As A Blogger, Here’s What I’ve Given Up To Be ‘Successful’

A few weeks ago I went to an Applebee’s in town and sat by myself for an hour.

As soon as I walked in I felt like everybody couldn’t stop staring at this lost soul by the bar.

The three friends sitting across from me couldn’t stop staring, at least.

I called my “best friend” here in town to see if he wanted to join me.

No answer.

I called my other friend who was going out that night and got a lukewarm response.

In the end it’s my fault anyway.

I’ve built no roots here.

I’ve Given Up All My Relationships

What is success anyway?

Am I successful? Because I have X amount of followers and email subscribers?

Because I’m just starting to make money blogging now?

The truth is I’ve given up so much.

All my best friends live somewhere else. I have nobody here in Bel Air, Maryland that’s really my friend.

Gary Vee’s advice of “eat shit and be patient” has really taken a toll. I don’t even go out anymore. I barely see people. I spend 10+ hours a day writing in my room/running a business.

I come downstairs, spend 30 minutes (MAYBE) seeing my parents and eating, then go back upstairs to continue working.

Then I go to sleep and repeat.

For anybody that wants to be successful as a blogger, I’ve probably shattered all your ambitions of doing so.

I’ve Given Up My Parent’s View Of “Success”

I was thinking recently that if I REALLY want the level of success that so many online influencers have, maybe my life’s direction SHOULDN’T look like everybody else’s.

Maybe I shouldn’t get married.

Maybe I shouldn’t heed all the advice of my parents.

That would be like a Stone Mason giving a Computer Programmer career advice.

It just doesn’t make much sense.

And it’s kind of crazy because I’ve always thought I’d get married. I see all my friends doing it and I feel super left out or something.

Like I’m doing something wrong.

But then I realize success, and the progress towards it, basically destroys your personal life. It causes you to make crazy sacrifices just to attain it. It’s selfish, to be honest with you.

But then again isn’t a regular married life kind of selfish?

Don’t we get married and have kids because we don’t want to be alone? That’s definitely not all of the pie, but it’s gotta be some of it.

Deep down inside we all know that’s somewhat true.

I mean, even me sitting down at Applebee’s by myself a few weeks ago was SWELTERINGLY DIFFICULT. It’s honestly really hard to be alone, and show other people you’re alone especially.

But it does make you tougher, though.

There’s a plus.

I’ve Given Up Evenings Where I Do Nothing

I’m always working.

Most people work until 5 PM then come home, eat dinner, and watch shows and TV for five hours. Good for them.

My parents do it. My brother does it.

I love them and they’re amazing people.

But I realized a little while ago that to be successful as a blogger, you have to write a ton of content. Like, a lot.

To the point where you feel like vomiting would be easier than writing one more word.

I started spending my evenings writing, then researching how to write better headlines, then researching how to create a Wordpress blog, then writing some more.

Slowly but surely my evenings melted away as my stats elevated.

My thirst for expertise got stronger and stronger, which came at a cost.

Now I’ll be lucky to watch 20 minutes of TV as I eat dinner.

I’ve Given Up Being Understood

“What do you do, Tom?”

“I make money writing online.”


That’s how it goes.

Nobody seems to care. Nobody seems to even understand what the hell I do all day. I try to explain but when they don’t even know what a webinar is, it’s pretty difficult to paint a vivid picture.

I suppose many successful people go through the same thing.

Society thinks in terms of jobs, insurance, and stability.

My Mom is still trying to get me to work in the Medical Coding field. I think she thinks that someday I’m going to settle down with a job.

Either she doesn’t understand what I plan to do or she doesn’t have faith that I can actually accomplish what I plan to do.


That’s always where human beings want to get to.

They think the only way to get to stability is to work a job, get health insurance, and live a normal life.

That’s stability, right? That’s the main goal?

I don’t care about a normal life. That scares the hell out of me honestly. I don’t want every year of my life to be a re-hash of the same. Some do — and more power to them.

There is no right or wrong answer.

But to ME, the “squiggle” of the family as my Mom likes to call me, I don’t want what everyone else seems to want. And that’s lead people to misunderstand me.

It’s super lonely. It really is. I can’t talk to anybody else about writing online except when I interview influencers for my virtual summit/podcasts.

Then the color returns to my world for a moment.

I’ve Given Up Two Years Of My Life

The last two years have been preparation. I love how Gary Vee says “close your eyes until you’re 30.”

It’s true. There needs to be entire years of your life where you’re working hella hours for what seems to be no reward.

The past two years have been a hodgepodge of mistakes, missed opportunities, and audience building activities.

I’ve given up two years of my life to make any sort of a dent in the blogging world. Like I said before, I really haven’t done that much besides work.

Finally, I’ve Given Up My “Self”

Two and a half years ago I was a totally different person.

I had a lot of ambition, sure, but I was undisciplined. I didn’t really understand what it took to be successful writing online.

Multiple times over the last two years I’ve sacrificed my old self.

It happened slowly.

I sacrificed the old Tom Kuegler when I started writing every day on my Wordpress blog after dinner for two hours.

I sacrificed the old Tom Kuegler when I packed everything up, left my friend in a pool of tears, and sped off across the country.

I sacrifice the old Tom Kuegler now when I push myself into the unknown in any shape or form.

Success ultimately means growth. We need to sacrifice the previous version of ourselves to grow. This is a process that must be repeated over and over again until we die — and it’s a process that honestly sucks.

But it’s what I’ve done multiple times over the last few years.

I’ve given up myself. I will continue to give up myself. Because who I am right now isn’t going to get me to where I will be in the future.

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