Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Fear of the Hustle

I spent a lot of time today listening to podcasts.  Podcasts about passive income, life coaching, canned chili, and productivity.  I listened about blogs, vlogs, and slogs.  The dream of starting a multimedia internet empire quickened my pulse and spiked my attention.  The dream of videos like Casey, Podcasts like Merlin, and Blogs like M. John Fayhee.  Being all of my favorites in one.  But I am not my favorites.  I am me.  In high school I remember I played Chopin for some friends and afterwards diddled away on the keys for a time and the one fellow remarked that he enjoyed the second piece much more so than the first.  When I told my piano teacher, somewhat proud of the fact that I had out done the genius Chopin, she replied in her usual dry manner, "I'm sure Chopin played Chopin better than Bach."

I'm sure Chopin played Chopin better than Back.  But do I, the brave and daring Khusrow, play Khusrow better than Casey?  I for one know that my 3 attempts at video making do not compare to the compelling daily videos that Casey Neistat composes after years of perfecting his craft with laser focus.  I have always felt, and maybe this is showing my privilege, that money was easy so long as that was all you wanted.  If your only care in the world was to collect money than collecting money would be easy.  The trick for most people is that money is just the tool to do what they want to do and so money seems so elusive.  The thing that has been holding me back from writing, playing music, making videos, building webpages, building passive income streams; is that I am not convinced that that is what I really want.  Do I want a flexible schedule that earns money without me doing much to make that money?  Yes.  But is that flexible time and easy money just a tool for me to do what I really want to do?  Yes.  And am I going to keep pursuing what I really want to do instead of building my multimedia empire that empowers me to do the things I want to do?  Yes.

This is the great problem.  Am I willing to not work on motorcycles now so that I have piles of cash and calendars of free time to work on motorcycles later?  Am I willing to work hard and miss time with my kids now in the hopes that I would have gobs of free time to spend with them later?  Am I willing to not spend time with people now so that I could be generous with my time and money with those same people later?

These are all questions I struggle to answer.  What is the cost to the success that I want?  Am I willing to pay that price?  The price in hours and stress and lack of sleep.  The cost of building a business that I think I would be good at in the after hours of a job that I am also good at, but consumes so much of my time?

 In January Lindsey and I discussed having May be a month of hustle.  To see what a side business would look like for 1 month if I threw it all in,  In January I thought that business was pipe making, which is something I really enjoy doing.  But I have a strong feeling that this is a saturated market with a narrow audience.  So I've been thinking of creating many things with a larger breadth and a larger audience.  I don't know what that would look like and I don't think May is my month to dive into those things but major changes feel like they are swirling in my mind and I do not know where they will go.  


Iago said...

There are no certanties, ergo we ought to live as if there are no certainties. From what I have experienced, the "no certainties" rule applies to our minds. One should consider the odds, then work toward a probable good outcome.

Iago said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Magnetic Bran Flakes said...

Regarding passive incomes: From what I have been able to ascertain thus far in my life, the only reliable passive income comes from the ownership* and leverage of actual capital. If you think about it, a media 'empire', as defined as a set of blogs, vlogs, podcasts, what-have-you, is a fleeting thing in and of itself.

The best bloggers, podcasts, and such that I have consumed flow FROM someone who is doing something else anyway. They are usually successful -independently- from the interwebs.

In that vain, you may as well follow your nose in this sense. Do what you do BECAUSE you like it, not towards some side purpose. Heck, that's why you are working a day-job in the first place; to have time/money to persue things you are genuinely interested in.



*ownership being an altogether different problem. What does it really mean to 'own' something in the USA today? Nevertheless, I have found the default definition of "what you can bolt down and prevent others from unbolting" to be a good heuristic. A web-media empire built on nothing but a fortunate wave of reddit users and youtubers is not very 'boltable', as compared to, say, control of large swaths of land.

Magnetic Bran Flakes said...

Pipe-making, for example. You make quality pipes! Why the honk not sell them? You enjoy doing it, you are good at it... do it!

It is true: you may not become independently wealthy from pipe-making alone, but that is irrelevant! The point is to make pipes! You hit the nail on the head earlier with the whole "do you trade x time now for a dice-roll for > x time tomorrow?" question. I think this resolves itself once you shift your thinking from "I want to make Y to generate income" to "I just enjoy making Y, and getting better at it, I think I'll spend some time with it", and especially once you factor in the complete uncertainty and unpredictability of the future.

In other words, you have time now, today. This is a known quantity. The future remains an unknown, forever and always. Leverage what you have today, and if you happen to have more leverage tomorrow, then of course, leverage that too! But, to bet your time today for a complete uncertainty, rather than leveraging it are two different beasts.