a millionaire but I get to fly to conferences, get weekly checks, and build a portfolio of online property all essentially for free. But free means two hours a night, EVERY NIGHT, for years and years. Building and filling content on the sites, checking auctions and drops, writing, and learning. Free in the sense of money but as I stated earlier, nothing is free. I am trading hard work for money. They are fascinated by the money but are probably even more fascinated that I can make that much free time a day to dedicate to anything. That’s when I tell them I also spend an hour and half every day training for Ironman. To me none of this is unusual because my friends all tend to be that same type of person.
Chris that writes with me is a perfect story. He took the writing gig at no pay. I give him a percentage of the income of the site anyway. Although that has turned out to be exactly zero dollars the last few months, he said it didn’t bother him. He looked at it as an opportunity to learn and meet others in the community. It gave him a voice and a link to domaining that he didn’t have. The result, he found a new outlet to sell some domains that let him sell a few thousand dollars in January AND he found a new job. Neither of which would have been possible without taking the plunge and sacrifice of writing for my shitty site. But my little site changed his life because he met people through Domain Shane. Domain Shane gave him opportunity. Not money but opportunity. Opportunity that was given in exchange for nothing but a little extra work.
As I said earlier, I tend to hang with type As. Guys that get the work/reward scenario. They are often runners and triathletes like myself. The sport has taught them that in order to achieve more you have to put in the work. You want to be faster than the guy beside you? Run longer and harder than him. Get more hours on the bike and in the pool than him. My wife says this when I’m taking a little longer than normal getting out of bed. “You know that guy that beat you last race? He’s already out there running” It’s a joke but you get the point. There is no secret to achievement. They guys that have more are most likely out working you. They could be outsmarting you or out spending you, but in most cases they are probably just outworking you. We can come up with excuses for almost anything if we want to. Talking our own mind out of attempting something difficult is one of the easiest tasks on earth. Getting it to take risks is against our human nature. Somehow you have to trick you body and mind to turn off the self protection switch and convince yourself that everything is going to be OK. I often find that hard work breeds confidence and with confidence comes the ability or the desire to chose higher risk reward paths. Paths that lead to more wealth. They are willing to take that path because they feel if they do fail, they possess the ability to get back up and try again. As Biz Stone, the founder of Twitter said, “In order to succeed spectacularly you need to be able to fail spectacularly” I changed it up a little and put it this way. “On the way to kicking ass you may at times get your ass kicked”
I encourage you younger readers to not waste your youth. You are at one of the only points in a life where you don’t have the responsibility of family and debt. A point where you really have nothing to lose so you can take higher risks. You can live cheaper than at any other point in your life. Material goods will come but there will never be a better time to take the risk that leads to great things. It may also lead to great failure but when the only person that gets hurt is you it just doesn’t matter. For you older readers, I encourage you to get uncomfortable.
Perhaps you can’t take as many risks because of your age and responsibilities but that doesn’t mean you can try some new things. Work a “night job”. Make your new hobby a side business. Stop talking about what you want to do and actually do it. It may be on a smaller scale but get a taste of what you’ve always wanted to do and that passion could resonate to other parts of your life. A person that has a part of the day that they truly enjoy is a healthier person. If your love is something that requires full time dedication then you’ll to find something that you can do part time and scale if it works out. While it’s hard to concentrate on the main job when you are working on a passionate side business, it still is very possible. And even if you don’t financially gain from your attempt, you mostly lost time. Time that you probably were wasting anyway watching TV or goofing around.
So read the blogs, enjoy the stories but don’t give me any bullshit about how the opportunity has come in gone in this industry or anything on Internet in general. We are at the infancy of this thing. There are 20 different ways to milk this cow but every single way requires a lot of time and effort. You can save a lot of time and effort with money and there will be those that do. Just remember 95% of them didn’t have money at some point in time either and 8 years down the road there will probably be some new guy telling you that you had it easy back then and it’s not possible anymore.