Fighting for your dreams sure as hell ain’t easy and running two businesses while working a 9-5 job is even harder, but despite the roadblocks that come along with my ‘side hustle’ lifestyle, I still manage to exhibit habits of great execution. Girl, I’m so tired of hearing people tell me that lack of ‘time’ is the reason they haven’t been able to achieve success. No, lack of time is not the issue. The fact is, you continue to mismanage it and your expectations exceed your effort. Like, bruh, you can’t be serious. Out of a 24 hour day, don’t tell me you cannot find a few to work on your passion. Listen, my passion is my oxygen. I cannot breathe if I don’t do it daily. That being said, I place it high on my priority list and I encourage you to do it too. You don’t necessarily have to make any of the sacrifices I’ve made below, but I hope this inspires you to take a good look at your life and re-evaluate some of your choices.
A sacrifice is a loss or something you give up, usually for the sake of a better cause.
Sacrifice #1: My Sleep
Personally, I’m on team no sleep. However, I am fully aware of the argument that you need sleep to reach your maximum potential. Arianna Huffington is a huge advocate of the Sleep Revolution and her Ted Talk is also great. But in my opinion, just like ‘work-life balance,’ I don’t think the rules are the same for everyone. It’s relative. People define it and apply it differently to their lives.
By the time everyone else flops out of bed, I have already conquered half of my to-do list (I practice the ‘5 before 8’ rule. I try to cross off 5 things from my to-do list before 8am). I average 4 – 6 hours of sleep a night. I wake up at 4:30am and go to bed at midnight. Other well known individuals who share this belief include Eric Thomas, Martha Stewart, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and many more. And I’m not just talking about getting a few hours of sleep some nights. I mean every night. For me, there’s no such thing as sleeping in until noon. There’s no such thing as taking weekends off. When you are chasing your dreams; if your parents still have to wake up and go to work; if you have younger siblings who look up to you, or if you choose to become a business owner, there are no days off. Just sayin’. Like, there is work to do. In my case, I have honestly created a life I don’t need a vacation from. It’s that good. But I was only able to achieve this by becoming disciplined. I was a high-performance athlete for just over a decade of my life. I was either in the pool or on the track at 5am before school and training again for 3 hours after school. I gotta give it to my parents for being on my ass and not letting me give up because I developed this same work ethic in my business. My Saturday is my Monday and incase you are wondering, I do take naps but only if I feel I’ve deserved it.
Direct Result: Up before you. Up after you. This is how I stay ahead of the game.
Sacrifice #2: My Personal wants
I don’t own a car. Yup! I said it and I could really care less if you judge me for it. The toys I can easily afford will have to wait until I am ready. Right now I am focused on building my assets. Two years ago I purchased my first investment property and next year, according to my profit plan, I will be debt-free. You see, I grew up comfortable. I had and bought anything I wanted until, shortly after my college years, life humbled my family and I real quick. Financially, we took a hit and we were forced to learn, the hard way, how to live with less. I’m so happy I learned this lesson early in life because it completely changed my perspective. I do not need the latest gadget. That shit gets old very quick. What I need are experiences that enrich my life and feed my soul, not my ego. It’s easy to get swallowed up in the fast lane and lose track of what’s important. I love a quote from Elliot Hulse. He says, “Think like a boss, dress like a bum” and how I interpret this line is to always stay humble. Just because you can, does not always mean you should.
Direct Result: My bank account is healthy. I have money to invest and save.
Sacrifice #3: My Social Life
When your friends understand the grind, they won’t get emotional if you can’t do lunch. I will always make time for special occasions such as birthdays, baby showers, weddings, etc; the once in a lifetime moments. But when it comes to accepting invites to dinner, casual hang outs or netflix and chill-type occasions, I always think twice. Maybe even three times. It’s often the same people who spend their Summers at Cabana Pool Bar or kill their Saturday’s watching 5 seasons of Empire who are the same ones complaining there isn’t enough time to pursue their dreams. I do believe in coming up for air every once in a while, but bruh, when there’s work to do, the choice is pretty easy. Decline outside distractions and get the job done. I’m addicted to the feeling of accomplishment and when I can cross an item off my to-do list, that is the moment I reward myself with a night out on the town.
Direct Result: I grind ’till I own it.
Sacrifice #4: My Sanity
You literally have to be cray cray to be an entrepreneur. One of my favorite articles is called the psychological price of entrepreneurship – omg too real. I make self-love practices a daily ritual, so I tend to bounce back quicker than I used to. You often hear Gary Vaynerchuck talk a lot about how important self-awareness is. It’s essential. I deal with many tight deadlines, high expectations and during few dark moments I sometimes wonder if I am capable. Of course, I am but just like you reading this post, some days my confidence levels aren’t a 10. That’s just me being real. Do I have to put myself through this tug-of-war? Hell no. Do I want to? Hell yes. I enjoy the journey as much as I enjoy the feeling of victory. On the surface, people see only 20% of my life. The other 80% is when I am truly putting in the work and grinding.
Direct Result: Self-Awareness, Self-Love, Self-Esteem
Sacrifice #5: My reputation
The nature of my career makes me very vulnerable to people who do not support me. I’ve had a stalker, I’ve had someone duplicate my Facebook profile, I’ve had people write me hate mail. You know, the normal stuff (sarcasm). But my purpose always outweighs my fear and I push through the bullshit and focus on the individuals who matter. I asked for this public personna. In fact, I prayed for it when I was a kid so I will not complain. But by putting myself out here daily and telling my story, I put myself in a position to be both loved and criticized. I try not to get emotional about it. Instead I allow it to build my character and my drive. I don’t break, I bend.
Direct Result: Thick skin. I don’t get emotional about shit. I let it roll off my back and move on.
To whom much is given, much is required. If you don’t learn to understand that quote, you will always feel unbalanced. Life may be tough, but you are tougher. Keep your head up and straighten your crown. Your sacrifices will look a lot different than mine, but I have the utmost respect for you because you continue to rise again and try again, no matter how badly it hurts.
Peace & Love,