This is a guest submission from Stephen Guise from DeepExistence.com
Have you ever been told—directly or indirectly—that you’re not good enough?
I have, and here’s how it changed me.
Summer of 2010 brought sweet freedom in the form of a completed college degree in Finance. And after two decades of school, I was finally free to take on the world.
But the world wasn’t interested. Crap.
The Job Hunt Was A Colossal Failure
I applied for job after job in my field, and was rejected at all phases of the process—no response, first interview, second interview, and even an informal offer. After a while, my patience wore thin. Why can’t I even get a chance?
I was mad; at these companies, at my student debt, and at the college promise of a better job.
Then, I had an interesting and slightly uncomfortable thought—either they’re wrong or I’m wrong.
When I finally got a job at Lowe’s Home Improvement on the sales floor, I quit on the first day. It was far from a dream job and the thought of settling and “being happy to have any job in this market” made me sick.
So I decided that they were wrong, and I was going to prove it.
One other reason I quit was because I had just recently started a blog called Deep Existence that I was excited about. During my job search, I was furious that I had no control. It was up to people I had never met before to determine my worth. Maybe it was just a bad job market. I didn’t care, I was upset.
I had been writing about personal growth for a few years, and many of my friends said what I wrote was good and that I should even write a book. I laughed at them about the book. But I did want to share my thoughts with the world, so I started Deep Existence.
Deep Existence was something I could control. I liked that.
And as I researched how these “blog” things worked, I found that some people actually made money doing it! Interesting. I knew immediately that I would enjoy blogging much more than any corporate job, though I knew it was not easy to make money this way.
The Sacrifice I Made To Live My Dream
The path to live your dreams is almost always the most difficult one and often requires sacrifices to be made. That has been the case for me. I type this in my parent’s home at age 28. I still haven’t moved out yet. I haven’t even thought about girls because “I live with mommy” is a very poor pickup line. But I’m finally moving out before this month expires.
I can move out because now I make money doing what I love (writing and helping people). It’d be easy to say that it’s because I took control of my life and blah blah. But it’s really because I was rejected.
If I was never rejected, I would have embraced a soul-crushing job that paid well. I would have joined the masses of unsatisfied deskbots because “that’s just how life is.” Perhaps later I’d realize that I needed to end the grind, but who knows?
But being rejected made me think about my life’s direction. It accelerated my path by forcing my hand. Now, I can’t imagine working a normal job. I have nightmares about getting one of those jobs I was rejected for!
How Writing A Book Changed My Life
Despite initially laughing at my friends who said I should write a book, I did write one.
After I decided to write a book, I still had to decide what to write about. I had ideas, but the undeniable answer came when a surprise strategy I tried changed my life. I had started doing 1+ push-ups a day in late 2012, and months later, that small habit grew into a full-size gym habit that I still have today.
Then I started requiring myself to write 50 words a day and read 2 pages in a book every day.
I was astonished. I became fit, wrote 4x as much, and read 10x as many books (I didn’t read much before).
These small habits were changing my life unlike anything I had ever done before, and I knew my book would have to be about this weird, but powerful strategy. I coined the term “mini habits” to describe them, because they are miniature versions of habits people want to have. Over the next few months, I used my writing mini habit to write and edit “Mini Habits,” the book.
I published the book on December 22, 2013. Since then, it has been a runaway bestseller, selling more than 15,000 copies in just a few months. People are telling their family and friends about it and reviews have been glowing overall (4.7 stars). I’m thankful for that, because I make my living from book sales now.
It was my decision to not settle and risk it with Deep Existence and build a platform that enabled a successful book launch, which gave Mini Habits a chance to be discovered by others.
Should You Quit Your Job And “Go For It?”
A common question people ask is if they should quit their job and go for it. That’s pretty much what I did, but it’s not for everyone. I had the “live with the parents” option to fall back on. Not everyone has that option.
If you’re considering it, think about the worst case scenario—if nothing goes according to plan, can you deal with it? You might have to make (significant) sacrifices to make it work, and it might not work, but if you can pull it off, let me just say it’s the greatest feeling in the world!
As for me, I’m just about to release an online course called “Mini Habit Mastery” on Udemy.com on July 24. I worked on it every day for more than seven months using a mini habit. After that is released, I’ll be writing another book.
It does help to be passionate about your business or pursuit. I considered quitting 5 or 6 times in my journey with Deep Existence. But I love to write and I love to help people improve their lives, and that helped me put in the work and push through the doldrums. But even more than that, it’s been my good (mini) habits that continue to enable me to do the work that now provides my income.
I still haven’t found a use for my B.S.B.A. in Finance, but that’s fine with me, because I’ve already found my career.
What about you? What habits do you have that are helping you towards your goals?
Stephen Guise wrote the #1 best-selling book, “Mini Habits,” which has sold more than 15,000 copies in just a few months; it is the highest rated habit book among top sellers. Before the success of Mini Habits, Stephen built his blog, Deep Existence, into one of the world’s most popular resources online for focusing and habit-building strategies.