$20,170 — Challenge Accepted Gary Vaynerchuck

It took me 5 years to realise that I’ve been a complete idiot. I had been running my business like a headless chicken. Some weeks I would be living large, with enough money in the bank to cover the next year of rent. Other weeks, well… shit hit the fan. I was risking it for the biscuit for no reason. I realised I was an idiot when a core principle sunk in while reading Tim Ferriss’s of the Titans.

The best investors find investments with asymmetrical risk. That means they find opportunities (or create them) that showed a great upside, and a tiny downside. An opposite example of this principal is lotto. Realistically, in New Zealand, you must buy a $6 ticket every day for 5000 years to win the $1,000,000 prize pool. Now, most people aren’t going to live that long, and also don’t want to spend $10,950,000 to win $1,000,000. The Lotto is the great example of an average return and a stupidly high amount of risk (the opposite of what we’re after).

If you’re wanting to start a business, ask yourself if you really need to quit your job to do so?

Don’t be an idiot…

Quitting my job to start my business was the stupidest decision I had ever made. That sounds like a dramatic statement but the amount of pain, worry, and stress I endured because I left that job was simply unnecessary.

And don’t get me wrong, I have been working 60 / 70 hour weeks for years now but I found that most of that time I filled with stupid tasks to feel busy. If instead, I had put 30 hours into a job, and then 30 / 40 into the business, I would have had a much more secure position and could have invested much more into accelerating the business’s growth while making sure the bills at home didn’t pile up. The danger of starting anything with a thin base is pretty soon you enter desperation mode. And when you enter desperation mode you’re going to want to try cut corners which NEVER works.

So what stopped me from continuing w/ my employer while starting my business? This image of the startup entrepreneur. I thought, “entrepreneurs don’t have jobs.” Yeah but entrepreneurs also have a much higher rate of suicide and depression too. Maybe it’s not so bad to hedge slightly and dramatically reduce the risk. The other grounding piece of advice from Gary Vee this time was to aim for a more modest outcome. Why attempt to be the next Zucks when I can do what I love and still earn 6–7 figures?!

So here’s where I stand for 2017

Gary Vaynerchuck said the line ‘eat shit for 24 months so you can eat caviar for the rest of your life’. Although I hate caviar, and although there’s a 70% chance he didn’t mean it word-for-word, I’m going to do just that.

Over the next 24 months, I’m going to create the most solid foundation for the rest of my life. I’m still going to be launching startups, food-trucks, and all the other crazy stuff I’ve been doing, but I’m also going to reduce my excess spending, and acquire a solid income for 10–20 hours a week through long-term contracts and part-time marketing work.

And I’ve already dramatically cut my spending. Like seriously. Halved that. Boom. It feels so good to have a savings account that is increasing… quickly.

Stacking income (sounds fancy)

Next, I’m going to move onto stacking my income. Upping my income will work in tiers.

First, we’ve got the quick wins. That’s where Gary Vee’s $20,170 challenge comes into it. Watch the video to understand the exact concept, but the theory goes if you put the same amount of time you spend watching crap on TV or playing games, and put it towards something like buying items from garage sales for cheap and selling them for more online, you can make $20,170 in one year on the side. As he would say #SideHustle

Another part of this is selling the crap you have lying around that you’re not using. What a super quick win.

The second tier is weekly contracts. These are around 3 hours a week each and are for smaller amounts but are fixed. This means I’m guaranteed a certain level of income every week.

The third tier is the startups I love to create. SnapMyWedding is passively making around $1,000 USD a month. My mobile food truck is making around another $1,000. And I’m earning $750 a week from INBOUND (my main baby) because my co-founder and I agreed to put most of the revenue back into the company.

The final tier is optional. Finding an opportunity in a more established start-up who are looking for a remote marketer / growth hacker / CMO. This will be 30+ hours a week, and net a much larger amount of income.

Now what’s interesting is that I can easily do all these four tiers, but before I was only doing one. Why? Because I was too proud to admit that sometimes an entrepreneur needs a job. Sometimes it’s not all glamour and fame (actually 95% of it isn’t). But at the end of the day, I love it. The grind. It’s just about making it that little more sustainable for myself and my family.

So that’s me for 2017. If you’re interested, make sure you hit subscribe button on YouTube and follow me on Instagram to see the journey. I’ll be launching a progress video each week and will create a more structured breakdown blog post each month as well.

If you’re keen to build a foundation with me for a better life, then join a long. We can keep accountable and have some fun. I reckon I can move $40,000 through garage sales and from the crap in my house.

What number are you aiming for?

Gary — you joining me?

Originally published at www.stevensomething.com.