With Substack adding their new "Notes" feature...
(and with some writers using that feature to SKYROCKET in popularity...)
I'm thinking it's time to talk about email lists again.
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The last few weeks have felt like stage 4 liver cancer.
I got the flu after taking the flu vaccine. It’s ridden me like a cowboy into the ground. At the same time, I’ve been interviewing 98 people for a new project. And here’s where it gets sad…
I thought the majority of these 98 people would knock my socks off, given the hard questions they had to answer before I’d do a call with them.
The reality has made me quite depressed.
Many of these good people will likely never make it in life and it’s tragic. But I’m not a doomer. I went through my notes to work out why. And four common habits emerged.
Habit #1 – Waiting for the perfect time
We all have goals.
But many of us never start them. We wait to feel ready, or we use that useless freaking excuse “I’m busy.” The next time someone says that, I’m ending the Zoom call.
Fact 1: we are all busy.
Fact 2: there’s never a time in life when you won’t be busy.
Waiting to feel ready is like waiting to be reborn. It ain’t gonna happen. Waiting for the perfect time sounds exactly like “I’ll do it someday” or “I hope to do it in 6 months” or “the timing is off.”
The reason we play this stupid game is because we can transfer the problem of getting started and all the negative feelings and risks of it to a future person named “2025 Tim Denning.”
By burdening ourselves in the future we let our present selves off the hook.
The thing is big goals come with big changes. And there’s never a good time to make a big change. Literally never.
I tried to execute on a new blogging goal in 2022. A family member got a blood cancer and screwed it all up. Then once their treatment kicked in and they got better I thought I could get started.
Then my wife got pregnant.
And when I tried to start this new project a few weeks ago, the flu slapped the sh*t out of me and said “you wanna fight, pal?”
The perfect time is always right now.
It’s about being good at prioritizing and not about a magical time in life when all the stars are aligned and you have the perfect air quality, cappuccino, bank balance, and home life to begin.
Just stop freaking lying to yourself. Now or never.
Habit #2 – Being afraid to take risks
There is no joy without risk.
(Read that again.)
If you plod through life never taking any real risks, you’re one day going to get woken up in the middle of the night by a boogie monster named Regrets. But sometimes this monster doesn’t go by his real name. Often he just looks like his cousin “Boredom.”
The stories we tell others that give us the most happiness require risks.
I had a kid last year. There were loads of risks involved. But I didn’t not have a kid because of the downsides. I did my research, got equipped, and prepared for the worst case.
I don’t know why people think they can be happy without risks.
Why they think they can go to a lifeless cubicle office every day with a fake smile and drink coffee to wake them up from the hell they’ve signed up for that’s attached to a big fat mortgage.
What you want to do is check your risk list. What is it? A list of all the risks you’ve taken in the last 12 months. For many of you, based on my recent interviews, your list will be bare. That is tragic.
What are you waiting for? Why are you so afraid of rejection and failure?
The worst that can happen is you take a risk and it doesn’t work. But you learn a helluva lot. Then next time a similar risk happens you’re better prepared.
You realize you can start again, yeah?
Your marriage can collapse and two years later you can be with a new partner.
Your dog can die of cancer and a month later you can have a new puppy.
A business can collapse and you can file for bankruptcy and start again. Or start a new business under another family member’s name.
You can get fired from a job, like I did in 2019, and get a better job within days.
Downsides become upsides if you have the right time horizon.
What doesn’t turn into opportunity and success is an ultra-conservative mindset of a person that won’t even spend $20 on some new software because they’re afraid google will steal their data and breach their privacy. For f*ck sake. Don’t be so piss-weak.
Risk it and you’ll get the biscuit.
Habit #3 – A non-existent self-education budget
My wife loves a tight budget. I hate it but I signed up for this before marriage.
The one area she agrees I can spend unlimited amounts of money on is self-education. The reason is new skills and a better network are how you make more money.
My most successful friends that earn 6 and 7 figures A MONTH online all paid for masterminds, group coaching, and courses.
Self-education is the one financial category that looks like an expense but is actually an investment with an ROI.
If you don’t have an investor mindset your knowledge won’t grow. So you’ll have less dots in your brain to connect, and therefore, less wisdom.
In a world where AI is ripping the hell out of everything it touches, a static brain full of knowledge, for even a year, is enough to make you irrelevant in the economy.
Making more money is literally the smartest money strategy in history. And investing in self-education will make you more cash than investing in stocks, bonds, real estate, crypto or any other popular financial product.
Habit #4 – Saying “I’ll do it in retirement”
This is the final remark that came up quite a bit.
In the interviews some people told me “when I’m retired I’ll write or experiment with social media.”
Retirement is a foundation of modern society that stupidly has made us delay what’s good in life to a time when we may be dead or, at best, alive but low on energy.
The fact people even think they’ll make it to age 65 surprises me. The Western diet a lot of us eat is eating us alive. The air we breathe isn’t getting any cleaner. And our fitness routines have never been worse.
Living a long time isn’t guaranteed. So what are we all waiting for?
My 2015 near-miss with cancer thankfully destroyed any retirement fantasy I had. I just don’t think about retirement anymore because I’ve already seen death’s door and it ain’t pretty, I tell ya.
Entrepreneur Naval Ravikant has a new definition of retirement we should all adopt:
"Retirement is when you stop sacrificing today for an imaginary tomorrow. When today is complete, in and of itself, you’re retired. You retire by saving up enough money, becoming a monk, or by finding work that feels like play to you."
Retire today, not at 65.
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If I had a nickel for every time I read “I’m thinking about xxx,” or “I’m looking into yyy,” we could all retire. Today. All that talk does is make one feel better about not getting started. A year from now, they’ll still be staring at their shoes, convincing themselves that the right time is just around the corner.
F**king love this 🏼
"Retirement is a foundation of modern society that stupidly has made us delay what’s good in life to a time when we may be dead or, at best, alive but low on energy."