Advice for Troubled Times

This was not the type of question that I was expecting on Facebook this week. But you have to give the kid credit for opening up and having the courage to post it.

I hope it helped him, and that it might even help you, no matter what your situation.

Q: Craig, I’m going to walk into a meeting with my boss today where I may lose my job. I started my own business recently, but there is no income yet. I have a wife and a new puppy, and enough savings to last a month. What would you do in this situation? – Lukas

Answer: Lukas – I lost a job once. I immediately contacted everyone I knew and let them know. It was through the power of my network that I was able to get back on my feet again.

Since you attended the Underground seminar I spoke at back in March, you have a decent network, so let people know if it actually happens…you know good people, and good people want to help other good people like you.

And if the worst does happen, remember this does not change who you are, what you believe in, and what you stand for.

That was the biggest mistake I made, putting too much of my personal identity into my job. It affected the way I thought others viewed me, even though it didn’t change anything in their eyes.

Be a realist, but an optimistic realist. Don’t get down.

You’re young, you’re smart, and you’re full of energy…and despite what the media says, there is a LOT of opportunity out there in the world and in America for folks of your age,
especially good kids like you that are willing to show up on time and do a hard day’s work.

Stay strong, and communicate openly with your wife about whatever happens…even if the worst doesn’t happen, it’s  worth having an open conversation with her about what you would have done IF it did happen.

And don’t worry about the dog, they will always, always, always love you. I know everything will turn out alright for you.

So that’s what I said to the kid.

Haven’t heard back from him, but I know everything will turn out fine in the end.

We all have tough times once in a while. All of us.

For me, I had a terrible day last Thursday. Everything went wrong. But at the end of the day, as I read through my daily documents, I came across a quote from my best Armenian friend, Bedros Keuilian.

The quote was short and simple, but it reminded me to be grateful for all the little things, and I realized that we/I all have it better than the Kings and Queens of even just 100 years ago.

Life is much easier than most of us make it out to be.  So stay positive, be grateful, and take advantage of all the opportunities and gifts we have been given.

Life is more positive today than it is negative. Of course, you can choose to look at it the other way, but that won’t  get you very far at all.

It’s also on tough days when I remind myself of the 12 rules I’ve set for my life.

Specifically, Rule #7 that states:

“I am guided by these two phrases:

a) ‘Nothing matters.’ – By this, I mean that arguing on the internet changes nothing…I can only work towards the major, massive goals that I have set for my life…that I have a vision of helping others, and there is no time to let petty arguments stand in the way.


b) ‘It will all be over soon.’ – This servers me in both good times and in bad.

In hard times, such as bad days, troubled times, or intense physical effort or discomfort, I know that it will all be over soon. A small amount of suffering now will be forgotten later when I will enjoy the rewards of my work.

And in good times, I will remember that life is short, and I must make things count now, and no matter how good things are going I must never let myself become soft and lazy, because I have too much to accomplish in such a short time.”

Sounds weird, I know.

Especially this: “It will all be over soon.”

But look at it this way…

The tough times WILL end.

For example, if you are going through divorce, one day you will love again. If you are going through bankruptcy, one day – soon – you will have control of your financial future again. If you get fired, you’ll quickly find another way to add value to the world.

You will. Trust me, you.

So never give up. Never give in. Never quit.

If you stumble, get back up. What happened yesterday no longer matters.

Today’s another day, so get back on track on move closer to your dreams and goals. You can do it.

If you need a place to start, please watch this video

How to Create Your Dream & Get What You Want in Life

I believe in you,

Craig Ballantyne

“Live life fully while you’re here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up! You’re going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process. Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your problem and eliminate it. Don’t try to be perfect; just be an excellent example of being human.” – Anthony Robbins

  • Hi Craig,

    Here’s the happy ending to the story I started on Monday.

    I did lose my job. I know, not so happy way to start, but there’s more to it. After spending the day on Monday figuring things out (read: staring at a wall, meandering, and otherwise moping), I dove into my business on Tuesday. It’s now Friday, August 17th, and I have 3 contracts w/ clients, 4 pending contracts, dozens and dozens of leads, and lots of potential leads built up.

    My business, after being official for all of three days, has already become profitable. My current contracts have paid my startup expenses, and in one week, I’ve made more income than in a month at my old job. Mind you, I was making 40k a year at the job.

    I learned something about myself. My self-worth was tied up in my job. I felt like I was at the pinnacle with that job. I lived and breathed the mission and poured my heart and soul into my work. When it abandoned me, so did my soul…or so I thought.

    I realized on Monday night that there was always something missing. I didn’t know what it was, and I chalked it up to inexperience. But it’s not. I know understand why it takes a cataclysmic event for most people to get started being entrepreneurs. Car crash, cancer, job loss, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is the revelation after the event. Life is not built on rails. We cannot expect to meander along, hoping that we reach some destination in the future that someone promised us.

    We have to take control. I have to be the force the guides my life. I’ve always been drawn to the poem “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley. The final line always gripped me, but I didn’t know why until now. I’m sure you understand my feelings, and being so fresh they are difficult for me to express, so I’ll let Henley do it:

    Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

    In the fell clutch of circumstance
    I have not winced nor cried aloud.
    Under the bludgeonings of chance
    My head is bloody, but unbowed.

    Beyond this place of wrath and tears
    Looms but the Horror of the shade,
    And yet the menace of the years
    Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll.
    I am the master of my fate:
    I am the captain of my soul.

    I want to personally thank you for your advice and kindness. I have been a longtime subscriber to ETR, more recently to FIM, and will continue to be a part of this movement going forward.

    We can always guarantee a happy ending if we’re the ones writing the book.


    • markschneider

      Awesome Luke, just fantastic. Stay strong. You’re going to go far.

  • Thanks for a great post. Just liked it on Facebook.

    re: “It will all be over soon”

    I was reminded of this recently when I started volunteering walking (and doing wind sprints with…) dogs at the log shelter. I would feel so sad for them–especially the older ones who I just “knew” wouldn’t get adopted, and then…I would come back a few days later and they had found a new home.

    It started me thinking about how often we think of tough times as “the whole story” rather than “a chapter in our story”. Just as like when we read a novel or watch a movie and the protagonist goes through a hard time, it’s only part of the story…it isn’t the whole novel or the whole movie.

    I ended up doing a blog post on it (complete with dog pics 🙂 if you want to read it:

    David Lee

    • markschneider

      Thanks David, well done.