This might be the most controversial post I ever wrote
And a lot of you might not agree with me, but…
Everybody can do what I’m doing. Everybody!
And it doesn’t matter how old or how young you are. Or how much or how little money you have. Or what your current job is. Or how big or small your mortgage is. Or in which country you live. Everybody can do it!
The only thing you need is a laptop and an internet connection. Heck, you can even do this with a smartphone. And I’ve been to some of the poorest countries in the world. And everybody has a smartphone there. And I don’t even have a smartphone.
Just a laptop. A laptop is much cheaper than those fancy smartphones. And more useful. And if you’re reading this right here, if you’ve somehow magically found out about me, you’ve basically already passed the most important test. You know how to find good stuff online ;-)…
That’s really all you need. And the willingness to learn new things. New skills. And that’s already about it. And again, as you’re reading this you’ve basically already passed step one. The second step is to get going.
You can even start if you don’t have any skills right now. When I started three years ago all I could do was to write emails and call people. That’s all the tangible skills I had when I left business school. I couldn’t do anything else, except telling people what to do. That’s really all you learn when you major in business.
And 100% of the things I’m doing now are things I haven’t learned in school or at university. As a matter of fact, if I had listened to my teachers I would probably never have started writing anything. I was the worst student in class when it came to writing essays. THE WORST. I almost failed high school. That’s how bad I was.
And now most of the things I’m doing are based on things I was pretty bad at when I started. And we’re all bad at everything when we’re starting. No matter what. We all suck. And the only way to get better at anything is to keep doing it.
I’ve now been writing for more than three years. But just creating stuff isn’t enough. Write it and they will come doesn’t work. Just like create it and they will come doesn’t work. Or produce it and they will come doesn’t work.
That’s what I had to learn the hard way when I released my first book in 2013. If you don’t have an audience, if you don’t know how to send traffic to a website, if you don’t know how to setup a simple website, if you don’t know how to sell stuff, if you’ve never sold anything to anyone in your life then you’re pretty much screwed.
I had no clue about any of this back in 2013. So I had to learn all of this. And no one taught me how to do this. I had to learn everything from scratch. And because I was so clueless and didn’t have enough money to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on online courses the way I did it was by trial and error.
I went from one thing to the next. I was so insecure about how to price my stuff that in the beginning I gave it away for free. And then I asked people to pay as much as they wanted. And then I went to $10 ebooks. And then to packages of up to $100.
But it was a very slow process. I basically didn’t spend anything on anything. I was bootstrapping everything. And did everything myself. Just until recently I did everything myself. Even the covers for my books. I learned how to do all of it. The first time I hired someone to do something for me was to create the cover for this book right here.
If you really want something, you don’t need a lot of money. If you really want something bad enough, you’ll figure it out. No matter what. And the best thing is always when you’re up against the wall. When you don’t have a lot of money. When the only option you have is to succeed. Because then you’d have to be creative.
Heck, I got so creative that I’m now even teaching these techniques to other people. Just the other day I got an email from someone who works at a big stock exchange in Europe and she asked me if I could show the companies they’ve invested in how they can achieve the biggest impact with basically zero cash.
Here’s the thing…
The more money you have, the bigger your mistakes will be. But the mistake and the learning will always be the exact same. No matter if you’re losing $5 or $50,000. Sure, you’ve gotta be wiling to learn from your mistakes first. No matter how big or small. If you don’t, then no money in the world will help you.
So why do I think than anyone can do what I’ve done, no matter where they’re from or how much or how little money they have?
Simply because this whole thing is about time. And patience. And consistently putting in the work. And the willingness to learn new things. And getting back up again. Over and over again. There really are no shortcuts. You can’t cut corners.
Here’s how it really works…
The longer you’re around, the more people will know about you. It’ simple math. The longer you’re around, the more often you’re showing up, the more people will take you serious. The more people will start to notice. It’s that simple.
And of course, you’ve gotta implement all the things you’ve learned along the way. And constantly tweak what you’re doing. If no one ends up reading your stuff or buying your stuff you know that something might be wrong about it.
Maybe you have to take a look at how to build your audience. Maybe you’ve gotta figure out how to send traffic to your site. Maybe you’ve gotta learn how to write better copy. Maybe you’re targeting the wrong audience. Maybe you’ve gotta learn how Facebook ads work. There are millions of reasons.
And only you can find out what those reasons are. No one else can.
And having a family or a mortgage is no excuse. As a matter of fact that should push you even more. Simply because your job is not safe. Nothing is safe anymore. And the ONLY way to make sure that you’ll always be there for your family is to diversify your income streams. To diversify your risk. Your skills. Your life.
I know it’s tough. But that’s really the only way.
Who am I to be talking about kids, family and mortgage anyway? I don’t have any of this. So what the hell do I know? I don’t know anything about it. But I know that if something is important to me, then I’ll not have just one plan.
I’ll have many different plans. Especially when your plan A is a very shaky plan based on other people who can fir you whenever they want to. I’ll diversify my risk. So when the shit hits the fan I can still be there for that someone. Or those someones…
So when your main income stream disappears, your job for example, you should always have a few more aces up your sleeve. Sure, this is not going to happen over night. This is a year long process. And there’s no blueprint for it. It’s all about trial & error. And consistency. And never giving up.
And the best thing you can do right now is to keep your job for as long as you can and figure out all of this other stuff on the side. Simply because it’s a lot easier to run a trial & error process when you don’t have a gun pointed at your head.
Because when you’re trying to figure all of this out when you don’t have a job anymore, when the shit hit the fan, it’s like having a gun pointed at your head. And when you only have a maximum of six tries until that one bullet in that gun will hit your head, then this is a hell lot of pressure.
Look. It doesn’t matter if you’re living in the US, India, Germany, China or the Ukraine. You can do this from everywhere. All you need is an internet connection. You can learn all of these things by either using my approach, which is probably the slower approach and learn everything yourself by trial & error or you take a look at some of the hundreds of online courses out there and then get going and see whether or not those techniques work for you.
Heck. You’d probably be even a lot faster than me. I wasn’t able to do anything. I could only tell people how to do things. I could only delegate. And manage. But it’s hard to tell people to do things if you don’t have money in exchange for the stuff they should do for you.
And again. There are no shortcuts. It will take a while. Probably a lot longer than you might think right now. If you think it’ll take 1 year, it’ll probably take 10 years. If you think it’ll take 2 years, then it might take 5 years. And so on.
And at the end of the day it all boils down to sacrifice. The more you’re willing to sacrifice right now, the more work you’re willing to put in right now, the more you’ll potentially be able to get further down the road. But there’s no guarantee for it. Ever.
I guess it’s true what they say…
You’ve gotta live like no one else ever will for a couple of years, to be able to live the rest of your life like no one else ever can.
Look. Here’s how I see things…
If you’re not willing to sacrifice anything right now, if you’re not willing to sacrifice the dinners with your friends, if you’re not willing to sell your car, if you’re not willing to move into a smaller apartment, if you’re not willing to work 12–16 hours a day for a few years, then you might not be serious enough about it. Then you might not believe enough in yourself. And if you don’t believe in yourself, then no one else ever will.
Over the years so many people have sent me their stuff and asked me for feedback. And I told all of them the same thing. Send me another email when you’ve written 30 blog posts. Or when you have your first 30 paying clients. Or when you’ve written your third book.
And guess from how many people I’ve heard back over the years?
Zero. Yapp. That’s right. No one ever got back in touch with me.
And I’ll say it again.
Everybody can do what I’m doing. Everybody can do this.
But I guarantee you that almost no one ever will…
P.S. Just a quick heads up. I’ve put together a comprehensive list of the best entrepreneurship courses on Udemy to get you started. They’re all just $10 for the next two days or so. I really wish they had this when I started. The list includes courses on copy writing, blogging, web design, social media, personal branding and a few more. I also got a few of them. Like Seth Godin’s course on Leadership. Or an Ebay dropshipping course. Or Gary Vaynerchuk’s course on personal branding. You can check out that list and the courses here.