I’m Exhausted From Hard Work — Isn’t It Great?
I am finally glad to be tired from working hard and not because I am battling demons in my brain
My doctors thought I was bipolar because, in between periods of life-threatening depression, I would start various projects and work myself almost to death. Usually, my body crashed first and I slept for a week.
Some might even say I am doing it to myself again, because I’ve been extremely motivated and focused, and have been able to get enormous amounts of work done in the past few months.
But this time it’s different.
I am no longer running around in circles, working hard for work’s sake. I’ve picked projects that will stand the test of time, and instead of expecting to abandon everything and crash, I am putting my effort into the right things to prepare myself for the long haul.
The companies I am building are worth all the effort. 30 years of the hustle and grind have prepared me with expertise and experience that I plan to use to become a big fish in a small pond.
Right now, I’m a small fish: I’m doing a lot of free and discounted work, getting my name out there, and building my portfolio. I don’t mind this part, because the industry where I am building my home is one that is enjoyable for me.
Get this: my favorite thing in life is being a writer where I’m able to pen my truth and earn from it. I also am a big fan of web design and have been perfecting my skills and tweaking my formulas and best practices to come up with a system that I plan to use in all my designs.
Now, I’ve melded them both into a company where I can support the best group of people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting — my fellow writers, authors, and publishers.
I’ve developed a unique set of skills that is perfect for a person who plans to support authors and publishers with their books and promotions. It almost seems like serendipity that I would be choosing to do this at this time in my life, at the exact moment when all my hard work on myself and my mental illness is finally starting to bear fruit.
Don’t get me wrong, depression and anxiety are still a daily occurrence, and what would my mind be like if I didn’t have the constant drone of voices in the background? I don’t think I could operate with a quiet mind. Because it's been this way for so long, anything else is alien to me.
But, I try not to dwell on the voices or depression for too long, and most of the time being able to flick it off like a switch and sit down to get done what I need to do.
I still procrastinate, and there are times I would rather play Diablo than write another essay. There are times I would love to just mindlessly scroll through Twitter instead of working on a website.
The thing is that it’s not difficult to drag myself away from gaming or a long scroll on Twitter because the things I’m avoiding I love to do just as much. I love to write, and because of that have finally started my book. I love to build blogs and websites, and because of that have taken on several different projects at once.
The thing I have to be careful of is that I often get so into my work, I forget my body needs sleep. I will get so preoccupied with building and creating that the last thing I want to do is shut off my brain and rest my body.
But, I do sleep. It may not be 8 hours of uninterrupted slumber but I’ll get 4 hours in the morning and another 4 at night. I’ve started working overnight again because all my clients live in the USA, and there are emails to answer and Zoom calls to join, and I do have things I need to do to help around the house. I have two small kids and my wife works too; she can’t do it all herself.
But, if you were to follow me around for a day, you would see a guy happy with the work he is doing, more often than not grinding along with Snoop Dogg in the headphones, jerking around to the dance of the oblivious and rhythmless white guy. Other times, Pantera and Tool fuel the fire that keeps me pushing myself past exhaustion.
Yeah, I’m fucking tired, but damn, it feels good to be working.
The Method to My Madness
All this pushing myself to do free and discounted work will pay off. If you want to show people you are an expert in what you do, you have to put all the cards on the table and don’t try to bullshit your way to people’s credit card numbers.
I detest the influencers whose only claim to fame and expertise is the minimal success they have achieved with their own personal brand. They figure since they did it once, they can create courses and coach other people to do the same.
They are not an authority or expert in the field they choose, they are just good digital marketers who know how to use pop-ups, ad copy, and sales funnels to convince you to part with your hard-earned money.
And even though I put my own website in my portfolio, I am going to show you other projects where my ingenuity and talent show through and you can tell for yourself that I know what I am doing. I don’t want to have to bullshit my way into your wallet, I want you to pay me knowing you are getting quality and professionalism.
To show you that, I have to prove it by putting my money where my mouth is over and over again until I have a better system than everyone else and can demand higher rates.
Just like my friend Felicia C. Sullivan. In the world of marketing, there are more than a share of bullshitters and charlatans — but not her, not ever. She has a proven track record of success and when she says something or tells you to do something, you can be sure it’s the right thing. She demands high rates and is worth every fucking penny, and that is how I want to be in my own industry,
You get to that level by showing and doing and that pisses more people off than the fact that Felicia is a strong woman in a male-centered industry because they want to get to success by who they know, and what they can make people believe about them, not by decades of hard work and winning every challenge they take on.
I want to be the first person that people think of when they need help with publishing their books, promoting their writing, or building a presence on the web.
All that takes hard work and stubbornness to keep yourself motivated when you would rather watch Army of the Dead on Netflix.
So here I sit, writing, planning, creating, and building. I sit here day after day promoting and sacrificing for others to show that both I and my system are the real deal.
It takes a lot of confidence in yourself, even on the days when you feel less-than and would rather sulk in the background.
So, yes, I am fucking exhausted, but I am doing it with a smile on my face because I am doing what I love.
Doesn’t that make all the hard work worth it?