2020- Time For A Change!
2020 Is The Year.
Gong Xi Fa Cai!
When you look back at your life, I want this year to be the year that stands out in your memory. The year, everything changed for you. It starts right here- this very moment. The impossible is impossible to do, but nobody’s asking you to change the colour of the sky, or walk on water. If you’re looking to grow as a person, get more education, lose weight, or start a side hustle or business or just have a better career- it’s all possible. But you’re impossible because you don’t know how to change, or you don’t want to change. You see it all over social media, change your attitude, change this, change that- and that’s all it takes! MAGIC!
Unfortunately, there are no rainbow unicorns vomiting success on to you my friend. It’s hard work to change your attitude, change this and change that- nothing is magic. It takes 3 months of consistency to achieve that change. So start now. Right here and VOW it. 2020 isn’t just a good omen, it’s also in the Chinese Zodiac as the year of the Golden Rat (metal rat)- something that happens very rarely. It’s a year of opportunities and fortune.
But it’s up to you if you’re going to get it.
Change Is Hard, But So Is Not Changing
“I can’t do it”. “I don’t have enough time”. “I don’t even know where to start”. I’ve heard all these excuses because I’ve said them in the past. It was hard as a young man in my early 20’s to see past the hard work I was putting in, the long hours, the failures, the impatience I was feeling. I fell so many times, I can’t even tell you the exact count, it was in the double digits. You run out of steam at some point and think, this isn’t going to work. I think for the me back then, the biggest change I had to make was my attitude. The universe wasn’t trying to make me fail. I kept thinking “I’m working so hard, why isn’t it amounting to anything”. This attitude of constant self victimization was holding me back, and possibly leading to my failures.
It was my wife that helped me correct my line of thinking. Had she not been there during the time where there weren’t a million influencers to motivate me, all I had was her. She was the one who made me fix my attitude. This attitude that ‘it should all come to me’. If setting up the only Data Center in China that is free from Chinese Government control was easy, everyone would do it. If starting and succeeding in business was easy, EVERYONE WOULD DO IT.
It was going to take meetings, struggles, canceled meetings, armed guards, long nights, and hardship to get that honor. But I did it. I couldn’t have if I didn’t change my attitude.
I think back now, how much harder would I have made it for myself if I hadn’t corrected my thinking, if I hadn’t changed? I had to go from, “I can’t do this”, to “I will do this”. From “I failed again” to “NEXT”. That wasn’t easy to correct. It’s a whole new way of programming my thinking. I lived my whole life being this person and now I had to change it. Like I said, my wife was a big pillar in my life at the beginning stages of my business. She is still a pillar for me. I set out to start a business when I was 17 so I could become rich. I realized as I became an adult, I just want to give my wife and my children- and generations after, the best possible chance to a successful life.
Changing is hard, but it’s only hard for 3 months. Not changing will cost you in the long run- longer than 3 months I can guarantee that. I know now that a lot of the failures and road bumps I hit were my own doing. Self sabotaging attitude, negative thinking, and privileged thinking- as if the few months I put in should garner me success.
Even to this day, I listen to different influencers, read books and constantly am learning to correct or change portions of my attitude or way of thinking I don’t like. I want to change for the better, not stay stagnant.
Remember water needs to flow and change speed’s, direction, and let whatever rocks and boulders that get in the way, to just wash past you. You standing in the same place, isn’t going to get you any further. So change what you need to change about you, so you can start flowing.
Your Busy, But Not That Busy.
There is 24 hours in a day. Surely you can find 30mins to an hour to make the effort to your side hustle, to your story, to your meal plan, to the gym, or whatever it is that you’re trying to achieve. You have that time, you just have to cut down the bullshit you tell yourself. No more of telling yourself you don’t have time. I know rest is important, downtime and your time is very important. I hustled so hard in my early years that I put my wife through a lot and I’m sure I cut some years off my life by not sleeping or paying attention to my body. As I got older and smarter and learned from other CEO’s who were willing to give me advice and mentor me, I realized, I was being an idiot.
I was busy, so full in every hour of the day, yet I wasn’t making progress. That’s because I had no schedule or plan for the day. I just squeezed in work when I could. On my lunch breaks during my working days, I would work on my business instead of resting and eating my lunch. When I got home, I worked on the business till it was time to shower and sleep. I ate dinner in a hurry, showered in a hurry and got back to work so fast that I’m not sure if I had pants on. I wanted to use every minute I had. I slept for 4 hours and did the whole cycle again, day in and day out for years.
Until one very good CEO from one of the largest online businesses in China called me a idiot. I had no time management skills and I was burning myself out. He explained it to me the only way a tech nerd could understand, I’m overheating my motherboard. I needed to plan my day, needed set daily goals for each day of what I wanted to get done. He suggested I eat my lunch first, then read the newspaper or close my eyes and rest or go for a walk. I asked him if he’s gone insane from al that success and can no longer mentor me. He also suggested I go home, drink some tea, eat a snack, read or watch a bit of TV. Youtube didn’t have motivational speakers like they do now and there was no instagram back then (I know I’m a dinosaur).
I thought the man had lost his mind and he laughed at me like Dave Chappelle would have if he was mentoring an IT entrepreneur.
But guess what? He was right. He was so right that to this day, I have these same habits. Of course now my schedule is a bit different. I don’t really work for my companies anymore, other then to get daily reports from my awesome Management team. I also focus my time on my teaching this next generation of IT students pursuing their dreams. Of course I also give my time to wife and kids, and just as important, I give myself time for me.
6am I would get up, do some breathing exercises, drink some warm water and have some breakfast. 8am I would leave for my job all the way in North Vancouver- sometimes commuting, sometimes driving that nightmare Ironworkers bridge (look it up, that bride is terrifying). I would skip my coffee break and settle for having a cup of coffee and a light snack at my desk. I burned to lunch time, where I took my proper 1 hour lunch to NOT work on my start up. I then left work 15 mins early (my coffee break time) at 4:45pm. I got home almost 6pm…those were hard days as a young man trying to get things started. I would eat dinner with my wife, chat with her about my plans and schedule. 7pm I get to work. That mean from 5-7pm I would rest and invest in me. From 7-10pm I work- uninterrupted, listening to gangsta rap from the 90’s and hustling, leeching off their determined vibes. Then bedtime at 11pm, wake up at 6am.
Repeat until I achieved what I wanted to.
Sometimes I could only put 30 mins to working on the company if I took work home, or if I wanted to spend more time with my wife. But I scheduled all of it. Think about it, if you put in just an hour everyday, that’s 7 hours invested a week for your business. That’s 28 hours at the end of the month that you put into your company, that’s 28hours more than anyone else who just came home from work and became a slob.
Sidenote, listening to gangsta hiphop while coding will make you a better coder (your notes will be hilarious), and also these songs made me believe in my goals more. Not kidding, it worked for me.
You’re Going To Get It Done
Yes, you are. You’re going to get it done this time. You’ve been starting and then stopping for years now or months, even days. Whatever and however long, you have not been consistent. There is a speech that I always go back to whenever I’m having feelings of procrastination. Its from Denzel Washington.
“Without commitment, you’ll never start. Without consistency, you’ll never finish”.
I hold these words dear. I look up to Denzel Washington, because he struggled, he suffered, he fell 7 times and got up 8…This is why on my hardest, laziest days, I watch this clip and I’m re-engerized.
I found motivation from a few key people, was lucky enough to be mentored by some incredible CEO’s- even now I am being mentored and I ask for their guidance. When I decided to open up my own facility in Singapore. I was scared. Singapore isn’t a cheap place, it’s like Hong Kong in many ways, but way more expensive compared to what I had to invest for China and Hong Kong. The fiber, the power, the equipment, the staff, it was all going to be pricey and I was taking a huge leap of faith.
Jim Rogers, American businessman and Financial commentator, lives in Singapore and has all his kids learn Chinese. He said that Singapore is coming up fast and he was right. I was glad I listened even though I was afraid to take the financial and emotional plunge. It took a year, but I did it. It wasn’t easy, I felt overwhelmed many times, but I got it done. I stayed on course for the year and did what I set out to do. There is no backing down when you’re putting this kind of money on the table- and it’s flying off the table as quickly as you put it down. I was invested financially, physically and emotionally. I had to be, because I carried the words from Denzel Washington that closely. I had to be committed and I had to be consistent.
If you’re looking for a quick get rich scheme to make millions, then you’re not an Entrepreneur, you’re a fake businessman. You’re not looking to put in effort, time, sweat, tears and blood into it. You’re just looking to put in a week and have results. Business and starting up a business is not a week long job. There’s a reason why it’s called hard work and there’s a reason why not everyone is a Entrepreneur.
But if you’re committed, if you’re consistent, you’re going to change, you’re going to make time and you’re most importantly, going to get it done.
To this day, I look to my mentors, even my students for inspiration. I listen to my coworkers, to my staff, to the retirement businessman I meet at a Hotel Lobby while on vacation. They all have contributed golden nuggets of knowledge, inspiration and motivation to me.
For 2020, I want to continue putting my best efforts in. I want to make the most of each passing year and do better each year.
So, the question begs, what will you accomplish in 2020? Are you willing to use the opportunity of a fortunate and rare year, to make the time, effort, and change to succeed? Or will this be just like every other year?