I appreciate the perspective. You're able to put the thoughts in my head into words on paper, making me feel (and hundreds if not thousands) not alone. I've been hustling since I was 14. I remember vividly my single mom coming home with a filled out job application, working papers and assurance I'll be starting at the local dairy barn on Monday after school and football practice. I worked 30 hours per week during school (6-8 am or 8-11 pm Monday through Thursday, 16 hour shift Sunday) during football season. Whenever i could during basketball and baseball. I even went up to Albany to fight try and fight legislation limiting no farm students to 2@ hours during the school year. How was I going to afford college?! The law passed and loans / scholarships it was. I didn't have the balls to enlist.

Another 30 hours during undergrad and of course 40 hours during "full-time" b-school. 100 hour work weeks in banking. 60 hour work weeks in business development. Road warrior.

And yet I'm still searching how to feel "I made it." To be Fulfilled. I'm 48 to be 49. Always had a gig or something to do. And yet in the last two years I lost a career and now new job.

Your perspective on life, Mr. Cernovich, helps me immensely. Thank you for doing this Substack.

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I relate heavily to having to “read and apply” vs the people that learned through experience, particularly with social interactions. Very religious family and I was homeschooled through 6th grade. There were benefits to being homeschooled but I missed a lot of peer to peer interaction that set me back in certain areas of life. Also having a weak father, albeit a good man, and a volatile mother has presented other challenges.

I used a variety of vices as crutches to mask my social deficiencies and pissed away all of my 20s with no true direction in my life. I was nearly 30 when I finally woke up and realized how empty and vapid my life was and what I really wanted, personally and professionally.

I’ve spent the past year putting pieces of my life together but it wasn’t until a few months ago things began to “click.” It’s been hard, and is still incomplete, but the prospect of having that same empty life 10 years from now is more terrifying than not putting in the work now.

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Great post, Mike! Reminds me of youth’s blinding speed. In the moment, it dragged like a hot summer extra innings baseball game; in reflection, it all flew by like an intense, wild, weird movie. Laughing as I remember the immense energy: couple jobs, college classes, multiple bands, friends, adventures, movies, music, books, spiritual musings, road trips, family stuff, even more. Crammed in so much, yet still somehow only accomplished a fraction. Lots of deep spiritual lessons, plenty of mistakes, abundant memories that still echo. Life is quite different now, naivety shorn, but the graces and scars shaped me immensely.

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Definitely can relate. However, I've noticed that once you figure out an online business that clicks and is making lots of money, there's nothing you'd rather be doing than working on that. I'm trying hard to balance family life with a young kid and working on my biz outside of my normal job.

Not sure if you can relate to this or not.

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A lot of great advice and approach in here.

I had a similar experience-- juggled work, “drill weekends” and deployments in the Marines, and part time work. I didn’t work as hard as Cerno did and I really lament wasting all that time I could have been reading.

I read the autobiography of Ben Franklin in the months after I graduated college and turned into a “morning hack” guy. I studied for the CPA and CFA exams in the wee hours before work and have kept that rhythm for the last 15 years. Learned to code, read/write Hebrew, grow spiritually, etc. all from getting to bed at a reasonable hour to make room for a couple hours of skill stacking.

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Hey Cerno I’m 25 and I really enjoy your writing. I find your wisdom to be quite pertinent to my life as a young man.

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No matter how much one works, look back 10-20 years and think "wow I could and should have been much more focused and productive."

I put in a huge effort, doing very well, and it still gnaws at me how much time I wasted.

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