You have it all laid out in your mind. Planned out every minute detail. Your luggage, documents, schedule, transport.. everything is ready and all you need to do is enjoy the ride.
It’s a 32 hour journey to Miami, which is formidable, sure. But it’s not the lengthy trip that’s making you quiver in your socks. No, it’s America. See, you need to get into some serious trouble in Europe before losing all your lifelines of help. Friends, family, even the random acquaintance along the way, all provide a safety net. But on the other side of the pond, you’re alone.
America has spent the last 20 years becoming more and more hostile to immigrants and foreigners: building walls to the east and the west, not unlike 21st century Russia, trying to revive a consumer paradise that should’ve died a long time ago. Coming from a tiny European country, America and America’s monster capitalism presents itself as not much more than a pub joke. Something you laugh at over a pint of beers.
.. but it’s much less funny, when you’re the butt of the joke.
You hardly get out of the country before American bureaucracy starts kicking in.
“ESTA documents please?” inquired the deeply antagonistic, slightly hung over Italo-Spanish check-in attendant.
“What?” you quip, biting into your apple.
“ESTA documents. You have electronic?” continued the increasingly displeased service clerk.
“Sorry, I don’t understand,” you reply, slightly puzzled, slowly putting the apple down.
“You are going to US, si? You need VISA, otherwise you not enter country!” advised the attendant, with that look of displeased security professionality in his eyes.
“Wait, what? I didn’t know about this. I thought you can do that when you enter the country.” you explain, to no avail.
“Everybody know this. No VISA, no enter country.” commanded the clerk.
“Well, that’s not a good thing. Can I do anything? Can I call someone?” you suggest, remaining in a constructive stance, even though worry was filling your mind.
“You call anyone! I don’t care. Maybe you go ask service desk over there.” the Italian attendant boomed, with a tone of bitterness and scorn over his menial job.
With two hours time, you grab your bag and head over to the service desk, ambiguously rumoured to be in that direction. Your smile fades into a stern look of concern. Your apple fades into a nearby garbage can.
This lead into a 45 minute interrogation and having to pay for a quick ESTA-application. Plus commission. Plus credit card charges. Yeah, this could’ve been avoided by doing some research about VISA-requirements. Live and learn, you think..
.. and secretly cross your fingers, hoping this will be the last of your troubles on this trip.
But you’ve been to dangerous countries before. Why would this be any different? What’s that thing nagging at the back of your head like an itch you can’t quite scratch? It’s becoming all too clear that this is no vacation. Granted, hopefully there’s time to sit on the beach and check out some babes, but you’re on a mission. This conference, this writers’ workshop, is bound to make an impact on your ultimate goal of becoming a blogger and a coach. Whatever happens, it’ll change the course of your immediate life.. and it’s giving you the shivers.
You know when you feel like your feet are frozen, your palms are sweaty and knees like Eminem’s spaghetti? Yes, we’re talking about the exact same feeling that creeps up when you walk past an amazingly gorgeous woman on the street. You want to approach her. You’re interested. Your mind feels like there’s something at stake, so it makes an effort to try and prepare you for a fight. This, guys btw is why you sound like a bumbling idiot when talking to the ladies.
You obviously have a financial stake in this blog business, but it runs deeper than that.
Your whole life has been a stream of unfinished projects, people you’ve lost interest in, projects dismantled by lack of motivation and procrastination. But now you have a burning desire in getting this coaching business of the ground.
You flick down a few gears on the Mustang’s gearbox. That sweet V6 bellow turns into a mighty roar as you accelerate out of the bend.
Suddenly the financial toll of this trip takes a backseat. It’s all worth it. The conference is full of stunningly brilliant people, all with their own creative approach to the blog profession. You feel like .. you belong. The type of people you’ve been searching for, they’re here: entrepreneurs, writers, and coaches. People who enjoy traversing outside their comfort zone. Suddenly it all makes sense. This blog business, which only moments ago was just a game, is now frighteningly real. It’s actually attainable.
You now have a direction. A path. And there’s a group of amazing people who are going the same way!
“And how would you like to pay for your hotel room, sir?” asked the hotel clerk, in a polite proper manner.
“Sorry? I thought it’s paid for.” you quaver. A déjà vu of an airport episode 30 hours before runs through your mind. You shake it off and focus.
“No, this is just the reservation, sir. We’re going to need to charge the full amount now for security.” explained the hotel clerk. From his expression, you understand that he’s on your side. He’s here to make your stay pleasurable. You give him your credit card, and sure enough it redlines immediately.
Thankfully, internet banking helps and two days of headache later your hotel is paid for.
It’s been four months since you left beautiful Finland, and you’ve achieved more than in the last ten years combined. This can all be traced back to that fateful weekend in September. The Sasha Daygame bootcamp in London. But what was it exactly, that instigated this chain reaction of changes? Beneath everything else, what changed?
They always told you to go out there and apply yourself. What does that even mean? What good could it do to just jump out there with no plan and just start “applying yourself”? It’s completely useless to explain, because, ironically, unless you go out there and try it, you won’t understand.
But I’ll try. See, our minds learn by doing. We may logically understand something, but our minds won’t subconsciously believe it unless we put it into action. You leave home without a plan. Without a destination. Even this simple act of hopping onto a flight is enough to spark a belief. A belief that defying convention is possible.
The bootcamp showed you how to take action, and not just run your mouth. Because at the end of the day, even the tiniest bit of action towards a goal is worth a thousand words. A small bit of action sends you overseas to meet an astonishing group of people. A small bit of action ends up in talking polyamory with the cutest little brunette from Zagreb.
At the end of the day you realize the world isn’t going to stop you. Social validation is worth nothing.
The only thing stopping you..
Spending 3 nights on creating a landing page for your business? That’s rough work. Not to mention draining.
But I got it done. Fucking finished something. That’s awesome. I’m patting myself on the back!
Here’s the page, in case you’re interested in becoming a Rat Race Maverick!
I’m gonna order some business cards to spread out the message. It seems Iike I’m running into more and more interesting people on my odyssey.
So there’s this dude, nicjasno. I’ve always thought he’s a bit strange. A pedantic car geek with a radical view on the world. But there was always a good vibe about him. I’m not sure what it was, but my instincts said it’d be a +ev proposition to spend some time in Slovenia. Oh, and it offered me a way out of Italy, which helped the decision.
So here we are, two weeks later. Nicjasno has introduced me to the local internet marketers, who churn out money like hot butter by selling tons of t-shirts with clever marketing. As a marketer of a slightly different field, I found this fascinating. We also visited the local American Car Show, where he introduced me to a local nightclub-DJ with a similar maverick-view on life. We ended up spending a lovely afternoon at this DJ’s home vineyard, discussing the higher values of life and the universe, women and marketing.
And cars! This man had been longing after his dream car, a certain military spec luxury offroader, for 30 odd years before finally having the means and resources to acquire one. And you could tell. That look, that expression of pure joy on his face, when we took it up and down the steep hills of his wine farm? Priceless! Some true happiness there! Incredible machine by itself, sure, but the story gave it a personality that just doesn’t exist in a car that you buy down at your local Volvo dealer for credit.
Adventures happen when you listen to instinct.
Lesson learned – listen to your damn instincts.
So this nightclub-DJ was playing at a local club, which he advertised was a hot spot for Serbians, because of the music. Having a hot spot for Serbians, I needed to visit this club! Also Mr. Dude from before was in the company, and I wanted him to meet someone, and would damn well do my best to make it happen.
And ‘lo. There were women. And Mr. nightclub-DJ was playing some weirdly excellent music with an enthusiasm I rarely see. The place was on fire. I had a good feeling of not giving a shit about anything, so I gently took a passing girl’s arm because she had cute glasses. And incredible boobies. Told them that Mr. Dude wanted to say hi. He was a bit flabbergasted, but got some words out after a bit of coaxing. Here’s the funny part – I kinda was infatuated by the other girl talking to Mr. Dude. But this was a simple passing though. Not even a sidenote in my mind. Besides, Ms. Glasses was funny enough, so we danced a bit and hung out. Had some fun, I thought.
Some 20 minutes later, she asked me which one do I like, because I clearly want the other woman. The amount of empathy and perceptiveness of this woman, (and women in general) never ceases to astound me. I replied,
-Choose? I can’t choose between you! I think you’re both sexy, and I want to get to know you both.
Which wasn’t the answer she was looking for, so I became an asshole in her eyes.
An honest asshole, mind. She smiled at me under that angry face.
You could see she respected the honesty.
So then I got to know the other woman. This dark haired half Slovenian half Serbian marketing math wiz girl. Holy hell, she had this awesome energy about her. And she was so confident that it was almost cute. Apparently offputting to many men, because most men fear the strong woman. So we ended up outside, making out. I wanted to take her home and fuck her brains out. That’s what my instincts said I should do. But I didn’t. ‘cos I’m a moron.
Also, to add insult to injury, two days later my memory pulls a gag and reminds me of what she said when we were sitting outside.
-So uhh.. Where do you live?
I start spelling out the street name of my building, but can’t do it because I’m drunk and really have no idea.
-Uhh somewhere up there.
-Oh. Kiss me!
Then proceeded to do squat to actually take her to that address though. Didn’t even ask. Which lead to instant auto-rejection*. And not surprisingly, she’s quite cold the next day. I’ve been kicking myself for the last half hour for being such a knucklehead.
But, at least I realized my fucking mistake. Discovering life – one glorious failure at a time, right?
Oh, and it did give me some social momentum. I did my first street approach in weeks!
I hope I see her again. =(
Listen to your damn instincts, kids. Be part of the story, not a cog in the machine.
*auto-rejection = This is her shutting down to protect herself from a guy she thinks isn’t going to give her what she wants and needs. The causes of auto-rejection can be tied to at least one of the factors that can demote people status-wise:
After two days of doodling about, I realized I’ve got to shake the crap out of my head and focus on my goals. Interestingly enough, my goals had become hazy and unfocused. So I’d began drifting. Sure, the move to Slovenia and the whole Italy-fiasko played a part in this, so I’m not completely hopeless in that regard.
But now it was time to get back to work and seriously focus on the things that matter.
Clearing my head was an issue of distorted proportions. I had had this Blog Launch Formula module on my desktop for the last four weeks, pretty much without progress. Mostly because of crappy internets, but also because of losing motivation for just sitting in that damn shopping mall for three weeks. So that rather tiny goal of building a landing page had turned into a massive elephant in the room.
I needed to take a step back. Forget the tiny module for a second and look at the roadmap for the next three years. Building an airbnb empire, getting a Tesla Model S and getting ten thousand subscribers for the blog. Curiously even making it a goal suddenly makes it seem plausible.
Okay, that’s three years. Then one year? That’s mostly just building subscribers and getting through the Blog Launch Formula-online class. Hoping to have a decent income by the end of the year. Then six months, every month, every week and..
That’s six hours of work at least. Every day. On the blog. If I can grind 20 tables of poker for six hours every day, I can easily work on something as creative and interesting as a blog business for six hours. So I did. And more.
The landing page is completely ready. Only the content needs some adjusting. And I feel great for actually getting some work done!
So I’m trying to get into the habit of asking the waitress’s name, if I like the service or restaurant. To show them I appreciate their work, to work on my social skills, and possibly get a date if she’s cute. This one was pretty, sure, but not really my type. But I asked her for her name. Turns out she’s interested in foreigners and does tourist guiding as a side gig. She promised to show me around town next week. The stuff you get by asking, I’m telling ya.
We headed out to the neighbouring country with one of the locals. Zagreb was on my mind mostly for the rumoured amount of beautiful women rippled into that city. But also for getting out a bit with this local fellow.
Since I got the spark for coaching people, I had been interested in getting this dude into the dating game for quite some time. His heavy resistance to the subject made it all the more fascinating for me, being the total psychology pervert. Also, I’ve realized the people with the most extreme positions are usually the easiest ones to teach new tricks to. Apparently he’d seen rejection too many times and he just wasn’t made for dating. He was to only suffer misery on this Earth, and he had approached enough women to realize they all hated him. Oh, and no one likes him because of his looks.
So let’s drop the bullshit for a second. Looks department? Totally fine, perhaps a few kilos extra. A few months at the gym and hell’s bells this guy would be unstoppable. Is able to speak in complete sentences. Personal hygiene is lacking a bit, but not bad. So I’m gonna wager on the usual story – guy gets rejected a few times and develops a heavy bitterness towards anything involving the opposite sex.
But we’ll see. I’m not one to presume.
So evening comes and I’m still sore from the surgery wound. But I wanna go see this city! It’s cold and my bank account gave me the office for being a dumbass at budgeting. I play out my game in my head, since obviously I’ll have to take the lead here. Warm up by talking to some girl, any girl. There! They’re standing still. Good, I don’t need to run.
-Hi. You guys know the way to this bar, this Corner Pub?
We make acquaintances and exchange a few teases. My dude-friend hovers along like a nervous stranger. Output stammering and uncontrolled. I figure I’ll take the lead. The other girl kindly decides to show us the way, so off we go to this fabled bar that’s nowhere to be found. We have a bit of banter with the other, more English-capable girl, and don’t really get past the social hooking point. Dude hovers nervously along.
Rest of the evening is me doing silly approaches and having fun. And dude cramping my style simply by standing around. So frustrating.
Yeah, I’m being mean. But the point is, a nervously weak posture, a negative attitude verging on self-hatred, a black outlook on life, and a twisted self-image will NOT get you laid. It just won’t. That shit shows.
Good news is, dude listened. Something slipped through the crests of stubbornness and started gnawing doubt into that mind of self-hatred.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is fucking awesome. I’m not a relationship coach by far, and my own journey is far from finished in that department. But I do enjoy seeing progress in people! And most of all, I enjoy seeing people take that first step towards getting their mind out of the gutter. Now we need to get him a victory. One date. One positive experience with a woman to start undoing the damage started by some nasty memory somewhere.
I think I have a Tinder-date in Ljubljana. Not sure if that’s a fucking stupid idea or not.