There’s a concept that many self-made men call “the dark years.” I think I’m getting the first-hand experience of what that means…
It was a rough day yesterday. Started at 6 am and finished at midnight, I was literally giving email-direction till 11.57pm. I felt drained, and frustrated, and pissed off.
If that “son of a *****” client could have their ***** together, they’d review my stuff yesterday, and I wouldn’t have to pull long hours (again) to get their promotional emails out in time… At least I had my bro/employee help me with that so not ALL weight was on my shoulders.
Had a glance at the campaign this morning, guess what, it was a wild success.
The funny part is, days like that have been very common in the past few months. I haven’t even showered yesterday after the gym; I literally got on a train of more responsibilities and shower was dominated by a need to produce even more emails.
And food. I’m grateful, at least I took time to get a good meal in. But that’s a lesson learned already. If I don’t eat, I crash. If I don’t shower, I just smell bad. Lol.
That’s a direct insight into the “day in the life” of dark years. A little grander perspective sucks too. Visiting your home country and not being able to see most of your friends. Because all you’d do is “have coffee and chat.” Ain’t nobody got time to have “coffee and chat.”
And I get it. Before I only understood this mentally, not I feel it in my body. There’s simply so much shit to learn, that there’s no way you can do it if you don’t go all in. No fucking way.
This is not just about freelancing and getting a few clients. The dark years are about creating something bigger than one person. It’s literally about creating a big fucking animal, that can plow the field even when you’re not around.
Many people try to create that animal, but most fail. Because it’s fucking tough. Not only do you have to grind like a madman, but you also have to do the RIGHT steps. If you grind in the wrong direction, you’re an even bigger sucker than the blessedly ignorant.
Sure, on paper it doesn’t look that complicated. Lead generation. Sales. Delivery & retention. You nail those, and you have a business.
But there’s so much more than that, and there are more exceptions than there are rules. How to teach you, employee, a complex task, something you can’t just outsource to cheap labor?
How to negotiate a proper deal from the client, so the margin is big enough for you to make a profit and for your employees to have a good wage?
How to think about lead generation as an on-going process, and how to have different ways of it, so if one platform/way dies, you’re still rocking it?
How to make sure the clients are actually happy while getting results for them? And more importantly, how to make sure you’re NOT the person who’s having the last word with everything…
There’s just so much stuff to learn, so many pieces of the puzzle to put together. And if you’re honest, you see areas of improvement EVERYWHERE.
And then ultimately, you’re faced with a decision. Will I have a shower, or will I teach my employee how to approach this problem, so I never need to deal with this again?
Will I go to get wasted this weekend, or will I rather work on nailing that new client who would single-handedly raise the cashflow by 25%?
Slowly approaching the conclusion, I have a glimpse of why the dark years are actually so cool. You’re figuring shit out, you’re learning and moving insanely fast. You’re in the fast lane, while most of the world is on the sidewalk (as MJ DeMarco would say). And you know the impact your making is way bigger than one person could.
Shit, think about what has to be going on in Elon Musk’s head. I recently heard he’s been sleeping at the Tesla factory again because they are behind schedule…
I’m pretty certain that later on, I will be looking at this period of my life with nostalgia and a spark in my eyes. I’ll be saying things like “those were the times when we were really pushing hard.” But right now, it’s a fucking grind.
However, I don’t mind the grind – as long as it means things are moving fast. And in words of my “mentor-to-be,” I’m already at a place that’s “wet dreams” for most people.
I feel I need to grind it out a little more, and then a strategic de-load period is coming. And after that, well after that, my eyes are already on the next grind period. And for the next one, I’ll quote Jay Abraham.
The question is not whether I am worthy of the goal. The question is whether the goal is worthy of me.
Over and out, gotta go, guess what, send some emails lol.