Giving Up Thousands of Dollars to Start a Business You Love
Have you ever tried to stay focused on a project that no longer interests you? If so, you know the struggle it represents and the amount of extra energy you have to devote to it.
But, what do you do when you are in that situation? I’ve been there recently and I’m going to tell you the things I tried, the failures I had and what finally led me to the realization that it was better to sacrifice a year of my life and thousands of dollars to get out of it and start working on what I love.
If you are like me, you are always thinking about the next big thing you can do to improve your life. For me, as a computer programmer, I wanted to make a lot of time to look for the next Facebook or Angry Birds idea that I could implement to build a legendary business.
A year ago I fell prey again to one of my ideas and decided to start building “the next big online marketplace.” The startup wheel started to turn and I soon found myself working an unlimited number of hours every day designing every single detail of the site and business model.
I had to sacrifice a lot of things to get the project moving. I started skipping classes at college to get more time, and I was investing my hard-earned money in the creation of a highly qualified virtual team that could turn my vision into reality.
After nine months in the trenches, moving forward one tiny step at a time, I started to think about what my real goals were. And then I had an epiphany.
By its nature and approach, that project could not be harmonized with my personal goals and mission in life. I needed to create a system for pursuing both kinds of goals simultaneously. The more I thought about it, the more strongly I felt a burning desire to focus only on the real mission and vision that I had just brought to light.
That desire and the incomparable feeling of thinking about really starting to live a better life that I could design for myself grew stronger and stronger. It finally became a monster that left me no other choice than to start creating my plan for making a “prison break” and escaping from my existing life with the minimum possible harm.
My initial plan was to delegate everything I was doing so I would have time to focus on bigger things, while the business continued to follow my design for its success on autopilot. It turned out that things weren’t going to be as easy as they seemed.
You can read “The 10 Outsourcing Mistakes That Cost Me Thousands of Dollars” to learn more about the challenges I had to overcome before I could turn over to others the majority of what I was doing in my business. My goal was to get to the point where I had to work only an hour a day reviewing the work my development team had completed during the day.
Why I was unable to completely automate my business and had to make the decision to leave the project and lose thousands of dollars
As the time for launching the e-commerce website approached, my responsibilities and tasks as the project founder and leader started growing exponentially. I found myself unable to recover the focus and motivation required to dedicate six or eight hours a day to the work. At the same time, I saw that the brand new project that was really making me feel alive was losing momentum.
A lot of new responsibilities also started coming up. I had to open bank accounts, keep track of payouts to make sure vendors got paid so they wouldn’t get angry with me, sign deals with big partners, travel to different countries to hold meetings, network with people in my industry, ensure that the website didn’t get hacked, and the like.
That sounds great if you are working in a business you love and you know it’s the best thing you can do in this world. But it’s just a torture if you have to force yourself to do it.
I tried hard for some time to alternate between the two projects. But seeing the emails and notifications that kept coming for the person I really wanted to be (and could be!), while I was making painful efforts to be someone I was not, was breaking my heart.
Maybe it’s my particular problem, but I can’t focus on two different things at one time. I can’t have two visions in my mind at the same time, either. I either have one clear vision or a blurry mess that takes me nowhere. I was in the second situation at that time.
The key word here is focus. It’s my life that we are talking about here, and I could see it passing while I was focusing my mind and body on a project that didn’t inspire me. I knew that was not the legacy I wanted to leave in this world.
Big opportunities were being missed for LifestyleMission.com project while I was thinking about other things. I made the decision to practice what I wanted to preach, to get up and start living the life I really wanted to live without lying one more time to myself or others.
The e-commerce project would only have taken a few more weeks of focused effort to start making good profits. But that would have been time I was wasting in lying to myself and not pursuing the biggest things I could—weeks spent not doing the valuable things I could have been giving to the world.
What if I died next week?
I would have spent the last days of my life wasting the unique abilities that I had been given on something I didn’t believe in. For the sole purpose of making money, I was refraining from doing the best I could do when I already had a clear vision of what it was and how I could do it.
I asked myself,
Is that the way I want to be remembered?
That was the final question that propelled me to start embodying the person I wanted to be remembered as, without thinking twice.
Why I click here am sure that was the right decision
Moving towards personal goals with every step
While working on the e-commerce project, the only meaningful goal I could pursue was to earn money to gain financial freedom and be further from the fear of things like poverty and starving to death.
In summary, in my work I was moved only by the animal instinct for survival and protection.
While working on this project, I can pursue absolutely all my personal goals. I know that every effort invested is moving me in the direction I want to go in my life and producing everlasting results for me and the people involved.
Some of my goals were helping other people start living the way they want, meeting amazing people around the world and writing a book. It was pretty obvious that I was never going to achieve those goals while being chained to an e-commerce business 15 hours a day.
The unstoppability factor
“Go for the bigger and you’ll never get tired”
When difficulties arise while working on a project I am not 100% harmonized with, it means a lot of struggle with myself in order to do what has to be done in order to overcome those problems and get closer to success.
That results in wasting a lot of time and energy and being much slower and clumsier than my competitors, who are really involved with what they are doing.
If the same happens on a project that is filling my life so much that I cannot even differentiate between my personal and business projects, I am sure that I will do whatever is needed in order to overcome anything that’s placed in the middle of my path. I will be moving myself with unparalleled decision and agility towards my vision, as metal filings are attracted by a powerful magnet.
As long as you provide a useful service you will make unlimited money
That is no different from providing a service in something you love.
Your love and passion will make you go the extra mile to provide what is needed to make people get involved in your project. You’ll know how valuable what you are offering can be.
As I said, it’s your life that we are talking about here, so you have to find a way to move towards your real goals as you get what you need to survive.
If you can do it while you move towards a life you hate, why would you be unable to do it while you are full of motivation doing the things you love?
My final tip for avoiding entering a project where you will lose motivation over time
Always take time to clarify the real goals that you want to achieve in your life. Once you have them (preferably written down), you can analyze every project you are considering.
Ask yourself if that project will be flexible enough to allow you pursue all the goals that you have in life. Make an effort to think about ways to making your goals fit on it but if you see that is not possible then it may very likely not be the appropriate project for you.
Remember, the clock of the life you should be living keeps on ticking while you are spending your time in random things.
Question: Are you struggling to keep focus on a project you don’t love? Let me know by posting a comment below!