“Are you interested in coming down to speak at the Money Smart Week kick-off in Chicago?”
“You’re in the main event of the next show.”
“There’s a grappling tournament next month.”
“Would you like to come down to Austin, Texas for a week to work with us?”
“I’m single now. Let’s meet up.”
These are all real things that happened to me. These are all real scenarios that I found myself in. And yes, I followed through with each of these despite wanting to desperately just crawl up under my sheets to hide from the world because I thought I wasn’t ready.
It’s fun to talk to your buddies about what you want to do and how you plan on doing it. It’s challenging as hell to actually show up and do the work. That’s where the fun ends because you have to put yourself on the line and risk failure.
I wasn’t ready for any of these opportunities. I was nervous and timid. I didn’t know how I would handle myself.
To be financially free you can’t wait around for opportunities. You need to create them. You have to knock on doors and do whatever it takes to get what you want.
How on Earth do you create opportunities for yourself?
This is the toughest question to answer. I’ve asked successful folks this question. I’ve also had this question thrown at me. Here’s what I came up with:
Work on your own goals and projects until opportunities open up.
I know that this is very vague advice and I hate being abstract, but it’s just the reality. You have to be hustling and doing things in order for anything to come your way. You can’t be sitting in your basement playing video games. You have to be throwing yourself out there consistently.
How you get out there depends on your goal. When I was starting off with Studenomics, I was guest posting, messaging other bloggers, leaving comments, and responding to every single reader. Just by putting myself on the line, opportunities came my way.
You can’t be timid. You have to be bold and let your goals be known. And there’s no easier time in history to do this than right now. Look at all the social media platforms out there. A simple Facebook post could be shared to the right person.
“To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.” — Bruce Lee
How do you handle opportunities when you’re not ready for them?
I wish that I could tell you this part was easy. It’s not. You might have a few nervous breakdowns. You might not be able to sleep the night before. This might even take years off your life.
When I was going to speak for the Money Smart Week event, I was nervous as hell. I was really nervous because not only would I speak on the panel, but I had to appear on the news later that evening. Here’s the video from that:
I showed up without any knowledge of the questions that would come my way.
Whatever you do, don’t try to ignore your nerves. Learn to dance with them. The fact that you’re nervous means that you care.
These are my best tips for handling opportunities when you’re not ready:
- Always show up. Bailing isn’t an option.
- Study a successful person in your field that has done something similar.
- Ask, how can I make this a home run?
- Remember that you’ve already done the hard work by getting to this level.
- Don’t panic. Everything will be fine. You’re not going to war.
Do you know how many times I wanted to just hide, turn off my phone, and stay at home when opportunities came my way? Every single time. However, I know that nothing good happens in your comfort zone.
[Check out: The Studenomics MBA.]
What happens when you fail?
You drink some vodka and rant to your close buddies.
I used the word when because you’re going to fail. Failure is a given when you’re going after opportunities that are out of your league. This is the biggest catch here. This is why we all love to post quotes and get off on dreaming. There’s no danger in dreaming. When you actually show up, you’re going to fail!
What can you do? What can you really do?
The finger is being pointed at you. Everyone’s laughing at you. You made a fool out of yourself. You feel sorry for yourself and you’re mad at the world.
Guess what? This world moves fast and everyone forgets fast. Nobody cares.
The journey to financial freedom in your 20s isn’t easy by any means. This isn’t for everyone. Most of you will bash the idea and never return here. That’s cool. If you want to have fun and not be stuck in debt until you’re old (35), then you need to be open-minded and ready to tackle all opportunities.
When I main-evented the pro wrestling show I totally blew it. I ruined the show. The night wasn’t pretty. I wasn’t as ready as I thought I was. I made myself look stupid.
Guess what? The next show I did better. Nobody remembered the last show because the world moves fast. Don’t you dare think that anyone will really still be pointing the finger at you in three months. It’s all in your head.
You have to be willing to create opportunities, go after them when you’re not ready, and repeat this process repeatedly f you want to be remotely successful in your 20s.