Reflections On My 30th Birthday
As I type this I just turned 30 years old and if you’re reading this and it’s still Sunday July 19 where you are, make sure you wish me a happy birthday .
I had a conversation leading up to my 30th birthday with a fellow 29 year old who was heading towards her 30th with a little trepidation. She had just divorced her husband, so needless to say she was experiencing significant changes in her life.
Personally I don’t look at 30 as a big deal, although there was one comment this particular girl made that caught my attention…
She said as people turn 30 they usually are in one of two places – they have their “shit” together or they don’t.
I told her I was about as happy as I could remember in my life as I turned 30, so her conclusion was I was one of those people who has their “shit together”.
Yay for me.
It’s natural to reflect on your life as you get older, especially at milestone ages. If I look over my twenties I can certainly say it has been a wild ride, full of highs and lows.
I left my teenage years and entered my twenties while I was at university, not really enjoying my studies, not very motivated by much and just uncomfortable in my own skin.
The problem when your own self worth is low, is that you have great difficulty digging yourself out. You generally attract experiences to enhance your low self esteem because you view the world in “sad” glasses. Until you can switch the conversation going on inside your head from negative to positive, your experiences in the outside world will reflect this, further enhancing your negative belief structure.
In order to truly become confident, you need to have experiences that have a positive impact on you. There’s only so far re-framing your interpretation of events and thinking positive can take you, eventually you have to actually have the positive experiences to build your confidence.
As a result of my dogged determination to remain unhappy, I experienced many low-points. I’d have to say my time with panic attacks and anxiety during my early twenties was one of my least-favorite periods.
As always, thanks to the wonderful world of polarities that we exist in, the trauma caused by these experiences forced me to seek out answers to big questions. If I didn’t suffer the pain, I wouldn’t have gone looking for answers to certain questions either – you need the ying in order to see the contrast and thus fully experience the yang.
I won’t go into detail here, but if you want to read more about my experience with panic and the resultant search for happiness, you can read this –
During my early twenties I had a few part time jobs and experimented with different web projects. My most successful at this time was my Magic: The Gathering card game website, which I grew to the largest site of its kind in Australia and then later sold for $13,000, the first big website deal I made.
I also started my proofreading business BetterEdit.com in my early twenties, which I would invest serious time into growing, including trips to university campuses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Hawaii, Vancouver and Toronto to promote using posters.
From 20 to 25 years old I spent a lot of time playing with different projects and gained a lot of experience. I also began my study of Internet marketing during this time, and delved into more philosophical and spiritual studies too, as a means to figure out why the world is the way it is and what I could do to be happier in it.
I don’t look back on my first five years in my twenties as the most fun of times. Sure there were good times in there, but much of the experience was sabotaged by my attitude. I’m glad to have gone through that period for the growth it provided for me as a person, but I wouldn’t want to go back there again.
A clear contrast to my first five years in my twenties, from 25 to 30 my life went from good to better to great, and thankfully, it’s still going!
It’s funny how as you get your “shit” together, people start to look at you as if you have answers to a question that has been bugging them for a long time – what to do with their life.
The answer to what to do with your life is simple – you need to experience. Your purpose is to gravitate towards activities that manifest joy for you, those around you and any person or living thing who is impacted by what you do. However, you won’t know what these things are by spending all your time wondering what to do.
Surrendering to the process of living is the only answer, but if you don’t at least commit to participating in the process, you don’t get anywhere.
I’ve read a lot of books that presented this wisdom as direct teachings from “god’s” mouth, or through the use of parables to explain ideas so you can more readily absorb them. Regardless of the source, reading about this is never enough, you need to BE it.
Creating awareness is definitely helpful, but until you experience the belief, it will remain only a truth as long as you have faith. If you really want to cement a concept you need to have lived it.
This is why the first five years of my twenties were so important. I needed to be lost in order to be capable of understanding what it feels like to find a purpose. The second five years were all about further refining and building upon the clarity I was discovering.
From 25 to today, the day after my 30th birthday, I achieved many milestones. I bought and sold websites, including selling my main business BetterEdit.com for six figures. I bought my first house, paid off the home loan within two years, traveled the world and just a few days before my 30th birthday, moved into a dream apartment in my ideal living location.
Most of this wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t conduct one crucial experiment – I started a blog. Although it seems strange to give so much credit to one event, I guess I really need to thank my friend Ed Chalmers, because it was him who first uttered the word “blog” and suggest I investigate it.
Starting a blog was just an experiment, but it led me to discover that I was capable of writing words that people wanted to read. It also allowed me to focus on activities that helped me to grow in so many ways.
I realized I could forge a specialty by combining my experience growing a blog and studies of Internet marketing. Becoming clear on my purpose as a blogger meant that I could devote more time to what I wanted to do, sell off what I wasn’t interested in, and build a lifestyle business, which was ultimately my main goal (the freedom to choose lifestyle over work or money).
During this time I further refined my attitude and it is this that I am most grateful for. Mindset is, and always will be, the key to everything.
As humans we have freewill, which means we have the power to make the ultimate decision – how we perceive every moment and every event in our life. If you truly understand this, then nothing in your life can impact you in a way that you don’t want it to.
Living this idea is harder than stating it, but during the last five years I’ve become a lot better at it. Just as my “ugly and sad” glasses made me think in negatives, see negatives and thus experience negatives in my life, by changing the colour of my glasses, I started to think in positives, see the beauty and live the wonder, regardless of the external reality.
This switch in attitude helped every aspect of my business life too. When facing set-backs, if you just see them for what they are and then let them go so you can move on, your life is so much simpler.
Dealing with jealousy, depression and loneliness, were emotions that plagued me many times growing my business in the last ten years. By seeing them for what they are (false judgments I’d made and thus decided to see as real), letting them go and then moving back on focus towards what I wanted, has made the road to success a lot more smooth.
Business can be relatively easy when you just get out of your own way, learn some fundamentals about people and then put your head down and get stuff done. This is what I did during the last five years. I pushed myself to launch new projects, I learned what the key parts of my business are and what I should work to grow, and discovered my place in the business as it functions like a machine.
The result of this was the creation of three fantastic products, Blog Mastermind, Become A Blogger (in partnership with Gideon Shalwick, a great new friend and business partner I met in the last five years as well) and Membership Site Mastermind.
I owe a great deal of thanks to the pioneers in our industry. Without people like Jeff Walker, Mike Filsaime, Rich Schefren, John Reese, Frank Kern, Eben Pagan and countless others, who I learn a lot from by simply watching what they do, I wouldn’t have grown as an Internet marketer.
Seeing what is possible by watching others do it is incredibly powerful because it makes what might be possible become a reality. When you see someone do something and get a result, then you know that’s attainable as an outcome for you too. That’s why it’s critical to participate in your marketplace and find people you can model.
That, in many ways, is why this blog you are reading now is successful. That is very likely the reason why you have read this article up to this point. You know what is possible because I’ve done it. I’ve explained it right here in this article. You can model me, take parts of what I say and do and apply it to what you say and do.
If you go back to the very first blog post I made to this blog and read every word I have published up to today, you will take in almost five years of my life, five years that happen to be the most successful years of my life too.
The entries in this blog are reflective of the journey I’ve been on in my life, particularly my business life, which is why I named it the Entrepreneurs Journey. It’s a chronicle of what I’ve done, what I’m doing and what I’m thinking as I live it. It’s my experiences in written form.
More importantly though, this blog is a reflection of the key successes and failures I’ve had along the way. You can find the moment I learned how important it is to build an email list, the first time I used a squeeze page, how I launched my first product, my thoughts and experiments on profiting from a blog, how I bought and sold websites for profit, what I learned about the importance of my own thoughts as a key to success, my interviews with amazing people from around the world, and so much more.
Ultimately though, none of this really matters because it’s about what has been. What’s important to me, and just as important to you, is what you are doing and thinking right now and how you have changed as a person as a result of the path you have walked.
I hope as you have read any article in this blog at any point in time, if it has done nothing else, it has helped you to think and take actions that have lead you to become a better person, even if it was in just a tiny little way. I couldn’t ask for more than that.
…And of course, the journey continues, we’re not done yet!
Here’s to more adventures, success stories and even greater milestone achievements in the coming years.
And learn how to build a better blog.