The Startup
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The Startup

The Smartest Way to Follow Your Passion

Do what you love (without sacrificing your lifestyle).

Graphic by the author

Step 1 — Sorry, You’re Not a Genius

Here’s the bad news — if you’re older than 15 years and not globally respected for your craft, it’s already too late. You (probably) don’t have what it takes to be a child prodigy.

  • To become a mathematician, you need a high IQ.
  • To become a basketball player in the NBA, you need to be at least 6.4 feet (195cm) or/and ultra-athletic.

Step 2 — Put Your Head Down & Work

Social media made us believe that anybody can become an influencer by posting his breakfast on Instagram. That’s a lie.

  1. Learn several skills & combine them in a unique way (this is also called skill-stacking).

Step 3 — Get a Job

Equipped with your high-value skill, it now should be easy for you to get a “boring” 9–5 job.

  • You’ll improve your skill-set & gain valuable domain experience.
  • It’ll be easier to find a (better) job when you already have a job.
  • You’ll get inspiration for future business ideas.
  • You’ll learn what you like & don’t like.

Step 4 — Run Experiments

Let’s face it, most people aren’t passionate about their day job. They feel trapped in a daily routine.

What is an experiment?

An experiment is a small personal project that creates new value in your life (i.e. new skill or an audience) and gains valuable feedback.

  • Low maintenance costs: running your ongoing experiment should be easy for you.
  • Low opportunity costs: you have no better opportunity to do.
  • Don’t code the whole app, use no-code tools and show your dirty prototype to potential customers.

Why Should I Run Experiments?

Life is unfair, and success is mostly luck. But smart people use this unfair fact to their advantage.

  • Read books & brainstorm new ideas (inspiration & creativity).
  • Spend time alone (sanity).

Step 5 — Scale Your Passion

There’s a dangerous misconception about success:

What I’m Trying to Say …

Passion in itself is worthless.

  1. Disappear for a certain time & develop a unique skill-set.
  2. Use that skill-set to get a solid 9–5 job.
  3. Run smart experiments besides your day job until you get “lucky”.
  4. Double down on successful projects until you’re unstoppable.



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