When facing the disconnect between where we are now and where we want to be we all have two sides fighting for control, the side that is pulled by the vision and the side that is scared by how far away it seems.
When the goalpost is so far away it’s easy to feel the unbearable pain of not having arrived yet.
Talk a walk with me through the chaos of entrepreneurship and we’ll go over how to bear the pain and enjoy the spoils of war.
What We Covered
So the unbearable pain of having not arrived there is this disconnect between where we are now in life and where we want to be.
Now there are two types of people in this world. There’s the type of person that is pulled by that vision and there is the type of person who is scared by how far there is to go.
No, we both hold both types of people within us. So this is not a judgment on anyone. You get to choose which one you want to be.
Do you want to be pulled up or is it going to be an overwhelming force between you and your goal?
Now, there is a phenomenon I’ve seen in this world that is very interesting to me and it’s that people will put in years or even decades of their life towards a goal if authority tells them that it’s the right thing to do, but if they’re on their own with this goal, they’re called a dreamer, they’re told to grow up, they’re told to be responsible and go out there and get a real job.
Now, if we look at two tracks in life, let’s say that somebody is studying 10 years, five years of undergrad, five years of postgrad to get their PhD. In between those 10 years, they’re in a constant state of not having arrived yet. What is the stress there? Nobody’s judging them every single day. They don’t go to Thanksgiving dinner, take a sip of wine, and the relative says, are you still doing that PhD thing? Because society and authority has told us that this is responsible and it’s a respectable thing to do. So when we’re in this gap between where we are and where we want to go, as long as society is telling us, keep going, this is a great thing to do. There’s not as much pressure to abandon that path.
Now if we decide to step out on our own and become an entrepreneur, which is kind of like the punk rock of the adult world, you’re basically saying fuck you to authority, then it’s going to be a lot harder to stay on that path because you’re constantly going to be told like if you haven’t made it yet, you’re not going to, what are you doing?
But if we look at the same path, let’s say somebody is two years into their education, everybody has faith in what they’re doing, they’re two years into their entrepreneurial career and people are going to say, well, are you making more money than you used to? And you’ll say, no, I’m still learning how to be an entrepreneur. And they don’t realize that if you just stay in a couple more years, you’re going to have more rewards than 99% of people in this world.
So let’s take a look at the unbearable pain of not having arrived, how we can deal with this in our own lives when we’re going in for big goals and what it means for society in the future of work. Number one is descent into chaos. So if we go after a hard abstract non-mainstream goal, anything, whether it’s writing a book or becoming an entrepreneur or fulfilling a dream, you’re going to descend into chaos, right?
You step off the well path and all of a sudden you’re thrown into thousands of different variables all working together and you have no idea how they work. And so your first jump into entrepreneurship, into being an artist and to whatever it is, it’s going to be pure chaos and you’re going to want to turn around and leave and get back to water, right? We’d gone from order to chaos.
So we have number two, uncertainty in your approach. As soon as you’re in that chaos, you’re going to start with a plan. You have that plan. You say, I’m going to stick to this plan for four years and this is the result that I’m going to get. And you go one month, two month, three months, six months down that plan. And what happens? You develop uncertainty in your approach. This is what I’m talking about with authority figures, not telling you it’s the right thing to do because if we’re in university or something, we don’t have that uncertainty, and in our approach, everyone is telling us this is the right approach.
This is the right approach. Even if that’s going to result in us getting out of school with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt and no real better job than we would’ve had if we didn’t go to school. I’m not saying that’s the case for everybody. Doctors, lawyers, scientists, these people all need a solid university education, right? But if you are an entrepreneur or an artist, that’s not always going to be the best case.
So uncertainty in your approach is going to develop. Let’s say you’re an entrepreneur. You’re going to start to doubt if you’re doing the right things or not, and you’re going to start to jump around and you might abandon your path. Next, we have low chance of success. Let’s be honest. If we look at these statistics, about nine out of 10 businesses fail. But you know what I would love to see is out of those entrepreneurs that stay the course for 10 years and get guidance the whole way, what is the probability of success?
I would think it’s a lot higher than that because most people give up. They go back to the main stream so that they can get out of chaos so that they can get out of uncertainty in their approach. Okay, so if we want to deal with low chance of success, what can we do to come about that we can stay the course? This is going to bring us to our identity versus others. We’ve stayed the course where one years, two years into entrepreneurship, we go to Thanksgiving dinner. A family says, I’M still doing that entrepreneurship thing. Say, yeah, the like how much money are you making and you’re making less than you would if you had a real job. Right? If you’re just getting started and so everyone around you authority society, they cannot understand why you would be doing this thing because you say you’re in it to make it big. Right? But what’s happening right now? You have less than you would if you took the other course. So you’re taking a short term sacrifice in your path and all of a sudden your identity is coming up against others and they’re going to call you out.
They’re going to say, what are you talking about? You’re making less than you would at a job, so your identity is going to come into contact with those forces. Now, next we have identity versus self.
It’s not enough. People are going to start to call you out, right? That’s, that’s not a problem if you can withstand that. But the problem is eventually you’re going to start to question yourself and you’re going to say, am I cut out for this? Can I really make it? I’ve been in this for 18 months, for two years, and I’m still worse off than it was before. What’s going on? I thought I was an entrepreneur and I’m not there yet.
Okay, so in the unbearable pain of not having have arrived, you have to deal with your own personal identity and you questioning what it really is. And then we have the practical implications of this, right? We’re an entrepreneur. We’ve made short term sacrifices. We’re making less than we would at a real job. We still have to pay our bills, we still have to take care of our family, we still have to put food on the table.
We still have to handle all of these practical considerations. And so again, our identity wants to be somebody who earns more than the average person, right? But in reality, the practical implications of this or that we’re making less and we have to deal with not having as much money. So I’ll see opposite of what we’re going for. So we have to deal with the opposite of what we’re setting out to achieve. But eventually, if we stick with this long enough to become a master of what we’re doing, we can handle to set into chaos.
If we can handle uncertainty in our approach, questioning ourselves, if we can handle the low chance of success, if we can handle our identity coming in contact with other’s opinions of ourselves, if we can handle our identity coming in contact with our own self doubt and the practical implications of all of this.
Eventually we will make order out of chaos. And this is what the entrepreneur is born to do. This is where you level up and all of a sudden it’s like you’re seeing the matrix. It’s like you’re seeing the next level in life. You’ve been playing down at level one all your life and all of a sudden you level up and you see things clearly for the very first time. And this is what an entrepreneur does. They take chaos and they turn it into order. And after you have done this for the first time, everything will change forever. And there’s no going back.
It’s like the matrix. It’s like taking that red pill because you seen the lies, you’ve been told, you’ve seen this self doubt in the middle and what’s on the other side. And you know now that you can bridge that gap between where you are now and where you want to be.
So you go into a business, you take the chaos, you turn it into order, all of a sudden you have a system and you get certainty. So if you’re starting a business, this is like figuring out your market to message match. This is figuring out your product market fit. This is building your system and all of a sudden you go from being broker than you were.
If you had a real job to making 10 times the amount you go from not knowing where your next thousand dollars is going to come from to making $3,000 before you get out of bed in the morning. This is where you get certainty. You start to get paid and things start to change. You’ve gone from pure chaos and pure disorder and pure uncertainty. Having certainty again in your life, but this time you’ve done it playing on the new level.
Now what happens in this process, in this unbearable pain of not having arrived? What happens? We’ve started to arrive right at this point. If you can make order out of chaos, you’re going to have an identity formation, which means you’ve proven to yourself that this dream you held in the back of your mind the entire time, one that everyone doubted, the one that you doubted yourself. You’ve proven to yourself that it’s possible to come out the other side and that is going to make a permanent shift in your identity and now you see the world through these green glasses. Everything you see, every problem you see, you understand that you could take that chaos and you could turn it into order. You have a skill that 99% of people don’t have. This is where things get crazy, okay? This is where you start to live life on a whole other plane than most people do, okay?
You’re so far off of the average. Things don’t look the same anymore, and now you understand that there are the rules of society and there are the systems in the society of which we live, and you can choose to play in that system or you can create your own system. You can create order out of chaos. You determine the rules of the game now and what happens? Number 10 in this process, you get the spoils of war. And I say war because it does feel like what you’ve got, I’m not comparing this to a real war, obviously real war is much more intense. Uh, but it feels like you’ve gone through a metaphorical war in this process you have with yourself and with self doubt, and with chaos and with the market and with everything else. So if you’ve triumphed this far, you now understand that there’s not a lot that’s out of reach for you.
You can handle anything that comes your way because you know how to think properly. You know how to persevere. You know how to become a master. You know how to create a system that works for you, and you get the spoils. You get to make the impact, the money, the rewards that most people will never, ever see in their lives. You get to make more in one morning than most people do in a month. And it’s because you dealt with the unbearable pain of not having arrived, but you didn’t get here over night. You didn’t get here in a week or a month. It takes years and years to get to this point, but it’s an exponential process.
There’s a little bit of progress throughout it all, but once you have identity reformation, things start to move so much faster because you understand how this process works. Not on a theoretical level, but by actually it’s experiencing it yourself.
Now. When you go to dinner and you’re drinking your wine, people are no longer judging your path. They’re no longer questioning you and saying, when are you going to get a real job? Because that would be stupid because now you’re making 10 times what you’d be making it a real job and now you can see looking back how the path played out.
You can say, yeah, it took me five years to get here. Yeah, took me three years or two years to get here. That’s as long as a college education. What happens when you finish college? Five years of undergrad? What do you get? You get a slip of paper and you get pretty much, let’s be honest, the worst jobs in a corporation that you could possibly get, you get first job out of college. Bottom of the ladder. Okay, and what do you have to do? Pay your dues, work your way up. You’re just serving everybody else’s career at that point. What do you get at the five years? At the end of an entrepreneurial journey? You have the capacity to create whenever you want in life.
Okay? So instead of hundreds of thousands dollars in debt, you get to make that lunch every single month that those are the rewards for dealing with this pain of not having a rock. Because I know this was my biggest challenge for so long. It was, I cannot handle this. Not knowing if this is gonna work or not. I cannot handle knowing if I’m going down the right path. And one day I just said, fuck it, I’m, I’m going to do it or I’m going to die trying. And I gave up. I gave up that resistance. I gave up needing to know if it was the right path or not and I said, I’m just going to do it anyways. I’m going to stop questioning and everyday I’m going to stop caring if people think that I’m doing the right thing or not. And what happened?
Everything that I set out to accomplish happened because I stopped worrying about this pain and I started just focusing on putting in the work every single day.
So let me know in the comments, do you have this pain of not having arrived yet? Is it hard to handle? Is it hard to deal with? What do you do to deal with it and is this process useful to you?
Let’s go through it one more time. The 10 stages of the unbearable pain of not having arrived. If you’re setting out for an artistic or entrepreneurial endeavor, we have descent into chaos. Number one to uncertainty in your approach. Three, the low chance of success for identity versus others. Five, identity versus self. Six, the practical implications of not having arrived, which are the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve. Seven, making order out of chaos. Eight finally achieving certainty out of uncertainty. Nine, reforming your identity as somebody who’s able to create order out of the chaos changes the game forever, and 10 the spoils of war. This is what you set out to do in the first place. It’s the last step in the process.