“What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.”
I pulled this quote from “The 4-Hour Workweek” by Timothy Ferriss, a book I got as a Christmas gift from one of my Top 5, but that’s an entirely different post.
In a nutshell, the book slowly uncovers the secrets of the “New Rich.” The goal of this book is not to tell you how to become a multi-billionaire like say- the creators of Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram- although if you did, that would be a pretty sweet perk from reading a book that cost me nothing. Instead, the book aims to be a compass for those who are sick and tired of the 40-50 hour work week, day in and day out, minding the daily drudgery that is your cubicle.
How many times have I woken up to the howl of my alarm clock and added up my PTO in my head before I opened my eyes to see if I could call in sick? How many times have I heard a small, overly dramatic scream inside my head when I sat down at my desk and flipped on my computer which I’d be staring at for the next 8 hours? How many times have I dreaded meetings and retreats and more meetings and more retreats? How many times have I wondered what I would do if I got fired? Or won the lottery?
I got to the point in the book where is asks you a series of questions about your biggest fears before taking the plunge. For me, taking the plunge would consist of quitting my job, writing things for your company and coordinating your schedule, all from my laptop from the comfort of my living room…or a coffee shop…or a hammock. Mmm, that last one sounds nice. I could type with one hand and drink a mojito with the other. Yes.
I like to write. I like to coordinate. I also like to take photographs- would love to be a photographer. What I don’t like to do is come up with the ideas. I have quite a few of them and I’d work on them WITH someone who could help me develop them from the mosh pit of ideas that are tucked in my brain, but I feel much more comfortable behind the scenes, making everything come together rather than in the spotlight making it all happen. That’s MY dream.
What is it that is constantly keeping me from doing these things? That’s what this section of the books is asking me to define. Therefore, I will. Right here. Plain English.
1) Q: Define your nightmare- the absolute worst thing that could happen if you did what you are considering. A: I have no nest egg. No savings. In too much debt from student loans to qualify for a decent credit card without a rate out the rear. So, I will fall into horrible debt because I can’t afford student loan payments, my dad falls into horrible debt because he cosigned two of my student loan payments, and I am stuck in a continuum of debt and my family hating me for being selfish and taking the plunge before I should have done so.
2) Q: What steps could you take to repair the damage or get things back on the upswing, even if just temporarily? A: I suppose I could find another 40 hour/week job until I can get things righted again.
3) Q: What are the outcomes or benefits both temporary and permanent of more probable scenarios? A: Well, the current probable scenario is still that I would fall on my a$$. I don’t feel like I have the connections yet to be successful. BUT, if I DID have the connections to be successful and could pull in about $2500/month (after taxes) I’d be peaches. I don’t care what shack I live in or what grub I eat. I just want to be somewhere other than a desk in Omaha.
4) Q: If you were fired from your job today, what would you do to get things under financial control? A: Panic. Uhh…no nest egg. But reason would kick in after about 5 minutes and I’d just be pissed. I’d probably simultaneously look for a new 40 hour/week job and hit the pavement/internet/networks hard looking for new freelance clients.
5) Q: What are you putting off out of fear? A: I’ve put of moving out of the state for the last year or so out of fear of upsetting family and friends. And my tight budget. I’ve put off taking violin lessons because I think I’d royally suck at it. Put off a photography class for the same reason. I’ve put off a lot of travel to exotic locations for fear of my plane crashing into the ocean (I hate flying.) I’ve also put travel off for fear that I won’t have a job to return to. I’ve put off quitting some bad friends…bad jobs…lots of things. Come to think of it, I should get on a lot of this.
6) Q: What is it costing you- financially, emotionally, and physically to postpone action? A: Well, financially, it’s saving me. I can’t imagine NOT generating income. Everything else sucks. I like people I work WITH, I hate what I’m doing. I hate that I work 8-5 daily when I want to sleep until 8, wake up and run, work, lift weights for an hour, work more, and then do whatever I want to do the rest of the day. I hate working out in the evenings, especially in winter, and it’s been killing me to not be running. Literally, I think…I’m slowly getting fatter. The 3 Ziplock bags of Christmas cookies my mom sent me home with isn’t helping (nom.)
7) Q: What are you waiting for? A: Steady financial resources. Which is NOT timing. Although it kind of is. Probably should start working on hitting up people for writing gigs…
As a side note, I should also work on doing 1 thing every day that scares me. So from not on, if I encounter something I’m afraid to do, I’m just going to do it instead. Unless it’s stupid like cutting someone off on an icy bridge over a raging river. Common sense kind of needs to come into play.