“And I wanted something. I wanted the fleeting feelings of success, for the first time ever, in order to feel better about myself. I wanted a girl next to me. I wanted to build and sell companies and finally prove to everyone I was the smartest. I wanted to do a TV show. I wanted to write books”

James Altucher

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“What do you think is holding you back Amber?” She asked the question like she expected me to name my own chains. She asked the question like a woman who sees me biting off my nose to spite my own face.

My answer was short and my mind argued with it, “I don’t know what is holding me back.” Of course I know that is not true. I know exactly what is holding me back and her accusation is correct. I am the only reason I have not succeeded yet. Me, the answer is me.”

So what is the big hold up? I didn’t try to explain to her then and I am not sure if I have the time to explain to you now. Time is the easiest answer. Building a multi-million dollar company takes time and planning. How much time and how much planning? I couldn’t answer that now. My ideas are still conceptual. They are also completely feasible.

Someone recently compared my writing to that of James Altucher. I was thrilled because I am familiar with the entrepreneur. He has made both a name and a fortune for himself and he did it by blogging. I will admit that I have only read one of his blogs. I have been so enthralled with my own writing that I have not been reading enough. That is another piece of the puzzle. I am not reading enough. It is for this reason that I do not know enough to help myself succeed at what I want and it just so happens that I want the very same things that James Altucher wanted.

“And I wanted something. I wanted the fleeting feelings of success, for the first time ever, in order to feel better about myself. I wanted a girl next to me. I wanted to build and sell companies and finally prove to everyone I was the smartest. I wanted to do a TV show. I wanted to write books”

To be clear… I do not want a girl next to me, but the man I love, yes. I would like to have someone to enjoy my adventures with, someone that will be there to be my notebook. Someone to write in my books so that we can remember the life we had because I dared to follow my dreams all the way to meet the Wizard in an emerald city named Seattle. The city has a lot of wizards and most of them take credit cards because no mortal human can afford to pay them what they ask.

I am thinking of the EO (Entrepreneur Organization) Accelerator program now, just yesterday I was emailing to find out how much I will need to invest to acquire the mentorship I need to make my first million. The tuition is two grand and I personally feel the fee is reasonable. I am, however, writing a book called, “How to make a million dollars with no money and no debt,” and as of right now I am not sure what words in that title should be capitalized….

There is a certain order that comes when you start something HUGE with nothing but an idea. I have been writing now for three years and it’s taken me that long to be comfortable with it. I’ve started and then stopped, and then I hid, and then I panicked. Sometimes I even gave up. Except that I do not have the things I want for myself. The first year of writing was to identify exactly that, “What do you really want?” It took me time and research to figure it out, but I delight that I can look back and see everything I’ve written come true.

I’ve come to the realized peace of knowing that my development is taking a proper pace. I am not moving as fast as other great minds. Two days back I met two young biotech engineers (ages 22 and 24) who are creating a start-up with an innovative tool to help in the medical field. They were glowing to know that what they create saves lives. I wanted to save lives. I wanted to be a scientist. I wanted to be as cool as them, as smart as them, as worthy as them. Does what I do have as much value?

The answer is yes. I do not need to be a scientist to save lives or make them better. God gave me the simplest gifts, an abundant smile, an exuberant spirit, and a mind capable of expanding. People think they need to pay for college for higher education. I completely disagree, though I will encourage my own daughter to find the most efficient path to reach her goals, as I believe that  a mind engaged is a happy one. I could spend the rest of my life learning in a university if I didn’t already know that it would cost me my freedom, that I would become yet another American enslaved in debt.

I am a debt free company and I can’t even begin to tell you how liberating it is to know that any profit I make is mine to keep and not given away in interest. I built my first company using business credit cards and the money loan was an exceptional tool to blast my business off and it did take off like a rocket. The problem was that the more money I made, the more I needed, and the more I needed, the more I fed with yo-yo debt and stress. I began drinking so that I could allow myself sleep. I spent every waking moment counting dollars like sheep while I balanced the budget of workload, family, and where is the time?

There is another author that has impacted my journey as professional. Eckhart Tolle. I read the epilogue of his book, ‘The Power of Now,’ and I was so pissed off I through the book against the wall as I had a spiritual tantrum. “What a d*ck.” I was absolutely livid because he describes his spiritual awakening as a choice to sit on a park bench for two years in quiet observance and reflection.

Two years of doing nothing but being selfish. I could not believe it. I was angry because I felt guilty if I took time to sleep. My mind was always preoccupied when I was trying to have fun, which was rarely. I had serious responsibility. I had a mortgage and a family and people with needs and TWO F*CKING YEARS!!! I could not believe that progress was doing nothing.

At the very same time I was angry at his book, another movie about quitting life made its big debut. ‘EAT. PRAY. LOVE.’ I went to see it in theaters and I got up and walked out before Julia Roberts made it to the next continent of adventure. I sat in my car and wept as rage turned my loving soul to wail like Harpies willing ships to die.  It was agony that she gave up on her first marriage. The movie begins that way. She realizes she is not happy. She gets divorced. She lands a book deal and is handed enough money to pay for her travels and then she falls in lust with several sexy men before meeting her soulmate.

My own marriage was barely hanging on and it was one I wanted to be a lifetime. We had sixteen years invested at the time. Here it came to be that I was holding on so tightly, while the true success was coming to those who let go. Six months later I was separated, six months after that I was divorced, and mine did not come with a book deal, or a brand new love.  My divorce had me living in a house marked for foreclosure, selling off everything I owned so that I could have my park bench.

If Eckhart Tolle could have his serenity, I deserved mine. I cleared my life of everything. I shut down my photography business and I began to write. When I was not writing I was at the gym. When I was not at the gym I was writing and when I was not writing I was running. I spent nearly a full year doing nothing more than that until the day I got the notice. I could no longer stay in the house.  I had run out of time. I was broke and I had nowhere to go. But, I had my park bench.

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