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So you’re smart, entrepreneurial, success driven & creative?

The Entrepreneurial Curse

I just wrote the following post as a comment on Tim Ferriss most recent blog post and felt so strongly about it that I thought I should share here. If you want to know why I wrote this bit, go read Tim’s article after.



I think that if you’re smart, entrepreneur, success driven and creative, you’re f*cked. Honestly you are, and I couldn’t wish that to any of my worst enemies. You’re prisoner of that crazy brain of yours until you tame the beast. The problem is that I only want to start new projects and businesses & I don’t care about living the conventional life. All I care about is becoming millionaire and becoming successful. But strangely enough, I don’t really care about money either: i just want it because it’s more practical and allows me the freedom to do what i want when i want it (i.e. never allowing anything to stop my creativity or thirst for knowledge). I’m hard wired for success: it’s a freaking obsession.

I just could not ever imagine myself living my life without wanting to become the next Tim Ferriss, Richard Branson or Elon Musk. Or anything else; smaller projects are just not motivating for me. In fact, the bigger and bolder the project, the better I feel in the morning, the happier I am, the more I want to run & train, the more people I want to meet. Challenges do something crazy in my brain. And it feel good.

I remember reading “The Game” by Neil Strauss and how he said he was sh*t scared of living a “normal life” in the suburbs and I totally feel the same. I NEED more. I need to be challenged, pushed, to innovate, to think, to build, to solve ever more complex problems, and to do something that stays in history books for hundreds of years. I want to be a real life Tony Stark.

Ironman Tony Stark house

Brainwashing yourself to Success

I want Tony Stark’s house and lifestyle and because of that I work 16+ hours per day, rarely get out, learn anything anytime I have the chance, read, learn, read, learn, when I walk, train, when I am in the subway. I even put all podcasts and videos that I listen to in 1.5x or 2x speed so I can listen to more of them and learn faster.

Heck, my morning alarm is a playlist of 16 amazing speeches (playing on random) that I wake up to EVERY morning: Gary Vaynerchuk Passion speech (2nd video of the link), Arnold Schwarzenegger’s secrets of success, etc. I do that to brainwash myself: if I can’t directly work with them, they’ll still brainwash me every morning dammit! I am so scared of not having success it’s the ONLY thing that matters at this point in my life. I don’t want to be left behind of the arena of success. Tim can’t have all the fun for himself, so I think ;).

So that’s why me, you – I think – tend to work ourselves to exhaustion. But the thing is that I can’t imagine doing anything else, I can’t see myself at a normal job, or just working less and hoping I make it in 10 years. I can’t imagine “toning down my ambitions”. To do WHAT else?

There’s no shortcut: you’ll need to put in the hours

NO! I want to make it NEXT MONTH, not when I’m old! And so I think it’s just how it is: I was born with that crazy brain and drive and I love it. Yes I said it: I love it. I am not complaining a single bit about it, I love being how I am and different even if mastering my own crazy brain is the single thing that consume most of my time.

I genuinely love the climb (like Gary Vaynerchuk), the hardship, the crazy hours, the times (many) I felt like crawling in the floor to a corner and crying and quitting, but then looked at what i’d get if that happened and felt ill. I’ve got to accept it: i’ll work my ass out, putting aside sanity and social events and relations because that’s how i’m wired. Gary told me to crush it, so there I am. And then one day (hopefully soon) i’ll succeed and live the real life of my dreams, doing anything I want when I want and be uberly happy of the effort and success. And that’s all fine.

At that point somebody will come and tell me “You’re so insanely lucky to be on this beach (or wherever) as long as you want when me, I have to get back on my plane and work 50 weeks before I come back”.

I’m not lucky, I created my luck by increments of 16 hours!

When you’re smart, the problem is not making money or reaching success. The problem is getting outside your own freagging head! It’s taming the beast so that you can channel its energies in something that’s actually productive and value-adding to others.

We all start at ZERO (0)

But this world is competitive… and we ALL start at ZERO. So if you don’t put the hours in like crazy from 20 to 30 years old, I think you’ll never achieve success: you MUST learn the foundation of many things and practice and fail and THEN you’ll make it. If you take it easy and work 8 hours per day, not rushing anything, playing Xbox at night and having a social life every night then I’m sorry but the odds you become successful are next to nil.

The choice is yours, it’s the red or the blue pill. And be happy about whichever you choose.


Joel Alain is on a quest to the 4 Hour Workweek Lifestyle, Accelerated Growth & Meta Learning. He rejects status quo and the so called "common sense" and creates his own vision of reality. The goal being to live the life you've imagined, no matter how crazy that is. Hop in.
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4 comments on “So you’re smart, entrepreneurial, success driven & creative?
    • Hey David. Thanks for your comment. I know this sounds extreme, but I think we’re all hardwired differently. I used to try so hard to do what everybody else were doing and to do the “common wisdom” but it didn’t work for me, and THAT would have led me to a burnout.

      Since I’ve been working on what i truly love, on crazy challenges, on crazy hours (until i make it), now i feel more alive then ever and i can guarantee you that I’ll never burnout working on my life goals.

      PS: i read the 4hww many times, and delegation is for sure something i need to work on, but at first you need to put the hours in.


  1. Wow inspiring stuff!! I’m certainly not on the same wavelength at the moment but I want to achieve more so I like the idea of brainwashing yourself to do that!

    However I do agree that there has to be balance. What was inspiring about 4hww was achieving more through less time and effort to free time for other things – learning, travelling and enjoyment! Working 16 hours a day through your 20’s and 30’s is just not something i’m comfortable with.

    I will, however definitely look into making an ‘alarm clock’ of inspiring speeches – great idea!

    • Hey Jez, thanks for your comment! Many things I discover, like brainswashing yourself, happen by pure coincidence. I just try so much things that once in a while i find something that works and amplify it.

      I’ve read so often how important it is in your development to have great mentors, so i thought “why don’t i trick my brain in believing that these mentors are here”, and that when i listen to a video interview on youtube, I pretends that > I < am the one interviewing the guru. Crazy, but it works Good luck!