Picture this. You have a job that pays okay. But you don’t really like it. Well, let me put it this way: You like the money, but you wouldn’t do that job if there was no money involved.
“Screw it, I need money to have a life!” You might think.
We all have bills to pay, people to take care of, and important tasks to complete. We do these things because if we don’t, we might get fired and lose our income.
And without income, we can’t pay for our house, clothes, vacations, etc.
I’m describing a “normal” life. I call this normal because this is how 99% of all people that I know live.
That’s what I think three or four times a month.
To be honest, the thought of quitting whatever I’m doing in my life has been on my mind as long as I remember. When I was in high school, I wanted to quit and just find a job. When I played basketball, I wanted to quit.
When I started a business, I wanted to quit and get a job. When I got a job, I wanted to quit and get back to my business.
I can go on and on until I reach the present. I know, it sounds like an existential crisis that people in the first world only have. But that’s not what’s going on.
You’ll never find me crying about stuff like missing out on parties, not being able to get my hands on a ‘one-of-a-kind’ t-shirt (you hype beasts out there), or a dead battery.
But no matter how much I love what I do, the thoughts of quitting and just walking away show up in my mind every time things get hard. And in the past, those thoughts cost me many nights of sleep.
Some say life is like chess, running a marathon, or playing a video game. I like those simplified looks on life because it’s already complicated enough.
But even though those ideas are fun, they don’t provide a practical strategy to base your life on. Sure, you must be smart, strategic, try to accelerate your learning, get results, and be consistent at the same time. We get it.
But what do you do when things don’t work out?
About three years ago, I wasn’t satisfied with my life and career. It’s difficult to explain why. To be honest, I didn’t understand why at the time. I just didn’t know what I was doing.
I just did what others expected me to do. Or, things that conventional wisdom tell you to do. I went to college, got two degrees, started a business, but I thought I also needed to work for a multinational firm, live in a big city, buy expensive stuff, and drive a cool car.
Do you ever feel that business as a whole can be hostile? Maybe you have a boss that doesn’t appreciate you. Or a client that treats you like dirt.
No matter what your place is on the career ladder, I bet you’ve felt misunderstood somewhere in your career. Every day people feel left out, unappreciated, and mistreated at work. And consequently, they suffer.
Let’s face it. Business is not always fun. And sure, it’s business.
But I think we can easily improve the business landscape by getting better at one thing: Emotional Intelligence.
Everyone has heard of it. But what is it? How do you get better at it? And how can you use it to get better at business?
Emotional intelligence (EI) is a term that’s been popularized by John Mayer, from the University of New Hampshire, and Yale’s Peter Salovey.
How do you get a raise? How do you get good at networking? How do you sell your products? How do you convince people of something you believe in?
These are all questions I’ve thought about throughout my career. And I’ve learned that no matter how productive or good you are, it means nothing without persuasion skills.
Because what’s an artist without an audience? Or a leader without a following?
I always try to learn more about persuasion because it’s a topic you can never know enough about. Plus, it’s something you apply every single day during the conversations you have, emails you send, and calls you have.
Do you have a list of priorities or goals that you want to achieve this year? And do you struggle with allocating time to them?
I’m no different. Life can be messy. Most of us juggle a lot of different things at the same time. Even though the simple solution is to stop juggling, it’s not always realistic. Or even needed.
What if you could do more things without losing your time? It’s possible. But you must work in an organized way.
Enter: Time Blocking a simple productivity exercise that many people use. It’s not fancy or revolutionary. The only thing you need is a calendar, which is something everyone with a smartphone and computer has.
Many things in life always sound better in theory.
- “I’m going to save my money, buy real estate, and live off the rent money.”
- “I’m going to start a blog, sell courses, and live off the passive income.”
- “I’m going to open a yoga school and only work a few hours a day.”
Alright, that’s great. I’ve talked about putting in the work many times before. I’m not going to do that again. We know that by know.
So let’s assume you are putting in the work. And to be honest, I’m pretty sure you’re taking your career seriously. Why else would you read these type of articles, right?
However, we also want to live a good life. I believe that life is meant to be enjoyed.
Richard Koch, author of the seminal book The 80/20 Principle, said it best: