The 1000 Day Rule

I stumbled upon this little article here today…

It’s called the The 1000 Day Rule: What Living the Dream Really Looks Like.

The author greatly summarizes the essence of what it feels like to start your own muse business.

He said: “People don’t understand they need to be poor for 1000 days. You’ll be doing worse than you were at your job for 1000 days after you start your muse business.”

Here is what those 1000 days often looks like… (copied that from the original article just for clarification)

Before Your 1000 Days (the yearning**)

  • You are writing a blog about YOU. The reason you do it is “networking.”
  • You are hating your job.
  • You quit your job and travel on savings.
  • You are buying products from blogs that make a little money on how to make a little money with your blog.
  • You talk about this stuff with your family and friends.
  • You are failing at affiliate marketing.
  • You try to partner up with your best friend or girlfriend.
  • You are buying a bunch of domains, starting a bunch of projects, and stopping when competition shows up.
  • You check out the 30 Day Challenge.
  • You love Zen Habits. You think you could probably do something similar.
  • You write bitter blog posts about 4HWW.

Day 1 to Day 333 (the great hope)

  • You stop playing around with your GoDaddy account and get to work on putting a buy now button on a website.
  • You start calling potential clients and customers.
  • You regularly use expressions like “margin pressure” and “QC.”
  • You stop talking to friends and family and start hanging with entrepreneurs and people who share your journey.
  • You work out some funky deal for cash runway. You start working during your lunch breaks.
  • You take on freelance work.
  • You negotiate a severance package.
  • You ask friends for money (like an idiot!)
  • You wonder what the FUCK you are doing.
  • Everyone thinks you should take a vacation and get back to your old self ASAP.
  • Most people quit here. You do not. You have the eye of the tiger.

Day 334 to Day 666 (the grind)

  • You have customers. You have clients.
  • You have too much work.
  • Your friends and family think you have gone mental.
  • You don’t visit your family even though you are “location independent.”
  • Your old friends think it’s a fraud. You are chasing a dream. “Get a real job!”
  • You have no money.
  • Your business gets written up in that thing you wanted to be mentioned in– no clients come from it.
  • Constant paranoia. What if my shit is hacked? My competition just made an update!? What did he say?!!?!
  • You get by with a lot of help and hustle. Stuff you could have never planned for starts working out.
  • Clothing and dinners on the town used to be your indulgences. Now you’d take an extra virtual assistant.
  • Your developers are totally fucking you over (you think, but you just don’t know about development yet).
  • You wasted a bunch of money on that one thing that you don’t want to talk about.
  • You are trying to cut some big deals. They’ll “think about your proposal.”

Day 664 to 1000 (the sunrise)

  • Your friends ask “so what does your business do again?”
  • Family is thankful for your extended vacation time.
  • Your VAs are doing good work, but still pulling the disappearing act.
  • You love to travel, but won’t spend 1 day away from your inbox. You don’t understand people who’d want to.
  • Meeting other entrepreneurs and learning from them becomes a huge priority.
  • You could make money, but instead you think you’ll hire somebody.
  • You have too many business ideas to act on.
  • You are thinking… this just might fucking work!
  • You are thankful.
  • You want more.
  • You’ve got a list of high quality problems.
  • Despite your intensity, you can still do all the Zen Habits stuff, if you so chose.

And then he asks: “What day are you on?”

So. What day am I on?

Honestly, I have no freaking clue…

Ever since I quit my job I am constantly confronted with paranoia, insecurity, financial troubles, worries, anxiety and a lot of sleep deprivation and exhaustion. And funny enough, I am doing worse than with my job – moneywise (just as he mentioned it in the article).

But it’s hard to pinpoint in which part of the 1000 days I am currently in.

I seem to constantly jump back and forth between:

  • I wonder what the FUCK I am doing (at least once a day)…
  • I wasted a bunch of money on that one thing that I don’t want to talk about…
  • I have no money…
  • And on the flip-side I am thinking… this just might fucking work!
  • I am extremly thankful!
  • And I want MORE!

(So technically I am in all parts of these 1000 days…)

Now you might ask: “If I am doing worse than I used to be doing? And I am constantly terrified? And I am getting less money than before? Why don’t you just go back and take a job?”


Short answer:

I don’t want to. Because even feeling “miserable” and beaten down by this constant paranoia of failing, the financial troubles and the anxiety… I still love what I do NOW much more than the stuff I did before!

Long answer:

Yes. Building someting new from stratch takes a lot of time – especially if you have no real background experience in your new endeavour.

And although 1000 days seem like a lot of time, the days are actually passing rather fast. You just have to make it through it.

And with “making it through” I mean several aspects:

You have to stick with it – in regards of working your ass off.

And you can’t quit.

I know it sounds pretty cliquee but in the end it boils down to it. If you work hard at something and just keep going.

EVENTUALLY the experience you gain pays off. You get pretty good at it. People start to acknowledge your expertise. Clients literally pay you for the time you invested beforehand.

It’s easy for people on the internet to claim to “just stick with it!”

But in the end you only have so much time. You have to pay for your appartment too. You might have to support your kids. You might have a family and a wife.

All these things add up and put a HUGE dump of responsibility onto you. Then there is this super duper internet guy telling you to “just put in the hours”… and you have honestly no clue on where to get the hours from.

But somehow we always end up doing the stuff that is most important to us. If we find something that is worth our time and effort, we somehow magically make more time for it. If you want to see your kids grow up, you make time for it. If you want to spend more time with your spouse, you somehow make it work.

The same goes with your muse business.

If the thing you are setting out to achieve with it is just TOO IMPORTANT to let it pass by… you somehow “create” and “find” a couple of hours for it each day.

– You have to pay your bills over the 1000 days period.

This is a more “real” problem. How do you get food when you quit your job? How can you pay for your rent when you are broke? Well. It sucks. And honestly – nobody should ever quit his job and go all-in just because he heard the Rocky story from Sylvester Stallone.

There is no need to burn the boats like that. You can also just do it BESIDE your current day job (which again points back to the first issue, right? I guess you can now imagine why this whole “start a business” thing is so damn frustrating…)

Still you have to find a way to “stick with it” and find new (creative) ways to pay for your bills. I don’t go into detail here there are endless resources on the internet for that. But again, it’s a mindset issue.

If you want to find a way to make a living and make enough money, you eventually do.

– You have to keep it all together.

My personal favourite and definitely my biggest challenge. How can you keep up with the pressure? I find myself at least once a week begging to go back in time and never take this route.

It just overwhelms me…

But then I try to relax again and I focus on what is important again.

“I just have to make it through the 1000 days…”

Not like it will be over once I reached the magical day. No.

I just remember myself that I have to keep going. And eventually things will work out fine.

Just like they did within the last 1000 days…

And although there might be some rough times along the way… I am 100% sure the next 1000 days will be way worth it!

PS: In 1000 days is my 31st birthday exactly. Funny, right? Let’s make sure to give myself a cool 31st birthday present!

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