Discipline, Not Motivation

Time is just zooming by this year. I checked the stats page for WordPress and the last time I wrote a blog was 11 days ago. I don’t understand how it’s been that long but I will write more often.

Yesterday, I sat down and wrote out all the things that require my time. Examples include, work for Bazinga, renovating the house, Invictus Beard, this blog, going to the gym, spending time with family and friends, training Niko, and a few other things that I would like to accomplish. As I wrote out more and more things I was beginning to see what I had already known, I’ve taken on more than I could handle at this moment.

Below that list, I decided to place a list with the most important tasks. It’s a way to prioritize for myself. If I get the things on the latter list completed daily, I know I’ll be in a better position a month, a quarter or a year from now. The challenge is being disciplined enough to complete those tasks.

I’m going to take it easy on myself this time around. I have a tenancy to push to my maximum for a month or so, then begin to slow down and come to a complete halt. I did it with Invictus Beard. I did it with this blog. I did it with many things in the past. I don’t want to do that anymore so I’m taking a different approach.

I was a C student in university. In nearly all my classes Continue reading “Discipline, Not Motivation”

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Excuses

This has been one of those times where I’ve started the blog and deleted everything I’ve writing a few times. This time, whatever hits the page is staying on.

It’s easier to write when I write every day. Only a few things would have happened that I really want to write about and I write about it. Now, it’s hard because it’s been so long since I’ve written something. Eliz came back. She booked nearly everything for the wedding. We will decide on some things together but that’s about it. If everything goes according to plan we should have the house this week. I’m looking forward to it but I’m also anxious. It’s a lot to think about. We went to visit it and there is a lot of work to be done. Things I never even thought about. For instance, I never had to cut grass before because I always lived in a condo. That’s one of the upsides of living in a condo.

Today was hard for me. I’m trying to list my products on Amazon and I’ve been struggling. Everything I try hasn’t worked. Now I need to wait again for approval before I can get the product listed. It feels like it’s taking forever. I may just be impatient. Maybe I’m just mad at myself for those nights that I procrastinated. Although, I don’t think that’s what it was. I don’t think I was procrastinating. Maybe I wasn’t prioritizing it ahead of everything else. I wanted to write. I wanted to spend time with family. I wanted to see friends. I wanted to sleep. Spent most of today on it and I don’t feel like I truly accomplished anything. It’s an overpowering feeling.

It would’ve have been nice to be able to say, at least I finished the listing, but I wasn’t able to complete it. I can only control what I can control. I’ve been sitting here like an upset, grumpy old man because of things I can’t control. I hate when I do that. Then I get more upset because I see that I’m acting that way and wishing I wasn’t. Then when I can’t change it right away I get even more frustrated. It’s a vicious cycle. All the while it’s affecting people’s moods around me.

I feel the need to mention a conversation I had with one of Eliz’s cousins few days ago. We went out to grab a beer and had a great conversation about business, ambition, relationships, Continue reading “Excuses”

Fear Set

I’ve started to learn the Dvorak Keyboard. I’m learning it quickly. I need to make time to work on it.

My products have come in from China for Invictus Beard. I was worried about the quality of it. I was worried about how it would get through customs. I was worried the products may get sent back because I forgot to include “Made in China” anywhere on the label. Luckily all my worries were unwarranted. Mark Twain said, “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.” I like that quote because I tend to worry about the future and be anxious.

I think about this quote often. Anytime I think of scenarios that may happen I pause and remind myself that it’s all hypothetical until Continue reading “Fear Set”

Change

The other day I spoke to my friend. I don’t see him often. He lives an hour away from where I am. He began talking about my blog. I wasn’t even aware he was reading it. He mentioned a post before but I didn’t know he was following my posts.

I’m always nervous when discussing the blog. A lot of what I put out on here is personal. It makes me feel exposed. I feel as if I’m out of my comfort zone. Discussing the blog in person really takes me out of my comfort zone. I didn’t know what he was going to say. I didn’t think he would be malicious or say anything negative but I still felt nervous.

He said my writing has inspired him to write.

That may be the biggest compliment I’ve received regarding my posts. Everyone I’ve talked to mentions they like the realness in my posts. The authenticity. I’m very excited to hear that my posts may inspire someone to do something for themselves. Whether that’s writing. Starting their own business. Having that conversation that they’re afraid to have. If I can be of the slightest help then I feel as if this blog is already rewarding.

Yesterday was Eliz’s birthday. We all went to see Beauty and the Beast. It was a great movie. I felt as if I could really relate to the Beast. I don’t think I was ever intentionally unkind. It’s just I think about how much I’ve grown in the past few months. I think about the younger version of me. How much I’ve changed. Eliz helped me in it immensely. Taught me many lessons.

My Facebook friend list is small. My Twitter is the same. That’s where I’ve been sharing my posts because I was comfortable with people on those lists reading my blogs. Yesterday, for the first time, Continue reading “Change”

Clichés

I finished Tools and Titans by Tim Ferris the other day. Holy crap. What a book. It’s action packed with life lessons by incredible people. I’ve already started re-reading it and tomorrow I’ll go pick up the most mentioned books. I’m a big fan of Tim Ferris. He walks the walk. Not enough people do that anymore. Do something, it’s gratifying. Stop talking about it and walk the walk. You’ll have more energy. You’ll be happier. I’ve been happier in the last few months after starting my online store, Invictus Beard.

I’ve already digressed.

The reason I mentioned ToT is because of a quote I recall about clichés. I’m recalling from memory here so bare with me but what I understood from the quote is “Don’t just push clichés aside.” Really meditate and think about them because they are incredible reminders. They’ve become clichés because they are true.

Let’s think about a common cliché for a moment. “Eat more vegetables”. Everyone says this. If you’re trying to get fit, no doubt you have said this to yourself, yet we push it aside. We don’t really think about it or follow through with it.

Full disclosure here: I am a vegetarian. It’s been 7 months now. Nonetheless, I think the cliché is valid because once I started to eat more vegetables I lost 15 pounds even though I was visiting the gym less. Efficient.

I’m Turkish and we love ourselves some ‘Ata Sozu’ (Turkish Proverbs). There is one for everything it seems. Obviously, the older generation that have grown up in Turkey know more than me but whenever they mention one I’m thinking “Holy crap, that’s so true.”

Since I’ve begun meditating I think deeper about these things. I’ve started to think about Turkey as a country compared to Canada, where I grew up, besides the 4 years I spent in Brooklyn (literally put the bit about Brooklyn in to annoy my friends).

Canada is a younger country. Turkey has a longer history. So think about this for a second. We’ve been told that stories always last throughout the years. In any culture it seems the grandparents tell stories and tales. Well, another quote from ToT “The good shit sticks”.

I think that’s why there are so many Turkish proverbs and clichés. It’s because these are some of the lessons that have been passed down that have become cliché.

Now, the cliché I really want to discuss. “Dream big”. It’s a cliché. It’s a big cliché.

Again, just think about this for a moment here. Dream big.

So simple.

If we continually tell ourselves, I will work for 40-45 years at a 9-5 and then retire when I’m 65 then guess what happens? That happens. You retire at 65 after years of being stuck in traffic, years of being stuck in the office. I think continually telling yourself something is your dream. It should become your goal.

Think and Grow Rich by Neopolian Hill literally asks the readers to come up with a goal. Think of a time frame to achieve it by and repeat it to yourself aloud. Every morning, every night.

The richest people in the world do it. Daymond John does it and he recommends Think and Grow Rich so that’s where I figure he got this idea from.

You get from life what you ask of it. This is more evident to me now than ever. I’m dreaming bigger. I’m asking for more.

I read T&GR 6 or so months ago and I’ve been doing this ever since. Reading my goals aloud to myself. Sure I miss a few mornings, a few nights, a few days but I always make sure to get back to it.

I’ve changed my goals as well. I now have two for family, short and long term. I have one for my financial future. I have one for my health. I have one for Invictus Beard. I have one for my career at Bazinga.

Dream Big. A cliché.

I’ve begun to do it. I don’t know if this cliché has been handed down from generation to generation. I don’t even know if it works yet but I definitely see a difference in my own attitude. I see a difference in the way I think, the way I carry myself, the way I envision my future.

I’m asking for more out of life now. Life is too short. We don’t realize how short it is until it’s too late. Maybe these thoughts are past my 25 years but I’m glad I’m having them now. I realize this great journey is going to come to an end. At one point – 100, 200, 1000 years from now – nothing of me will be left, has been eye opening.

I will do my absolute best to squeeze everything I can out of life. Enjoy small moments. Enjoy time with my family, friends, Niko. Travel. Eat great. Drink well. Meet people. Hear their stories.

It all started with a cliché for me to realize that maybe my goals aren’t even big enough.

Think about other clichés that you’ve been passing off. Not putting any thought to. Something very important may be hiding right there under your nose disguised as a cliché.

My big dreams have become big goals with real dates. I know the dates off by heart. I know how long I have to achieve my goals.

Dream big then dream bigger. Ask more out of life. You may actually wind up getting what you ask for. That’s my hope. We’ll see if it actually pans out.

 

 

 

 

Fail, Don’t Quit

I’ve been working on my site now for a few months and I’ve made some progress. I thought I would be further along but at least it’s moving.

Besides, it was Christmas time, and now people are just coming back from Chinese New Year.

That means there aren’t any excuses left. It’s really time to get the products and make some sales.

Oh, and my friends found out about my store. I was trying to keep it a secret but I think it’s better that they know. Why keep it a secret? Well, what if I fail, it’s not easy to face my group of friends after failing at something. Or, at least that’s what I thought.

A friend of mine mentioned that he doesn’t care if I fail but he’ll destroy me like Lebron did Charles Barkley if I quit.

Makes sense.

I think we are all mature enough to understand you can fail but you can’t quit. At least we should understand. There is a difference between failing and quitting.

I knew my friends would support once I started something but I think I needed to actually start it before telling anyone. There is always a thousand reasons not to do something and I didn’t need to hear any of those reasons from people I respect.

Maybe they would’ve said it’s not the right product to sell. Maybe they would’ve said it’s a bad idea. Maybe they would’ve been supportive right from the start. It doesn’t matter now because this is the way I did it and so far it has worked for me.

I didn’t want to present anyone with the chance to change my mind. When I set out to start my online store only my fiancé knew and if I had her support it was enough.

It seems I’m at the most critical point of my young online store. I have to put up a significant amount of money to order my products.

Some of you may think “So what? Just get on with it” but it’s not that simple.

As I mentioned before we got a doberman now, Niko. What’s that got to do with anything?

Well, he is a big boy now and doesn’t fit in our Honda Civic Coupe. We are looking at buying a new car. Something bigger, an SUV. As you know, the bigger the vehicle, the more expensive it is. Thats expense 1.

I mentioned my fiancé so obviously there is a wedding to consider and where there is a wedding, there is a bachelor party.

I love my group of friends and we want to go on an all inclusive trip. Yeah, I know “Boo-hoo, 25 year old wants to go on an all inclusive and wants to complain it’s too scary to buy products to start a business”. Well you’re right but I’m 25 once. I’m only going to get married once. I’ll only have a bachelor party once, so yeah, I’m spending some money to enjoy with my best friends. That’s expense number 2.

Now, the big expense. The wedding. It’s still a year away but a year goes by real fast. I’ve put some money away already but I know that I’ll still need more. I could put away the money that I would spend on the products and be in a better position for the wedding but my goal is to start a business. That’s expense number 3.

Let’s not forget the everyday expenses. I’ve considered all of this. I’ve also considered the fact that I work at a start up. I think I do a great job but I don’t get paid a lot either. Still probably an entry level or close to an entry level salary. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, these are just the facts.

Basically, what I am trying to say is maybe I don’t have a lot of extra money but at this stage I don’t care. I am willing to take these risks because it’s been a dream of mine to start my own business. I never knew what I would do but I have a great idea of what I want to accomplish.

Despite having all of these expenses, I’ve decided to go ahead and order the products. It may all come crashing down but at least I can say I tried and did something. The potential ROI outweighs the risk in this instance. Actually, I’ve wanted to do this for so long that I already feel like I feel the returns in my mood. I don’t think I’ll fail. I definitely don’t plan to. Even if I do, I’m going to keep trying until I find a way to reach my goals.

One thing is for certain though, I can’t quit because Barkley got it bad from Lebron but I’ll get it worse from my boys.

 

 

Finally

I’m finally doing it. I think.

I read 4 Hour WorkWeek almost 2 years ago. I told myself I would start something for myself. I didn’t say I would quit my day job. I like my job. Although, it’s getting pretty rough nowadays. Good thing about it is I get to work from home. Few of my friends have been asking what’s holding me back from starting my own thing?

I don’t really have an excuse. I don’t get stuck in traffic every night. I don’t have kids. Nothing is consuming my time outside of work hours. So why haven’t I started something?

I didn’t know where to start. I kept putting it off. Day after day.

“I’ll do something tomorrow.”

“What should I do? ”

“How would I do it?”

“What if I fail?”

“What if I lose money on it?”

“It’s okay, you don’t have too many responsibilities yet. I’ll be okay. Alright, I’ll start something tomorrow.”

Repeat.

This went on for about a year or so.

Then I began to realize that I am wasting my time. Realizing is different than actually doing something about it. I’d say to myself:

“I know I shouldn’t be watching re-runs of Friends. Do something. Start something.”

“I know I shouldn’t start a new show on Netflix. I should be starting a business. Doing something.”

“I know sports aren’t that important. But the Raps are facing the Cavs. I should be doing something. Starting something. I’ll just start tomorrow!”

Then this went on for about a year or so.

Frustrating.

Then I went to lunch with someone I admire. A client. Young guy that started his own business. He’s making great money. Sitting a few rows behind the Raps bench. Season tickets.

During this time I was suffering a concussion. Worst thing ever. Can’t watch TV. Can’t read. Can’t listen to music. Can’t be out in too much light. Brain chemistry is messed up. It’s not a great place to be.

I decided to listen to Tim Ferris’ podcast. He interviews extraordinary people. I enjoyed the questions he would ask. “What’s your morning routine?”, “What’s your favourite book?”, “What’s the last book you gave as a present?”.

Back to my lunch. Having been hearing these questions, I asked if he likes to read. He told me he read Think and Grow Rich. Suggested I read it too.

I did. It’s amazing.

It’s amazing because it made me realize one thing. I am the only thing holding myself back from starting something for myself.

So I decided to start something. Really start a business.

I began to re-read 4HWW. There’s a portion that suggests one contact a person that has found success in what one is trying to achieve.

I want to start an online store. I know this because I created a goal while reading T&GR. It’s simple really. Make a lot of money, and have a lot of time to do things I love.

So I decided to look for successful online stores.

I came across Steve Chou. This guy has started a course about selling products online. He has done it. His wife quit her job so they can do it together. So I signed up. It’s been pretty great so far.

We’ll see how it all turns out.