Today I want to tell a story about a valuable lesson I learned. It’s something I often think about whenever I have any doubts about my purpose in life. Perhaps you’ll learn something from it as well.
The Lowest Point in My Life
It was March of 2004. I just moved back to New Jersey from South Carolina after going through a divorce. I still had to help my ex-wife with the mortgage payments. So I was forced to move home with my parents because I couldn’t afford another place.
To add to this problem, I was completely miserable with my ‘employment situation.’ I was going from one dead end job to another – never happy with the daily 9 to 5 grind. I just couldn’t imagine spending the next 40+ years commuting to a place I hated.
The only thing going for me was this crazy idea I had about starting an online business. I felt the Internet was full of opportunities. And if I worked really hard, I could make a bunch of money while working from home.
The problem? I had no money. I wanted my own place where I wasn’t mooching off my parents. But I didn’t want a full-time job where I wouldn’t have time to work on my budding online business…
The ‘Balloon Guy’ Job
A solution to this problem presented itself during a conversation with one of my friends. My buddy Jay owned a company where he would regularly hire out entertainers for parties and corporate events. People like caricature artists, clowns, tarot card readers, and DJs.
Jay told me that there was a big market for ‘balloon guys.’ Some of whom get paid $200-300 per day. All I had to do was practice making balloon animals for a few days and be willing to dress up in a clown suit. Then he could book me to a bunch of events where I could make some money.
In my head this seemed like a perfect situation. I’d work a few hours a day. I could pay my bills. And I didn’t have to give up my dream of starting an online business.
All was great, until I had…
A Conversation that Changed My Life
Throughout my life I’ve always gone to my parents for advice. My dad knew I wanted to start an online business and he was one of the few people who supported this idea.
When I told him about the ‘balloon guy’ gig, he said something I’ll never forget:
“It’s good to do something while you get back on your feet. Maybe this balloon job is the answer. But don’t wake up one day and realize you’re a 40 year-old balloon guy.”
My dad’s point is simple. We all have dreams. But we also live in the real world where there are real bills that need to be paid. So sometimes we’re forced to take a job that sucks. We make the excuse that we’ll only work there ‘till things get better.’ The danger here is you might wake up one day, realizing that you’re 40 years old (or older) and you’re stuck in a job you hate.
Now I’m not knocking anyone who likes to dress up in a clown suit and make balloon animals for people. If that’s your life purpose then I wish you the best. However, at this point I realized that my goal in life wasn’t to be a professional balloon guy. I wanted something more. And my dad intuitively knew that I could get sucked into a ‘temporary’ job which could become permanent.
After this conversation, I decided not to become a balloon guy. Instead I dedicated myself 100% to creating an online business. In fact during the last few years, I’ve had almost FIVE distinct Internet businesses. All of which helped me create a full-time income where I can work from home.
For the last five years things have been good till…
The Revenge of the Balloon Guy
One of my online sites is in the “dating tips for men” niche. It’s a good business because I help guys improve their success with women while earning money at the same time.
While the income has been great, there are a number of drawbacks to having a business like this. First, it’s hard to have a healthy relationship when you’re perceived as a ‘pick-up artist.’ Secondly, the only way to REALLY make money in this business is to become a guru and plaster your face all over the Internet –– which is something I’m not willing to do. Thirdly, I want to help guys on a number of levels. Not just with dating.
The final drawback to this business has to do with another ‘balloon guy epiphany.’ Something I call The Revenge of the Balloon Guy.
In my opinion, the dating tips niche is not an older man’s game. Sure it’s fun to dispense advice when you’re a young guy meeting lots of girls. But there’s a real danger to becoming that creepy, old man who still talks about picking up chicks. I’ve seen a few guys like this and it’s not pretty. Actually it’s kind of sad. And if I keep doing what I’m doing I could become one of these guys.
Finding My Life Purpose
During the last few months I’ve done a lot of thinking about my purpose in life. I’ve come to realize that I enjoy helping people and like having the personal freedom which an online business provides. But I wasn’t happy in the dating tips for men niche.
What makes me happy? I have fun improving my life a little each day. I enjoy helping guys with their problems. I like to travel. And I enjoy living life the fullest.
So my life purpose is simple. I want to create a business where I help guys improve themselves by giving them lessons I’ve learned as I work on my personal success. (Hopefully this site will be the answer)
The best part? This business is something I know I’ll enjoy 10, 20, even 40 years from now. I know I won’t wake up one day with a ‘balloon guy epiphany’ wondering where I went wrong with my life.
Are Living Your Life Purpose?
I’ll admit we don’t know each other. So I won’t pretend to understand what’s going on with your life. You could be really happy with your chosen profession. Or you could be completely miserable. No matter what though, I want you to do the following exercise…
Picture yourself on your death bed years from now. As you look back on your life do you regret how you spent your time? Do you wish you took a different career path? Is there something you REALLY wanted to do, but you “never got around to it?”
Did you live a ‘balloon guy’ life wondering what could have been?
I’m sure most people have some regret at the end of their lives. The danger is to wake up one day and realize you’ve wasted years, even decades, doing something you despise.
If you’ve realized that you’re not living your life purpose, ask yourself WHY this happened? Then do something about it! Become a student of your passion. Talk to people who are living the life you want. Get them to tell you how they got there. What’s the secret to their success? What books have they read? What obstacles did they overcome? What advice can they give you?
The world is filled with knowledge. It’s just waiting for you to discover it. Figure out your life purpose and go after it!Take Action. Get Results.