This Is How Quickly Things Can Change In 2 Years
Before I started contributing at The Huffington Post..
Before I starred in a viral video that got 600,000 views..
Before I had 13,000 Medium followers..
I went to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
As I drove towards Downtown Disney three hours ahead of my Opening-Night showtime, I started wondering about my future as a writer.
I wanted one thing and one thing only..
To travel the world and write at the same time. To create a YouTube Channel. To create a successful blog. To be well-known in the blogger-sphere.
I had none of these things, and I was clueless about my life, so I thought ahead..
Just like Luke Skywalker.
All I knew was I was about to see a Star Wars movie.
I was shaking with excitement.
My Writing Accomplishments From 2015
- Started a stupid blog called “Tommy In Orlando”
- Wrote for The Inquisitr, one of the biggest news sites in the world.
- Fired myself from a freelancing job because my boss figured out I was playing free Poker on the clock. I hated that job.
- Was making a solid $200 per week (before taxes) from freelance writing.
- Had 0 Email Subscribers.
- Didn’t even know what an email list was.
I’ll Spare You The Rest
Basically guys, I was a hot mess. I accepted Upwork jobs that were paying pennies for my time.
I didn’t want to get a real job either because, well, my soul literally couldn’t take it.
I went to see Star Wars because of Luke Skywalker.
I felt like him.
I felt like my life was meant for something more. I felt like the universe was calling me somewhere else, but I was stuck in Orlando.
My only escape from reality was to see Star Wars, so I did.
What Happened After Star Wars
The Force Awakens blew me away, but it was also slightly disappointing. Not because it was bad, it’s just—I don’t know — I was expecting more.
I was expecting to levitate out of the theatre.
I was expecting the universe to give me a sign that everything was going to be okay.
I had to forget about Star Wars. Sure, I bought the Blu-Ray and watched it about 100 times since, but all that could REALLY hold me over until today was the horrible Rogue One (Yeah, it was horrible).
But the question remains:
Did I accomplish what I thought I would as a writer during the last two years?
The answer is hell yeah.
Hell yeah and more.
What I Accomplished In 2 Years As A Writer
- Racked up 3,000+ email subscribers.
- Wrote at The Huffington Post, Thought Catalog, and Elite Daily.
- Went from no-name blogger to 13,000+ followers and 50,000 monthly views to all of my articles.
- Sold an online course and made $3,500 in 3 days.
- Wrote a viral post that received more than 100,000 views in 24 hours.
- Interviewed mega-experts like Chris Brogan (NY Times Best-Selling Author), Murray Newlands, and Dorie Clark.
- Road-tripped across the country for 5 months, visiting places like San Francisco, Austin, Glacier National Park, and Denver.
- Created a Medium Publication with 6,000+ followers and 50+ writers.
I could go on, but you get the gist.
I could’ve never dreamed of the things I would go on to accomplish after getting out of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Here’s what I learned on my quest — expect Star Wars jokes ahead.
A Month Goes By Quicker Than You Think
Forget a day, or an hour, or thirty minutes.
A month goes by hella quick.
Like seriously, I can remember September like it was yesterday.
The bad part about this?
It’s easy to lose yourself in time and take life for granted.
The good part about this?
The fruits of consistent work have never materialized so quickly.
As of a month ago I had never made a REAL dime from my writing.
I could’ve very easily called this article “This Is How Quickly Things Can Change In A Month.”
BECAUSE THEY DID.
I sold my first online course (a LONG time goal of mine), and have been working with 16 amazing students ever since.
This accomplishment was like busting through a concrete wall. A very small percentage of bloggers make over $1,000 from their writing EVER.
But this all gets back to steady, consistent work.
I wrote over 500 blog posts since The Force Awakens.
I started three different blogs since The Force Awakens.
I spent thousands of hours perfecting my craft since The Force Awakens.
I put in so much work that the months slowly melted away. Now here I am, staring The Last Jedi right in the face.
A month goes by quicker than you think. Put in work steadily over time and the months will fall off your shoulders like water in a shower.
Do Or Do Not, There Is No Try
Commit to it or do nothing.
Nobody has the time to try something only to quit two weeks later.
You’re Much Closer Than You Think
I became a contributor at The Huffington Post out of nowhere. I got an acceptance email from Elite Daily out of nowhere.
I thought up my first online course in a week.
The truth is we’re so much closer to success than we think — even though we feel like it’s a million miles away.
I never thought I’d release an online course until at least May of 2018.
I never thought I’d be featured in a viral video that got 600,000 views.
Guys, many times our estimation of how quickly things can happen turns out to be way off.
Rey went from not knowing who Luke Skywalker was to physically meeting him in, like, 3 days.
The only thing that’s stopping most of us from trying something REALLY bonkers is fear. I was scared to death of releasing an online course because that was the farthest ahead that I had ever planned.
What if nothing happens?
That scared the crap out of me.
Just do it anyway. Constantly search for the end of the road. You’ll find it’s much longer (and the end much closer) than you actually think.
Stupidity Is Doing Something When Everybody Says You’re Wrong — But That’s Also Genius
I don’t have to tell you about Luke turning off his targeting computer in Episode 4. Basically everybody in the war room was probably thinking ‘This kid has lost his damn mind!’
But then he uses the force and sends two proton torpedoes straight down the Empire’s throat. It was, how Han Solo describes it, a one-in-a-million shot.
Oh Star Wars, you mean so much to me.
It’s always been about feelings, ambition, discovery, and family.
Throughout my life Star Wars has given me the clearance to pursue my dreams. Always.
When I walked into The Force Awakens two years ago I was hoping to get the same thing.
That thumbs up from the universe.
I did. I did and more.
That’s why it means so much to me. Now these movies act as a benchmark for my own journey. I can remember where I was when each new one came out.
I can also reflect on how far I’ve come.
What better time for them to come out than in my twenty-somethings?
I remember Yoda says this to Luke on Dagoba..
“A Jedi must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind…. All his life has he looked away…to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing. Hmph. Adventure. Heh. Excitement. Heh. A Jedi craves not these things. You are reckless.”
I feel reckless. I feel like I’m always looking ahead to the future — but that’s all of us I think.
We are all Luke Skywalker.
That’s why Star Wars has resonated with so many.
We all want adventure without thinking about the costs. We all want something more.
Maybe by the time the next movie comes out I can look back on where I am now with the same smile.
Maybe I will have learned.
Two years seems like it was such a long, long time ago.
The truth is it wasn’t.
But that’s either the scariest — or the best — part of it all.
If you’re interested in making money blogging like me, I have a free 5-day email course called “Your First 1,000 Medium Followers” that will teach you how to build an audience here on Medium! Sign up for it right here.