As I close in on five years of self-employment using various income streams, I’ve given some thought to the habits I have either cut out myself or seen others cut out in order to sustain business success. My tendency has been to write about what a person can do proactively to achieve x, y, or z but I’d like to switch up the tone here and write about negatives to avoid. The mistakes you can make on a growth path are legion! No, it’s not time to freak out. Just check out what I have to say.
Unconventional employment, for the sake of this article, is any employment outside of a governmental or corporate setting. This involves weird hours, a work schedule directly tied to and dependent on sales, work that features dry spells, partial or outright unemployment, or an investment style income stream that fluctuates with the markets. I have weathered all of these scenarios, along with government and corporate employment, and have seen the habits that sink even the best intentioned entrepreneurial types.
1. Sleeping In — I see sleeping in as profoundly irresponsible. It sets the tone for the entire rest of the day. Sure, we need our rest. Once in a while isn’t going to kill you. But I’m talking about anything more than once a month. Sleeping in introduces a whole host of problems into your life, the least not being that you can seriously screw with your circadian rhythm.
Sleeping in too often puts a person into a lazy mindset. Before the mass consumerist society of plenitude and welfare of the past 50 years, sleeping in was an absolute luxury. The prospect of “sleeping in” confused a lot of people and was associated with laziness. The term “layabout” was more commonly used. Sleeping in was a moral hazard and an eroding force on the constitution.
Nowadays in our society’s toxic compassion, sleeping in signifies a person’s had a hard life and we should extend them empathy and tolerance. Or sleeping in is a behavior to “be kind to yourself” about and to savor every weekend. I don’t agree with these standpoints.
I’m not entirely opposed to sleeping in but it must be used with considerable economy.
Sleeping in is generally a compensation for an inability to establish healthy sleep routines in the evening. You end up paying a double price when you sleep in: a lack of responsibility for your nighttime and a subsequent lack of initiative and productivity the next day.
There is also the trustworthiness component of sleeping in. Who would you put your trust in: a self starter with consistent sleep and wake times or a person who remains in bed several hours into the late morning?
I have no problem with people who have unusual sleep schedules. At least there’s a schedule there! And everyone has a different window of time during the day that they’re the most productive. The lack of structure and consistency is what plagues those who sleep in. This is a problem to address with some self-knowledge and planning!
2. Masturbating — Masturbation releases downer chemicals and mimics the temporary satisfaction that business success brings to non-masturbators. Life works better when you’ve got an unsatisfied, hungry edge. This type of psychology breeds innovation, subversion, and sometimes even heroism. The post-masturbation mindset only leads to depression.
Masturbation erodes the constitution similarly to sleeping in but it’s even worse as it can take you out of the dating pool. If you’re committed enough to it, masturbation will take you out of the gene pool altogether!
Masturbation should not occur more than once every 3 to 6 weeks. Anything beyond this usually involves deep seated psychological issues a person is unwilling to broach. No, masturbating 3 to 5 times a week isn’t “healthy” as so many experts assert. There’s absolutely no utility to flooding your system with false satisfaction to this degree when you could be sublimating that energy into business or social success. Masturbation in combination with pornography is especially destructive.
Like anything else I write about, treat this as a theory and give it a try.
3. Internet surfing — Compulsive Internet surfing is a habit I’ve been asked to comment on several times in the past. I seem to be mostly over my own bout with this issue. I do still use Twitter too much every day but I’ve rigged my income streams to benefit from my knowledge on current events so it’s not an altogether lost venture.
That said, compulsive Internet surfing is a huge problem in today’s society. Researchers have linked it to the loneliness epidemic in the West. If you look at the charts you see a person’s depression spikes to the degree they use social media. I contend that loneliness can be triggered by over stimulation. When you are inundated with the thoughts and emotions of other people, especially those you have no direct, physical relationship with, you are further and further disconnected from your own authentic feelings.
I’ll give you a personal example. I have a wonderful older friend on the other side of the country. I have been meaning to write him and send him pictures of my family. He doesn’t use the Internet so I am not able to email him. In the past couple weeks I have been so concerned with the Bitcoin price, world events, and prior to that the midterms that I have neglected to write him. The thought to do so only registers with me after a long day of work and concern with the lives of those who reach me through the electronic medium. Whoops!
This sort of thing happens all the time to anyone over involved in digital stimulation. In fact, it’s so bad for some that whole decades have passed before their eyes while a false, digital life has played out on servers in the ether.
Internet surfing is disruptive to an unconventional employment path because you need to be in your own head sometimes. Whether you’re using this time to assimilate what you have taken in from others or get in touch with your creativity to innovate, you cannot allow social media to do your thinking for you. It is important you attune your income streams to your authentic preferences. This comes out of a self-knowledge process, not a frenzied clicking of other people’s thoughts.
There are a million things you can do wrong in life. No need to get psyched out about them. I simply bring up these points because I see them affect so many people pursuing profit outside of the establishment options. You are a product of your habits. You are what you do. Any one of these three habits can positively destroy your forward momentum as a value producer trying to live conscientiously. Keep your focus and don’t stray into their unforgiving confines.
IF you want unconventional success: Don’t layabout. Don’t masturbate or Internet surf compulsively. Cope with your situation in ways that add value to your life!