This is a follow-up to Musings of a Non-Completionist – read that first.
So, I’ve got a mission. Something I want more than anything I’ve ever wanted before. A dream, if I want to be all posh about it. It’s a lofty goal: I want to quit my job and write + coach full time.
When I first started this site, I told my girlfriend, “You know what would be cool? Imagine if I made $1 from my site, somehow. I don’t even know if that’s possible. But wouldn’t that be the most mind-blowing thing ever? Imagine if someone actually paid me for my advice. Seems impossible right now.”
The idea of someone paying me money – in essence saying my advice was worthwhile enough they wanted to give me something in return for it – seemed outlandish to me. Sure, I knew plenty of other guys who charged money for their advice, but that was just it – those were other guys. Other guys who weren’t me. Sure, they could do it; but I wasn’t sure I could.
I’m no stranger to self-doubt and imposter syndrome. Both have been running themes in my life during most of my big goals & the hurdles I’ve overcome, like a script constantly running in the background in my head. I never in a billion years thought I deserved to get laid a lot. I never thought I deserved to get out of 10 years of abusive relationships and actually be loved by someone in a healthy, respectful manner. I never thought I deserved to be strong, or lose fat, or look good, or be respected, or make friends. I especially never thought I deserved to have women – and people in general – actually like me.
I overcame all of that, despite my doubts, insecurities and complete conviction there was no possible way I could ever have any of the things I really wanted. But even as I achieved the goals I’d laid out, there was always one I never believed I’d ever achieve: to have money.
I don’t know why, I can’t tell you where it comes from, but I have always had a firmly-held belief that no matter what, I will always be poor. Like a self-fulfilling prophecy I’ve willed into existence, I’ve racked up about $20,000 of debts over my 32 years on this earth – even when I had enough money I could have paid that all off instantly. I’ve had chances to earn good money, but I’ve squandered them, because I never believed I deserved to be anything but poor. I had a loser’s mindset, and thus I’ve remained a loser when it comes to money.
But late last year, something changed. Like a light switch flicking on in my brain, I woke up one day with a realisation: I deserve to be financially-independent, as much as anyone else. I don’t know what brought on this change; maybe a combination of hitting my loftiest goals with girls like having 3somes & exploring BDSM, and realising if I could hit my goals with women I could probably do it with money. Maybe a bunch of guys on the GoodLookingLoser forums pushing me to start charging for my advice and set up my coaching page. Maybe one of my best mates BadIdeaBear starting his own business & pushing past his own doubts and insecurities, and eventually starting to flourish.
Or maybe it was two of my best mates getting massive payrises at work – one in particular got himself a 40% raise just by asking for it. And this was a guy who’d gone most of his life feeling like a financial-loser, and not at all believing he was entitled to earn decent money. He found out he was being massively underpaid compared to everyone else in his office, took a chance and asked for a raise, and they said yes in an heartbeat because he’s a bloody good contractor.
Whatever it was, something changed late last year and I realised I want to make it as well. I don’t like looking at my bank account and seeing -$20,000 show up on the screen. I don’t like keeping myself up at night, wondering how I’m going to pay the rent. I don’t like sometimes having panic attacks when my workplace goes quiet and I don’t have a job for a few weeks. I don’t like having to turn down all my friends offers’ to go travelling because I can’t afford it. I don’t like not being able to pay for Boosts on Tinder and get laid more, or fix my shitty fashion, or improve my balding hairline. I hate feeling worthless, being embarrassed by my financial situation – being a financial loser. I hate having no money.
I dont want this to come across as me feeling sorry for myself. I absolutely put myself in this position, by believing I didn’t deserve to be rich. That limiting-belief has haunted me for years – a decade – and it’s my fault that I never faced it before now. I guess I was scared.
It doesn’t matter; the past is in the past. I’m ready to face my fears now; I want money. I want financial independence. I want to be able to afford the things I need to continue my self-improvement progress. I’ve hit a wall in my journey that only money can bust through. I don’t even want to be rich, necessarily – I just don’t want to be fucking poor.
And it’s not just money I want; actually, that’s only part of it. I want time. I want time to write, I want time to actually help other guys, I want time to be able to dedicate myself to my coaching. I want to be able to sit on a coaching call and fully dedicate myself to helping the other person, without the selfish background worries of, “If this guy stops seeing me, that’ll make it harder to pay the bills.” I need to finish putting on my own oxygen mask so I can better help others put on theirs.
I want free time during the day, instead of going to my warehouse job for 8 hours a day (plus another 3hrs total commute time), wasting 11 hours a day I could be spending writing. It’s painful being somewhere you don’t want to be, desperate to escape – like being in prison. I feel trapped, and during my worst moments, hopeless. I want to write, I want to express myself, I want to fly free of the 9-5 grind (6-5 in my case) and have the freedom to fill my days however I choose. We all deserve to be free of our shackles, and god knows I want this more than I’ve ever wanted anything.
I realise I could get another job. At this point that’s a waste of time and resources – this job is thankfully very flexible. I get to go to work whenever I want and leave whenever I want, which means I can skip work when I have last-minute coaching calls and keep on hustling with my site. There’s not much point going through the time-wasting disruption of switching jobs when I’m working hardcore on becomingaa full-time writer/coach. I need to just shut up, accept that things aren’t ideal right now, and hustle like crazy.
So I do exactly that; I shut my mouth and I hustle. I fill in every spare second I possibly can with writing & building up this site. I write on the train and the bus to work, I write on my phone whenever nobody’s watching me at work. I write during my tea break, during my lunch break, and again on the commute home. I write in the shower, when I’m out to dinner, when I’m with my friends. Hell, I wrote most of this article during my commutes to and from work. I fill my weekends with nothing but writing, staying up til 4 in the morning then falling asleep on my couch and waking up at 8am to write some more.
I hustle with my coaching too; I’ve offered half-price discounts on my coaching multiple times, I’ve paid past clients and friends for referring new clients to me and I’ve done everything I possibly can to make sure my clients get the most out of our sessions so they’ll want to see me again. I constantly bug everyone to refer me to other people; I’ve gotten 8 one-off coaching sessions this week, just by asking.
I hustle with monetising my blog in a hopefully-not-annoying way; I’ve set up a second site I plan on using for affiliate links & guides on using the stuff I’m passionate about (sex toys, books that have changed my life, dick pumps, cool shit, etc) to help support myself.
And I’m getting there. I need 7 regular weekly clients in order to pay the bills; right now I have 3 (as well as a few sporadic one-off clients if I hustle and advertise my services).
My biggest struggle has always been patience; as one of my clients, several of my friends, & my own mother always say, “Andy, you always do everything in extremes.” I find it hard to take a deep breath and tell myself to wait for what I want; I’m like a darn millennial, wanting instant results. (This is the part where you say Ok boomer. Also, this reference won’t age well.)
I’m an all-or-nothing kind of guy; I like to go all-in. I overcame my approach anxiety by doing “social anxiety drills” – some days on 100+ girls. I banged 3 girls in 10 hours. I took MT-II to tan quickly. As much as I promote slow and steady progress, one day at a time, sometimes you need to do the opposite and become fucking obsessed for a few months while your crush your goals.
That leads to tension and stress though; being obsessed with something means it’s hard to sleep, hard to take a break, hard to turn off and relax. Every second spent relaxing feels like time you “should” be working on your goal, and it leads to a situation where, ironically, relaxing just makes you more stressed. When relaxing doesn’t help, talking it out usually does – so I’m writing this post to release some of the tension and stress I’ve been feeling over the last few months.
This tension has been slow-building, creeping in so I didn’t really notice it, like a frog slowly boiling in water (irrelevan sidenote: that saying may be a myth). I struggle to relax at all during the day now, and I can barely sleep. I lay my head down on the pillow and I’m filled with an urge to go back out to my computer and write some more, hustle some more, do anything to push myself further with my goals. I get a surge of adrenaline and I can’t sleep; last night I was up til 3am, totally restless, my thoughts racing a million miles and hour.
It’s also frustrating because I know the words on this site are not even remotely my best work, because these aren’t the best writing conditions. And whilst I’m always banging on about giving yourself permission to suck, there’s still a lot of tension that comes with knowing you’re handicapping yourself by working a full time job whilst trying to building up a website/community.
Even writing – the thing that brings me incredible joy – is a source of stress and anxiety at times. Thank god not all the time (99% of the time writing feels fucking amazing). But every now and then, I’ll be reminded that I only have a limited amount of time in the day, and I keep having the thought, “Is this the most productive article I could be writing? Should I stop writing this and write a different article? How on Earth will I ever get through the literally-hundreds of articles ideas I want to write about?”
My brain is a cacophony of new ideas I so desperately want to share with you, because a lot of it is stuff that has been genuinely life changing for me. I have so much to say about getting laid, about having 3somes, about building honest and open communication with girls, about taking psychedelics and LSD as self-improvement tools (I’ve tripped 30-40 times), about getting a girl to bring you more girls, about dealing with depression and suicide, about motivation and building habits and pulling yourself out of crises. I hate the notion that guys are constantly telling me their struggles, and I have the answers to their problems but it’s all locked away deep inside my head. I have a responsibility to get it all out, I owe it to the guys who are struggling – because when I was struggling, plenty of people helped me. But I don’t yet have enough time in the day to write everything down, and that’s incredibly frustrating – and oftentimes, disheartening.
When I take a step back, I have to admit none of this sounds very healthy or rational, does it? If I’m honest it’s rather pathological; I’ve gotten myself into a situation where everything is a source of anxiety, I’m constantly frustrated, and my fight or flight instinct is continually activated. So caught am I with filling every spare second with writing, I can’t help but see relaxation time as “lazy”.
Thing is, I’ve seen the opposite; I’ve seen what it’s like to relax. I had 2 weeks off work over Christmas, and I was able to just chill out and do whatever I wanted. I went on roadtrips, I spent time with my friends, I watched YouTube for hours a day. I wrote – oh how I wrote – and it was the stuff I really wanted to write. I didn’t feel like I was in a constant frantic rush to cram as much writing into what little fragments of free time I had. I could just sit down and write from 8 in the morning until 3am the next morning if I wanted to – and yes, I did that for quite a few days in a row. It was fucking marvelous.
Contrast that with when I’m working full time. When I have a limited amount of time in the day to write, I “can’t” finish my articles. When your only writing time consists of 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there, you have to stop-start-stop-start your writing, which aside from being disruptive can soon start to feel like you’re making absolutely no progress whatsoever.
Instead of being able to sit down for 10 hours and just finish something all in one go, you have to work on it over the course of a week or two, constantly being interrupted hundreds of times, each time feeling like you’re stopping right when you were on a roll. “I was right in the middle of having a huge epiphany I just had to write down, and now I have to stop before I’ve finished! Ahh! What if I forget the idea? What if it was the best idea I’d ever have, and now it’s gone?” It’s like stopping right in the middle of sex. Blue balls.
Blue fucking balls.
So I have to cram, cram, cram to get my ideas down on paper, which means I’m racing against the clock. I’m literally always checking the clock – I need to make sure I don’t miss my bus stop, or miss my train, or be late for work, or get caught secretly writing in the toilet for too long, or be seen writing at my desk at work when I should be working, or take too long on my lunch break because I’m obsessed with writing.
None of this is meant as a pity party. I’m writing this article partly to show you I’m human, fallible, full of insecurities & going through my own struggles. None of us are perfect. Fuck being perfect. Being perfect is not even remotely important; I achieved all my past goals by being completely fucking imperfect. Hell, most of the time I’m a complete train-wreck, and yet that hasn’t really mattered. There’s only one thing that leads to success: just never quit.
Don’t take any of this as me complaining, even though perhaps it seems like I’m crying, “Woe is me!” Truth is I love my life, I love where I’m at right now; even if it’s currently filled with lots of self-induced anxiety and stress & unrelenting pressure. I did that to myself. I’ve got tools to cope with it; CBT, deep breathing, soft music, telling myself, “Chill the fuck out, bro. Everything will work out.” All of which helps.
This article itself is me relieving the tension, using a tool to help myself be ok. This keyboard – and expressing these words – do wonders to keep me from feeling overwhelmed.
And I’m also writing this article as a pep-talk to myself; a “you can do it!” motivational speech to remind myself I’m doing alright, I’m making progress, and I’ll get there eventually – I just have to persevere.
I spoke to my girlfriend about all of this, and among other things, she pointed out:
“Aw honey, I don’t know how you want to approach things, but do you think your deadline of by the end of the year having your coaching established is making things worse, like increasing that urgency and anxiety about always having to write? I know you want to get to a point where you’re able to be financially independent and not need other work, but it sounds like the urgency to make that happen is hurting you.”
She’s right in many ways, and I’m grateful to her for pointing it out. She was the impetus for me writing this article. I know I’d be a lot happier if I chilled out and relaxed, and told myself, “If it takes me a year or two to be able to quit my job, that’s fine. I can wait.”
But even as I type those words out, I know I don’t believe them for a second. I can’t fathom the thought of sitting around waiting like a good little boy – waiting feels like a prison sentence. I am deeply unhappy with my current financial circumstances. I’ve been unhappy about it for my entire adult life. I’m unhappy with not having reached this goal when I’m already into my 30’s; I could have addressed this so much sooner. Much like I used my deep unhappiness as motivation to transform my sex life with urgency and extremity, I urgently want to build my financial independence. No, “want” isn’t the right word; I need this.
In this case at least, waiting feels like giving up. Like giving in. I know if I tell myself it’s OK to wait a year, I won’t really try as hard to become financially-independent. I’ll be admitting I don’t really want it, instead choosing to rest on my laurels. I won’t hustle, I won’t have that desperation and drive to make this happen. I won’t be all-in.
So I’m focusing on the hustle, filling every spare second I have with writing & building up my site. I’m doing my best to produce the absolute best content I possibly can, just trusting If I build it, they will come.
I know I’ll get to the point where writing/coaching pays the bills, and then all of this will really snowball. I just have to get myself over the threshold, the critical mass, the point where I have much more free time I can dedicate to really building up my work & creating something truly worth visiting. At that point I’ll be able to write multiple articles a week – one a day is my goal. I have thousands of ideas in my head just waiting to burst out and come alive. It’s painful not being able to express them, and I long for the day I can throw myself into this with 100% gusto.
I have to just trust that if I focus on writing the best & most helpful content I possibly can, I’ll eventually make it.
I’m grateful though, even though this may all seem a little ungracious. At the top of this article I said I started out feeling like it would be a massive achievement to make a single dollar from my work. Fast forward to the present and I’ve made a couple thousand percent more than that initial, seemingly-impossible goal of 1 measly dollar. It’s been the most rewarding work I could possibly imagine, and I can’t believe people are paying me for it.
The word “work” does it a disservice; what I get to do feels like the most rewarding thing I could possibly imagine. I get to give guys the same motivation and support other guys so graciously gave me, finally feeling like I’m paying it back. I get to root for the underdog; I’ve seen so many guys come from absolutely nothing and really get their shit together, going from virgins to guys who regularly get laid. I’ve seen weaklings become monsters in the gym, I’ve seen shy, timid guys become confident men – I’ve been blessed by people sharing their stories and their struggles and their victories with me. I can’t imagine doing anything else right now.
No, this is not work. This feels like a calling, and I’m so bloody grateful people actually pay me for doing the thing I want to be doing the most.
I’ll reach my goal one day. Success is literally inevitable if you just never quit. I remind myself of that daily, and I keep on hustling.
And if you’re up for some coaching – that’s here.
Update: I wrote a companion piece to this: Musings of a Non-Completionist 3: Why I Write for this Site.