Before a seething mob of butter-in-coffee drinking, Tim Ferriss fanboys come and (ever-so-efficiently) burn me at the stake at the next TED conference – allow me to pin my colours to the mast, with regards to the 21st century online phenomenon that is life hacking; if there is a way of doing something quicker and I can get the same results in doing so – I will do it in a heartbeat.
Sign me up.
I’d sooner waste money than waste time – that shit’s precious to me and I take it very seriously these days.
And for the record, I have a lot of respect for Ferriss. Although Danny O’Brien first coined the term in 2004, Ferriss is seen as the Godfather of getting things done in a faster time and his first book; ‘The Four-Hour Workweek’ has been good to me over the years. I used some of the principles in there to generate a five-figure monthly business whilst gallivanting around the globe for three years so I’m certainly no hater to the general philosophy.
Lay down your arms!
There is unquestionably a time and place for shortcuts. No one likes to do tedious crap, when they can get the job done in less time (or not do it at all). If you could – why the hell wouldn’t you? But I think it’s all getting a little out of hand and it’s making us lazy, delusional and kind of annoying.
I’ve noticed a disturbing shift of mentality in the making money online world for new starters – I see people are looking for a cheeky cheat to success from the very start, before they’ve even gotten their hands dirty. In advance of dipping their toes in the tide – they’re expecting to claim the whole ocean as their own.
It makes me uncomfortable. It makes me antsy.
And to be frank, sometimes I just want to ask these people; “what makes you so special, princess?” (unisex-friendly question).
The Passive Income Dream
Whenever I receive an email, it’s usually from a reader who is interested in how the hell I did it. How I went from a deeply-in-debt bum, with no university degree, to an international globe-trotter whilst making a lot of money online (with zero experience) in a relatively short space of time.
Other than my family and friends – no one gives a flying f**k about where I’ve been on my travels; they just want to know how I managed to fund it.
And I don’t blame them.
I happily respond to readers who tell me they are hopelessly lost in life, but have found a defiant, romantic sparkle in their eye and that they are willing to do anything to upgrade their life, along with their X Factor-esque audition sob story.
Yet alas – I’m a sucker for a dreamer. Rags to riches stories get me all giddy. I can’t get enough of them and I love it when someone backs themselves against the odds….but…
When I tell them about the first online income that I ever made – SEO Writing – which is admittedly painfully boring, but has a very low barrier of entry and is still, the fastest way of making money online that I personally know of – they turn face up and say noooo – but I want to make passive income!
They’re way too good for all that hard work nonsense.
It makes me want to do a real-life emoji like this:
Before the person has even started a product – they believe they are entitled to passive income?! Are they for real? How the hell did we ever get here? I personally believe the Life Hacking ethos has gone too far. Life hack this, life hack that. Wash your cat this way and you’ll never have to wash you cat ever again.
Save 0.7 seconds by peeling your banana like this!
People have forgotten the beauty of the journey and they want to force the tip in with a big enthusiastic smile on their face, when they haven’t even offered a modicum of foreplay.
The Journey is The Best Part
Maybe it’s Anglo Saxon work ethic guilt speaking here – but I think there’s still a lot to be said for rolling up your sleeves and getting stuck into some good old-fashioned hard work, before you start thinking about cutting corners.
But that’s just not sexy anymore, is it?
I always tell people who have committed to starting something – travelling for the first time, starting their first business/blog etc that I am incredibly jealous of them. They usually respond in a confused Scooby Doo kind of way until I explain to them that the start of the journey is the best part. You’ll never be there ever again, feeling that concoction of emotions, growing each day, finding out who you really are and I urge you to not try and rush past it.
Savour the journey. Fight, climb, fail, fall, stand back up, learn and grow.
You wouldn’t fast forward a brilliant, tense movie to the end, would you? Ok, so stop doing it with your life then. You maniac.
I even fall for the life hacking trick myself. I have a (very intimidating) goal of putting on 20 pounds of muscle this year, however I found myself looking at ‘hacks’ and shorter, faster, sneakier ways of doing it – a shortcut around the hard work.
I realised I was falling into the life hack trap and now I’m in the gym six days a week, for an hour and a half each day, with strict meal plans throughout the week (4-hour body be damned!) And you know what? It’s bloody hard. Because sometimes you have to just do hard shit to get the results that you want.
Will I find a way later on in the year to save time and get the same results?
Maybe, maybe not.
But at this stage of the game, I’m willing to put the graft in first. I don’t think I’m somehow entitled to success, just because I want it and I know I’m going to have to go through the journey in order to grow (metaphorically and physically).
Embrace the journey, welcome the struggle – it’ll make you stronger in the end. But you’ve got to earn that strength.
Stop looking for the next hack, when you haven’t even gotten off your lazy arse yet (I say that with love).
Done. Now I’ll finish off on my favourite story about a man who wasn’t afraid to hustle to earn his success…