EPI-53: Mania, Yearning, Desperation, Dreaming: When To Say When On A Project
“OMG! Will You Just STOP Already?!”
One of the hardest things I’ve routinely faced on my entrepreneurial journey, is knowing when to say when on a failed project.
This could be:
- Any business idea that’s simply not earning enough, or any income.
- A side gig that helps you survive but keeps you from working on what will make you thrive.
- A new business based on a skill you have but don’t enjoy using.
- A partnership, in anything at all, that has revealed your partner to be less shiny than originally thought.
- A partnership where you end up doing most of the work.
- Volunteer work that keeps you from feeding your family better.
- The current iteration of whatever message you have and/or whatever people you picked to send it to.
- Anything that requires constant outlay for little to no return.
- A job you should’ve walked out of long ago but you got comfortable.
- Any people in your life whom you pursue, help and fawn over, hoping they’ll one day make it all worth it.
There are more. But You get the point.
I’ve Lived Everything On That List
Humbling but true.
Awareness is what’s lacking when these things run away from you.
You’re in it. You can’t see it. You’re too close. You care too much.
And you’ve laid out so much ass, that it would seem criminal to not try to just push it over the top, by keeping on keeping on.
Get Third-Party Help
Ask anyone in your daily life, whom you trust enough to deliver the bad news with grace, to tell you if they think you’re martyring yourself.
They might be right. They might not be. But consider what they tell you.
Better yet, find a coach or advisor who doesn’t even know you to get your backstory and make that all-important judgment call.
For your own good.
Your heart’s in the right place. But logic matters here too.
Just click the “READ MORE” text below for the transcript!
Hey, everybody. Welcome to the show. This is Ken. This is episode 53, mania yearning desperation, dreaming.
When to say when on a project? My god. I’m hot. I just got out of the shower. That always overheats me. You needed to know that. On to the next thing. I’ve been thinking about doing this particular topic for quite some time.
It comes and goes in my thoughts across so many years because well, It’s a critical question to answer, and it is highly fucking problematic when you don’t have that answer.
In my quest, to build a self sustaining 1 man business, iterations. I don’t even know how many things I’ve tried and and built and worked on with other people. I’ve been hired to do things only later to be turned into a partner.
None of these projects went anywhere. I’ve tried to capitalize on my skill set that I’ve learned as I build the thing your in with me now in in its entirety, the website, everything else I do online, a podcast.
As I got good at things, I figured I could do gig work and get out of my regular day jobs, all of which I always hated.
Or when I was on disability for a whole bunch of years, when bipolar took me clean out of the picture and I was on disability for a long time, And I wanna go back to work. I don’t do work well.
I work well when I have a job because it matters to me, but I never want that job. My current 1 notwithstanding. My current job has me dealing with my people pretty much just not in a fashion that I I care to continue doing.
And but the job fits. The only other time a job suited me so well, I was doing bad things, and I was on a bad place, and that fit.
But that was a fit that should have never happened. That was a gripes that’ll be some other show 1 day. Maybe I’ll get into that. My god, I went through an error.
And, anyway, I digress. As I’ve worked on all these ways of making money online and off that were not traditional job. Type things. Every now and then, what some of them would would grow some roots. Excitement would build.
Money would show up. It’s not that I never made money. I just never made enough or for long enough to continue with with whatever the project was. Something would be just unacceptable, and that project would have to go.
Now, in in particular, pertaining in particular to this topic of when to say when. This is even more strongly directed at what I’ve done online in specific. When trying to figure out who to help, how and why.
There’s been again, many iterations of me as I’ve tried to find my place and find out who you guys were. And find out what it is I even wanted to do with my life in a way that I could tolerate.
And I’m good at just about anything I care to put my mind to. No joke. Not the best. I’ve never been a pro at too many things other than helping people.
But I’d get good enough at something that would get kind of exciting and fun its own right. And I would build out some version of myself online, and I would throw my heart and soul into it down to the DNA within my bones.
I would lay so much effort and energy and money and thinking and labor all digitally to to build out a presence online, draw people to me, and have that thing feed me.
And when you get that deep into something, that invested and it’s not panning out.
How do you know You should stop. I remember I’ve had a handful of coaches over the years, and I and I remember asking at least a couple of them, When when do you know? How do I know if I’m still on the right track?
Well, depending on where in that chronological journey I was, the answer would vary, but there was 1 guy, 1 guy named Glen Dezel, that his company helped me write my book and turn its information into a business.
That actually never came to to be business on the business level. That never came to be, but it was it was it was the first solid attempt I’d made at at such a learning. And this guy, he was from Canada, a real nice guy.
The company that existed then when I found him doesn’t anymore, I I don’t what he does online anymore. I know he’s out there somewhere, but he’s from Canada. I’m in New York. I’m a couple hours north of New York City.
He was somewhere, you know, in general, just above Michigan in Canada. I get a call from his people. This was like, I don’t even know, 15 years ago, something. I’d already written my book with him. He knew me.
And they said he was down in New York City, doing some business, and he was trying a new marketing tactic. And he knew I lived somewhere in New York and was wondering if I was close enough that I’d wanna come down and see him.
Well, at that point in my life, he was my god. Glenn was gonna save me from everything. My you know, that that overblown judgment call on my part. He he was a really good guy, and he was helping a lot of people do a lot of stuff.
A lot of us wrote really cool books and talked to each other through him. I met a lot of fascinating people doing really, in some cases, really important work.
And some of them went on to become really big shots in what it was they were doing when they found him. So I put all my future hopes on him helping me pull it off.
I valued his opinion highly. I had him on a pedestal. But anyway, I go down and see him in New York City. I remember the time I was on probation for my any DWI, and I wasn’t supposed to leave the county.
Funny no adjacent to that, on the original cover of my book, there was a picture of me on the back cover, and I’m in Times Square not Times Square.
I’m in Grand Central at the train train station. If you looked, you could tell. If you knew with Grand Central, you could tell I was in Grand Central.
Clearly violating my probation. And I find, Glenn, And what he was doing at the time was there was a store somewhere. It doesn’t matter what. Had a camera online. Like, this was some time ago.
And the camera broadcasted live to the Internet at all times, 24 7. So he did a training session to that camera, and we connected to the Internet through some some device where they could hear us, and we could take questions.
And III co chaired that event with him. I I was his guest, and also I would give my 2 cents on what it was I knew at the time based on my experiences with him thus far. And it was really fun. He was fun.
We had a good time. There’s people milling about bumping into us, and they don’t know we’re speaking to the whole world. In particular, this group of people. But but I believe the thing was public publicly accessible as well.
And it was just fun. I got to give my 2 cents on what I’d learned up to that point on how to do whatever it was I was doing. And I got the vouch for his methods for helping people like me do what it was he did.
So then he had to he had to go somewhere else for a bigger meeting, so we went somewhere where he could eat. And I remember talking to him And I got to tell him more about my story than than he was even aware of.
And I I blew him out of the water with the the darkness. In some of the more violent aspects of my my past life and different things. He just couldn’t believe there was someone like me walking around free.
And 1 of the things that I asked him bigger never was bigger than ever. 1 of the things I asked him that I really wanted an answer to was How do I know if I’m on the right path?
When, you know, when I don’t I still don’t know exactly what I am. It’s too vague. I don’t know how to move forward. Because I don’t like I I don’t know what I’m doing.
And he just said something, you know, basically along the lines of you’ll know when you know. And I knew that was true, and I hated that that was his advice. I hated it because, you know, I you want success immediately.
Wherever you’re at, you if you’re trying to build something, you wish it was already built. You wish you were already successful. You wish you were rolling in cash. You wish were doing all the things you can’t currently do.
And he and when he said that, based on where I was at, mentally, and emotionally, and and and career wise, if you wanna call it on this on this, like, gig journey and my new authorship.
I knew this was gonna take a lot longer than I cared for it to do. To take. And, of course, it did. Now, moving forward, I remember I would change tactics. I would change gears. I would partner up with other people.
I actually started a few small businesses where I had to go get DBA’s doing business as I got incorporated a couple different times. I got incorporated for something in New York state where back when I was still actively bipolar.
I was coming out of it, but I wasn’t out of it yet. And I got incorporated by signing a document online stating this is the name of my company. I want that to be a company, and that’s all I did. Nothing ever came of that.
I have a ever growing bill that I get once a year from them that just grows larger and larger and larger, and I can’t find anyone, including at the New York state tax department to just tell me should I pay this thing or not?
Most things point to no because there never was a company. There’s nothing there’s nothing. And the bill just grows a little bit larger by about 4 or 500 dollars every year going back.
I don’t know how many years. Pisses me off pisses me off that that’s a reality with anyway, I built a number of of little projects and little part had little partnerships, and I worked with other small businesses, and I did things.
I helped I helped progress a lot of cool causes I helped push a nonprofit further down the line.
I helped form up a lot of its foundation. I helped some other guys that already had businesses learn more about how to do their marketing better. Nothing ever came of any of it, and I could never tell.
It it would it would I could never tell when I had to quit until it just became unbearably too late. And I guess the point of all of this I’m trying to get across to you is I don’t know. You It’s not gonna be easy.
When when you’ve thrown your everything into something, hoping it’ll become something. And it’s just not In part, in part, not in total, but in part, listen to the people around you that might be trying to talk sense.
That’s that’s 1 part of it. You can’t give that a hundred percent of your attention because sometimes you are onto something good. And you you have to pay the price.
You have to suffer whatever indignities or sideways glances or talk behind your back. Whatever because you are on to something and that’s just 1 of the prices you pay. Is how people look at you sideways.
Or usually, they’re trying they love you. They’re trying to save you from yourself. They could be right. You could be manic. And you do need to be saved from yourself, or you could just be hanging on too long period.
You’re not manic, but you really just can’t let go. And you need to get a divorce from your shiny you and you just can’t do it. You need to listen to people and you you need to consider it.
Maybe they’re wrong. Maybe. Maybe they’re right. It’s just 1 of the items on the list that you tuck away into the overall problem solving formula you got billed in your head. To determine if you should quit this thing or not.
Another thing I found was Well, 2 things. 1, my gut would tell me, and I have a lot to say on what that means wouldn’t be in particular. And it will not always be the case with everybody.
But my gut in ways that have been proven to me in third party senses My gut will let me know clear as day if I’m doing the right or wrong thing, like just I have a feeling it’s visceral.
When it’s right it’s right, when it’s wrong, it’s wrong.
If you don’t have that, Damn it. I forgot the second point. Okay. I remember it now. You’ll start getting mad at everyone else around you and and putting the blame and responsibility of why your thing’s not working.
On them. That’s a strong indicator that once your finger is pointing out constantly all day long, it needs to do a u-turn.
At the very least, if all you have is 1 other person helping you or or you know, there just comes a point when you have to admit this thing is dead dead in the water.
It’s not moving any any further ahead. I’d say, Depending on what you’re doing, I’d say if if something hasn’t done anything in quite a long time, and and you start wondering as soon as the wonder sets in.
Start the clock. Give yourself 3 to 6 months, try new tactics, rework the program, reach out to coaches if if you can. Get some fresh input. Get input from areas that are different from yours.
A lot of times you’ll work with somebody and they’re familiar with your industry and your wants and needs. And that’s valuable and helpful and necessary, but sometimes they’re just as myopic as you are.
You need to go find someone that isn’t even related to it who can look at something your situation objectively and be like, What the fuck are you doing?
Did this ain’t working? It hasn’t worked. How much more did you spend on this? How long has this been? How much sleep are you losing?
How close a divorce are you? Now, you’re done. Look at all the items on the list. You’re done. This this has to stop. You’re not You gotta reconfigure everything. Sometimes the reconfiguring can just be a reconfiguring.
You just need an adjustment in perspective. That happened to me to develop bipolar Excellence. I got a coach. Her name was Rhonda Ronda Damn it. What was Rhonda’s last name? Because I got a bunch of believe it or not.
I have a bunch of Rhonda’s that were coaches in my life. She’s at I believe it’s called the prosperous coach blog dot com. There’s a much more powerfully famous and rich coach who took pro prosperous coach.
So she’s got the prosperous coach blog dot com. Rhonda was the 1 that made me see. I told her flat out, I said, my bipolar story to back story, everything I’ve done because of bipolar, that’s my power.
But all I seem to be doing is drawing bipolar people Sumi, who who need to be saved from bipolar, rightly so, and can’t afford to pay me anything. I can’t feed my family off of this, and I can’t even help these people.
I learned that the hard way. I couldn’t help anybody directly fight my polar. Now as an aside, I have a course where I simply I share in great depth and detail exactly how I fought bipolar, but I’ve learned I’m not a doctor.
There’s there’s there’s a thousand different reasons why I can’t help somebody directly fully fight bipolar.
I can only talk about what happened to me, how I beat it, and hope that in that, you get help. But she told me she said, what about high functioning bipolar people? And I was like, what are you getting at, Rhonda?
She said there’s plenty of people with bipolar who function quite well. They tend to be very intelligent and driven. There’s aspects of the disease that actually make them better at things than other people.
But they have their moments with it and they’d like to talk to somebody that simply understands the pain, the weirdness, the discomfort, the destruction, the chaos, all of the negatives that come with bipolar.
They need they want somebody to help them work. On their business or project who also understands the shitty side of being bipolar.
And and when she told me that, my gut, my gut relaxed, my gut rejoiced. My gut said, holy shit. And I even said to her, it’s that simple, isn’t it? And she laughed. She’s like, yeah. She goes, you’re too close to it.
You’re right up on it. You can’t see anything anymore because you’re you’re 2 vest invested. You’re 2. You’re in it. She goes, I’m not in it. I can see what you got. And she’s like, you just need a slight tweak.
And I think you’re gonna do very well with this. And it was funny because when she told me that, I didn’t know till later. I was coming down with COVID. This was a couple years ago. I was I was getting very sick.
I was even having trouble holding the conversation with her. And my mind was was reeling with the possibilities of what she was telling me. It made me hard to even be able to converse with her towards the end of our 90 minute call.
But she changed my life. I highly re recommend if you need need to work on your your niche. Go find Ron on the on the prosperous coach blog dot com.
But it just took that tiny little tweak for me to switch everything over to my polar excellence dot com, and then I even found a way by offering as a course how I help how I be bipolar so that I can help those of you that I just would wanna know what I did, but I divorced myself from holding your hand through it.
Beyond potential conversations, but I can’t I can’t guide anyone through that. I don’t want to. You don’t want me to. Those of you that are on the other side of the fence, you have it.
You’ve leveled off. You deal with it. But you’re you’re you’re doing big things, or you’ll wanna do big things, and and every indicator in your life, and everyone around you tells you, you’re good. You got this.
You’re you’re in 1 piece. And you’re just not like all the other kids, you’re who I’m looking for. That’s why I built all this, you’re who I’ve been searching for for almost Almost 20 years if we’re just talking about the bipolar stuff.
It’s been closer to 30 when the bug, the entrepreneurial bug bit me and my first Amway representative lied to me and tricked me into Amway thinking it was gonna be some awesome corporate job that he thought I was perfect for as they expanded into this area.
Loved that phrase. We’re expanding into this area. Shit. Anyway, the Amway the Amway adventures a whole other episode.
But I’ve been at this about 30 years, and then in the middle, I had 8 years of bipolar where I’d all I’d all I could do was breathe not try to hurt anybody and survive. And I’ve been slowly rebuilding ever since.
And now I’m here Those of your that are listening, I I really hope that inspires you. Don’t look at it as 30 years has taken me to become something else, because 1, there’s every chance in the world you’ll do it way faster.
Every chance, I’m me and whatever the hell I was up against, I the things were entrenched. Taking a lot of work to unknit the old from the new and let the new be born. And, you know, you might not be stuck in that same moat that I was.
And if you are, well, you gotta put your big boy pants on, your big girl pants, and gird your loins, and just be for the long haul, work with people like me who can spot the changes that need to be made or the changes that you’ve made that need to be built upon further.
And you’re gonna get there because because really, who cares how long this takes? Am I happy to she’s taking me over 30 years to break free from employment? Fuck. No.
But what what’s the alternative? The alternatives give up and just stay going to work. I got enough life left in me. I’m only 54 that that’s bullshit, and I want far more out of life than what any job can ever give me. I’m not stopping.
If anything, I go at this harder all the time, but in a more intelligent, efficient manner. So I’m gonna leave you with that. That was important for me to get out because I believe it’s a common thing. I think it was bipolar or not.
I believe it’s a common thing with anybody trying to make a go at at a nontraditional bigger than life life. Sometimes it’s this is what it looks like, but I keep getting better. I keep finding cooler people to help me.
I keep finding cooler people to teach me, whether they think whether they know they’re teaching me or not, the experience of all of this is is enriching, and it just continues to be so in ways that surprise me.
It’s worth pursuing. Even if it takes forever, it’s worth pursuing, and I wanna be there at your side as much as possible as you do it. Alright, guys. You got this. Go for it. Be well.