This post was originally a Facebook status written by my friend Alex Mangini. I liked it so much that I asked if I could repost it here. If you’ve ever looked at someone doing awesome shit and thought, “I could never do that,” then read this.
I have a skill that’s going to make me a millionaire someday. I know it.
Does that statement make you uncomfortable? Are you offended? Do you doubt me because it sounds unrealistic, or do you make fun of me because “you’ve heard it before”?
No, I know what it is: it’s the arrogance. I’m arrogant because I have a skill and a goal.
People tell me, “well the rest of us weren’t blessed with your skill”, and it breaks my heart a little. And no, the little “get off your high horse, asshole” jab everyone tries to make with that statement isn’t what kills me.
The part that kills me is to hear others put themselves down like that; to admit that their lives are out of their control and they could never attain “such a skill” themselves.
Let me tell you where my skill came from, because I sure as shit wasn’t born with it.
I avoided dances and parties throughout High School (remember when I was still a “regular person” in High School?), gave up tons of sleep over the years, and even moved across the country to be in an environment that better suited my skill.
I’ve made a lot of money, a ton of mistakes, and have pissed plenty of people off.
But I love my skill, and it enables me to do what I love. I’m going to use my skill to benefit my life in every way possible, because my skill is who I am.
It started as something that was purely a hobby; a little fascination. It was an interest most didn’t really understand, and something I’ve almost given up on a thousand times. Yet, I’ve always had some weird, unexplainable desire to keep going.
And we all have those things. I’ve turned mine into a lifestyle. And I’m so fucking proud of that.
My path is not your path, but our interests are the same. I promise.
All of this is more than “hippie-dippie feel good bullshit”. This is life, man. It’s that thing we only have one of.
SERIOUS QUESTION: what are you doing with yours? I’ve told you mine, how about you?
Context: I’ve known Alex personally for around two years now. Before that, I stumbled across his previous blog – Blogussion (which he no longer runs) – and promptly read all I could.
Alex started that blog when he was just 14. Over time, it became successful – and for good reason. Alex created tons of great articles, many of which taught me a lot of what I know about building a blog. Now he runs Kolakube, a WordPress theme business that makes him a full-time income. And he’s only 20.
Through building these sites (and others), Alex has cultivated the skill he talked about – WordPress development – that’s going to make him a millionaire.
Getting to where he is today required him to learn a lot of things – web development, writing, graphic design, etc. He didn’t go to college to learn any of it; instead, he just worked his ass off and tried to get better every single day.
This is what it takes to get to the point where other people look at you and say, “Oh, I could never do that.”
It takes deliberate practice. It takes staying up way too late, scouring the 15th page of Google to find the answer you need to fix some bug. It takes skipping out on social engagements and playing video games with your friends every night.
It takes reading the Breaking Bad wiki instead of watching the show because you could use that 62 hours to get a little bit better.
What’s the skill that you want to build? To echo Alex’s question: What are you doing with your life? Is it getting you closer to becoming an expert in that skill?
Photo via Alex Mangini