empty Indian restaurant

Weird question, but… did you know that today isn’t Monday? Haha.

I ask because a couple months ago I set out to email you every Monday, like a real live grown-up with a newsletter for adults. (This is what The Professionals™ do, apparently.)

Then for the next 7 weeks, I did! Yay!!

Now, I’d like to make it clear that I didn’t forget.

But last week was crazy busy prepping for the (hugely successful!!) Sales Safari LIVE.

And afterwards, I was too pooped to pop (out a newsletter). So I gave myself a day off.

Which — because I am a delicate snowflake & v.v. tired — turned into two days off.

Then the house painter texted me to ask if they could start early because they had a surprise opening.

So that turned into three days off… if you consider running around the house, madly moving my collection of chairs and securing knickknacks from destruction to be restorative. Hint: NOPE.

(Yes, my life is just SUPER EXCITING. I should probably write a thinkpiece on Medium.)

So to continue with the Most Boring Email Newsletter Story Ever, let me tell you about my lunch:

I had Indian for lunch yesterday! OMG! SO #INSTAGRAMWORTHY!

Just kidding, there’s a business-slash-life moral here:

Yesterday, as Thomas and I made our third trip into town for paint samples… our tummies started growling. There was an Indian restaurant conveniently right next to the Sherwin Williams. Now, I was a little bit apprehensive about it. One, we were in the ass end of nowhere. Two, I LOVE Indian cuisine… and when it’s disappointing, I cry like a toddler who lost her balloon. Three, this place was deserted. It was like walking into a tomb.

So I said to Thomas, “This is gonna be either awesome, or terrible.”

Spoiler alert: It was awesome!

The food was delicious — much better than we’d found in Philly — and zero other diners = beautiful silence = sheer luxury for my poor, battered ears.

I learned something: an empty restaurant is probably just another aspect of #countrylife. In a city like Philly, you’re never the only one anywhere, any time. Even if you’re dining out at a weird in-between time like 3pm.

But out here, most people have regular jobs. And schedules. And people they’ve got to answer to.

They can’t randomly Brake For Tandoori at 3pm.

That’s why, as I frantically fanned my burning mouth (their “spicy” was genuinely spicy!), I felt so grateful…

… to me!

I know, right? I’m a terrible person. Here, allow me to distract you from your loathing with a photograph of tandoori chicken:

steaming tandoori chicken and vegetables close-up

Mmmm.

Drool aside, guys, I am not joking.

I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to myself. Or rather, the me that was. The Amy of Years Past.

Nine years ago this month, Past Amy decided to do something radical. She decided to say goodbye to a high-end consulting career, and invest lots of “unpaid” time into making products. Of course she couldn’t just “say goodbye” out of the blue, so she started a side hustle — with the intent of making it her main hustle.

She’d never run a product biz before… never reaaaally sold a product, actually… just consulting. So it was like a leap of f*cking faith.

And the first couple years were a lot of work for not a lot of reward… at least at first. (Freckle made a measly $27k in its first year. Which was like a 1-month consulting gig for me at the time. Ouch.)

But Past Amy kept going.

She tried different stuff, and some worked better than others, and at times she fell off the wagon, but the important thing is that she kept going.

And today, because of her, I have a million dollar a year business. Made for me.

A business that gives me the freedom to…

  • take random days off while still earning
  • say “Yes!” to surprise opportunities
  • pop out of “the office” in the middle of the day to look at paint samples
  • skip the crowds at tasty restaurants, stores, and other places
  • up and move to the ass end of nowhere without ever considering the commute, or job prospects

That’s a lot to be thankful for.

That’s what I call the best.

Also, holy crap, I can’t believe it’s been 9 years.

It’s been a long, long time since I had to worry about what the boss would think, or what the client needs right now. I haven’t had to “call in sick” for over a decade. It’s glorious. Looking back, I can’t believe how much better my life is now.

Anyway, since we open the doors to 30x500 this Monday, I should probably be writing some kind of pithy exciting sales content here but f*ck it, life is short.

If I am going to leave you with a parting thought today, let it be this:

When we ask ourselves, “Should I do this?” — we go about answering it all wrong.

We talk ourselves out of doing things because our imaginary time horizon is so damn short.

We fixate on the downsides we’ll experience today, tomorrow, and next week.

We think: It’ll take so long to get good, to see results. I’m too old. I’m behind already. I should have started a decade ago. Why work “for free” when I could earn an hourly rate instead? Oh well.

That’s bullshit, my friends.

Your future is begging you to make it as awesome as possible.

Sure, it’ll take a little blood, sweat and tears to get there… but not as much as you think. AND, when you’re looking back from 2, 5, 7, or 9 years hence… all that hard work will be just a memory, but the rewards? Those will be fresh and present, every day.

As the famous Chinese proverb says,

“The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is today.”

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PS: If you liked this, I wrote a whole essay about investing in yourself . I mean, myself. Well, AAPL. Whatever, it’s complicated.