You have to work your ass off. I don't know anyone very successful who doesn't have some talent -- but that's not the differentiating feature -- it's grit and working your ass off. So I have a Lot Of Balance In My Life Now, Because I Had None When I Was In My 20s And 30s.

— Scott Galloway: Entrepreneur, Professor @ NYU Stern, Author of ‘The Four’

Before you guys dive into this post much further I’d love it for you to read the quote by Scott Galloway above, give him a quick Googley Googley Google and maybe even listen to his appearance on the Suiting Up Podcast hosted by Paul Rabil.

The reason why I’m writing this today is to dump my brain and talk a little bit about why I decided to start an online presence that captured more than just my passion for Health & Performance (remember Perform True? lol )..something that serves as a platform for all of my ideas, research, experiments, advice, tools and methods I’m working on and also share some of my skills. Essentially, I wanted a platform to create. One that wasn’t governed by any mission or brand guideline other than my own.

And my thirst to create stems largely from spending so much time in a demanding career as a management consultant, that it scared the shit out of me how much time had gone by and how little growth I’d achieved in a number of key areas of my life ranging from learning, solving my own problems instead of clients (companies), creating and thinking through my own ideas, spending time with family, paying attention to my health, building new relationships and making the most out of the ones I already have.

But my story isn’t the “fuc* corporate america” or wanna-be entrepreneur narrative that is so god damn prevalent today. I learned a ton there, and it’s the type of education you can’t come back to once you miss your chance. Mine is nearly 100% in line with what Scott talks about in his podcast and is summarized in the quote at the top of this post. My interpretation, or at least the action item(s) I laid out in front of myself, is that whatever I do with the rest of my 20’s and 30’s they better be spent learning, creating, growing and if by chance the risk looks really enticing, taking it.

A 'Golden Rule' or Immutable Truth in Life is That Trade-Offs Exist for Every Single Decision You Make - no matter how big or small.

— I’ve Always Been Motivated By Regret Or The Fear Of Regret; This is My Rekindled Thesis Around Time Regret

Rekindling My Thesis

Now for those who don’t know me, in May 2017 I left behind a career that I worked tremendously hard to build. I was what you’d call a “long shot” to get a job in Finance or Management Consulting in New York. I’ll spare you the long story and details, and maybe some of you would think my career narrative is a bit dramatic, but I got to a place in my career, working for companies and with people far more educated than I, where I never thought I would be.

Leaving is what rekindled my thesis around time and decision making. It was not a quick decision, it was one that grinded throughout the course of a year in which I felt like I was on a treadmill; it was emotionally draining; it was downright scary – personally, financially and of course professionally. So when I look back in reflection it’s not just the sole decision of making a big change, it’s all of the small decisions about how I spent the limited time I had outside of professional settings. I’ve been asking myself things like, “Ok, so now that you’ve resurfaced a thesis that you’ve always intuitively subscribed to, but somehow got away from, how do you leverage it as input for future decisions?”

Pseudo Cost-Benefit-Analysis (CBA)

I’m describing my thought process here because, essentially, I’ve been doing a CBA on where and how I’ve spent my time since graduating college and how to design what I call a “time-well-spent lifestyle” for the future. The results, in a nutshell, are as follows: one one hand, I’m grateful for the professional experience, skills and network I built on some pretty cool client engagements. I had some pretty damn good times with friends and family and have some classic New York City stories. For me, grit and determination that I’d always relied on earlier in life provided vital in refusing to let anything stand between me and the goals I set. But it’s the mistakes I made that I’m most proud and thankful for, because I learned a lot about myself…personally, professionally, financially and emotionally. On the other hand, I have to reconcile with it the fact that the product of my efforts were the result of a massive time-as-capital investment. Spent researching, analyzing and trying to solve other people’s (company’s) problems. So the trade-off, or opportunity cost of my pursuits, was foregoing the freedom for self-teaching, pursuing my own interests and creating for myself.

A "Time Well Spent" Lifestyle

Considering that same thesis about time with the desire to create for myself leads to more introspection: How do I create an optimal, time-well-spent lifestyle? As a fairly calculated planner and risk (averse) taker – I just like most people – want to balance desire for optimal lifestyle with safety and security. And by that, I’m primarily alluding to financial security. For most of us, the pursuit of the latter typically compromises the former. In other words, most people are chasing their future safety and security today. Today’s sacrifice of time is predicated on the hopes that optimal lifestyle catches up with security down the road.

The scary part is that most people put the cart before the horse. The cart is optimal lifestyle, the product, the dream, or end game. The horse is the process, the grind, the grit, the effort, the failure, the real skin in the game, and the stuff no one sees. I see a lot of folks who almost expect, or are entitled to, the cart without the horse. Society paints this intoxicating picture – helped by entitled people and successful entrepreneurs – that encourages wanderlust, removeal of attachment or commitment, dispise of “corporate america” and 4-hour work weeks for everyone. In other words, it seems like everyone wants or feels entitled to the cart, without working for it.

The Future

Now, I don’t have the formula figured out yet. But I have plotted out what I think is a more realistic trajectory toward optimal lifestyle with a lot of hard work and focus. When I mentioned freedom to self-teach, pursue my own interests and create for myself, that’s a core component of what I want to build around. So planning for my future means working my ass off and making the most of the time I do have to build and create “on the side”. Ideally, 60% to 70% of my professional time (career) will be spent executing and 30% to 40% (the more the better) will be dedicated to creating, learning, and working on my own ideas and development – deep work.

Of course some of you may have a better idea, opportunity, vision or hand-out if you’re entitled. And I welcome all of those. But for my plan, Izsights is a platform to document and share my ideas, thoughts, tools, skills and collaborations online to start creating. Through this personal medium I don’t have to stay true to any one brand or mission, except my own.

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