I don't know how to do this. Let me just start by saying that... I want to know... I know I need to know, but I don't... so I'm just going to try and THIS post will be the first step. By "this", I mean being straight forward and myself and out in the open without worrying about what others think, about the potential relationships I may ruin, about the fact that if I don't wait and save my "best" idea for the investors and connections I have, it will be a wasted opportunity and I'll never be able to go back to them again with another one because they won't look at me the same.... Basically, I need to rid myself of my fear of failure and open myself up to being creative, different, and a little against the grain. A combinations of things that I've been reading/listening to have brought me to this conclusion, but it is not one that I haven't come to before. I AM CAPABLE OF ANYTHING but more importantly, I AM THE ONLY PERSON HOLDING MYSELF BACK. Not only is it a fear of failure but it is also a fear of losing everything I have so far. I have often said... and many of my close friends will agree with me... that I need stability, that I strive for it. According to Seth Godin's recent book "Tribes", that exactly what society has trained me to want and its exactly what's holding me back.
I think about myself and compare myself to my best friend Jon and I always get caught up with how creative he is and how doesn't just settle for what he knows he can get... he pushes the envelope and asks for more. A perfect example of this is when it comes to getting paid... whereas, I might want $100/hr, if a job came along that offered me $85/hr, I'd probably just take it... I wouldn't even try to negotiate them up for fear of losing the job. Jon, in the same situation, would tell the recruiter to go fuck themselves unless they can do $100/hr. I've looked at this and other such situations in the past and said its stupid of him to do that and that doing things like that is taking unnecessary risks and yet more often than not he get what he asks for and I'm left wishing that I had done things the same way. That's not to say that everything that he has tried has worked... he doesn't get the first job that comes and he has failed in some of his projects (such as when he wanted the AMEX Platinum card, got it by using Paypal to make it look like he was increasing his spending each month until they gave it to him, and then lost it and all his other AMEX cards when they figured out what he had done). At the same time, the vast majority of things that he tries for succeed and if you don't try, you never succeed. In the past, I've always started a project and then got side-tracked by a different project or some other event in my life, which I would then blame for the reason why the original project wouldn't succeed. Additionally, I'll procrastinate and put off doing some aspect of a project In actuality, what I'm doing is the same thing I did through all of college... I was afraid of failure so I didn't try. When I failed, I was then able to say that it had been my choice because I hadn't given it my all. If you know me at all, you know that I like technology and new ideas, follow web 2.0 and social media news avidly and pride myself on knowing things that most people don't... and yet I have NEVER posted a video of myself on the Internet, I'm afraid of using web cams and don't like when people take pictures because than people might see me and judge me, i'm uncomfortable talking on the phone with people and prefer to use txt messages and even voice mails unless there is a specific reason for my call even with people that I'm supposed to be intimate (father, person I'm dating, close friends). I've been so afraid of losing the image and the person that I spent so much effort to build that refrain from doing anything that I don't have complete control over. I guess it comes down to a matter of confidence, which is silly because I have no reason not to be confident. I am only 24 and between everything I do (including the consulting company I started and built) I make ~$150K/year. I live by myself (but have friends over frequently) in a luxury, doorman, circle and fountain in front, indoor pool, hot tub and gym apartment building that costs $3200/month with a balcony and window view of most of Manhattan, the Hudson river, and New Jersey. I regularly blow on average between $400 and $800 (my all time high was $1800 in one night) per week on bottle service and champagne with my friends and whoever I find attractive out at my favorite clubs. I take taxis everywhere even though I have a monthly metrocard and I buy anything that I really want within reason. I order out every night and frequently go to semi-expensive restaurants (and sometimes REALLY expensive restaurants... The Four Seasons) and pay for others. WHAT IS THERE NOT TO BE CONFIDENT ABOUT? By most peoples standards, especially those at my age, I live VERY well.
The problem is, I'm not happy with it. Its not just about the money... its about doing and being who I want to be. I can't stay where I am in my life and I don't want to. I want more and the only person holding me back from getting it is me. So this is it... this is the point at which I turn change and start openly pursuing what I truly want next. This is the first step...
I was reading an article off LifeHack called 6 Simple Steps to Make Progress Towards Achieving Your Goals and a thought came to my head. The article suggests multiple things, all of which I've read/heard before from places like Oprah's commencement speech at Stanford or Anthony Robbins Personal Power tapes or even from David Allen's book Getting Things Done. Each time I've read them, I've followed through on the exercises and suggestions and done them but only by myself and never out the open. I imagine this is because if I set my goals and tell people about them and then don't follow through, I'll be a failure (which we've already established I'm afraid of becoming) so I thought that this time, in an effort to be open and get myself away from the bad habit of thinking that way, I'll post here what my what the expectations are for myself by the end of 2009. I may not achieve them all but I'm not going to be afraid of failure anymore.
Where I Will Be in Life in 1 years Time :
I want a two bedroom penthouse apartment in the building I currently live in with a south facing wrap around balcony or one of the very large balconies on which I will put my own personal outdoor hot tub and use for parties. The apartment will be fully furnished with modern furniture. The master bedroom will have among other things, my current bed and a comfortable armchair by the windows to sit and read. The room will have its own 42inch or bigger flat panel TV mounted on the wall (and linked into my home network) and a Bose lifestyle system professionally installed. The second bedroom will be used as my home office, with my desk and computer set up, my home server set up (web server/media server), a futon/sofa bed for when my friends stay over, and a white board. My living room will have a nice corner couch and an armchair to sit in (perhaps the couch I already have), its own large flat panel TV system (linked into my home network), a Bose lifestyle sound system that can link with the one in the bedroom. On one of the walls I will have an framed original, custom made Joe Phillips cartoon that I had commissioned. There will also be a fully stocked fish tank. The kitchen will have a wine rack full of my favorite bottles of wine and champagne and a cappuccino maker. I will have a fully stocked bar and fridge with all different types of alcohol and drinks. In the garage downstairs, I will keep my BMW for the occasions when I want to go for a drive.
When it comes to where I work and what I do, I will not be doing IT consulting anymore. I will have given up my personal IT company and quit my full time job. I will have the flexibility to work from anywhere, but will spend most of my time in my new company's office or my home office. I will wake up early in the mornings, go to the gym so that I'm in great shape, have my cup of coffee and be excited to get to work so I can continue with my ideas. Some weekends, I'll make it a long weekend and take random trips to Miami, San Fransisco, or other places with friends but I'll always be excited to come back to keep working. I'll be well into paying off my student loans and other debt and be saving a bit more.
So there you have it. That's what I want next. I know it may sound like a lot and that I may sound like a brat but that's my next step... the next level I'd like to be at. So what's it gonna take? Not even millions... I'd say about $150K more than what I make now and a successful new venture of my own. Now, I may not make it to this in a year or even true but it doesn't seem so outlandish anymore now that I actually think about it and you'll all know if I fail because you'll see it here on this blog... but I won't, at least not in the long run. I am Dan Delphin after all, and there's nothing wrong with that... in fact, quite the opposite! I'm done being afraid and ready to get started!