You enjoy the work, but you have come to understand that renting your time will not build wealth. Wealth is your goal, it is the assets you earn while you sleep, but you need leverage. You need to develop a combination of skills that allows you to build and sell.

Your Self-Talk is a Brutal Voice

But can you build those skills? A part of you doubts that you can build new skills. Why? You have spent a lifetime nurturing a mindset on renting your time — where your inputs are closely aligned with your outputs. How can you break the established set of attitudes? How can you shut-up the Self-Talk long enough to work on your reskilling?

The bad news you can not shut-up the Self-Talk. Why? The author Steven Pressfield writes, “It appears almost always as that nasty, brutal voice in our heads. “You’re a loser, you’re a bum, a worthless waste of oxygen. Look at you. Do you imagine that someone like you could produce something original, something of quality, something that anyone else would care about? What ideas do you have that haven’t been done a thousand times before—and better than you could ever dream of doing them?”

Yes, your Self-Talk is a treacherous and menacing aberration. It has one goal — to demoralize you into inaction. The good news is that the Self-Talk has no strength of its own. Every ounce of its strength is fed by you.

Come Hell or High Water, Move Forward

Triathlete James Lawrence notes, “It’s not a matter of how to get to the other side of that mountain. It’s which way am I going to do it — am I going to go over it, am I going to go around it, am I going to go through it? But ultimately at the end of the day I am going to make it to the other side of that mountain. Come hell or high water.”

The Self-Talk is your mountain, and you must starve it by persistently trying to get to the other side. Despite the difficulties and challenges:

  • Make or update your plan.
  • Move forward.
  • When you fail, re-evaluate. Apply the lessons learned.
  • Move forward.
  • Repeat.

The algorithm is not a tonic against the Self-Talk. The brutal voice in your head will only get louder. The Self-Talk will become the most toxic force on the planet, poisoning your mindset — into not making it to the other side of the mountain.

Your 12-Month Plan

The author Seth Godin wrote the Graduate school for unemployed college students article. In the piece of writing, Godin creates a list of skills that you should build over a 12-month period. The article inspires you to commit to the 12-months, and you decide to customize the skills to suit your curiosities:

  • Teach yourself how to write code so you can solve problems:
    • SQL
    • Python
    • JavaScript
  • Record a regular podcast or video
  • Write a regular blog and share on social media
  • Read:
    • Science
    • Philosophy
    • History
  • Learn how to communicate:
    • Negotiations
    • Persuasion
  • Learn a foreign language
  • Focus on building extraordinary health and nutrition

Refuse To Rent Your Time To Fulfill Some Else’s Dreams

Former CEO of Angel List Naval Ravikant writes, “Code and media are permissionless leverage. They’re the leverage behind the newly rich. You can create software and media that works for you while you sleep.”

Yes, the list presents a lot of work, but what is your alternative? A life where you are renting your time? A life where the Self-Talk prevents you from getting to the other side of the mountain? A life of asking yourself, “What if?” In your mind, you have decided, “That the end of the day I am going to make it to the other side of that mountain. Come hell or high water.”

So go and make the time to reskill yourself. You do not have time? How many hours of TV do you watch? The average American watches 28 hours of TV a week. What if you invested 14 hours a week to work on reskilling?

  • Spend an hour in the morning teaching yourself to code.
  • Record a 10-minute podcast over the weekend.
  • Write 50 words per day.
  • Read 10 pages of a book while you are having lunch.

Ravikant vocalizes, “Value your time. It is all you have. It’s more important than your money. It’s more important than your friends. It is more important than anything. Your time is all you have. Do not waste your time.”

Now, what happens to your job prospects 12-months later? Where will serendipity take you? If you continue developing your skills to build and sell, what happens to your life in five or 10 years? Ravikant announces, “I like to think that if I lost all my money and you dropped me on a random street in any English-speaking country, within five or ten years I’d be wealthy again because it’s just a skillset I’ve developed that anyone can develop.”

Individuals such as Ravikant, Godin, and Lawrence are ordinary people. They operate in the rare air of success because they refuse to rent their time to fulfill some else’s dreams. Will you refuse?

Originally published here.