Stop Consuming. Start Creating.

How to be a Doer.

Jul 26, 2017 · 3 min read
Photo by Twenty20.

Originally posted on Quora by Josh Fechter.

After a year of hard learning lessons as a founder, I lost my company.

I then took a job as the VP of marketing for a small startup. Six months later I was unemployed.

No one wanted to hire me. I even tried a Hail Mary pass by spending the last of my savings interviewing across California. After three months of countless rejections from recruiters and employers, I was broke.

I moved into my Dad’s small apartment. Without any space, we had to sleep in the same room. He slept on the floor. I slept on an air mattress.

I was mentally exhausted from failure. I took a low-pay copywriting job to pass the time and save money.

I stopped talking to many friends and isolated myself from the world to focus on self-improvement.

During this time, I read one-hundred-and-twenty books about business, psychology, and marketing. When I stopped reading, I noticed something.

My life hadn’t changed.

Even though I felt smarter, more creative, and capable, I was in the same place.

I had taken no action to get a better job, make more money, or create something valuable for others.

It was here I began to understand the power of becoming a doer. Over the next two years, I would optimize my life for taking action.

It started with replacing my consumption activities with creation:

  • Writing over reading.
  • Shooting video over browsing YouTube.
  • Meeting people rather than spending time on Facebook.

To create more, I had to optimize my schedule.

  • I exercised at home instead of commuting to the gym.
  • I ran to destinations instead of walking to them.
  • I said “no” to 99% of meetings.

Rather than reading over one hundred books in the following year, I wrote over three hundred blog posts and a book.

Rather than watching YouTube videos, I shot over three hundred videos in the following two years.

Rather than relying on a gym to exercise, I worked out with what I had. Now, I compete in triathlons and obstacle course races.

I’m on the left.

To become a doer, I had to replace all my consumption habits with creation. This meant throwing out my T.V. and video game consoles, no fancy dinners, and avoiding the party scene.

At first, it’s hard. You feel withdrawal. You sit at your laptop for a half hour just trying to type one sentence. Nothing comes out except a few curse words from frustration.

You must keep moving forward because it does get better.

Gradually, you adopt the creator mindset. Ideas start buzzing in your head. It’s only a few, but as you create more, you become an idea machine. The only way you can fall asleep at night is to jot down your thoughts.

You can’t wait to start doing again to get all these ideas out in the open. When you wake up, you feel a new jolt of energy because you’re about to give a piece of yourself to the world.

From morning to night, you’re executing with almost zero breaks. You can sit at a laptop and bang out a thousand-word blog post in an hour. You begin to see opportunities in every hour and minute.

When you have a ten-minute wait for your Uber driver to arrive, you knock out two hundred push-ups. When you’re on a lunch break, you answer Quora questions.

People begin to recognize your ability as a doer.

They see your hustle and grit.

It’s true. You’re confident you can step into any situation and create value because all your actions say so.

You’ve lost all attraction to consumption.

You’re a pure doer. Nothing in life is going to stop you.

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