2014: It’s Time To Get Out Of Your Own Way

Alright, quick confession: I’ve worn more pink shirts or short-shorts than any of you.

In college, I worked for UPS and I got my share of tight fitting clothes and heavy lifting. I also felt like a genius being around so many brown cardboard boxes all day. I took the MENSA test later. I don’t want to talk about it.

 This shirt is what you call extra-medium or “smedium”

UPS is actually a very demanding workplace.

First of all, that Christmas tree that’s wilting in the corner of your room right now — the big bitch that you strapped to the top of your minivan and struggled to get into the door — someone had to lift HUNDREDS of those by themselves into a UPS truck. A UPS hub ins’t like Santa’s factory with magical elves and forklifts. It’s just people getting up at 3:30 am and picking your shit up. 78% of the women there were stronger than me.

And apart from that, the culture is extremely data-driven. Numbers are black and white, and more so than other business models, a company that relies on shipping and tracking boxes really only cares about numbers.

This bothered me immensely at the time because I’ve always been a much bigger fan of qualitative, holistic evaluations. I’m a super high-quality person, and I carry myself as such. So I usually am treated well by others and offered perks and personalized service that I notice my peers don’t always receive.

But that didn’t happen at UPS. At UPS, I was slapped in the face with cold, hard data. They wanted me to get up earlier, beat my previous numbers, move faster and lift heavier things more times in a row. And they were tracking everything for statistical significance. Somewhere out there, Ramit Sethi is cackling with glee.

Being judged against such rigid numbers was a pain point for me because it eliminated my personal strength — persuasion. If somebody asks you to get better, statistically speaking, you can’t really dance around it or deflect it. You either do it, or you don’t. There’s nothing to persuade.

So I fought back emotionally.

  • I fumed over all the reasons why the job was stupid.

  • I ruminated on the extravagant ways I was going to quit.

  • I obsessed about how dumb it was for a company to be so quantitative.

  • I doled out snarky comments about how much smarter I was than everyone else.

Not once did I think to myself, “Hmmm….maybe I should just improve my numbers.”

And guess what happened: MY NUMBERS DIDN’T GET ANY BETTER.

Shocking, I know. But here’s the point: All those reasons I named — they actually had nothing to do with why my statistical performance wasn’t improving.

It wasn’t about UPS being stupid. The reason I wasn’t getting better was pretty simple, actually.

By making up excuses for why things couldn’t or wouldn’t happen, I was standing in the way of my own progress.

Has this ever happened to you? Think carefully, because it happens much more often than you’d realize.

We often complain about roadblocks and barriers. Silently, in our private time, we get depressed becuse our goals seem out of reach. But who is really holding us back? Is there some invisible force stopping us from doing what we want to do?

Many of us are playing both the hero and the villain in our own Epic Journeys.

Why? Are we gluttons for punishment? Are we holding ourselves back on purpose?

There are many psychological reasons for this, one of which is just blatant protection of our own egos. Some people would rather die proud than admit that they have anything to change or improve. Meanwhile, 10 years go by and we’ve made no progress.

“I’m ok homes. I don’t need no stupid chair.” Uhh…ok.

If you never admit that your behavior needs to change, you’ll never feel like you’re doing anything wrong. You’ll always feel like you’re “in control” of situations — even though on the inside, you’ll always be confused and hoping for more.

So 2014 is the year that we shake off the facade of self-sabotage and finally get out of our own way.

If you’re acting selfishly and hurting one of your relationships, stop avoiding it. Own it. Get out your own way and change your behavior so that you can get the result that you want. Even if that means admitting that you were wrong. ESPECIALLY if that means admitting you were wrong.

If you want to start a business, stop thinking about it. Stop complaining about how confusing it is. Seize the resources out there and just start testing things. There are so many comprehensive guides that tell you step-by-step how to navigate complex processes like launching a business.

In 2013, I taught you some great ways to get started incredibly quickly, with practically zero upfront costs. For instance:

There are really no excuses except your own mental limitations. Whatever you decide to do, just make the decision, then work at it in little chunks every day.

You don’t have to start a fortune 500 company or become a new person overnight. You just have to make little habit changes and the big habit changes will take care of themselves. You can make massive changes very quickly, even if you have absolutely no “willpower.”

Remember, the goal isn’t to be perfect. It’s just to get started.

What to expect from Rich20Something this year

Getting started is the hard part. I know. Trust me, I know. That’s why several times this year, I’ll be starting a new business or revenue stream and showing you step-by-step how I’m doing it.

I won’t hold anything back. I won’t hide the miserable failures. But I will document exactly how it goes.

This year, you’ll see the inside, “behind-the-scenes” processes as I:

Like usual, I’m literally going to give you the EXACT formulas, processes and steps that I take to start these businesses from scratch — and you can copy me every step of the way. I welcome it. I want you to do even better than me (because that makes me look awesome).

And these are just the big things. I’ll also be posting a lot more this year. As the blog continues to grow, there’s so much we can teach each other.

Now, I’d like to hear from you.

What would you like to cover this year?

What are your biggest questions, roadblocks or fears?

Let me know in the comments. Your voice will help propel us this year.

Thanks for being such awesome readers.

PS – if you’re not in the Tribe already, what are you waiting for? I give out all my best strategies there. Use the form below.

PPS – here’s a shot of the new Rich20Something Studios. AKA…my house, with a faux leather chair:

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Liked these strategies? Sweet. I can send you some even BETTER stuff. Just join the tribe. (It’s free).

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22 comments
Cyclia
Cyclia

Fantastic blog once again. Wish you all the best and all the succes in the next year. Dreams can come true every day, just work your ass off to chase them.


"Dr. King gave the "I have a dream" speech not the "I have a plan" speech. It's our dreams that change the course of history." Simon Sinek

Abbey Dieteman
Abbey Dieteman

Not trying to start a feminism debate in your comments here haha, but I think this post is particularly relevant for women. At the first "Women's Business Conference" I attended, we spent the first 2 HOURS (about a 1/4 of the day) discussing how/why women should start businesses (i.e. "we can do it! We're strong! We have a voice!") 

I was sitting there thinking -- what is this "invisible force" that is holding us back? It's us. Men would never spend 2 hours of valuable conference time holding a pep rally. Instead, they focus on marketing, SEO, tax law, etc. If women would just "get out of their own way" we'd be much more successful at starting and sustaining successful businesses.


Great post, Daniel! Looking forward to 2014!

mesawstudio
mesawstudio

Hi Daniel Happy 2014! I really needed to read this today! I'm having serious excuse issues when it comes to my blog and website. My business Isn't new and I do have a client base but I need that to grow quicker than it currently is. I know that the site and blog is supposed to help that but I really suck at keeping it updated and at generating more subscribers. Not sure how u can help here maybe I just need to stop standing in my own way like you say! Thanks for all your awesome motivation and articles! Keep kicking butt!

Jon__Jackson
Jon__Jackson

Awesome post! I really want to learn how you automate certain mundane tasks to increase workflow and make you more productive with your online business. Also would love to hear your best tips/templates for securing freelance clients as well! Happy New Year and keep killing it!


owens346
owens346

I've seen quite a few things since signing up, and i've gotten ideas from all of them. The difference, however, between this and other sites is this one actually made me do something and continue doing it. i still procrastinate but im doing things i don't normally, like writing. I hate English Comp, but now i have a blog because of this site. I also redid my portfolio that was making no money and im about to start a business using the marsupial method( which i nicknamed the beauty shop method). Im loving where im taking my life and its YOUR FAULT lol.

http://www.betterthanyournerd.com

Guest1
Guest1

Happy 2014, Daniel! I'm launching a youtube channel as a beauty guru. I'd love if you shared tips on how to start building a following from scratch! Your content was super helpful to me in 2013 and I look forward to seeing what you have in store this year! Rock on!

practicalcivilization
practicalcivilization

Great stuff Daniel! Always a fan of the Key and Peele as well...I said biittchh. Haha. On a more serious note, I'm also launching an eBook on Amazon this year. Excited to get it out there. If you have more insights like Kevin Liu's article on how to promote/sell it that would be awesome! What are you writing your book about?

JenniferJampala
JenniferJampala

Hi Daniel. Can't wait for your posts this year. Always learn a lot. My biggest road block would be getting subscribers to my blog and getting traffic to my site. I've started a new business and built a website but no one has heard of me and I haven't got much traffic yet. Are you able to provide some insight and tips on this?

kevinkliu
kevinkliu

Great stuff, Daniel and great timing. Looking forward to 2014 for sure! What are you using to shoot video?

Rich20Something
Rich20Something moderator

@owens346 Omar, that's fantastic! really happy to hear. What's your #1 goal for the year?

Rich20Something
Rich20Something moderator

@practicalcivilization Hey man, good to hear from you. Definitely loving the posts on practical civilization. Will be a lot of content coming on the book process. What are you planning to write on?

Rich20Something
Rich20Something moderator

@kevinkliu RIght now I have a Nikon HD cam (it's Sara's, not sure on the model) and a Sony A58 DSLR. Just getting a few more things in place before we launch that.

owens346
owens346

to move out of my moms house, and to become independent of fedex

Rich20Something
Rich20Something moderator

@owens346 A Fedex man? You know I'm former UPS. Are we supposed to hate eachother or something?