I wrote this back in April, but it’s worth reposting here:
I did a personal Q&A straight from The 4-Hour Workweek (fantastic book!). Here are the results (was written stream of consciousness so typos abound – names have been removed for privacy):
1. Define your nightmare: I quit my job and do not become profitable in time, loans ..well, i guess those wouldn’t kick back in because i’d be unemployed, but they’d still accumulate and then I lost X-amount of repaymentime, but in the end that’s kind of irrelevant because my whole plan is to make so much damn money that loans can be payed off ina single year… anyways, so i am stuck living with my parents while i get my shit together, they think i’m throwing my degree away and being an lazy ass and selfish and entitled and idealistic, my girlfriend is frustrated because now she’s once more having to bend her life around my career/life choices, i can’t afford an engagement ring for her and wedding is out of the question. that my chosen pursuit of a company/field/product/service is going to fail, be unwanted or not profitable. that i’ll end up working just as much if not moreso for a cause that is emotionally draining, habitually discouraging, and not profitable in the least bit…my friends would think i’m stupid and unsuccessful because i’m not doing anything and living with my life.. i’d have to face my friends parents and family friends and tell them what i’m doing (or failing to do) on a frequent basis, feeling like i’ve made the wrong choice and that i’m entitled and a huge drain on the sanity and bank accounts of my parents. that i’d burn bridges with the good people of CompanyX, that i’d let them down, and that i’d never find another job as ‘perfect’ as this. worse yet, i’d never find a job in videogames again, or in anything ‘cool.’ Does that really matter? lastly, my girlfriend’s family woudl think i was a bum and being foolish, lazy, or a combination of all three. that my prospects for their son-in-law would dim significantly, or their enthusiasm for those prospects… that i’d end up right back where i am now, but with no girlfriend, no ‘dream job’, 2x the debt, 1/2 the monthly income, and a whole boat load of failure.
2. Steps I Would Take to Repair Damage: I’d find a job, anywhere (but preferably in somewhere cool like game industry, could ask my girlfriend’s cousin to hire me at his company), I’d save up enough to move out, anywhere cheap, or at least to show my parents that i’m not a total bum. I’d alter my loans strucutre to afford me a more reasonable payment plan, i’d contact ,my old job and see if they’d hire me back. … i guess that’s pretty much it. Pay off any loans i’ve taken from people to start the business or live there.
3. If I Succeeded: I’d have a profitable company that allows me to pay off my loans, pay for everything in my life, take my girlfirend and my family on vacations, buy the beach house, send my parents on a much earned vacation, buy whatever clothes and stuff I want, outsource and automate a lot of my business prospects so i have free time, FREETIME GANDALF!, spend time with my lover, family, especially the little ones, and my friends. read books and rekindle my interests and passions for science, literature, history, art, etc. feel happy and at peace with life, feel like i’m living rather than surviving. feel like a kid again, feel young, feel powerful, feel confident and sure-footed, feel bold and brave, feel entrepreneurial and fearsome, clever and dashing. feel proud and well-liked, feel like i can provide and that people admire me, feel attractive and wanted, feel free and …well.. fuck free! feel like i’m making my ancestory proud and making a name for myself and my family, providing a sure future for my own family, removing the want for money, feeling like i’m establishing ‘survival skills’ for any economy, any political or social situation.. in other words whatever life throws at me i’ll be able to bounce back, be clever, and turn a profit to improve my life and those around me, feel like a cool dude, feel like a badass. be able to think, sleep, and other things with a calm spirit, calm heart, and clear head. peace.
4. If I was Fired Today: I’d count my current savings, see how long that would last me with regards to paying off my car payments, look at that as my window to get shit profitable or at least ‘proven’, set up a temporary office in my family’s garage or wherever… basically do what i’ve been wanting to do, start a business and be entrepreneurial. If I had to get back, I’d just apply to those places with abandon, but more than likely i’d tap the networks i already have to see where that takes me, i’m an entrepreneur now, afterall, so i can increase yield anywhere. Oh, and I’d also go out and celebrate, run in a field, go to the beach, hang out with my girlfriend, fucking relaxxxxxx. Get some damn sleep for once. feel healthy, spend time with family, oh shit this sounds really nice.
5. What I’m Putting off because of Fear: I’m scared to talk to people, namely to tell my bosses and coworks that I’m leaving them, of telling my parents and my girlfriend’s parents that i’m quitting to pursue an amorphous concept of a company with no real guarantee for success. I’m scared of facing myself and the challenging road ahead, I’m scared of failing and feeling 100X more screwed than i already feel. I’m scared of grovelling, I’m scared of trading one yoke for another, I’m scared of finding that there ISNT more to life, and that I will be stuck wiht a 9-5 forever…that i’ll be trapped… that i’ll never be free of that, never in command of my own life and my own time. Mark was right when he said I shouldn’t join the Military.
6. What is it Costing Me to Postpone: My health, first and foremost is taking a really shitty hit. I wake up every morning and go to sleep every night feeling like my arteries and heart are becoming brittle and acidic, i feel my skin is getting drier and wrinklier, my body is aging prematurely, my body is fat and unattraqctive, i’m grumpy and miserable, i’m MORE selfish and less attuned to the needs/feelings of others. that i’ll have a heart attack at this rate. I’ll never have abs or good shoulders/pecks. Economically, it’s preventing me from ever breaking 60 figs in the near term, from paying off my loans, it’s keeping me a slave to them and that ever distancing goal of repayment. i enjoy an income, but i’d prefer 50k+, and i think it’s necessary to repay my loans, otherwise i’m always going to have those hanging over my head, and i don’t want to be constantly thinking about them for the next decade of my life!!!
7. What Am I Waiting for: Fear….for there not to be fear. Damn. It’s just fear. JUST fear.