One Saturday in 2013, I woke up in my apartment in Queens. The instant my eyes opened, I could feel my head beating like an EDM track. The jackhammer hangover pounding behind both eyes woke me up which meant I would be forced to return to my sad and melancholy reality. I was broke, in debt and living alone in a strange city without any friends or family.
I was the top sales rep at my company, but not by choice. If I was unable to outproduce the entire office, I wouldn't hit the $500 bonus I needed in order to pay rent. At the time, I was unable to get ahead, unable to save money, unable to go out with coworkers, unable to date anyone and unable to enjoy any of life's pleasures. Although I had developed a large amount of discipline, I was exhausted and dead tired of the life I was living - including the Ramen noodles boiling on my stove top.
After taking two extra strength Advil for my headache, I sat down on my dirty couch and looked around. I started thinking about what I could change in order to improve my overall condition in life.
That's when it hit me.
'I need to change everything.'
The decision was made. I wasn't just going to cut back on how much Xbox I played after work, I was going to sell it. I wasn't just going to switch jobs, I was going to pack up my apartment and switch cities. I wasn't just going to settle in life, I was going to reach. I was going to change everything.
One of my favorite authors, MJ Demarco, accurately describes the moments that precede this type of life altering decision as a 'fuck this event' or FTE, in his book Unscripted: The Pursuit of Life, Love and Entrepreneurship. FTE's come around rarely, but when they do, you will make the same decision I did to change everything.
Making that decision gave me true power, in its rawest form. It gave me the permission I needed to kill off my old identity, my old life, my old self and the failures I manifested due to poor decisions. I was ready to watch it all burn. I was completely ready to lose everything on the off chance of being able to obtain success, freedom and legacy.
When your life is out of wack and things are not going well at all, making minor adjustments are not going to help you. If you're broke, spending an extra 4 hours at the same job you have that isn't cutting it is not going to be the thing that gets you ahead.
If you're ready to see newer and bigger results, you have to make big changes. And if you're trying to change your life, you have to change everything.
This might mean convincing your family to pack up everything you own and moving across the country. This might mean losing all your friends and ignoring their texts to go out on a Wednesday night. This might mean canceling cable, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video and throwing your Playstation out of the window.
You may not be ready for all this, and that's okay. When you're ready to change your life, these sacrifices will make perfect sense to you.
Just know this: making minor adjustments will not yield large changes.
As NYC faded into the distance, I held a middle finger out of the window of my Nissan Maxima as I crossed the Delaware Bridge with my UHaul hitched behind me. I was still broke. I was still in debt. But I had taken the first step in changing all of that - I was Miami bound and had 24 hours to think about the new life I was going to create.
And I certainly created a new life. Sales commissions for the following years were as follows:
- 2013 - $48,000
- 2014 - $85,000
- 2015 - $373,000
- 2016 - $452,000
How did this happen? Was it luck? Absolutely not.
My FTE in NYC was so strong and so powerful that I was overwhelmingly willing to move anywhere and do whatever it took to achieve massive changes in my life.
And if some guy from Wisconsin can do it, you can do it too.
The only question is: are you really ready to change your entire life?