Taking the hit.

or, what are you waiting for? 🤔

Starting a business is super freeing and exciting and fulfilling — all the good things they say. But it’s a massive amount of work, and a huge risk.

It feels a little like trying to run across a freeway. Repeatedly.

Or taking a punch I guess. I don’t know. That hasn’t happened to me (yet), but that’s what people say.

When there is a real decision to be made about what to do for your work, a lot of people choose what’s familiar, or some other thing, over The Thing they really want. What’s different is hard, and requires sacrifice and not a lot of us are up for that. Especially for any extended amount of time. And a lot of us like to offload responsibility.

Maybe it’s because we listen to the Mammoth too much. Or maybe we don’t know our why.

So we ride the roller coaster moving from job to job for one reason or another, and it overall seems okay and is expected so it’s not a big deal.

But at some point, you might realize you’re on largely the same track as everyone else and your fate is always in someone else’s hands. Internal and external forces moving you around like a pawn until you die, never doing any of the things you hoped to do.

And you never even really tried. I mean really actually tried.

Now maybe you care about that, maybe you don’t. There’s a ton of people who are completely happy to just ride, and focus their efforts in other areas.

And that’s ok honestly. It’s not an us vs. them thing. It’s not a good or bad, or even good vs. better. There’s this super annoying tendency for people to set up this “entrepreneurs-are-better-than-or-more-special-than-everyone-else” we’re-a-different-type-of-breed polarization persona which is total 💩. You know how I feel about that.

Different doesnt equal distinction or destiny. It just doesn’t. And I don’t care about that at all really. It’s about longevity. Legacy, not destiny. The long game not the short run.

Which is why if you’re the kind of person who gets annoyed with the rug being pulled out from under you, or feel like you’re always at the whim of someone else and you hate that, maybe it’s time you actually did something about it.

At least make your own rollercoaster.
At least be more prepared when the punches are coming. 
At least know when you work a lot more hours than you’re paid for, it’s not wasted.

When you’re just sitting at a job taking a paycheck, there’s a false sense of security that sets in that makes everything bad that happens to you feel so shocking and unfair. You can work as hard as you want and then everything can change on you suddenly without warning.

I know because I’ve been there. A couple times actually. It’s super frustrating.

But what I realized finally, was that it didn’t help to keep delaying what I felt was inevitable because of whatever circumstances I was in. I wasn’t going to take one more job to “stay secure” while I tried to start something on the side. I know some people can pull that off, but with the way I work and pour myself into what I do, I knew I would always be stuck. Not stuck in a job necessarily, but stuck in a way of thinking. So I haven’t even ruled out ever taking a full time job again. Trevor and I have talked about that option. It’s just everything I do now has to filter through a long game perspective. For the right reasons.

Which simply means at the core, I just have to stop waiting a bit more, saving a bit more, planning a bit more, calculating a bit more, learning a bit more. All the while actually doing less.

One way or another, most of us are going to spend most of our lives working. Either because we want to, or because we have to. Doesn’t really matter which.

The point is, we don’t have unlimited time. Your life can fit on a piece of paper. 👈🏼 Go ahead, print that and mark off where you’re at today. Because honestly that sheet is best case scenario for most of us.*

We don’t even know what size sheet we’re going to end up with. Some of us will only get a post-it. While others will check out with a full legal size.

It’s like you’ve got this printer. Remember those?

It’s printing in tiny increments every day, and it’s been printing since day 1. So you kind of assume as you grow up that it will always be that way. Wake up, yawn, glance over. Yup. Still printing.

And so each day you wake up and aren’t dead, the delusion that there is endless ink and endless paper gets stronger unless you really fight it.

And the daily patterns and ups and down are always super hard to quantify. It’s hard to see the big picture when the now is constantly in your face. The minutia and details of minutes, days, hours, weeks, months, and years make everything feel like such a bigger deal than where you’re going or what you’re doing or the final impact you’ll have.

You definitely don’t think about the fact that one day suddenly your printer will just stop printing and spit out your life-sheet into the history books as you roll into your grave. At that point, whatever is printed is printed and that’s it. Super depressing I know.

Unless you do something about it.

It sucks that I’m 30 already. 1/3 of my life is over if I’m lucky. Realistically with health or mobility or sanity or whatever, I basically just kind of assume now that I’m about halfway through my most productive print cycle.

And I spent so much of it not really pushing hard to do things I’ve always really wanted to do.

Now, that doesnt mean that I didn't really enjoy things I’ve done, places I’ve worked, or that if I had started back then with less knowledge, less information, less experience — whatever — I’d be guaranteed to be able to do what I’m doing today. I’d have missed being friends with a lot of amazing people too.

It’s just I have a different perspective now. I’ve learned a ton over the last 10 years, but I also have a sneaking suspicion that if I had just started earlier I could have learned the same things — just in different ways.

This whole time is running out thing isn’t new either. Obviously. Gary Vaynerchuk talks a lot about this too.

But in finally starting Foyyay, it’s taken on new weight for me. As we’re making products, working with people I really enjoy, partnering with clients, and carrying the weight of this new Thing, I find that in spite of the crazy challenges and long hours, I’m more and more okay with taking the hit on any level. Time, money, sleep, or whatever else — as we move forward to make this a reality.

At least for a while.

So that — even if I get punched in the face, or my rollercoaster flips upside down, or my paper gets crumpled or cut in half, I’ll have done something that I wanted to do. Or at least I’ll have tried.

The longer you wait to take the hit, the more it’s going to hurt, and the longer you’ll take to recover because you have more and more to lose and less and less energy. It’s the whole breaking your arm as a kid vs. breaking your arm as an older person. Recovery just takes longer. It’s science.

So maybe it’s time to quit your job. Pause watching Netflix and work on your own idea and dream instead. Move. Get something started even if it’s going to cost you something or be more uncomfortable than what you’re doing now. Shaking things up and shuffling the deck doesn’t change your odds, but it will change your outcome. It will cost you, but it doesn't have to ruin you. And you’ll probably enjoy things a lot more when you’re doing something you care about and have control over.

And again, that doesn’t just mean Foyyay for me. It could mean a lot of things and take a lot of different forms. But overall, I’m just done not doing the things I actually want to do when it comes to the biggest slice of my life.

It’s time to take the hit, so I can get back up and make my dent.

*You should definitely read this if you haven’t already. And you might as well just subscribe to Wait But Why because it’s great.

Let me know what you think, heart this post, follow Thoughts from Foyyay, or just say hi to me on Twitter. Or, you can tell me to stop writing and just keep my feet moving with my fists up: @erichoekendorf