In a few days, I’ll be getting on a one-way flight out of Chicago to head to California — my first stop before taking another one-way flight to Asia where I’ll be traveling for the first half of 2016.
For the first time in my life, I’ll be homeless. Carless. Jobless. My whole life will basically be stuffed into one bag. And that’s no exaggeration by the way since I’ve pretty much sold, given away, or thrown out everything else I owned.
Which leads me to the first thing I want to talk about…
Where I’m At In Life
Those of you who keep a close eye on VBF might have noticed that I haven’t sent out any emails or published any new articles lately.
You see, for the past four years I’ve been wearing many different hats. With a “Personal Trainer” job description, you’d think that all I do is make people do push-ups and burpees in the gym, go home, and then call it a day.
The reality was far from that.
Since 2012, I’ve been able to somehow juggle personal training full-time, going to school, writing articles, and working on my online business. There was a time when I’d wake up at 4AM to train clients from 5AM-9AM, catch a 9:20AM train for school, then head back to the gym in the afternoon to train more clients from 3:30PM-8:30PM. At the same time, I was working on my online stuff when not in school or training clients.
At first, doing everything wasn’t so bad. I was able to do everything I needed to do with the 24 hours that I had. Things also got a little easier once I graduated college at the end of 2014.
But as both my in-person training and online businesses grew, it started getting harder and harder to manage everything. I realized that the easiest solution would be to cut back on my training hours — I went from training around 40 hours per week to just about 25-30.
Unfortunately though, cutting back on training hours was the easy part.
The online platform that I started from scratch almost 5 years ago started to take off. What used to be just a “side thing” ended up taking up most of my time. When I wasn’t training clients, I was in front of the computer. All of a sudden, I found myself turning into a night owl staying up until 12, 1, or even 2AM on a daily basis.
My social life soon became nonexistent.
My sleep time was cut in half.
My performance in the gym suffered.
And most importantly, I wasn’t able to give it 100% for both my in-person and online coaching clients.
Fast forward to earlier this year when I realized something: I’m trying to do it all, and it was causing me to live a very unhealthy lifestyle.
So to be completely honest and transparent: I’m burnt the hell out.
I’ve been hiding it pretty well, but deep inside I was slowly falling apart. I’ve never experienced so much overwhelm, anxiety, and stress as I have in these last few months of trying to “balance” everything.
I mean, sure, I could do what my friends and family have been trying to tell me this whole time — to calm my ass down. To work less. To “take it easy”. The thing is, it’s not that simple to just “take it easy” when you have a different mindset than most people. Maybe I’ll be able to manage my time better in the future when I start to delegate some of the work that I do. But until then, there was nothing slowing me down.
Recently, though, I knew what I needed to do: I needed to stop trying to do everything and start focusing on what I really wanted to do.
I had to make a decision to go all-in on one thing.
The Real Reason Why I’m Taking This Huge Risk
Ever since making the announcement publicly on Facebook, I’ve had friends, family, and clients say the following statement in some way, shape, or form:
“I’m so jealous of you. I wish I can sit on a beach with a drink in my hand all day.”
Sitting on a beach with a drink in my hand is not what I have envisioned for my travels.
To be clear, I didn’t wake up one day and think to myself, “Ah personal training sucks. I want out.” I built a clientele that took years to grow, and dropping it all would have been the most illogical thing to do. I also actually really enjoy personal training and care about many of my clients that I’ve worked with throughout the years.
It’s also not so that I can “escape” the real life and sit on a beach everyday with a drink in my hand.
I’m doing this simply because in order for me to do the things I want to do, I have to go all-in on my online business to take it to the next level. Although I do like cars, my dream was never to make enough money to buy a Lambourghini. Or to buy a mansion. Or to go on fancy vacations and cruises all over the world.
My life-long goal is to be free. Free from debt. Free to read books whenever I wanted. Free to write wherever I am. Free to explore the world without being held back by anything. Free to give more value than ever before to people like you.
The thing is, I’ve always had the entrepreneurial mindset. Not many people know this story about me, but I once started my first online business in a different field at the age of 16. Two years later, I ended up selling it for five figures (which might not sound like a lot of money, but for an 18-year old…. well, that’s a shit ton of money). The reason why I started that website to begin with was so that I could provide for myself. Even as a kid, I didn’t like asking my parents for things. I’ve always believed that in order for me to get what I wanted, I needed to work for it. So that’s exactly what I did. I worked my ass off online and in real life.
Most importantly, I want to be able to give back to my parents who have always been there for me. I want to be able to provide not just for my own well-being, but for the people that I care about. This is a dream I’ve always wanted to achieve since I was a teeny tiny teenager (literally). If you’re an immigrant like me, you probably have the same immigrant mindset.
So to put it simply, I need to go all-in on the one thing that will allow me to grow. Because every time I flipped to the next chapter of my life — every time I took risks — big things happened.
The time has come that I put 100% focus on working on my biggest dream yet.
FOCUS: Follow One Course Until Success
I forgot where I got this from, but it has always stuck with me ever since I heard it — Follow One Course Until Success.
To summarize everything in this post, following one course is basically what I’m going to set out to do. Instead of doing multiple things at the same time, I’m going to focus on one thing and one thing alone.
Which then brings me to the reason why I’m leaving the country for a little bit: by minimizing everything that I do and own, I can regain control of my life. I’ll finally be able to design my days that revolve around my (real) priorities: health, passion, personal-development, and contribution. These are the values that make up who I am as a person.
On top of that, living abroad is cheaper than living in the US. After reading stories from hundreds of other people who do the same thing I’m about to do, it turns out that I can save more money while living in another country (depending on where you go, of course). So that’s where my initial plan comes in. By living in a country like Thailand where the cost of living is a fraction of what it is in Chicago, I can put more money aside for my savings and student loans. All I need to live comfortably are my essentials and necessities. As long as I have food, a bed, and a decent internet connection, I don’t really care for a dishwasher, a 60” HD TV, or pizza delivery service.
I will miss Chipotle a lot, though.
The Next Chapter
I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t scared.
To take on a risk like this is something most people can only imagine. Where all of this will take me in the future, I’m not exactly sure. What I do know is that I’m ready to take on the challenge.
One thing is for sure: big things are coming to VBF.
I’m currently finishing up my first book that I’m extremely excited to share with you. There are also other projects that are currently brewing, and I’ll keep you updated with them. Just know that you’ll see more of me, my writing, and more valuable content than ever before.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you for taking the time to read all of it. And thank you for helping make any of this possible in the first place.
That being said, I’d like to invite you to do something you’ve always wanted to do before the end of this year. Let your dreams be bigger than your fears. Good things will happen. Trust me.
Until next time.
This post was originally seen on VonBlancoFitness.com: On Focus, Taking Risks, and Living Your Life to the Fullest