Ever since coming back to America, I have a few extra people who are reading my Instagram and blog posts that I actually know personally. I tried to keep these accounts separate from my real identity for a while, but a few weeks ago I accidentally linked my FB account to my IG account and got a flood of Facebook friends all of a sudden following me on IG.
Fine, no problem. I just went and manually blocked any close family members from seeing my account. It’s not perfect, but it’ll have to do.
There’s a famous quote that I heard originally from James Altucher. He says, “For every person whose opinion you value, the quality of your writing drops by 1%.”
Wow omg ur such a good writer
I’m not sure why I hide this stuff from people. It’s not like it’s terrible or something. I’m not one of those people who writes poetry but doesn’t let anyone read it. I put this shit out there for everyone to read. I just don’t want people I talk to on a regular basis to read it, I think because then I would have a lot of explaining to do.
Most of the time I’m actually a quiet person in real life. Unless there’s an obvious objective in the conversation like making a sale, charming a group, or seducing some girl, I don’t really have much to say. So when people find the mountains of shit I write, the ones who previously thought I was some eccentric meathead just don’t seem to get it. It’s awkward.
Of course they don’t say anything. Maybe the most I’ll get is: “I read your blog.” Great.
That’s what I’ve been working for this whole time? “I read your blog.”
Whatever. I just have to tell myself that I “enjoy writing” or some shit.
I guess it is therapeutic in a way. You get to expel all of your nebulous thoughts from your mind and onto paper which helps to clarify your emotions. You realize that your anxieties are really not that scary once you describe them with actual words.
But I can’t help thinking that I’m wasting some of my ability on just writing nonsense. Shouldn’t I be writing something that’s monetized more easily than just stream of consciousness rants on a website full of Indians begging for pennies?
Learning from the best
For example, I’m a huge fan of Tim Ferris. Sure the guy is a Grade A Affiliate Marketer and Hype Expert, but you can’t deny the guy has done well for himself. Not only that, but he’s got all these cool skills that he picked up from just examining how people do shit and copying their methods. Perhaps even more importantly is the fact that he gets to rub elbows with celebrities that he interviews on his podcast.
He’s interviewed Tony Robbins, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Neil Strauss and 200+ other people that are at the top of their game. Am I the only one that is attracted to that kind of thing?
When I think about all the stuff he’s accomplished, I get jealous. I feel like I want that type of life for myself.
But then I wonder if it’s just idle fantasizing. If I somehow achieved it, would I wish that I could go back to typing on my laptop for 8-10 hours a day with the odd game of Dota thrown in? I honestly don’t know.
I guess that’s a stupid reason to talk yourself out of pursuing something. Just because you might not like it. Maybe I just think too much.
I picked up his new book, Tools of Titans, which is a collection of highlights from the expert interviews he’s done on his podcasts. I’m reading it now and it’s basically like reading 200 books in one. You know how people read books to absorb knowledge derived from 20 years of practice? That’s like what this is, but x200.
There are some profound tips in there. I’m even taking notes as I read it – something that I NEVER do when I read a book. But there’s just too much good shit in there. I don’t want to read it all once and just forget it.
Anyway, when I think about how he or anyone else “made it,” it all comes down to this: they created some kind of content that resonated with people and promoted the shit out of it. Tim wrote The 4 Hour Workweek back in ’07 and it put him on the map. Since then he’s been riding his success and outdoing himself ever since with each of his subsequent books.
But he himself was an expert before he wrote that book. He fulfilled the fantasy of every schlub stuck in a cubicle: quit his job, travel the world indefinitely and fund it all through an online business. Now that I think about it, that book was the first time I was exposed to the concept of being a digital nomad. And look at me now.
Still, it’s one thing to travel around and live on the cheap and it’s quite another to be a bestselling author who interviews famous experts every day.
Take the Snake Pill
So why haven’t I started? The real thing that stops me is the thought that I’m not good enough to write a book like that. People want to read books written by experts, not above-average practitioners. What am I going to write about, selling hair straighteners? (Actually that’s not a bad idea.)
I’ve had the idea of writing the book, Everything I Learned About Life I Learned From Selling Hair Straighteners, or some equally stupid thing. Then I could just publish it on Amazon, promote the fuck out of it and sit back while I become the next Tim Ferris. Maybe his evil twin.
Speaking of being evil, I have no idea how people stay so wholesome when they produce content. Even the really good stuff rarely shows the creator’s true personality. And yeah I get it, people want to maximize the amount of money they make without alienating a portion of the population with foul language or inappropriate humor. But how do they keep it so sanitized?
That’s why I fucking LOVE this Snake Diet guy. Oh my god. I should have put this at the top of this post because I know most people are retarded and won’t read this far.
So this Snake Diet guy, otherwise known as Cole Something, is a Canadian fitness trainer who is a vocal proponent of extended fasts. I don’t mean intermittent fasting or OMAD (One Meal A Day), I’m talking minimum 48 hour fasts where you eat nothing and just drink Snake Juice.
Now, when you read the words “Snake Juice,” you probably think that it’s some branded concoction that this guy is selling on his website for inflated prices, right?
Snake Juice is equal parts Himalayan pink salt and potassium chloride mixed with purified water. In other words, it’s an electrolyte solution (the same one they give you in an IV when you go to the hospital) minus the sugar. Cheap as fuck.
You know what’s also cheap as fuck? Eating once every 48 hours.
I know it sounds crazy, but you have to watch this guy’s videos. He is absolutely off his fucking rocker, but he talks with such passion about fasting and how it cures all kinds of health issues that you can’t help but like the guy. I fucking LOVE his style because he doesn’t give a shit about what anyone thinks about him. He’s just that confident that what he does works.
Anyway, the reason I’m bringing him up is because he doesn’t make any attempt to turn a profit from what he does. No ebooks, no supplements, no training programs – nothing.
He only just recently started making a little money from YouTube. But you can see that even there he puts minimal effort into the production quality of his videos in favor of making them pop with passionate speech.
Passion vs gratitude?
And this information is a tough pill to swallow. Most people have food, sugar or alcohol addictions and use them to self-medicate all the time, which is far more sinister than narcotics (in my opinion) because they’re dirt cheap. You can stuff yourself on shitty food for $10 a day and your health will be much worse than if you spent that $10 on alcohol.
Only time will tell how far this guy will go, but so far he seems to be gaining lots of momentum. Is he friends with celebrities and worth a few hundred million? Nope. But that doesn’t seem to bother him. He just wants to help people, yell at them in his YouTube videos, and hit the gym.
That reminds me of something. I was reading in Tools of Titans that focusing on “me” = suffering. I forget who exactly the person was who gave him that concept, but it makes perfect sense. If you focus on other people instead of yourself, then how can you suffer?
I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts lately, mostly motivational ones, and a common theme that seems to run through them are the concepts of helping people and gratitude. It’s hard to take these ultra-successful people seriously when they talk about being grateful for feeling the sun on their skin when they’ve got a garage full of expensive cars. But when you hear multiple people echo their statements, you start to wonder if it might not be bullshit after all.
So why is it that when I hear the word “gratitude” my fakeness alarm goes off and I start anticipating some kind of Herbalife-esque sales pitch coming in the next sentence? Am I alone in that? I used to hear it all the time when I did yoga, but just chalked it up to the high from breathing deeply for an hour and fifteen minutes.
Also, why is it so hard for us to be grateful when we’re not transitioning from a terrible situation? Every time I spend a few weeks at the beach after a six month hair straightener-selling grind, I have no problem being grateful. But when I’m in a normal routine where most of the variables are consistent month-to-month, the concept of gratitude never even enters my mind.
Spending time every morning writing down things I’m grateful for just seems so forced. It’s one of those activities that I think is stupid and not going to work.
Have I done it? Nope. So am I qualified to make a judgment? Also nope.
Maybe I should give it a try. What’s the worst that could happen? I spend ten minutes of my life doing something that doesn’t work. Big deal. I’ve wasted ten minutes plenty of times doing far stupider things (like writing this post for example).
Now that I think about it, that might be the key to traditionally-defined success – come from a frame of helping people.
Helping people for fun and profit
I remember when I was first selling skin care products, I struggled to make any sales. Customers can smell desperation from a mile away. And while some of the high rollers will still buy anyway (probably because they feel bad for you), you’re not going to make any significant amount of money coming from a place of neediness.
I used to read sales books back then, and I remember reading in Sales Closing For Dummies by Tom Hopkins (excellent book btw), that you should come from a frame of friendliness and trying to help the other person. You have to genuinely care about them as you take them through the sales process, or so he claimed.
Nothing was working for me at the time, so I figured I might try being helpful. As soon as I adopted that mentality, I felt myself relax. I wasn’t trying to take from people anymore – I was just trying to help them with their skin. My approaches softened, my numbers went up, and I found the whole process much less stressful and even began to enjoy myself.
So how would I apply that to my current situation?
Well, I guess the first thing to do would be adopt an attitude of proactively helping people. Ideally with something I’m qualified to speak on.
Writing? Too boring.
Marketing? Too cliche.
Hmm.. I dunno. I’ll think about it.
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