I replied, “No.”
They immediately responded with an astonishing tone, “You have not!? You’re almost done with your service, and You. Have not. Found. A job yet?”
Oh lord, this is terrible isn’t it. I think I just messed up my life. All the steps have been progressing smoothly. Pre-school. Grade school. High school. College. Job. Military service. Then bam. It all shattered. That ship has just crashed before it even set sailed.
Ok. Chill man. The ship sailed. I just took a different course. I’m going to create my own job.
The Right Question
I would’ve liked it if they’d asked me, “So, what do you want to do next?” I would’ve taken them to a bar and talk to them over a couple of IPAs.
It amazes me how we think job is what you have to do once you’re not a full-time student. Dude, I could’ve graduated and just spend my entire life living in Bora Bora. You don’t know I have a big ass inheritance that allows me to not work. I could’ve graduated and just spend my entire life living off of my parents. Heck I could’ve just graduated and just start living on the streets. Who says homeless can’t live well?
We have to start changing attitude towards what we think normal is. Job is a way to earn money to finance your life. It’s the most popular way. Why? Because it makes sense. Because we are trained to work for someone. But it’s also the most brutal. We are trained to exchange our skills and our time for the little cash that barely puts food on the table. But later I found out, it’s not the only way.
Leaving the Norm Behind
You know what the most potent side effects of believing having a job is the norm? Believing that vacation where you don’t do jack shit is also normal.
During my military service as a public servant (oh gosh, how I love that word servant, further proving how terrible a job is), I accumulated some overtime work. Instead of getting paid for overtime, I exchange it for vacation times.
After returning to work from my vacation, you know what everyone asked me?
“So, where did you go and have fun?”
I replied, “No where, stayed at home and worked on my own stuff.”
“What? You didn’t go anywhere? You just stayed home?” Their eyes wide opened and stared at me in disbelief. I think my answer just insulted them.
Um. Excuse me, why are you offended if I didn’t do what you think I’m supposed to do during my vacation times? It’s awful. Having preconceived notion of what I should be doing with my time, especially when it’s labeled “vacation” is very sad. The idea of a job created all these fancy terms to describe the different moment someone uses his time. All created just to make billing the workers easier.
“Ah, you took a vacation. Sorry man, can’t bill you there.”
“Oh wait, it’s a sick vacation. Sure ok. Just be careful. You only get twice a year. Ya got one mo left. Watch it.”
The Road Not Taken
I didn’t understand Robert Frost when I read his poem in high school. It was like, “yo man, say wut?” I did for a minute thought he had a lot of guts. He was ballsy. I know he said “yellow wood”, but I kept picturing a winter wonderland in a remote forest. He took the path with no footsteps. And then perhaps he sensed danger, carved the last verse of the poem on a tree. And then a wolf ate him.
Yea ok, not that silly. But I wasn’t thinking too much about it. I just thought he had balls as big as a comet.
It’s this kind of powerful message that behaves very weirdly. It’s like it has a life on its own and is destined to subconsciously haunt whoever resonated with it. I didn’t. But I did like the title, “The Road Not Taken”.
Fast forward a couple of years while I was in the last term of my work visa, I decided to actually think hard about what I wanted to do in the future.
I wanted to challenge myself. To push my limits and achieve my dream. The dream of having a financial security and time freedom. The life where I only work on things that matter to me. And only spend the time I deem worthy. It’s my life, man. Why should I let you have it? Why should I let other people tell me what to do?
I started indulging in a lot of road-to-riches books. Then to financial security. Followed by biographies of successful businessmen. Which lead to how-to-start-a-business books. Then to how-to-create-time-for-yourself. And then took a round trip back to financial security focusing on financial investment and letting-money-work-for-you. Finally stopping at how-to-just-fucking-do-it-now.
The funny thing is, every bits of information seem to revolve around the concept “do the things that normal people wouldn’t”. Take the road that’s not comfortable. Do the hardest thing and you’ll achieve your goal.
Mr. Frost, is it safe to say it’s your fault?
Just Drop It
One important feeling I had… (Oh shit, emotions can’t make decisions! You just blew yourself up.)
No, hear me out.
I felt strong complacency. I couldn’t see a future in keeping the job I had. Although I had to admit that design job beats another office job, but it was rather repetitive. I was bored. I wasn’t motivated to go into the office everyday. There was no sense of direction other than arriving at 8 and leaving at 5. To do what? To get paid.
Well, Mr. Frost told me what to do.
With the visa expiration soon, and my mandatory military service trapping my freedom, I decided to just drop everything. Out went the comfortable life with a secure pay.
That decision was very, very scary. I’m not going to lie. I still feel the fear. The fear of making the wrong move. The fear that I’m going to lose everything. But wait, what will I lose? I’m not too sure. Time? Other people’s support? I don’t know exactly. Then that’s good isn’t it? Limited downside, and massive potential on the upside, I think it’s the correct choice.
I hope in a few years time, I’d be able to shout “I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference!”
If you’d like to go down the path I took, here are the resources that helped me build the strength in my mind and changed the way I see things (in no particular order):
- The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy (Thomas Stanley)
- Beginners Guide To Stock Market Investing – Transforming A Beginner To An Investor (Douglas Cooper)
- Built To Sell (John Warrillow)
- Choose Yourself (James Altucher)
- The Choose Yourself Guide to Wealth (James Altucher)
- The Complete TurtleTrader (Michael W. Covel)
- Driven – How to Succeed in Business and in Life (Robert Herjavec)
- The E-Myth Revisited (Michael E. Gerber)
- How I Made $2,000,000 Dollars In The Stock Market – The Original Classic by Nicholas Darvas
- Accounting Comes Alive – The Color Accounting Parable (Mark Robilliard and Peter Frampton)
- How To Win At The Sport of Business (Mark Cuban)
- How To Win Friends & Influence People (Dale Carnegie)
- Investing 101 (Kathy Kristof)
- Making Money Is Killing Your Business (Chuck Blakeman)
- The Millionaire Fastlane (MJ Demarco)
- Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not (Robert Kiyosaki)
- Rule #1 (Phil Town)
- Sam Walton: Made in America (Sam Walton)
- Shark Tales: How I turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business (Barbara Corcoran)
- Steve Jobs (Walter Isaacson)
- Surprisingly Simple: LLC vs. S-Corp vs. C-Corp Explained in 100 Pages or Less (Mike Piper)
- Breaking the Time Barrier (Freshbooks)
- Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street (John Brooks)
- Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose (Tony Hsieh)
- The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Understanding Financial Statements and Accounting (Timothy L. Rhine & Bethany Rhine)
- Freedom Manifesto (John Warillow)
- Good to Great (Jim Collins)
- Just Fucking Ship (Amy Hoy)
- The Lazy Man’s Way to Riches (Joe Karbo)
- Like a Virgin: Secrets They won’t Teach (Richard Branson)
- Losing My Virginity How I Survived (Richard Branson)
- Profitable eCommerce: A Guide to Market Research, Suppliers & Niche Analysis (Andrew Youderian)
- Rework (Jason Fried)
- Entrepreneurship (Rob Walling)
- Start Small Stay Small (Rob Walling)
- Rich Dad’s Cashflow Quadrant: Rich Dad’s Guide to Financial Freedom (Robert Kiyosaki)
- The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life (Timothy Ferris)
- The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon (Brad Stone)
- The Four Steps to the Epiphany (Steven G. Blank)
- The Lean Startup (Eric Ries)
- The Ultimate sales Machine (Chet Holmes)
- The 4-Hour Workweek (Timothy Ferris)
- The $100 Startup (Chris Guillebeau)
- The Art of the Start (Guy Kawasaki)
- Think and Grow Rich (Napoleon Hill)
- What Rich People Know & Desperately Want to Keep a Secret (Brian Sher)
- Work the System: The Simple Mechanics of making More and Working Less (Sam Carpenter)
- The Kingdom of Moltz
- The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
- The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing (Taylor Larimore, Mel Lindauer, Michael LeBoeuf)
- The Richest Man in Babylon (George S. Clason)
- An End to the Bull (Gary Norden)
- The Business One Irwin Guide to Trading Systems (Bruce Babcock)
- The Four Cardinal Principles of Trading (Bruce Babcock)
- Trading With The Odds (Cynthia Kase)
- How I Trade For A Living (Gary Smith)
- The Market Wizards (Jack Schwager)
- The New Market Wizards (Jack Schwager)
- Reminiscences of a Stock Operator (Edwin LeFevre)
- The Way to Trade (John Piper)
- Trend Following (Michael Covel)
- An American Hedge Fund (Timothy Sykes)
- Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom (Van Tharp)
- Winner Take All (William Gallacher)
- Reading Price Charts Bar By Bar (Al Brooks)
- Naked Forex (Alex Nekritin, Walter Peters)
- Beat The Odds In Forex (Igor Toshchakov)
- The Ed Ponsi Forex Playbook (Ed Ponsi)
- Advertising Secrets (Joseph Sugarman)
- Breakthrough Advertising (Eugene Schwartz)
- Scientific Advertising (Claude Hopkins)
- The Boron Letters
- The Robert Collier Letter Book (Robert Collier)
- The Ultimate Sales Letter (Dan Kennedy)