As I sit here on the very last day of 2017, I am forced to face the fact that I have failed to accomplish every single one of the lofty goals that I had optimistically set for this year on my vacation back in January.
This was supposed to be the year that I became a force in the DFS industry and further developed my freelance business while getting back to earning record profits at my day job. But none of that happened.
The harder I tried to “earn my spot” in the DFS industry, the more I felt like a snake oil salesman, so I bailed on that altogether and actually took a few months off from even playing over the summer.
As for my freelance business, I gained a total of zero new clients this year and watched a few good ones walk right out the door. And then there was my day job, where I put in more hours than ever and was rewarded with more stress for less pay.
I spent much of the second and third quarters of this year in a deep depression for which I sought and received some excellent counseling. It was through that therapy that I realized my professional failures could be an opportunity for personal growth.
And after spending much of the fourth quarter focused on that one positive, I believe that 2017 might have been the best year ever for me…I just didn’t realize it until now.
Let me explain.
I Don’t Play DFS for Profit
When I was trying to “build my brand” as a DFS expert earlier this year, I was posting my season results each and every day.
Do you know what happens when you track and post the results of something that is supposed to be a fun hobby?
It becomes your job, and the stress takes away all of the fun.
So after my long break over the summer, I came back to DFS with the idea that I am a casual player who plays for the enjoyment of the game. Let the long-term ROI fall where it may, because I’m just here to have fun.
Something interesting happened when I brought this new attitude to my RotoGrinders blog: it became fun again. Over the past few months, those blog posts have become more of a personal diary than an advice column, and the readers have responded in a powerful way.
So you can keep the money I was chasing in those large-field GPPs. I’m just here for the fun of the game.
Writing for Free is OK
One of the reasons that I didn’t acquire any new clients while some of my existing ones walked out the door is that I spent so much of my time writing my DFS blog.
I don’t get paid to write about DFS, so at first glance, this was a foolish decision.
But I have learned that finding a way to maintain a passion for writing this blog has helped me evolve as a writer in a way that writing about whatever the client tells me to could never do for me.
With this idea in mind, I am heading into 2018 with the idea that having a passion for the projects I choose to work on is far more important than whatever rate I might earn.
So, once again, you can keep the money. I’m looking to write about things that I love.
Cooking is a Passion
Speaking of things that I love, it occurred to me during my rough patch over the summer that making dinner at home with the music blasting was something that brought joy into my life.
It also occurred to me that running a restaurant and creating daily specials is an opportunity that many talented chefs dream about.
I’m no chef, and I’m certainly not talented in the kitchen, but I happen to be in a position where I am able to create and run specials in a restaurant the same way that the famous chefs we watch on those Netflix shows do.
All I had to do was start. So I did.
Now you can find me creating something in the kitchen at work almost every single day. I’m not making any more money as a result of this shift in my job description, but I do have some sick Instagram pictures to show for it.
So, once again, you can keep the money. I’m enjoying the opportunity to use my passion to create something delicious.
Yoga Isn’t Optional
Yoga was a powerful discovery for me in 2016, but it was during 2017 that it became an essential part of my life. I used to practice because it made me feel good. Now, I refuse to miss my scheduled sessions because they provide so much clarity for me in the middle of a hectic day.
I’m still not any good at it, and I still look way too goofy to go to a public class, but you will find me in my basement getting in one of the hundreds of YouTube videos that I have bookmarked at least twice a week.
For me, practicing yoga became the answer to my struggles with mediation. Almost everyone profiled in Tools of Titans and Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss talks up mediation, but I couldn’t get through the first series on Headspace without getting bored.
By using yoga to combine movements with breathing, I found a way to get the benefits without all of the frustration.
There have been quite a few times this year where I have been late on deadlines or failed to get something done at work to make sure I find time for my yoga practice.
So, once again, you can keep the money from those projects. I’m focused on keeping myself centered.
I Have to Put Myself First
As I worked through all of my professional struggles this year, it became more and more clear to me that none of the things I was worried about actually matter. It was right around that point that I realized I was trapped in the rat race, despite the fact that I have read all of the Robert Kiyosaki books.
No matter how successful I become at DFS or freelance writing or running a restaurant, none of it will matter when I’m dead. And the stress of all the hours I put into these things is likely going to drive me right into an early grave.
For that reason, none of the goals that I set for myself in 2018 are going to be work-related. I’m operating out of a new framework this year, and it is all going to be focused on making me into the best person that I can be.
So rather than obsessing about making a few extra bucks, I’m choosing to focus on how I can develop into the type of person that inspires others.
I’m going to run some long races.
I’m going to talk about my struggles with depression and anxiety.
I’m going to create food that people get excited to talk about.
And I’m going to remember to enjoy spending time with friends and family.
So, once again, you can keep the money. 2017 taught me that there are more important things to worry about.