Never give up. That’s the one mantra I stand by. It doesn’t matter how often my plans go up in smoke or someone tells me I can’t make it on my own I repeat that and move on.
I am a small business man with an ecommerce store selling flip flops who will one day travel the World. I have worked for the big boys and escaped to tell the tale. I am as happy as I can remember and looking forward to the future. But how did I get here given recent events?
It wasn’t always thus. I’ve had bouts of depression my whole life. They are as much a part of me as are my toenails, not massively handy but just something that is there. It took me a long time to come to terms with them (my bouts of depression, not my toenails) and find a way to keep them at bay. One of the keys was learning never to give up, never to allow the negatives cloud in on the positives, to always be ready to fight back when the darkness closes in.
You have to be this way if you’re to make it on your own in business. Sometimes I feel like I’m fighting the World and myself. That’s why I have to focus, stay on track, keep smiling and not let my guard down. If I slack off for even a few hours I know I won’t get a buzz of gratification come the end of the day for a job well done.
And yet working on your own in your own start up business can be tough going. You have to constantly motivate yourself when incomes are low. You have to move and adapt to every opportunity that presents itself and always build new skills and processes for doing things. Above all you have to rely on yourself because you have no safety net; you’re literally climbing the mountain face without a harness. Just don’t look down and don’t stop to contemplate what you’ve got yourself in for.
I work every hour available to develop my business. It’s not always easy when you have to turn down the 100th invite from friends who haven’t seen you for months. It’s no fun when your girlfriend wants to come round and you have to say no because you need to attend an online seminar from which you’ll gleam but 1 pearl of wisdom from 3 hours of intense boredom.
These are the sacrifices you make and the thing is I wouldn’t change it for the World. For I have a dream. One day I plan to escape these shackles and travel the World with my beautiful girlfriend. I have forsaken steady income, food and, in short, a life for over two years now all in pursuit of the dream.
I am single minded. I believe I can do it. I’ve gambled my life’s savings on the fact I can do it. I am teetering on the edge. And you know what? I’m happier than I’ve ever been.
I feel alive, truly alive, something I never felt when I was working for Big Goliath Corp. I was only working there because a previous incarnation of me had tried and failed to launch his favourite friend’s band in the music industry some years before. Deep in debt but full of spirit and stories following events I will never forget I had to take the hand that feeds and boy was it a mistake.
Earning big money does not maketh me happy.
I found that out the hard way. It seemed the more I earned the less my soul beamed. I felt like I barely had to turn up to work and they gave me another pay rise or a bonus. I realised that when you’re in the big league a little leftfield uncaring thinking can actually be rewarded and the more I did it and the more they paid me the further I felt from myself.
So I quit. I jumped. I left. I ran. I was depressed, close to crazy with a ballooning whisky habit and a slipped disc in my back but at least I was free.
And since then I’ve not looked back. Yes the big money would help, yes the chance to holiday would not be a bad thing but the love of the girl I met before I jumped ship and the never ending belief that I am close to the promised land means I am more upbeat and happy with my decision at each passing hour.
I believe you have one life to live, no rehearsals, no second chances. You either put up or you shut up. Well I’m putting up no matter what happens. This is my life and it’s ending one second at a time. But boy am I enjoying it.
See you on the beach.