For the last year, I’ve been pretty stalkerish about two dudes. Both around my age. I know this is off to a bad start but hear me out.
Ryan Holiday and Charlie Hoehn have walked interesting paths. Oddly similar in places. They’ve worked in the background, learned from and collaborated with some of the most brilliant minds and authors of our age. The combined list between the two makes me seethe with envy. After reading their blogs though, what lingers with me isn’t jealousy, but regret. I don’t feel like I’m any dumber than these guys. I’m not any smarter either though- they’ve worked extremely hard for what they’ve accomplished and it shows- look at the results. But I see their accomplishments and wonder, “why couldn’t I do this? I have the same opportunities.” I’ve always had grand ideas and plans, and my work ethic is solid- but my own fear was crippling. It held me back. It might have something to do with being bullied K-10th grade- the events that transpired whenever I tried to put myself out there or be more open are some of my darkest. Granted, I was a sensitive soul, but seeing the same bullies for most of your childhood will have that sort of impact.
At some point about a year ago, I decided I wouldn’t let it hold me back anymore. I think it was the realization that I was fat, balding, hairy in all the wrong places, and on the wrong side of 25. This is not how my life was going to play out…no fucking way. Where was the adventurous spirit that got me to the top of Mount Whitney? Where was the blazing soul that had scared off a mountain lion while hiking alone, at night, in the Sangre De Cristo mountain range in 2008? It was time to re-cultivate the hooligan and maverick that I used to be in the company of friends. I was going to start doing the things I liked, damn everyone else and their opinions.
I started reading aggressively from Ryan Holiday’s book recommendations. Once Ryan’s book, “Trust Me I’m Lying” came out, I realized that he’d been doing guerrilla marketing and PR the same way I had at my first company, only he had developed it and been very methodical about it- this was a skill I had fun doing, and could get better at. So I did. I read and studied/ still am studying every book Ryan mentioned in his book- and then some.
Charlie came into the picture about 4 months later- he wrote a free PDF called “Recession Proof Graduate” which I’ve read about 14 times. I refer to it every time I find myself broke and at home…I’ve failed a few times but refuse to work a corporate job. I’d much rather clean floors at a car museum (which I did and had a blast doing, and got to drive some very rare supercars, both vintage and new.)
Anyways- I was reading “RPG” today, again, when it clicked- I knew of a person who could benefit from the skills Ryan wrote about. I could get in touch with him using the methods Charlie had given me in his free PDF…
I wrote the email, and sent it.
5 minutes later, a reply. “I’m interested. I have some questions. Call me tomorrow”- and a phone number.
Regardless of whether or not I get this gig tomorrow, this has proven to me that the method works- and that’s a comforting feeling. It was worth stepping out of my comfort zone. These kind of things really encourage me to stop making decisions from a place of fear…that anxiety is terrifying and completely unhelpful.