I wasn't in college. I didn't like people telling me what to do and I hated the thought of spending another day in a classroom. I didn't want to go to school for 4-8 years to be an engineer, then work 12 hour days to only make $60,000 a year -- most of which would go to pay back student loans. Fuck that.

I was 18 years old and I was making about $9,000 a month managing a cell phone store for AT&T in the middle of a mall. The car payment on my Plymouth (not Dodge) Neon was $169 and I had a $150 cell phone bill. My share of the rent in the house I lived in was $300 a month. The rest of the money went to buying beer and liquor for the 40 or so people that I invited to my house every night of the week. This went on for about 3 years.

I made decent money, I had an 800 credit score and a Platinum American Express. Nothing could stop me.

Fast forward a bit to my 21st birthday in 2004, the same week I bought my first house for $422,000. 12 months later I bought house #7 and owned over $2.4mm in real estate. My primary residence was $960,000. I had a flat screen with surround sound in my bathroom, some couches in the living room, a bed in my master bedroom and the other 3800 square feet were empty. I was on top of the world!

In 2007, I lost it all. The real estate market crashed. Unfortunately for me I put all of my eggs in one basket; my job and all of my income at the time were coming from real estate, all of my investments and assets were in real estate. I spent my last $80,000 cash trying to make all of the mortgage payments. I racked up $63,000 in debt living off of credit cards.

My life was pretty much over. I packed up the shit I cared about (not much) and moved into a 2 bedroom apartment with linoleum floors. For the most part I didn't get out of bed for the next 3 years except to get another 36-pack of Pepsi from Costco or to go gamble my last $80 playing online poker. My at-the-time girlfriend (and nowfiancée!?!) Stephanie would buy me groceries to survive. My water would get shut off on a regular basis and my apartment manager somehow let me get, and stay, 3 months behind forever.

At my lowest point I paid $34.50 for a cup of coffee. $2.50 for the coffee on my debit card, and $32 for the overdraft fee.

I needed the rude awakening and I'm glad it happened to me at a very young age. I got what I deserved, I was stupid.

I thought I would never rebound. The simplest tasks were impossible. I couldn't focus on anything. My diet and health were horrible. I was late to everything and nothing could hold my attention. Depression is a bitch.

A couple years later, when I finally got out of bed, I managed to bring myself to work again. I started a lead and marketing company and I made $100,000 in the first 6 months of business -- most of which was from one client. The same client that I put on credit for nearly that same amount shortly after and he never paid me back. Back to zero, back to depression.

The experiences above were invaluable. They've provided me with more guidance and knowledge than anything else, including college, ever could have.

Eventually I semi-rebounded and here I am today. I work for myself and own 4 different social media companies. I do well for myself. Most importantly, I manage my money, my efforts, and my brain power in the right manner. I have my happy little family and I went to bed this Friday night at 10pm.

There are many days where I still battle with the symptoms of depression. It is life-changing and mind altering, I don't think I'll ever completely be the same. I battle with insomnia some nights and can't go to sleep until 3am. I don't drink all the time but when I do I drink way too much, I believe the term for that is alcoholism (← and I believe the term for that is called denial)

I want you to know that if you are feeling down on yourself, there is hope. I want you to know that no matter how good it was or how bad it is, you can always bounce back. Depression sucks and it makes you unreliable. It makes you a depressed procrastinator.

The point of the long-winded beginning of this post was to give you context. I want you to know what I've been through so that when I give you advice on dealing with depression and procrastination, you believe it's coming from someone who understands.

Here's a few things that have worked for me, I hope they'll help you in some way:

  • Get as much sleep as you can (7-8 hours) - this means going to bed early and getting up early. Going to sleep at 4am and waking up at noon will make you feel like shit. As of late I've been going to bed by 11:30pm and getting up by 6:30am. It makes you feel amazing and productive.
  • Eat healthy and get some exercise. You don't have to be a gym rat and you don't have to punish yourself and eat broccoli and turkey bacon. 20-30 minutes of activity and more healthy meals than not.
  • Cut out soda. The shit is nasty. Just Google or YouTube some videos on "aspartame" or look at the picture showing how much sugar is in each can/bottle.
  • Positivity. This one is huge. Cut out the people who bring you down. Cut out the activity that brings you down. Surround yourself with positive people and make sure your attitude is always positive.
  • Music: it helps, a lot. Music is shown to be able to change your mood so use it, play happy music, play music that pumps you up.\
  • Be grateful: remind yourself constantly of the things you have, not the things you don't. Great people, warm water, a roof over your head. Who cares if you only have $30 in your pocket, at least those pockets live indoors instead of on the street.
  • Stop feeling sorry for yourself. You won't magically wake up one day rich and famous, or even out of debt with a better job. You are the only one who can change things because you are the only one who has your own best interest in mind.
  • Make sure you're doing something you like. If you hate school, quit. If you don't like your job, quit. Some people might criticize me for this one but who cares, those people are unhappy with themselves and know they don't have the balls to make this move. (Don't just quit cold turkey, give yourself a 30 day deadline to find a new job or new life path, then jump ship. Life is short, make sure you're doing what makes you happy.)
  • Find out ways to turn what you enjoy into a business. If you're doing what you love and you can figure out how to monetize it, then life will be grand.

As it relates to procrastination, if you do the above you'll feel much better and more likely to get things done. The only advice beyond that is stop procrastinating! This is easier said than done but trust me... how good would it feel to have a clear to-do list? Stop bringing yourself down over the things you don't want to do. If they're not important, don't do them. If they need to be done, get them out of the way since you know they've got to be done either way! If you do it today instead of 10 days from now, you won't be mentally and emotionally beating yourself up for the next 9 days.

Please share this with your friends and family and share your positive comments. If you think I suck, let me know that too.

December 15, 2014

Stop Making This Mistake on Twitter

Stop Making This Mistake on Twitter

It seems that anyone with over 2,000 followers feels comfortable enough with their knowledge to refer to themselves as a social media professional…

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