In 2006, I felt a calling to start a new career, and I followed it. I left a corporate job as a consultant to pursue my dream of being a personal development writer, trainer and coach. It was a big leap for me. I didn’t know how to do it, and back then there wasn’t some defined path for would-be thought leaders. I also wanted to create online video courses for people to improve their lives, even though video buffer speed was awful and there wasn’t much of a market for online courses back then.
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I faced what a lot of people face when they don’t know what they’re doing: I promptly went broke. I had to move in with my girlfriend because I couldn’t pay my rent. It’s a difficult place to be when you’re an adult and someone else is buying your groceries.
Soon after, I lost my motivation. There were a lot of days when I would just sit at my desk, fooling myself into thinking I was preparing or organizing. I was doing busywork, but not my life’s work. One night I was working in this tiny little bedroom we had in San Francisco, which is a hard place to be broke. I was writing on a foldout three-legged table I borrowed from my mom, and the bed next to me had become my extended desk. The bed was always covered in all of my research, my vision boards, my journals and my growing pile of bills. My girlfriend walked into the room quietly, trying to not disturb me while I was pounding away on the keys.
I had started my second chance, but I was failing productively and financially until I became clear about who I was fighting for.
She crawled under the covers to go to sleep and said good night. I looked at her and realized she was sleeping under the weight, literally, of my bills. It broke something inside me. It hurt my heart so much to see her struggle because I couldn’t get my act together. And that changed it for me: For the first time in my life, I realized I had someone to fight for.
I had started my second chance, but I was failing productively and financially until I became clear about who I was fighting for. I didn’t want my girlfriend to have to suffer because I wasn’t being focused or confident enough to truly go for my dreams. I wanted her to have joy and be with someone who had abundance in his life.
So find something to fight for. Because you know what? When times get tough you’ll quickly give up on yourself, but you won’t give up fighting for others.
Related: How to Find Your ‘Why’ in Life