A traditional job can teach you a lot of bad habits.
These things act like a limiting valve on your consciousness. The ceiling of your potential starts to shrink.
Being aware of how corporations accidentally program your mind is key. Because mindset is crucial if you ever want to make a dollar on the internet.
These are the worst bad habits I picked up at work. Avoid them.
Letting others do the thinking
At work, leaders told me what to do.
If I didn’t solve a business problem there were zero ramifications. I’d have to perform badly for several years in a row, and even then, the chance of getting fired was low. Status-quo ruled the banking world.
In fact, it was dangerous to think for yourself. If I dared come up with too many new ideas, I’d overshadow my boss or get given the label that acts as the kiss of death: “disruptor.” No corporations want disruptors. Do as you’re told and you’ll get paid. Talk too loudly, and see what happens.
To make money online you’ve got to learn to think for yourself.
There are no rules. There’s no guru who’s going to open a can of whoop-ass and show you the ropes. Whatever you do learn will be quickly outdated. At a job you can let your skills go stale.
Online, if you’re not always learning, the algorithms or Mark Zuckerberg will defeat you in your sleep.
However you think you can win is a legitimate path.
My 9-5 job became the ultimate safety blanky. It felt so warm and cozy there.
The bad habit I picked up, though, was to take zero risks. It was easier to go with the flow and not disturb the peace too much. The salary wasn’t high, but it was just enough to keep me in my office seat, barely breathing.
Making money online is the other way around. You’ve got to take small bets to see what works. There are no conventional pathways or guarantees. Every action is a tiny MVP to validate your ideas.
The bet that works isn’t obvious. But what is for sure is that if you make enough small bets, one or two will eventually pay off. Those small bets become the foundation for a career out of a 9-5 job.
That’s how you eventually break free and do your own thing full time.
Writing strategy docs
At a job there always has to be a business case. Executives spend hours in BS meetings to write strategy docs.
Then they go on a roadshow. First they present the strategy doc to the leadership team, then the board, then the investors, then the employees, then the customers. It’s a giant wank fest with big knob after big knob presenting theory that rots the soul. Yuck.
You probably won’t make money online if you write out strategies. Strategy is code for overplanning also known as overthinking. I’d go a step further and call it procrastination or, even mental masturbation.
Execution eats strategy for breakfast.
A lack of daily, consistent action
It’s easy to put stuff off at work.
As soon as a random meeting, coffee catch-up or function comes up, most of us can’t wait to get distracted.
You can waste entire weeks at conferences or face-to-face learning that’s really a cocktail party paid for by the big swinging d*cks. Pretty soon it’s been years since you executed a sizeable work task.
Making money online is different. Daily action is the only way to win. Every creator needs social media to fuel whatever it is they decide to do.
If you don’t take action on social media for even a week, the hard work and your entire online business go down the toilet. No joke.
Making money online is a daily habit you form. The habits creates the system. The system produces the automation that allows your income to grow and one day quit a job.
Chasing mediocre passion
In the traditional work world the phrase “chase your passion” is a cliche.
You hear it everywhere.
Passion sucks ass. It’s mediocre at best. It means you have a woo-woo feeling in your pants like you might wanna, you know, do something.
Making money online has taught me the opposite. I don’t chase a once-a-year feeling of passion. No. I’m obsessed with my goal of online writing. Not even a dead person can get in my way. The feeling takes over my entire body. I want to write with every waking moment. It’s all I can think about.
Some days it sucks though.
Unlike passion … there are days when obsession isn’t good for you. You feel tired or lost or frustrated. These feelings are incredible. They lead to revelations. Aha moments drop from the sky on your morning walk.
It’s all just energy.
But passion is the weakest energy of all. There’s no discipline or focus. It’s simply a hope, or worse, a lukewarm dream.
Obsession is how people like Mr Beast got to where they are. By studying their craft, getting into masterminds, and looking at every tiny nuance.
Making money online teaches you to be obsessed. Get obsessed. Jizz in your pants once in a while from all the excitement.
Asking for permission slips
My job was full of permission slips.
One time, I swear, I was so brainwashed, I asked my boss if I could be excused from the meeting to go to the little boys’ room.
I’m ashamed to admit that.
Looking for a new job meant facing the “have you got experience?” question head-on. When I got lost in my career I’d hunt around for mentors. You know the type: the ones you don’t pay who are supposed to know everything.
Mentors are another form of permission. Waiting for someone smarter and older to tell you what to do. Screw that.
In the online world it’s permissionless. I love the word so much, I named my business after it.
You don’t wait, or ask everyone for answers, or play random naughty games with strangers who you hope will lead you down a good path and not a dead-end ally resulting in murder. Nope.
Shoot first and ask questions later. That’s how you shoot your shot and find out what you’re capable of.
Having meetings about meetings
Whenever I became unsure at work I called a meeting.
A lot of the time I was lonely and meetings made me feel good and safe from harm. Other times I set them up to look interested in front of my boss. The truth was my eyes bled daily from the boredom.
That one 4-week holiday a year was my only escape.
Since making money online, I haven’t conducted a single meeting. There’s no time to sit around jerking off and looking at PowerPoints.
There’s work to do. If I get lazy then I end up working late to catch up and that robs my wife of time with me. “How dare you!” she’ll say.
Meetings equal procrastination ejaculation.
Not putting your own money at risk
The best part about my job was no matter what happened it wasn’t my own money at stake.
If money got lost all I had to say was “Whoopsie … sorry.” A few managers cried over the spilled milk. But they got over it pretty fast.
Making money online has been much harder. I have to put money where my mouth is. I have to hire freelancers to complete tasks, test expensive software to see if it moves the needle, become a good judge of character, get accountants/lawyers on side, find business partners, etc.
Last year I copped a big loss. I invested in a project and through my own stupidity, it blew up in my face. Plenty of people laughed at me.
It was hard. I felt deep shame. I tortured myself in my head.
Eventually, I picked myself up, dusted off, and got back to it.
Something stood out when I told my business partner: “So look, I lost a bunch of money. Stuff went wrong. I’ll make sure it doesn’t affect you.”
Weeks later I’d had time to think. “You know it’s my skills and experience that got me here. I can make it back” I told him.
Then he slapped me over the face with this one line…
“You know, you’ve become a better person since all this drama happened.”
That’s what putting your money on the line and backing yourself can do. Yes, you can lose money. But the person you become can always rebuild again.
At work I kept my mouth mostly shut.
I didn’t want to get criticized. In one performance review, I remember my boss told me about his round table meeting about the bell curve. Leaders had to share their thoughts on every person in their teams.
I didn’t get good feedback. Leaders said lots of nasty stuff about me.
I couldn’t walk around the office the same after that. I felt career opportunities had got stolen from me as a result.
I wanted to control those leaders’ minds. But I couldn’t. No matter what, they thought evil things about me. So I let ’em.
Making money online has been the opposite. It’s impossible not to cop criticism. The nature of social media is you’re supposed to share your unfiltered opinion and not give a fudge about who it hurts.
So unless you grow thick skin you drown in the negative comments. No one is coming to save you either.
Always an impatient panda
At work I got impatient. I wanted promotions, bonuses, and to work for multiple companies as soon as possible.
I became entitled. I thought a few years of good sales numbers made me the Jesus of banking. Making money online has forced me to become patient. It takes years to get traction.
You’re competing with every kid who’s got a selfie pole and an iPhone. There’s no boss or HR to complain to. You either sit tight, shut up and wait your turn, or you give up and announce “that platform is dead and I’m an adult baby.”
Bringing it all together
I’ve given up these bad work habits now. It’s been the best phase of my life. If I had to sum it up with a single sentence philosophy, this would be it:
Make small bets, do tiny experiments, take risks that won’t bankrupt you.