We all have beliefs. They shape our thoughts. And out thoughts shape our actions. Our actions, in turn, shape our lives. Hence, your beliefs shape everything.
For a long time I was pressured to be someone who I am not. I thought that my beliefs were wrong, because everyone around me either told me that or behaved a certain way that made you understand without words: you are not enough.
We all experience this in one way or another. We buy self-help books, create masterminds, search for articles online to understand what we need to do to become richer, more productive, less anxious, more appealing, simply – better.
For a long time, as a man, I was pressured by family, friend and society, to forget about my ideas and just go make money. Provide. Be responsible.
It was a long time before I embraced that there is nothing wrong with me. I am not spoiled, not stupid, but I just don’t care about money at all. I care about other things.
So maybe, you don’t need to become better? Maybe, you don’t need to fix yourself in someway?
Maybe, all you need is to embrace your weird self.
Where it comes from
In any patriarchal society (like the one where I am from), if you are a man, you make money, but if you’re a woman — you just stay beautiful until you meet someone to marry.
I never agreed with that. I always thought that nobody owes anybody anything, simply because they were born a certain way.
And I couldn’t help myself — I am just not motivated by money.
For a long time, I thought that something was wrong with me. Like, I am not fulfilling my ‘man duty’, or whatever. I tried several businesses and I saw that other people would work endless hours just to make that ‘deal’ happen.
But I never cared about the deals, or the money or the power that comes with having employees and your own business.
I always cared about ideas and making the world a better place. I always wanted to make innovation happen. I wanted to make things happen.
From the time I was a kid, I was inspired by writers, bloggers, influencers, social activists — people, who change the world with their words and ideas. People, who are not afraid to be themselves and show their true side.
But I was labeled ‘idealistic’, ‘delusional’, ‘too naive’ by other entrepreneurs in, and told that ‘real men provide for their family with all means necessary’, even though I have no kids and was like 19 at that time.
It’s crazy. And stupid.
It all comes down to the environment you were brought up. I was born in an entrepreneurial family in Russia, and my father’s biggest agenda always was to make more money and build more business. I always respected that, and for a long time thought that it’s my agenda too.
But every time I tried living that life, I felt empty. I was not fulfilled. I was doing something I though I should be doing, not what I really wanted. And when I didn’t get the good results, I blamed myself for being too idealistic, not networking as much, not going to business events and being shy.
It took me years to realized, that I was not shy. I was just bored.
What do you really care about?
I am a big proponent of people being themselves and discovering their true passions.
What do you really want to do in the world? What excites you? What’s your thing?
These are the questions I think more people should be asking themselves. Instead, they look for the ‘right path’ and end up following each other’s.
There is no right path, just as there is no such thing as ‘a high-paying profession’. You can make enormous amounts of money anywhere you want.
The tales of starving artists are all bullshit, because there are as many starving entrepreneurs out there.
Your job is not to pick the ‘high-paying’ thing, but to pick your thing.
That’s what’s going to make you the most amount of money, and everything else that you want. I respect people who choose unconventional paths because they feel like it’s theirs. In many ways, I am like that, too.
What do you really care about? I care about freedom and growth. I recently realized that the 2 reasons for why I want to make money are the following:
- To be free to do whatever I want, when I want it and to live wherever I choose in the world.
- To continue studying, learning and growing — as well as teaching and inspiring others
This is my answer to this questions. What is yours? Even if you do care about money, why do you want to make it? People never want money for the sake of having money. Most often, it’ll buy them a sense of security, freedom, choice, whatever.
You have to answer this one for yourself.
Don’t listen to other people
You should be like a horse with blindfolds. You only see your goal, your ‘mountain’, as Neil Gaiman put it. And you should also put on your headphones with some Franz Ferdinand. It’s almost always better that way.
At some point, I had enough.
I wanted to stop pretending to like the life I had, and start actually living the life I liked. So I decided to start writing more, reading more and doing more of what I wanted. I embraced the fact that I don’t care about money, that I have a very different (and weird) path in life. And I started to listen to myself more, to my real desires and aspirations.
I stopped ‘faking it until I make it’ in business and lying to clients that I was interested in doing the work they wanted me to do. I hate digital marketing and salesfunnels and lead generation. And I love writing, blogging, creating content and making media projects.
So that’s what I started doing.
And suddenly, a whole new world of opportunity opened up to me. I noticed that when I embraced the truth about myself, other people started respecting me more.
It turns out, that people don’t want you to be a certain way. They just want you to be you.
You think that they want you to know this and that, when in reality, everyone values a meaningful specific, rather than a wandering generality.
So know that you may be brainwashed by your environment. Know what you care about and do more of that. And don’t listen to others.
Embrace your weird self.