How Adam Baker and Gary Vaynerchuk Put me in a Rut

By Carlos Portocarrero

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I haven’t been posting very consistently over the past few weeks. Or very much, for that matter. I have a good reason though: it’s Gary Vaynerchuk (of WineLibrary TV) and Adam Baker’s (of Man vs. Debt) fault.

You see, a month ago I read Adam’s fantastic post on how not to suck at blogging. In it, he posted this now-infamous video of Gary talking about passion, patience, and doing what you love:

It did what it’s done to hundreds of people: it got me fired up. But it also got me thinking.

A lot.

In the video he tells the audience to figure out what you want to do for the rest of your life and then “do that thing.” He talks about how, when he started Wine Library TV he became 1% unhappy. Which is pretty damn good if we’re being honest.

I’ll take 1% unhappiness in my life every day of the week.

But before you can give into all the energy and passion that Gary unleashed on that stage, you have to figure out the answer to that question.

And it’s hard.

So rather than keep pushing myself to post on this site, I’ve been trying to find the answer to that question instead of just falling into the rut of posting every day.

Maybe the answer lies within the confines of this site, maybe it doesn’t. Maybe the answer lies at work. Or maybe not. One thing I do know is that I don’t want to write more and more posts on how to save X dollars by doing this or that tweak.

I’m done with that.

I’m interested in the bigger picture. Bigger things. I’ve graduated into the Ramit/JD school of personal finance. Or as JD calls it, “the third stage.”

Anyway, I’m curious to hear a couple of things from readers out there: have you figured out the answer to the question of what you want to do for the rest of your life? And two: what percent unhappy are you right now?

14 Responses to “How Adam Baker and Gary Vaynerchuk Put me in a Rut”

  • Baker Says:

    Haha, what a great title for a post! ;-)

    Seriously, though, this weighs on me heavily too. I think it weighs heavily on anyone trying to build something passionate and creative.

    I’m absolutely convinced that my ultimate destination is in philanthropy. I’m hoping to build knowledge, brand, passion, and an audience big enough to head into that in the next couple of years.

    Social entrepreneurship, charity, philanthropy, and social media are going to do some crazy things in the next 5-20 years with the direction of the internet.

    However, in order to do this effectively, we need to be out of debt. We need to have the ability to generate flexible income. We need continue to explore traveling (to open our eyes) and build skills in the social media space.

    So right now, I try my best to focus on the day-to-day stuff. What needs to be done today that gets me one step closer? It helps me avoid big picture-idis.

    However, I, like you, am less and less compelled to blog about online saving accounts, frugality, or budgeting. Even though, we use all three of these principles regularly in our own lives, I feel drawn to write, think, and love these other areas.

    If you figure any of this out… please come share it with me. It’s a crazy journey, but for now, I’m taking it one step at a time! ;-)

  • Jerret Says:

    Amen to all that. The mistake I’ve made in the past is to try to answer the question, “what do I want to do” first instead of going deeper to answer the “who am I” question.There’s a subtle but huge difference between the two.

    Good luck in your search!

  • Foxie }CarsxGirl Says:

    I struggled with the same thing for a looooooooooong time, then I kinda fell into what I love. (I loves me my cars. ;)) Now, how I can turn my passion into something, that’s a whole other story…. But I have more than one idea floating around that I just need to research and see how viable they truly are. My passion isn’t very conducive to normal work anyhow. (It takes a lot of time to go and enjoy everything that the automotive world offers!)

    Best of luck finding what you’re really passionate about! I wouldn’t worry about writing about saving money…. So many other bloggers do that. But, the psychology of it all…. Now there aren’t so many in that territory.

    I’m making a point of it to watch that video later. :)

  • Kevin M Says:

    I’m dealing with these issues as well, I’m going to subscribe and read what you have to say and maybe we can teach each other a few things.

    Have you ever thought being THAT passionate about your professional life isn’t really the best thing? Jacob @ ERE recently wrote about this and I think he raised some good points. Specifically, I think whenever money is involved, it’s hard to truly still feel passionate about something without sometimes compromising.

  • Foxie }CarsxGirl Says:

    PS — Video was indeed great, that guy is hilarious. :D

  • Mike Says:

    Hey there,
    Great post. I found your site through ManvsDebt and I just wanted to say that it’s OK that you are feeling this way. I’ve also stumbled across Gary V through Adam’s post. He definitely has some great content on that site.

    The thing that I want to say is to just keep going with this site no matter what! I recently saw a quote posted from General George Patton that said:

    “A good plan violently executed is far and away better than a perfect plan tomorrow”.

    That said, if you have been doing this thing for a while, then you have enough to passion for this, so instead of seeing this venture as that ONE thing that you have to commit too, see it as a vehicle of discovery. Use this medium for all it’s potential, connect with fellow investors who are just as passionate about Warren Buffett, etc and start discovering that one true thing that you are 100% passionate about.

    It’s funny that Adam mentioned social entrepreneurship, philanthropy, etc because I also see myself in that realm. He also mentioned that you first must solve your own financial independence because once that’s done you will have more time to really get to your “life’s work”.

    As an example, for me, I recently started a PF blog with my brother, and in the span of a couple months we discovered our fascination with Microfinance. As a result of this, we’re adding that extra dimension to our site and really trying to come up with ways to bridge personal fiscal responsibility with social responsibility. Also, we’ve now been talking more and more of starting a social enterprise and just jotting ideas down.

    My point is that I never would’ve imagined that I was interested in Microfinance and that whole world, but I always knew that I wanted to give back and that I was somewhat good at being a techie since I work in IT. My brother has always been a good writer and we both shared a passion for investing and personal finance and so we literally made the decision to start our PF blog in a span of 30 minutes. Our plan is not perfect by a long shot, but the most important thing is that we took action and we are narrowing our efforts to that one true thing that sparks our imagination and provides us motivation every single day.

    I’m not sure if we will stop at the Mircrofinance front, but all I can say is that it’s a good place to be in right now. What the future holds is uncertain, but I know one thing for sure is that I am getting closer to my final goal, and simultaneously improving my financial situation.

    I’m not sure what your posting schedule is, but if you feel like it’s taking up too much time and that you don’t have enough time for reflection, then I would recommend you make some time for this (I remember reading somewhere that Warren keeps his table clear so that nothing distracts him so that he has time to think )

    But don’t stop posting! Whether this is your one TRUE path or not, I believe you are generally going in the right direction because of your passion for investing and admiration of Warren B.

    Sorry for such a long comment, I just had to say it! Hit me up at mintingpennies if you ever want to talk finance, investing, etc. BTW, how do you feel about the upcoming split on the baby Berkshires? going in on the action? I think our post for tomorrow is about that whole deal.

    • Nut Says:

      Hey Mike, thanks for the long comment! I appreciate the kind words. As for the Berkshire deal, I have some thoughts on it—mostly I’m shocked he’s splitting the shares up since he’s been so against it for so long. Now I will no longer have the one B share, and that’s kind of sad. But hopefully this will open the market up to more people that want a piece of Warren and hopefully the shares will get driven up a bit with that and the railroad deal. I can certainly hope….

  • Financial Samurai Says:

    Hi Nut – Not sure if my comment will go through, so I’ll keep it short. I enjoyed your post, and I can feel and understand your frustration and hopes. It just seems like if you focus on what you want to write about and do, everything else, be it money, recognition, whatever just takes it’s course.

    I am probably one of the most marketing unsavvy bloggers out there. I donno what Tipd is, SEO, etc… but for some reason folks come visit my site. I just learned about the Alexa ranking myself, so it’s all new to me. But, I just like to write and debate.

    Good luck with the 3rd stage!

  • kazari Says:

    I haven’t got an answer to what I want to do with my life. And honestly, I don’t think the question is a useful one for me.
    I am what Barbara Sher calls a scanner. I love having ten different projects in ten different directions – chaos, craziness, but that’s how I roll. As soon as I pick a life goal, or one thing I want to do, I immediately obsess over all the stuff that isn’t included…
    This is why for me, it’s better to do things like 101 things in 1001 days. When I look back, my life takes particular directions, but it’s most fun when I just take advantage of whatever awesome project has just fallen in front of me. When I try to choose or force a direction, I generally end up ungrounded and lost.

    What % unhappy am I? Right now, probably %15. Mostly because I’m in the throws of wrapping up several big projects (my day job, my study for the semester, some house reno’s) and I’m itching to get on with the next things. It’s frustrating that I can’t work on the stuff I want to. Also, my car died, which is frustrating, and I’m going to have to fork out for a new one with money I’d tagged for other things. That’s really the only bad thing going on for me right now.

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  • Steve Says:

    I’m right there with you. I’ve realized that blogging feels like – erk – a job, and that’s drained most of my interest in it. I still enjoy some of the online community and some of the technical tweaking that goes on (I’m messing with a new theme) but the writing has long since ceased to be interesting for me. I write a dozen long-winded, interesting and opinionated emails for every 1 blog post I crank out.

    I didn’t like Gary’s speech, and his tone offends me almost throughout the video. The one line about “come home, kiss the dog, get back to work” screams “no family” to me. If you have a wife, a family, I think these people have to be your passion. Your work can be important, but nobody ever sits sobbing on their deathbed wishing they had spent more time at their work “passion.” Your passion has to be people. Your very strong interest has to be your work. I will always, always have the philosophy that my work – be it interesting or not – supports my “life”. When my work intersects with my interests, great, but first and foremost my work is there to provide the foundation for the “rest” of my life. Real passion is hugging your child or dancing with your spouse or spending time with grandparents. It’s not spending time on twitter like so many “passionate” online-y types do. Sorry, just my opinion.

  • MD @ Studenomics Says:

    Ugh why’d you link to this video? I watched it and am feeling not too happy with myself lol. Gary is out of control and I love it. Us young people are not raised to think “outside the box.” My parents would have a heart attack if I didn’t finish college/apply for jobs/buy a home/do what everyone else does.
    It’s very important that we start thinking differently as we go through our twenties. Gary is right- there is no excuse to not follow your passions.

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