3 min read

It’s hard to believe it’s already November! Only two months left in 2019.

This is definitely the most comfortable fourth quarter I’ve had over the last three years. The current Unreal Collective Accelerator will wrap up in about three weeks, I’m recording the Linkedin Learning course I’ve been working on mid-November, Eric and I are months ahead of recording for upside, and I’m mostly taking the last month and half of the year off to plan for 2020.

Over this last year, I’ve realized that I want to spend as much as my time as possible either writing or recording audio content.

If you search for, “Hardest ways to make a living” then writing and podcasting are right up at the top of the list. But it doesn’t really matter to me — that’s the life I’ve chosen to design for myself.

I’ve read some pretty staggering estimates that 50-75% of podcasts don’t last past 7 episodes — a phenomenon people call “podfading.”

When someone talks to me about starting a podcast, the first thing I tell them is that they have to be willing to try it for at least a year before declaring failure. It just takes a long time for anyone to start paying attention.

I’d bet the same is true for blogging, newsletters, and so on. Really most creative work.

In 2020, I know that I’m going to be doubling down on long-form content with the goal of helping people and capturing real search volume — something I’ve been too stubborn to learn or care about until now.

But the thing about SEO…it takes time. Even if I write killer content, it could be more than 12 months before I really see any of the benefit.

I’ll also be launching a second podcast I’ve been building slowly over the last few months. And I know that will take at least a year of out-of-pocket investment to be profitable too (if I’m lucky).

The kicker on both of these initiatives is that they are both very time-intensive. It takes time to do high-quality writing. It takes time to produce high-quality audio.

Which means I’ll have to continue buying my own time and accept the opportunity cost.

And in the end, they may both still fail!

I talked to my friend James this week for the new podcast, just over a year since he released Atomic Habits. The book took nearly five years to write, and has now sold over 1 million copies in its first year — 12 straight months on the best-seller list.

I asked him what writing the book did to his social life, and he told me what I’ve heard so many times before directly and in interviews: while he was writing the book, he didn’t have much of a social life. He didn’t drink…he didn’t go out…he “had work to do.”

I also spoke recently with Web of 2PM and asked him when he found time for writing amongst all the other work he does. He said, “It never stops. I’m like a ghost — no one sees me these days.”

And here I sit, with a list full of ideas and things I want to make, feeling like I don’t have enough time.

We all have the same amount of time — it’s up to us how we use it. When you look at what you’re filling your time with you see your priorities.

If you want an extraordinary life, you need to make extraordinary choices. You have to think long-term and accept that you may not see results for a while. And while you wait, you’re probably going to spend a lot of time questioning the path that you’ve chosen!

By the way, it’s not simply “waiting.” It’s not passive at all — it’s showing up every day for years and doing damn good work.

I’m willing to wait for the payoff.

Are you?