12 Brutal Truths About Pursuing Your Dreams Nobody Wants To Admit
I’m going to let you in on a little secret...
I originally wrote this post 19 months ago. (GASP)
I discovered it while looking through old Medium stories and I wanted to dust it off, re-write it, then re-publish it for the world to see.
With that said, a LOT of this is how it was originally written.
I didn’t know blogging “success” in February of 2017, but I know it now — which makes this story an interesting one to read a year later.
I hope you enjoy these lessons — they’re all still true today.
Here are a few truths about pursuing your dreams that nobody wants to admit.
1. People Won’t Notice You For A Long Time
“Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.”
— Bill Bradley
In the early days of my blog, literally nobody would read new posts. I’d be lucky to get one view.
In fact, if I got six or seven views, I was really booking!
With blogging, you need to keep at it mercilessly, because it’s typical to get little to no attention at all in the early days.
UPDATE: Now I get way more views.
2. You’ll Spend A Lot Of Time Traveling The Wrong Path
“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.” — Oscar Wilde
This is an important one. From day one it’s much more efficient to travel the straight path to success rather than the one that zigzags sideways.
At first I didn’t have an email signup form on my site. It took me six months to finally understand that it was a necessity.
We’re not always going to have the best practices from day one.
My Youtube thumbnails sucked a few months ago. Heck, they probably still suck, but at least I’m getting a little bit better. Do thumbnails even matter?
The truth is, I need to figure out what “stuff” actually matters on YouTube, and I need to go through a lot of B.S. to figure out the best path forward.
And I’m okay with that. Traveling the wrong path is part of all this.
3. Your Critics Will Be Brutal
“There will always be a few people who just want to knock you down or are jealous or just want to be horrible for the sake of it. I don’t know what drives someone to be nasty.” — Geri Halliwell
I used to write at The Huffington Post, and I can’t begin to describe the nastiness I’ve seen from people I don’t even know.
It seems those around us always find a way to conflict. It’s something I never expected to see, but when you put your thoughts on the internet for everyone to read, it makes sense why it would happen.
A few months after writing this article, I was featured in a viral video on Facebook that got a million views (or so). Some of the comments left below were NA-STY. Trust me.
They came for my life and my values in a way I’ve never seen before. Take it in stride, dust yourself off, and move forward.
4. Most People Aren’t Going To Help You
“No time is better spent than that spent in the service of your fellow man.” — Bryant H. McGill
I’ve reached out to so many people for guidance, tips on jobs, or even a few words to feature in my article, and 75 percent of the time I receive no response.
That’s not to say that I haven’t received immense help from people who do respond, I’m just saying that most times people are going to ignore you. Don’t give up!
What a crazy turn of events.. Now I’m the one who can’t respond to people and perhaps help them because I’m so busy creating. This still rings true.
5. Your Family Won’t Understand
“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.” — Ken Robinson
When I told my Mom I wanted to work from home and be a freelance writer, she didn’t understand why I couldn’t just go be a manager at Panera Bread or something.
I could hear in her voice she didn’t think it was the right decision, but I decided to do it anyway.
It’s not fun to hear your parents annoyed with your decision, especially when you feel your decision is the best one for you.
But you have to accept that acceptance from others may not be in the cards for you. Part of following your dreams is standing on your own two feet — now do that.
6. You’ll Feel Alone More Than You Think
“Loneliness adds beauty to life. It puts a special burn on sunsets and makes night air smell better.” — Henry Rollins
When I was out in San Francisco this summer I went up to twin peaks so many times to get away from reality for a bit.
It was always so cold and windy up there, but when I gazed down at the city below I always felt a tiny bit better.
Moving away from friends, family, and general stability to pursue your dreams will lead to a certain level of detachment.
This is perfectly normal.
7. You’ll Sub Late Nights At The Bars For Late Nights At Your Desk
“Drink water ; put the money in your pocket, and leave the dry-bellyache in the punch-bowl.” — Ben Franklin
Going out with your buddies/ladies should probably be a thing of the past if you’re following your dreams.
Most times I just sit at my desk on a friday or saturday night writing. It’s not that glamorous, I know, but it’s also nice to see my work occasionally get some traffic the next day.
UPDATE: This is probably the most important point of this entire article.
8. You’ll Barely Scrape By
“If you’re broke, you don’t want to rap about being broke; you gonna rap about hustling and getting that bread.” — Juicy J
I racked up debt two summers ago.
It’s not cheap to live in San Francisco at all, and financial struggles followed me for months on end.
It’s not something I love to talk about, but it’s something that happened nonetheless.
Just recently I turned everything around and started making good money from blogging, but it wasn’t always this way at the start.
I lived at home with my parents for a year and a half while I spent day in and day out putting out content. This took me a while.
9. Your Friendships Might Take A Hit
“Remember that the most valuable antiques are dear old friends.” — H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Many times I have to dip out early when seeing my buddies because I have things to do.
And that’s not even considering the fact that I didn’t see many of my closest friends for months because of my cross-country road trip! Your personal relationships will take a hit because of what you’re trying to do.
10. There’s Never A Break From It
“All the so-called “secrets of success” will not work unless you do.” — Jaymin Shah
Something I’m getting used to now is the fact that I’m constantly writing every single day.
I write for money at my day job, and then I write for fun at The Huffington Post and my blog. I feel burned out pretty much every day, and it’s something I don’t want to admit–much less think about!
Even when I’m at home trying to relax with my parents, my mind keeps reminding me of all the work I could be doing.
UPDATE: Now I spend all my time making YouTube videos.
11. You’ll Need To Ask For Help
“We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” — Ronald Reagan
If you’re like me, you hate asking for favors or help of any kind. I want to do it my way, for one, and secondly I don’t want to bother other people.
But that’s the thing, we need the guidance from our peers and mentors to make bigger strides towards our goals. It’s something we all have to admit at some point, that we can’t do it on our own.
12. Failure Becomes A Way Of Life
“We are all failures — at least the best of us are.” — J.M. Barrie
Most times when I post a new article to Huffington or my blog, I try to lower expectations beforehand.
I know the odds of a post going viral are pretty slim, and in the past I’ve seen so many articles of mine fail to get more than 30 views. It’s just the way it is.
Even now with my YouTube channel, I’m failing left and right. I’m 100% aware that a lot of my videos aren’t the greatest, but at least I’m learning something new with every failure.
It’s something I’ve gotten used to, and while it sucks, at least I know this is normal.
You should be aware of this, too.
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