I hate everything about those slimy, slithering creatures. I hate how they can hide in the grass and stalk their prey, I hate the texture of their skin, I hate their teeth and I hate the idea of their sharp fangs sinking into my skin and not letting go.
If a snake slithered past me I would jump higher than a pole vaulter trying to crack a PB and lose all masculinity in the process. I’m not even sure I’d be embarrassed though because I truly hate snakes that much.
Just the thought of a snake makes my stomach sick and my body shiver. But there’s actually something I fear more than snakes!! And that something is:
Regret is actually not that different to a snake. Unlike a shark that strikes or a lion that pounces, a snake kills it’s prey agonizingly slowly.
Commonly a snake will strike, inflict enough pain to surrender it’s prey before slowly wrapping the body around it’s now helpless victim and slowly squeezing every last bit of life until there’s none left.
Very dark I know, but creating significant regret early in life will lead to the same slow and agonizingly painful death later in life. Whilst all very different and unique, we all have dreams, goals and desires. This is universal and regardless of a goal being as small as wanting to travel interstate or as large as wanting to travel around the world, not achieving any goal delivers the same painful outcome which is REGRET.
Regardless of the scale of regret, regret is regret is regret and the less regret you harbor in the later stages of your life, the more fulfilled and successful you will feel about your life, how you lived it and what you achieved.
I’m yet to encounter a snake up close in a real life situation. Despite my enormous fear of snakes, I believe I would have the strength in the moment and at that time to do what was needed to survive.
The reason I believe this to be the case is because my fear for snakes despite being massive is far less than my fear of having considerable regrets later on in life. And the reason I believe I would survive the encounter is because I have already faced many situations in life that could have created crippling regrets.
And despite considerable fear, I used my fear of living with regret to guide my decisions and help me decide on the path I should take. Following high school I became a nurse but soon after qualifying and starting work on the wards I was not convinced I would be happy in that industry for the next 30 to 40 years.
I didn’t like the idea of working for a fixed salary and having no outlet for my abundance of creativity and my ability to think outside the box. Over 75% of people don’t like their job and wish they could do something else, something they have more passion for and often something which allows them to be in charge or at least have more control over their happiness and career fulfillment.
At that stage of my life I was no different to the other 75% of working people unhappy in their job. But I decided to put myself into the position of trying to cross over to the 25th percentile by making a decision with the guiding principle of REGRET AVOIDANCE.
I wanted to work for myself, own my own business and allow my efforts to dictate my income so I had a fighting chance to get ahead in life.
So what did I do? I told myself that despite being scared of the unknown, I was more scared of working a job I wasn’t satisfied with and living out my later years with regret. So I quit my job as a nurse.
And just one month later I purchased a property maintenance franchise and began my life as a 22 year old entrepreneur. I purchased just the naming rights but had no clients. So I worked 6 days a week, 14 plus hours a day and built up an incredibly successful business over a 5 year period.
At the age of 25 I’d saved over $220’000 in the first 3 years of running my business and purchased a block of land to build my dream home and buy a dog which I had always wanted but never had.
There was a problem though, since the age of 21 I had lived with a pain condition which affected my central nervous system and caused me to suffer from chronic, 24-7 back and neck pain.
I had spent 5 years and about $75’000 having every imaginable treatment and visiting every available specialist I could find. Unfortunately no treatment helped and apart from administering dangerous prescription pain medication, nobody had any answers.
I finally saw a Doctor who understood the very poorly educated and misunderstood area of chronic pain and how it’s actually created within the body and the fact that there is no cure for persistent, chronic pain when a host of treatments and pain drugs have proven to be unhelpful.
After remaining hopeful (more so desperate) of finding a cure for my pain, the realization that I would always be in pain was tough to take and also a huge problem for my career and business. The work performed for my business was physical and I had battled on in pain everyday of owning the business whilst staying positive of finding treatment and relieving the pain.
Once I knew this would not be possible and the fact I needed to attend a full time, 4 week pain management clinic to learn strategies to live with chronic pain, I had to make the devastating decision to sell my business and walk away from a venture I had poured so much time, effort and energy into which had set me up to be in an incredible financial position.
After attending the pain clinic it was time to figure out my next move and many people were naturally suggesting I go back to nursing, go back university to re train in a new career or take a more secure, safe job that would have sick leave, super, benefits etc.
But after having such great success at a young age through business, none of these options appealed to me and I was determined to continue to work for myself but choose a business that would be less physical and more favorable to my pain condition.
Like I did with the nursing I wasted no time and within months of leaving the pain management clinic I had purchased a new franchise which provided text message marketing services to small businesses. This was around the time the smartphone was just becoming mainstream in Australia and I provided business owners with the strategy to create a database of their customers mobile numbers and the platform to then market directly to them.
At the same time I also bought a magazine vending machine which was a very cool concept that would provide a semi passive income by placing at a train station, the emergency department of a hospital or a Westfield shopping centre food court.
So here I was again, 27 and scared shitless of starting over and the risk of failure that every business is faced with. But again it was my guiding principle of REGRET AVOIDANCE that allowed me to feel the fear and do it anyway.
You are probably familiar with the success stories of people like Michael Jordan, Walt Disney, Colonel Sanders and Winston Churchill who failed many times before finding huge success. Whilst any success I may have had with my first business was not even a mere drop in the ocean compared to such people, I was the opposite in that I tasted success before then tasting failure.
I had set about hitting the streets and going door to door to small and medium businesses all over Sydney selling my mobile marketing platform and consulting services. I had steadily built up a stream of clients and would of had a profitable business had it not been for one big issue: Many clients wouldn’t pay my invoices.
I was making the mistake of performing the work up front then invoicing for my services and waiting to collect payment. It was an incredibly dire time for Australia’s small business landscape.
I witnessed this fact first hand through walking the streets door to door of many busy small business sectors and constantly seeing more CLOSING DOWN SALE signs than I care to remember.
Essentially many clients used me in a desperate time to trial another marketing channel for their failing business knowing full well they never intended to pay for the service. And meanwhile the great concept of the magazine vending machine turned out to be a national criminal scam so well constructed that the Australian consolidated press (ACP) and Westfield shopping centres were signed on.
Myself and several hundred distributors purchased machines only to be strung along and later discover the scam and the fact that despite the criminals being taken to trial and sent to jail, none of us would see any of the money we’d invested.
Now if lot’s of people were telling me after attending the pain clinic that I should “go back to uni”or “get a safe, secure job”, after these 2 business failures this was now a constant theme I was being told. I respected and appreciated the opinion of these people and even acknowledged that they were 100% right in offering that advice.
And whilst I agreed with their point of views and knew why they were suggesting such a path, I had been reading as many as 2 or more books per week on business, personal development and success principles since starting my first business at 22 years of age and for me, failure was simply a staple ingredient in the recipe of every successful person I had ever researched and learnt about.
Whilst the thought of having to start over again and face the unknown was painfully frightening, it was once again my guiding principle of REGRET AVOIDANCE and trusting the process I had begun at the age of 22 that gave me the courage to reinvest myself yet again in order to stay on my path.
This time however I had an added guiding principle which was to NEVER FEAR THE SOUND OF MY ALARM CLOCK EVER AGAIN.
Whilst I had achieved the goal of working for myself and allowing my efforts to dictate my income, I still found myself in the 75th percentile of people who were not passionate about or loved the actual day to day work they performed.
Whilst I loved the money I made, I didn’t love the actual work I was performing. But if health problems, business failures and con artists were going to force me to reinvent myself and my career for a third time, I was determined to make it third time lucky and achieve my ultimate dream of EARNING A HIGH INCOME, DOING WORK I LOVE THAT HELPS PEOPLE.
The vehicle I chose to achieve this goal was through a business idea that had been my dream job since I was a teenager. Since my mid teens I had male family members and male friends approach me stating that they liked how I dressed and wondered if I would take them clothes shopping.
I always happily obliged as I was a rare male in that clothes shopping was something I found both fun and very easy as I had a natural eye for what looked good and how to coordinate items of clothing together.
I would help out my family and mates and they were always so thankful and happy with the outcome which made me very happy and satisfied in return. And I had a heap of fun doing it as I liked men’s fashion, enjoyed helping and felt good knowing they became more confident in how they looked and felt.
As I got to my late teens and finished high school I wondered if I could take this passion and make a living from it. This was around the “meterosexual” era and whilst I had proven through friends and family that there was a proven need for such a service, I felt I was too young to start a business or be taken seriously by male adults needing my help.
So I studied nursing because I was told it was a safe and secure job and I was personally happy with the fact I would be satisfying my desire of doing work that helped people and made a difference.
As you now know though, my desire to control my financial status and work for myself crept back in and I started my first business at 22. Then when my health issues forced me to sell the business and I start over, I again wanted to explore the idea of starting an image consulting business for men in which I would help them improve their style and overall image.
But despite now being older and having 5 years business experience, I was stuck on the fact that as a straight bloke, I felt the industry was too untested for me.
Especially with the emergence of shows like queer eye for the straight guy in the States and Man Up in UK, I felt I faced too many marketing hurdles of men not being aware that a service existed where they could be given no-nonsense, straight up image advice from a straight bloke who could help them look better and feel more confident without being dressed and groomed in an “over the top” way like you see in the man make-over shows.
So I once again decided to pursue different business ideas and as it turned out, they both presented significant challenges and did not work out for me. So at the age of 29 I finally decided to chase my passions and start the image consulting business that had been my dream job for as long as I could remember.
Before starting that business though, I decided to launch Improvemant.com which is this blog you’ve landed on today. My mission with Improvemant.com is to IMPROVE MEN TO BENEFIT THEMSELVES AND THE WOMEN IN THEIR LIVES. I work incredibly hard to create a range of video content with accompanying articles that:
And shortly after launching Improvemant.com I then launched Image Doctor which is my men’s only image consulting business in which I:
Having finally pulled the trigger on chasing my dream career with the men’s self Improvement blog and Image Doctor business, I have well and truly placed myself in the blessed and very fortunate 25th percentile of working citizens who love their job, feel they are living on purpose and most importantly I NEVER FEAR THE SOUND OF MY ALARM CLOCK.
Now does this mean I will continue to succeed in growing these businesses? Absolutely NOT, through the many disappointments and failures I have encountered personally and career wise I know better than most that life and especially business has no guarantees and can change in an instant.
But what I do know, and can finally say is that if my current businesses failed in 2, 5, 10 or 30 years time, whilst I will feel many emotions such as hurt, anger, embarrassment and fear at having to start over (for a 4th time)
There is one emotion I won’f feel which is:
I would happily cop all the emotions above in order to avoid feeling regret. Because in my mind and the desires I possess for my life, having substantial regrets means I didn’t chase my dreams and put myself in harms way enough.
And in my opinion, living a safe and protected life may allow you to “do well”, be “comfortable” or just “get by”. But I want to attempt to be wholly successful which in my view is to succeed with my career and relationships whilst having as few regrets as possible at the end of it all.
Because I believe the courage to move beyond my fears and chase my dreams is my best chance in achieving success, being truly happy and having minimal regrets.
So take on board what I have said today and perhaps you too will adopt my guiding principle of REGRET AVOIDANCE and be able to switch from the 75th to the 25th PERCENTILE.
For some extra NO REGRETS MOTIVATION I have included a very inspiring YouTube clip below which I believe will give you some added motivation to live your life today so you avoid living in regret tomorrow.
You can see the video below and I have also included my favorite quotes from the clip which I found to be very true:
I hope this information was helpful for you and if you enjoyed the video and article, feel free to like, share and leave your comments down below and keep tuning back into Improvemant.com for regular videos to improve yourself as a man.
And if you would like some help or guidance to improve or update your current style and image, you can see all my men’s personal styling and clothes shopping services here at my Image Doctor website