Addiction, Recovery, and Entrepreneurship

Today I want to talk about addiction, recovery, and entrepreneurship.

On my podcast I was recently joined by Andrew Lassise and we talked about addiction, recovery, finding our version of god, and entrepreneurship.

Don’t Hate What You Don’t Put Work Into

In entrepreneurship, building long-term sustainable wealth should be your goal. I know a lot of entrepreneurs and a lot of people would disagree with me. Fast cash is great, honestly, it is. We want what we don’t have and we want it now. We also don’t want to earn it by working hard or waiting.

However, you can’t laze around watching Netflix all day every day and eating junk food and hate on the skinny person who exercises and eats healthy. Your body reflects how you take care of it. Just the same, you can’t laze around in your business by not creating or engaging and get mad at the people who do and are successful at it. Your business and your bank account reflect what you do.

What do you expect in life? Do you expect to raise your rates without adding value? Do you expect a raise even if you’re a mediocre worker who hasn’t taken on any more responsibility? Credit should be given where it’s due. Imagine this. You have an agreement with your boss was that you’d do XYZ in exchange for $40,000 a year. You’ve done it but you haven’t taken on any more responsibility and have completed it but not to where you’ve bolstered up your company.

Do you think you should get a raise just for doing what you agreed to, simply for the fact that you’ve been there for a few years? Or do you think that excellent, enterprising work or more responsibility equates to a higher wage?

It’s like expecting a participation medal. When you run in a marathon or 5K, you’re likely to get a participation medal even if you don’t win with the best time. Do we really deserve rewards for participating and not doing our best?

Andrew Lassise explains his journey through addiction:

“I was born with a disease that whatever I have, it’s not enough, where more always equals better. It’s the way that I’m wired. When I was a kid I enjoyed playing Final Fantasy VII. But instead of playing for 1 or 2 hours my mind would say, ‘This is great, but you know what would be even better? 12 hours.’ I would play 24 hours straight sometimes. More is always better in my brain.

“When I discovered alcohol at age 16, it felt great. I had the confidence that I was looking for and I was on top of the world. The first time I drank I maybe had 8-12 drinks and I felt great. I thought, ‘I should do this all the time! This is great!’

“I went off to college and I didn’t have my parents around. I keep doing that more and more and more and more. I found something I liked and more is always better. Unfortunately, there started to be consequences associated with it. I wasn’t acting from my rational brain, the entrepreneur brain, where if I put 1 and 1 together I’m going to get 2. Instead, I’m sitting there with this irrational monkey brain where if I take 7 and 8 and mash them together and flip it inside out, I’ve got -17. Nothing made any sense at all, but that’s how my brain was operating.

“That day, January 25, 2013, I got the DUI. At the time, it was the worst thing that had ever happened to me. Now I see it was one of the best things that has ever happened to me. It was the wake-up call I needed to get into recovery. However, it was masking stress and entitlement. I graduated in 2009 with a degree in financial planning. With a full-force recession, no one was going to hire me. I had this chip on my shoulder and I was like, ‘Don’t you know who I am? I am a college graduate with a financial planning degree. It’s not my fault the economy tanked. I’d be great at this job that I’ve never done before.’

Drinking just made sense.

“I was working in restaurants and drinking is accepted in the restaurant/bar scene. I drank to fit in and also because I enjoy the feeling that alcohol produces. It wasn’t until I went to rehab and I was introduced to 12 Step Recovery that I realized that I didn’t need to keep living this way.

“My baseline in life when I woke up without drinking was 2/10 and when I drank it went up to 4 or 5/10. Then I’d wake up back at a 2 again. It was just this endless cycle of shittiness. It wasn’t until I got into rehab and recovery that I realized that I could live my life differently.

“When I wake up now my life is at an 8/10, and when getting some coffee in me, I’m starting my day at a 9/10. Until I experienced it I would have told you that not drinking sounds terrible, that’s the worst thing ever, and that that’s the only time my life gets to a 5/10. This is before recovery and after recovery. Recovery helped me.

“I eliminated that whole mindset and that whole habit pattern and replaced it with things that are better in my life. I found a higher power that I choose to call God. I’m not really into the whole Jesus thing, but whatever floats your boat. I’ve tapped into something that works for me…

12 Step Recovery

“I’m not this person who’s out to get the whole world sober but I am a testament to feeling like your life is unmanageable. If you feel that you may have a little problem with drinking and you are open to that, I love working with entrepreneurs who are trying to get sober.

“We kind of have this, ‘You don’t understand what I’m going through because I have to manage marketing, sales fulfillment, HR, etc. You really don’t understand what I’m going through.’ The face of the matter is that I do know exactly what you’re going through.

“That’s why I’m a big fan of 12 Step Recovery. The whole idea behind it is that “I have been in the hole that you are in. Here is how I got out of it.’ It’s more helpful to have that person beside you as opposed to your doctor and family simply telling you, ‘Stop drinking! It’s really bad for you!’ Not to say 12 Step Recovery is the only way you can get sober. Other people have other ways they got sober. I just share what’s worked for me.”

It’s Great to Be Different

As for me, I didn’t go through the 12 Steps Recovery program to get sober. I would never tell someone not to go. I had a bad experience with a therapist who gave me ultimatums with the recovery program and refusing the treat me if I didn’t show how much I wanted to get sober by attending.

I did go to the 12 Step Recovery program and the people there were wonderful, but I didn’t feel like it was for me. I’m an energetic person; I feel the energy and I get stressed, and I’m impacted by other people’s energy (plus I have high anxiety and all those fun things). So I left and I never went back to another recovery meeting or to my therapist. And I still got sober.

HOWEVER. I would never tell someone not to do it. 12 Step Recovery just didn’t work for me. But that’s not to say that recovery would not work for you. It just might if you are struggling with addiction!

Something I learned recently about 12 Step Recovery is that its founder, Bill Wilson, was agnostic. It was not supposed to be based on Christianity as I thought. The 12 Steps were based on the foundation of the Oxford Group which is very religious.

Bill Wilson said, “The whole Jesus thing isn’t for me.” His sponsor, Eddy Thatcher, said, “Well then why don’t you just make up your own god.” So he did. That was the foundation of it and not the Jesus/God.

The beauty of having an open mind benefits you in so many ways. People get sober in so many ways. People build businesses in so many ways. You can honor your own experiences and learn about other’s journeys.

There’s no one-size-fits-all-plan. I think it is important to have a strategy, whatever you decide (after all, I am a marketing specialist). But the rest… just find what works for you.

Don’t take things at face value. Research it. Find out what works for you. Read. Read, read, read. Compare books and ideas. More than that, experiment. That’s the best way to learn and grow.

A lot of people aren’t willing to take calculated risks. They don’t want to make that decision because what if they are wrong? At the base of everything we can consume all the media that can help us, but it still might not work for us. I’m not saying that things like Clickfunnel strategy don’t work. But it might not work for you. The fact that it might not work terrifies us.

Don’t downplay yourself.

In my conversation with Andrew Lassise, he likened himself to a normal guy who’s just had a few lucky breaks. When I brought it up to him, he said:

“I was at a conference about a year ago with the John Maxwell team and there was that same scenario [of me downplaying myself] and I kind of pushed it away with, “I’m nothing special.” But what she said resonated with me. She said, ‘Andrew, God put those opportunities in your life, but you are the one who put the systems in place, the company in place, the customers, all the marketing, everything that went behind it. Whether or not you did the fulfillment, you still put the pieces in place and by you saying, ‘It’s not me, it’s other people,’ that’s you basically saying that God didn’t do any of this, other people did. You’re discrediting the opportunity that God gave you.’ I can see that side of it. I just try not to turn that into ego which I have a difficult time with. So I try to stay on the side of humility even if I’m overly humble.”

I downplay myself too. I say I’m lucky, even though I don’t believe it. I believe that I have met the right people at the time we are supposed to meet.

Ultimately a business is getting someone interested.

You can sell for them or to them. Your service solves one of their problems and you collect money on it. You keep them happy. Then you systematize. Here’s what you did to get them interested. Here are the steps you took to sell for them. This is what I did for fulfillment. That’s what you do over and over and that’s really all there is to it on the molecular level. Then human beings get this attitude and this entitlement: ‘I know better than you.’”

Newer virtual assistants ask me all the time what I struggle with. I still struggle with everything you do! Imposter syndrome, time management, knowing what strategy to take, I don’t know! But obviously, I do figure out which strategy because I’m a marketing operations specialist so I am more educated on that.

I think there’s also this idea that once you make it that you’re there forever. You forget that strategies change, your market changes and gets smarter, and technology changes. You don’t achieve something and then you’re good. You have to achieve something and sustain it.

Marketing is leveling up.

Ads can target you now on Google, YouTube, and social media. They target you based on what you like. There are definitely improved marketing strategies now and they will keep getting smarter.

The reality is that if you are good at marketing you can make everything better. The market is so saturated so being good at marketing can get you seen. Everyone says they are an SEO expert and have nothing to show for it. People don’t want to be #1 on google, they want what #1 represents: money in their pocket.

I know I don’t want to be #1 just to be #1. I want the stuff associated with it. I want the income and ability to connect with more people and help more people. But it’s hard because it is so convoluted in the entire market, not just my niche.

Andrew Lassise leaves us with some advice:

“If I told a new entrepreneur one thing and one thing only it would be to read the book “Traction” by Gini Wickman and follow that to a T. I know I said earlier that there are a million books with a million different perspectives but that one is very, very, very, very effective. It doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. That or “The E-Myth Revisited” is the more popular version.”

*This blog post was taken from The Virtually Free Podcast with Amy Demone with special guest Andrew Lassies. Listen here.*

*Andrew is giving the Being Virtually Free Podcast Listeners a FREE computer repair. Go here to sign up!*

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