The cost of following your passion

Start that business. Start that YouTube channel. Start that blog.

We hear it all the time. Some people emphasize on the benefits of making money by doing what you love while others may warn you about the challenges you will face on your journey.

I’m here to tell you the truth. Unless you’re highly talented or you have knowledge of something rare that can solve people’s problem, it will be hard to make money by doing what you love.

Let me tell you exactly how and what you will feel if you have not started your journey yet.

  • You will feel like a failure.
  • You will start doubting yourself.
  • You will find reasons to quit and go back to normal life.
  • You will be hated and criticized.
  • You will burn out and feel exhausted.
  • You will be confused and overwhelmed.
  • You will do things that you hate.
  • You will make sacrifices.
  • You will waste your time and money.
  • Your life will be uncertain.

Surprised? no? Maybe you’ve heard all of that. But is it that bad as it sounds?

It is actually worse than it sounds like. When we experience these things in reality, it’s much worse than reading or knowing about it.

So why are we doing all this? Is it worth the effort? Let’s see the opposite side of the spectrum.

  • You will be on an adventure.
  • You will learn a lot of new things.
  • You will learn a lot about yourself.
  • You will do something that you’re passionate about.
  • You will fight for your freedom.
  • You will meet new people on a similar journey as you.
  • You will learn to embrace failures.
  • You will learn to handle stress and depression.
  • You will learn to celebrate small wins.
  • You will grow as a person.

In the end, you will experience all of the good and the ugly side of following your passion.

The journey of following your passion is a package of good and bad things. The only question that remains is – Are you willing to take the full package?

If you’re only expecting good things, then forget about it and go back to your normal lifestyle. The package is only reserved for people who are willing to take it fully.

If you choose to live a normal lifestyle, then there is nothing wrong about it. If you enjoy your life the way it is, then you don’t need to take the journey. But if you want to take the risk and write your own story, then I salute you.

You are a badass. Not many have the courage to do so and stick with it even after experiencing the ugly parts of the journey.

Yes, it’s going to be hard and messy. But it’s up to you to make the journey worthwhile.

I choose to accept the full package. What about you?

 

Pursue your dreams or die trying

You have only one life.

One life to experience all that you want to do. The regret of inactions is stronger than the regret of actions. In other words, the regret of failing at something is smaller than the regret of not even trying.

Many people who want to start their journey fear that they would lose time and effort on doing something that they may fail at. They would think that they can make better use of that time by watching TV, playing video games, partying, etc.

I’m going to use the word ‘entrepreneur’ for anyone who is taking an initiative or risk to follow their dreams while fighting mediocrity. With that said, let me tell you what you’re missing out on if you choose not to pursue your dreams.

1. The joy of giving

Entrepreneurs are problem solvers. We find a problem or a cause and then we try to solve it. The first step of any such journey should be to serve. Don’t get lost in creating your product or service. Start serving today and then shape your product/service accordingly. You will experience what it will be like to give and you will understand the value of what you’re doing.

2. Rollercoaster ride

You will fail. It will be hard. You will feel lost. But on the other side, you will experience what you might have never experienced before. When you start out, moments like – ‘first positive review’, ‘first earning from your business’ will prevail all the moments of despair.

3. New you

After facing your fears and overcoming challenges, you will be a different person. Your self-esteem will go high. Your standards will rise as your character will change. The lessons, personal growth, and experiences will make your journey worthwhile. Just make sure not to fall into the trap of ego.

4. Discovery

You will discover the possibilities that you might have never imagined before. You will meet with people that may become your lifelong friends. You will learn skills that you can’t imagine being skilled at today. Most importantly, you will find the answer to the question of – ‘What if?’

5. Success

Finally, if you persist, you will get the rewards. No matter what your personal goal is (freedom, fame or money), all the hard work and struggles will make the prize priceless. The level of satisfaction and happiness will be profound. You will live your dream life. You will contemplate what you would have ended up doing if it wasn’t for the journey that you chose to take.


In addition to knowing what you want, know what you don’t want. When you will have a strong ‘why’ to pursue your journey, you will do it anyway. All the noises telling you the downside of your journey will fade away.

Yes, it’s going to be hard. It’s going to be frustrating at times. You will be disappointed. But if you can’t afford to not know where the journey will take you, then listen to your heart and take the leap. You have one life and it’s too short to not pursue your dreams. Have the courage to follow your heart.

Go. Start now. Please.

Are you hustling or becoming a workaholic?

 

I have always been a hustler.

As a kid, I used to hustle in video games and now I hustle as a lifestyle entrepreneur.

If you’re reading this post most likely you’re kind of a person who is driven to hustle. If you have any kind of project, activity, blog or business that you dedicate a portion of your life to, then you may have the badge of a hustler.

While most people look for easy methods to chill for time pass, we, on the other hand, learn, create or work on our passion project. The downside of being a hustler is that it’s easy to burn out and become a workaholic. Here are few ways you can avoid the trap.

1. Break your work activities into different categories

Entrepreneurs have a lot to learn, manage and do. We may have to take up different roles like content creation, designing, programming, copywriting, marketing, selling, networking and many other small tasks that depend on the type of business and size of the team.

Find out the activities that you truly enjoy. Some activities must recharge you while others may drain your energy. It’s going to be different for everyone. For example, in my business, I love the part of planning, researching, learning, and writing. These activities charge me up. On the other hand, recording, editing, copy-writing, marketing, selling are some of the tasks that I have to learn and do but they suck the energy out of me.

Find what activities charge you and what activities drain you. Once you’ve identified these activities, you can either delegate them to someone else or you can keep learning and practice to become better at it. You’ll find out that once you get better at something, you’ll start enjoying it more and those activities will start to take up lesser energy from you.

The reason behind this phenomenon is related to Mihály Csíkszentmihályi’s flow model. If you’re not familiarized with the concept, let me explain in short. Flow is the state of mind when a person is fully immersed in an activity that he/she forgets the notion of time and space.

When you do something that you forget to eat, rest or sleep then you can experience flow. Heck, I’m experiencing flow as I’m writing this post.

8771399df51f2dd0bc7e49d9250c7430

Find out which activities bring flow, control, relaxation, boredom, apathy, worry, anxiety, and arousal for you. Become aware of how these activities are affecting your energy. The low skill, high challenge activities will drain your energy the most. If you increase your skills, however, you’ll spend lesser energy on such tasks.

2. Let go of extra commitments

Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years. – Bill Gates

We all take up extra commitments that are not important to us. These activities might be important for other people but you need to learn to say no to extra commitments that are imposed on us by others.

If you have a job that you need to do to pay off your bills then sure, do the work. But sometimes, we give extra commitments to ourselves. We take up more projects that we can handle with a sane mind. We want to be superheroes and do so many things in life.

What we need to realize is that we don’t need to pursue all the projects and commitments today. We can keep some projects that we can do later in life. (As Derek Sivers points out in this article)

You might have some urgent commitments that you can’t let go of. In that case, be okay with the slow progress towards your dreams. Enjoy the journey because the journey is the reward in itself.

Having all that said, be aware of not making the excuse of over-commitment to procrastinate something. If you’re not overly committed, you can definitely sneak in some time to pursue your passion project.

3. Schedule downtime and stick to it

If you have a dedicated time or day when you schedule to wind down and relax, then it will be easier for you to push hard during the work time. You’ll know that the downtime is waiting for you as a reward. Also, you’ll not feel guilty for your downtime.

Another reason why it works is that when you’ll experience deep relaxation and forget about work, you’ll crave to go back to work with full energy and enthusiasm.

Go. Put the downtime on your calendar. Don’t skip it. Don’t feel like you’re wasting your time. See it as recovery time which will only increase the quality of your work once you get back to it.

4. Spend time on your health, fitness, and relationships

Your emotional and mental well-being is the source of your energy. If you want optimal performance at work, you need to keep your mind and body in shape.

There’s a ton of evidence pointing out the benefit of proper nutrition and physical movement on cognitive function, memory, critical thinking, etc. You can easily boost your intelligence with nutrition and exercise.

Similarly, relationships in your life play a huge role on your emotional state. If you have toxic people around you, their negative energy will poison you. On the other hand, if you have people in your life who inspire, motivate and bring energy to you, then it will translate into your work.

If you can’t avoid some toxic people then try to minimize interaction with them or give them less power to influence you by their words or actions.

5. Diversify your inspiration source

Words and music have immense power to influence our mood and motivation. When you need the inspiration to hustle hard, then you can tune into to some of Gary Vaynerchuk videos, read productivity articles, listen to motivational music and so on.

When you switch to your downtime, close all hustle and bustle. Take inspiration from anyone in your life who can relax with no worries of past or future.

Relaxation is an art. Find activities that you absolutely love doing and do them often. Keep in mind that some work related activities can be relaxing too. But make sure to have some activities that are not related to work or money. It will make your life more diverse.

If you can’t enjoy life without work, then what’s the point of working to gain freedom in your life?

Even when you’re at work, you should enjoy most part of your hustle.

Lifestyle design is now. It’s not on the other side of ‘success’.

Happy hustling.

 

Are you a perfectionist entrepreneur?

I’m a perfectionist. As I’m writing this post, I’m deleting, revising, re-reading and re-writing after every 5 seconds. I have developed such a habit because I like to put the best effort in everything I do. I respect the craft of writing and I try to be better at it everytime I write.

As I started my first endeavor as a lifestyle entrepreneur, I learned soon enough that being a perfectionist every time is not a good idea. I learned Pareto’s 80/20 principle and stopped wasting time on the details which were not important. I gave myself deadlines and participated in challenges to get out of perfectionist mindset.

Few months after I started my entrepreneur journey, I took a break and went to Edinburgh for a trip. I entered a cathedral and got fascinated by this piece of craft:

It must have taken so much perfectionism to come up with such a beautiful masterpiece. Being a perfectionist isn’t bad after all. Great artists focus on the smallest details that a normal person might never even notice.

Entrepreneurship requires the opposite skill. It requires throwing away the details to reach the milestones on time. So, I started wondering what the balance between the two might look like.

The answer is simple. All the artists who work for hours, weeks, months or even years working on a piece, go through thousands of bad pieces that no one ever sees. They practice their craft in silence without being a perfectionist.

The masters of their crafts hate their first pieces because they have a great taste but their skills don’t allow them to reach the high standard they want to reach. But they learn to persist and be okay with the gap between their skills and their taste. To fill this gap, they keep on practicing without judging their initial pieces.

In a similar way, when it comes to entrepreneurship, getting started and making mistakes is the practice that is required to fill the gap between our current skills and the results we want.

When given a golden opportunity, we can then strive to be a perfectionist and focus on smallest details to give our 100%. For example, spending days to write an article for a huge publication and preparing obsessively for pitching or giving a talk at a big event.

All the other activities are just part of the process where we can let go our perfectionism and focus on getting things done.

Each time you’ll practice your craft you’ll take one step closer to fill the gap between your standards and your skills.

So here’s the takeaway:

  • Keep your standards high.
  • Practice without perfection to fill the gap between your standards and your skills.
  • Be a perfectionist when it matters the most.