How 2020 Took Me Down, But Not Out

“Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,

And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.”
Dylan Thomas

2020 was the most educational year of my life.

In some ways, I have a hard time making sense of it.

I can’t quite seem to be able to articulate all the colors that it showed me about myself, which is my primary motivation for writing this. 

It is true that I am creating this post for me but if you can get something out of it,
then that would be great too. 

They say that writing crystalizes thought, so here it goes.

This is the story about how the year 2020 took me down from broke, busted and disgusted to stronger and richer than ever before.

How It All Started

When 2020 started, I was already in a place of feeling burnt out from years of laboring in what I now understand to be a too small and narrow business vertical for me.

I was like a grown man who kept trying to fit into his childhood clothes because they once looked nice on him.

I had reached a place in my business where I received zero satisfaction from doing it. 

My services primarily focused on sales training and mentoring but it had become clear to me that I was serving an audience that did not appreciate what I was bringing to the table— many did but most didn’t.

They were overall the wrong audience for me. I was, and still am, an advocate of selling and the need for persuasion as a life and business skill but the audience I had chosen did not, for the most part, have a temperament for professional sales.

To them, the idea of selling was something they were wishing would not exist.

They knew they needed it but at the same time, were somewhat resentful that they did need it.

What’s more, this resentment would quite often be directed towards me, which in and of itself, became quite draining over the years.

I to them was the bearer of bad news which was, namely, that “if you wanted to be successful in business you had to know how to sell your product or service to your prospects because “they aren’t going to automatically beat down your doors with cash in their hands.”

The First Cause

The idea to target a niche resistant to sales was, foolishly, mine.

So I take full responsibility for the frustration it caused me over the years.

Nevertheless, to say I was beat-up would be an understatement.
  
I now see that the niche I was serving, (primarily life and health coaches), is filled with wanna-be -entrepreneurs who are inherently not as committed as those who are more invested in their journey, if only for the reason that they’re new. 

The majority of life and health coaches are always brand new, at any given time, because the proverbial business mortality rate is very high in that industry.

Most never make it to adulthood, causing therefore, a mass of idealistic new coaches to continuously be roaming around social media, looking for business growth tips and strategies. 

They’re like those baby hatchling turtles on the Discovery Channel where the majority get eaten up by birds before they ever make it to the water.

After personally speaking with well over 1000s of coaches, for a minimum of an hour per call, I know and understand that industry, perhaps better than any living person.

I can tell you that the mindset of those venturing into that space is not that of a business person. How do I know this?

Well, I’ve been in sales for about 18 years and have worked with a lot of business owners over the course of these years, and it’s safe to say that I have come to understand the mindset of folks serious about growing a business.

The Wrong Niche

Most coaches have a desire to give advice in the area that they are passionate about and would like to also make money doing it.

This, of course, is not wrong in and of itself.

But when you add that desire, minus a business mindset or expectation, you get someone who is operating as a charity while expecting business money, which obviously does not work.

Selling sales training to coaches is literally selling the very opposite thing to a prospect than what they want. Dumb idea, right?

Coaches want clients WITHOUT selling them, a fantasy peddled by unscrupulous opportunistic marketers looking to cash in on naive people.

In the coaching industry, I was like a doctor with a room full of cancer patients, telling them that we need to treat their cancer, while they were watching a mega screen TV, blasting an infomercial that was simultaneously telling them they could wish their disease away with the power of affirmations and positive thinking.  

Now, I would not like to give off the impression that I did not make good money, because I did. I did very well.

In fact, the first program I ever launched netted me over 40k in my first month.

I had many good months in the business and learned more than I could ever add in even one book.

In fact, I most likely, was amongst the top 1% income earners in the entire industry.

I also was copied continually and had my material ripped off over and over again by morally bankrupt admirers and bad actors.
And what’s more is that I built up a fairly large following for my niche.

Yet all of it did not come without many more scars than necessary.

The Bizarre Occurrence

There’s something bizarre that happens when you try to teach something to people, who accept that they need what you are teaching them, going even as far as paying for it, yet all the while feeling resentful that they have to learn the subject in the first place.

Imagine someone who wanted to be a bodybuilder yet they resented and even hated the idea of working out.

How do you think they’d feel about their personal trainer after a couple of butt kicking sessions? 

Almost no one was ever happy to pay me to learn how to sell. They nearly always did it while kicking and screaming.

Not at me, but at the reality that selling was even a topic that they had to confront. They hated selling. They still do.

And since they hate it, it is exceedingly rare for them to become effective at it.

When you set out to learn something you don’t want to learn in the first place, chances are, you’re not going to be good at it unless you fully commit to mastering it. 

Rather than them accepting the fact that they are, A, not temperamentally cut out to be an entrepreneur, or B, starting out with the wrong attitude, I, their teacher, more often than not became the projected object of their resentment. 

I continued on in this lane for quite some time, self-examining myself continuously, in search of things I could do better in my approach to teaching students on the topic of client acquisition.

Over the years I made many adjustments, but still, those who started resisting having to learn sales in the first place would fail. Every time.

On occasion, I would get someone with the correct attitude and in those instances, the student would end up doing extremely well with my materials.

So not only was I in an industry that was dominated by liars selling pipe dreams to my prospects, I was up against people who, temperamentally, were simply not cut out to be entrepreneurs and sales people.

The Insult To Injury

Least you get the wrong idea, please note, I don’t blame the people, I blame myself for getting saddled up with that industry in the first place.

Well, after five years of getting beat up, pushing and shoving for every inch, I was officially burnt out. I was doing all the wrong things (trying to sell sales), to all the wrong people (coaches).

On top of that, my dad unexpectedly got brain cancer and died around a year later when I was only 33.

I never had much of a relationship with him while growing up due to my parents being split up but I was looking forward to having one with him as an adult. 

All of that, coupled with other family issues, was enough to almost take me out of the game of sanity.

By the end of 2019, I was directionless and despondent but was looking forward to starting 2020 with a fresh start and a new angle.

Of course, looking back now, 2020 was a strange year for most of us, but I had no idea what was coming…

After only a couple of months, while I was still planning my next move (to find a different path in my business), COVID-19 hit.

To give you some context, I was already broke, busted, and disgusted with my business and was many months into relative business anti-growth stagnation.

On top of that I was owed tons of money (not an exaggeration) by flake students who took my training and yet bailed on the payments they had agreed to make.  So when COVID-19 hit, I was toast.

It’s one thing to be hit with uncertainty, such as COVID-19, while being in a good or even neutral place, mentally.

It’s another thing to be in a precarious place (in business and personal life), and then be hit with another huge thing on top of that.

The Salt In The Wound

“I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
and I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat,
and snicker, and in short, I was afraid.”
T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

So what happened? Fear took over. I religiously became addicted to the daily White House Covid task force press conferences to gain a bit of certainty.

Were we all going to die? I’m a father of six young children –  were they going to be okay?

Is my mom going to get it and die because she’s in the high-risk category?

Was I going to be able to take my business to a different industry?

Which one would it be?

What industries would remain and which would go?

Is it going to ever be safe anymore?

Do masks work?

Should I stock up on food?

But I don’t have much money so how will I get the stockpile I need?

Should I buy more guns in case people start going “end times” on each other? 

People are talking about this “Q” thing, is that a real thing?

And on and on and on.

Now, you must understand one thing about me.

My mind doesn’t function like most people’s mind functions.

When I get started on a topic, I want to know, understand, and learn everything about it.

I don’t easily let off on something unless I feel like I’ve found a way to, either fix it or understand it. 

I guess you could call it obsessive. I don’t go light on any topic I have an interest in or that affects me, so you can imagine what happened when COVID-19 showed up, while I was already in a weakened state of mind. 

It was the perfect storm. 

My anxiety, which was already bad due to the burnout in my business, was compounded 10x by the news and social media pundits, who were (successfully) gaining my nonstop attention with their manipulative fear-mongering, click-baiting headlines that kept me glued to Twitter and press conferences like a drug addict.

No longer was I even thinking about my business. Instead, I focused on trying to stay alive in my mind. I went into 100% survival mode. 

After many months of little to no growth in my business, I was finding myself closer to the brink of having no income, being out of savings, seeing my bills mount.

All this with an impending eviction, and no means to make any money to avoid it, (or so I thought).

Everything, everywhere, gave off the vibe as though doom was just around the corner.

The Rampage

What further impacted my already weakened emotional and mental state, was the national rioting that resulted from the unfortunate George Floyd incident. 

Extremely violent riots were breaking out all over the country.

Burning buildings.

Lootings.

Killings.

Mayhem seemed present everywhere. 

I became scared for the safety of my family.

Should I take them out into the woods and camp out because riots would overtake the suburbs where we lived?

This caused me to become even more glued to social media (Twitter), watching it frantically every day, sometimes every minute, to see what was bound to come next.

And then we went straight into election season and all the drama associated with that. 

By the time that happened, I was already hooked on the news cycle
and fear mothering pundits.

I realize that all of this mental chaos may come as a shock to those who think of me as a solid guy made of stone, panther piss and vinegar.

The guy who does not let anything rock his emotions.

But in my weakened mental state, all the previously mentioned situations compounded upon me, launching me into a deep depression.

I spent the better part of 2020 in a haze of fear, uncertainty, brokenness, shame, and despair.
I was broke and dejected, searching for a glimmer of something to grab onto to pull myself out of my pit.

I felt like a loser.

I suppose I was being a loser.

I knew I wasn’t a victim but I also knew that the events of 2020 were unlike any other time. 

Here I was, someone that thousands of other people looked to for hope and inspiration, broke, busted and disgusted, having to borrow money to buy food in the midst of a pandemic and an eviction that was only postponed due to COVID-19. 

If I said that I never contemplated suicide, I’d be lying.

But I would not do it because I’d never want my kids to grow up without their dad around, which is how I grew up.

I’d not wish that on anyone.

I also knew that somehow, and in some way, my best days were ahead of me.

On top of that shame I felt daily from being a scared bird, I was also ashamed to have no money because I was the guy who taught other people how to get money, and a lot of it, quickly. 

I was good at what I did but in my sunken place, I felt powerless to do anything so that’s what I did. I didn’t post on social media for almost all year. I only consumed other people’s content.

I had become the sort of person I previously despised.

I was trapped by fear, not knowing what would even work anymore.

I knew that for my own life and for my family, I had to find a way out.

I had to get my money super right and too big to fail.

I also had to get my mind right for life, so that I’d never be taken
down again from mental health compilations.

The Resolve

  • Never again would I be without a technology to keep my mind healthy at all times.

  • Never again could or would I put myself and my family in a position that was subject to a single flow of income, contingent upon my own effort. I knew I needed to have passive income, as my dad did (but bigger), with all of his rental houses so that whenever or if ever, some national calamity or personal struggle happened again, I’d be in a strong enough financial position to weather the storm and not have to worry about money.

  • Never again would I have only one income flow. I would no longer fail at protecting my family financially by not having passive indestructible income streams.

  • I’m one of the most talented people on the planet for making money quickly, but never again would I allow my efforts to be reliant upon only one income flow, passive or active. I would never be broke again. I would not ever again be self-satisfied with making big money yet no passive income flows.

  • Never again would I be reliant upon my active income for sustenance.

  • I would use my ability to make money quickly to build massive, indestructible wealth.

  • Never again would I allow myself and my attention to be sucked into other people’s webs.

  • Never would I allow politicians and pundits to scare me into inaction so that I would become reliant on what they say I should do.

  • Never again would I not know what is wrong with me in terms of my mindset.

  • Never will I ever burn out again. I’m not a candle.

The Solution

Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart.
Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
C.G. Jung

So how did I escape my death spiral into hell? 

Honesty.

I knew I needed help to correct my trapping thought patterns of fear, anxiety, and paralyzation. I couldn’t just positively think it away. I needed someone who knew a lot more than I did about the way the mind worked. I was mentally trapped. 

I don’t mean to sound arrogant here, but I am an extremely well-studied  person in the area of personal development and psychology. 

It’s rare for me to find someone who knows more than I do in those topics, given my obsessive nature to devour information. Once I set my mind to it, I knew I needed to find someone who was a giant in the field of mindset and psychology. Someone who I could learn from, dead or alive.

I ended up discovering that the late Swiss psychologist, Carl Jung, had the answers to what was causing the mental illness/imbalances I was experiencing. You can find out more about what I discovered here because I won’t get into the details in this post.

I’m not suggesting that what I learned from Jung to be the end all, be all, or the final answer to everything, other than what was plaguing me, specifically. I found out what worked for me to realign myself psychologically and to keep being able to do so, indefinitely. For you, it might not be the answer. If you’re interested you can reach out to me and I’ll try to point you in the right direction.

I do not say that I cured myself, by myself. I had to reach out to someone else who knew more than I did.

No amount of positive self-help would do it in my case. Average information wouldn’t cut it.

But I found the depth of knowledge I needed in the person of Jung and his discoveries in the human psyche.  

Having been through this tough period, and taking the time to work through my mental ailment, I was able to get my head back on straight.

I am now back, stronger than ever, and mightily equipped with the tools to keep myself as sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel. 

It’s interesting how once you have the right technology or tool, the
solution is a very simple to fix.

With 2020, and all that came before it now at the close, I press on into a new chapter of my career, having moved past being broken and broke, dealing with eviction, anxiety, depression, despair, shame, and frozenness.

I already know how to make a lot of money quickly in my business but now I will dump all of my future leftover cash into passive income investments so that I create multiple flows of income and be much more purposeful with my flows.

And while I cannot yet teach you how to become wealthy (because I am not yet wealthy and I don’t teach people things I cannot do myself), I can teach you how to GET the money that you can use to plant the seeds to become wealthy. 

I can teach you how to make more in a month than most people do in a year.

Most people don’t even know how to make a significant amount of income, so at least I can help you with that and the mindset needed to accomplish it. But what you do with the money, is on you, of course.

Don’t do what I did and not invest in passive income because you think you don’t have enough time to be distracted with it. 

Putting your money to work is as important as making it in the first place.

It’s now part of my life mission to share with others what works for me in my journey towards financial freedom (wealth), which I define as the ability to live one’s dream lifestyle completely off of passive income.

It is also now part of my mission to share with people how to protect their minds against external suppressive sources.

The sources that seek to take well-meaning people’s attention off of the most important things, and channeling it into something negative and destructive that doesn’t make anyone’s life better.

The Adversary And Answer

These suppressive entities literally seek to implant mental diseases on us, all for their own profit.

They often prey upon the weak, vulnerable, and disenfranchised, such as those who are elderly, experiencing mental illness, or those who are on psychotropic medications.

They use fear to keep these people attached to their garbage outlets in order to sell more advertising.

Have you ever noticed how many psychotropic commercials are on cable news commercial spots? Coincidence? 

Maybe you went through 2020 and came out the other end better than how you went in. If so, good for you.

You might think my story is one of a weak-minded person, who dug his own grave, because before it happened to me I’d think that way too. 

Again, I’d like to point out that I used to think that way, too.

I did not even believe that burnout was a real thing and thought that people who crashed and burned were just weak-minded sheep.

I know differently now and have much greater empathy for others. If that’s all I gained from these past couple of years, then I suppose it was well worth it. 

Yet I’m very certain that I already have so much more to offer you, my reader.

After going through a dark valley myself and fighting my own mental battles and winning. I’ve become a wiser resource for you now that I have been on both sides of the spectrum. 

One, where the grass is lush and green, and the other where it is sparse and brown.

I hope you keep up with my journey as I share what works for me. 

It is my genuine wish to help you along your way too. I hope you sense my transparency and come to learn that I am someone you can trust to tell you the truth, as I see and experience it, warts and all, l even when it isn’t flattering to me.

As I mentioned throughout this post, my 2020 experience has taught me a lot. I have come to realize how urgent and important it is to protect our minds from negative external forces that do not wish prosperity and wealth on any of us.

We must be on-guard every minute of every day, shielding our minds and doing what we can to only surround ourselves with people that understand this, and are striving for greatness as well. 

The first step to financial and personal freedom is to foster a healthy mind, free of negative, oppressing clutter.

I knew this before, intellectually, but now I know it intimately, having felt the cold teeth from the dragon of chaos pierce my flesh.  

But I am alive and well. I am back from the dragon’s den which is located down in middle earth, to tell you all what to avoid and what you gain on your own journey. 

This urgent realization (which I was already aware of before, but not to the same degree as I am now), is why I am investing in creating a private community of like-minded people who want to excel in all parts of life, including becoming financially free for themselves and their families. 

My goal is to be an encouraging resource to help people deal with the issues I discussed in this post, things I now see and understand completely differently. 

What’s more, this community will entirely be off of social media. You can read about it here.

The End

And now as I end this session, I think of you, my reader. I pause from writing briefly and turn my head upwards towards the ceiling with a meditative gaze to imagine you reading this. I wonder if my story will have helped you seeing as you have been pleased to lend me your attention for these brief moments.

I’ve tried my best to show you the pitfalls which are ahead of us all, at any given time.

Have you been encouraged to look more carefully after what you allow into your mind?

Have you seen the importance of looking after your financial wellbeing more diligently than when you first started upon these words of mine?

I do hope so.

I now in spirit grab you by the hand with a firm brotherly grip. Will you feel my clinch? Can you see my sincerity as I look you in the eye and solemnly charge you to “stand guard of the gifts that have been entrusted to you”?

Or will you perish from negligence as I almost did? Will you go on thinking this cannot happen to you?

After all, even the good book says

“your adversary the devil walketh about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

And of course, the devil is in the details.

May we meet together on the sandy white shores of the beach of good hearted prosperity, shaking hands in the celebration of your success, which will have also been mine, should these words have taken root in your soul and spring up to bear the fruit which sustains you along your way atop the mount of your potential. 

Your friend,

janx-logo