I Have $12k In Credit Card Debt
And why I’m not freaking out about it
About a year ago, I made the decision to quit my office job.
But to do what, exactly, I wasn’t quite sure.
I had a lot of ideas, all of them viable. First I thought I could use my engineering skills to design a crock pot for making weed butter that was superior to what was already on the market (I called it “the Cannaster”). Or maybe I could learn to code, and find a cushy remote job as a web developer.
Or what about starting a blog about rock climbing, and selling climbing t-shirts on the side? Better yet, I could get into affiliate marketing and focus my efforts on building landing pages and selling products. There was also erotic fiction — I could take up a pen name and self-publish on Amazon.
Surrounded by all these possibilities, I settled on doing nothing.
I did nothing for a solid six months. All of my ideas were good — for the right person. It was just that none of them were the right fit for me.
Finding my path
Saying I did nothing is maybe a little too harsh.
I spent a lot of time reading. I read blogs of successful freelancers, I read self-help books on how to be more productive, I downloaded and devoured tons of ebooks on entrepreneurship and starting a business.
I slowly started to warm up to the idea that I could be successful doing literally whatever it was that I wanted. I could have picked any one of my ideas above and ran with it. I even read a case study about a guy who makes well into the six figures renting bouncy castles. Bouncy castles.
But whatever path I chose, I would only be successful if that path resonated with me — and resonated hard.
That was the most difficult thing for me to come to terms with.
I couldn’t pick an alias and hide behind my computer screen. I couldn’t trick the world into believing I’m someone I’m not. I had to be authentically myself, and if I was unwilling to do that I might as well start applying for another job.
Once I made the choice to just be me and not care what other people think, the decision to pursue freelance writing came naturally. It was the clearest choice I’ve possibly ever made in my entire life.
There were no doubts, no “what ifs” — it was just, duh, this is what I need to be doing. Period. It was non-negotiable.
If you won’t do something until it’s perfect, you’ll never do anything at all
Even though I knew what I wanted to do, executing on that knowledge was challenging (at first).
I wanted my website to be perfect. I wanted my portfolio pieces to be perfect. I wanted my social media presence to be curated precisely so I could attract the kinds of clients I envisioned working with.
“Winners take imperfect action, while losers are still perfecting the plan.”
— Tony Robbins
Nothing could have been more true. This quote now lives on my laptop’s wallpaper, and I see it every day. I take action every day, even if it’s just a little bit.
Whether this is publishing on Medium, pitching a guest post, or reaching out to a potential client on LinkedIn — I take action.
You won’t see success overnight, until suddenly you do. You’ll wake up one morning and realize you’ve arrived.
For that, you can thank all those small, consistent steps, those little actions you take every day.
Time is money, and I took my sweet, sweet time
Getting to the point where I am now didn’t come quickly. And even now, I still have a lot of work do to do get to where I want to be — to where I know I can be.
The time it took for me to get my mindset right, to think about taking action and plan it all out, and to actually take some action — well, that’s all been expensive.
I had some savings and have used a good chunk of it to pay for things in cash, like rent. Everything else went on my credit card.
And up until a couple weeks ago, I was freaking out about all that debt. I was considering whether or not I should just quit this all right now, and start furiously sending out my resume to as many places as possible.
We’re all taught that there is “good debt” and “bad debt” — and that credit card debt is definitely bad debt.
But here’s the thing: How will freaking out about the balance on my credit card help me achieve my goals? Taking action and working daily towards my goals is the thing that will help me achieve my goals — that’s it.
I recently put all of this into perspective, and it’s pretty simple:
When I’m on my deathbed, will I regret having paid $12k + interest on a credit card? Would I regret paying twice that amount? Will any of that matter?
Or when I’m on my deathbed, will I regret putting my goals on hold to get another office job that I certainly won’t find fulfilling so that I can maybe pay off my credit card a little faster? Would I regret being the person to say “No, not right now” to myself and my goals?
The answer is obvious.
I will keep pushing forward, I will stay persistent, and I will take consistent, deliberate action every single day in pursuit of my goals.
Maybe I could have arrived to where I am now in a little less time.
I’ve heard so much advice to the tune of:
“Get your website set up in ONE DAY!”
“If I can set up a profitable business from scratch in 30 days, SO CAN YOU!”
This advice isn’t inherently wrong. I’m sure it does work for some people.
But the path that I’m on is mine — no one else’s. I choose to accept that, and to do the best that I can every day.
It’s worth every penny.