4 Months to Self-Employment

So about a year or so ago I came up with the goal to achieve “self-employment by 30”. In the time since then, I’ve flailed around from one idea to the next, unsuccessfully moving toward that objective. Sure, I’ve learned a lot, and even made $40 in sales off of an experiment with a cover letter writing business. Now, I’ve got about 5 months till I turn 30 so, assuming at least one month of time will be eaten up with holidays, that gives me 4 months to earn enough on my own to live off of. In just four months, I hope to have a business up and running. Ideally, it will also be running well enough to support me working on it full-time.

Now, I’m well aware that this is a challenging prospect and that more likely than not I will achieve self-employment during my 30th year or even sometime thereafter. But this truncated timeline can also be seen as an advantage, forcing me to focus on the right activities and disallowing any procrastination through inaction or “research”. I believe it was Jeff Bezos who recommends using 10x thinking, which essentially has you putting even crazier restrictions on your situation to force you into pursuing ideas and actions that will bring 10 times the result. So, if I use 10x thinking and do 80/20 analysis, I should be able to accomplish much of my objective by then, if not accomplish it entirely.

This will require me to discard a lot of emotional and egotistical baggage, not to mention unlearning many lessons and earning a new experiential education via trial and error. However, I am ready for this. Clearly, the past ~5 years of me trying it the Eric way has not worked. I’m at the point where I want a product more than I want a lifestyle. I want a good thrashing more than I want a comfortable cruise toward success. I want a systematic struggle more than I want a get-rich-quick scheme. I want to end this year with a solid foundation of skills, experiences, and–ideally–sales that I can use to build my entrepreneurial future upon.

Not my image, and of course it's cheesy.

Not my image, and of course it’s cheesy.

This is the shaky step out onto the dance floor, the fumbled greeting to a pretty girl, the trust-the-bungie leap off a bridge. Caution and comfort can be a cage if indulged for too long. I’ve fed them well. The freedom instinct still vibrates madly in the core of my being and if I want to achieve some measure of financial liberation by my next birthday, I’ll need to be bold, be lean, and always be moving. Rest not, want not. I’ll also need to remember that there is no perfection to pursue, just hypotheses and experiments. There is no safety or guarantee to find, just the confidence in your ability to thrive in any situation. There is no trick to making money, just the noble pursuit of providing as much value to other people as you can.

Four more months. Let’s do this!

– Eric Daily, September 7th, 2015


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