I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Jon Westenberg, the man behind Creatomic, The Voidist, Productive. by Speedlancer, and Reach Genius by Creatomic publications on Medium. He's amassed a personal following on Medium of 77,000 people and I must say after talking with him I'm not the least bit surprised.
This is a guy who decided that he wasn't happy in law school and where it was going to take him so he dropped out. An hour after realizing that it was no longer serving him. An hour.
The best part is that he's just like everybody else.
"My time at law school I was drunk about 80% of the time, just waking up in the morning drinking cheap scotch and going to law school and it was absolutely miserable. I didn't like it. I didn't like what I was doing or who I was becoming and I didn't like what the next ten years of my life were going to look like....There was this moment of you know what, f*ck it. I can't do that.
I don't tend to spend much time worrying about decisions because one way or another the decision will work out and if I stress about it and second guess myself I'm just going to suffer twice.
It means that I don't waste energy on things and when decisions don't work out when it turns out that I made the wrong call I also don't beat myself up over it.
It's kind of like, alright well I did that for X,Y said reasons. I know why I did it. I know why it didn't work out. Let's learn from that. Let's move on, which means that I'm not wasting days going back and asking myself 'Why did I do that? What's wrong with me? How could I have been so stupid?' and that's what happens you spend too much time on decisions."
Incase you were looking for a glorification story of quitting the social norm and finding immediate entrepreneurial bliss-this isn't it.
"I spent six months sitting on my mom's couch eating Cheetos and watching Scrubs. I was very unhappy. It turns out the next step was just starting another company and getting off my ass and doing what I was originally doing before I went to law school and that was doing digital marketing, doing writing online, doing entrepreneurship, doing tech stuff. That's all stuff I was really interested in."
"I walked off the grill at Mcdonalds one day and started a music management company the next. which was an interesting journey and then my business partner stole $25,000 and wound up in prison and it collapsed and that was kind of like my first big set back.
Yes, that really happened. What was Jon's reaction to this set back?
"My general theory is that life can't be measured in what you achieve but by what you overcome and you know you're going to get knocked down over and over again you just have to keep on getting back up again and that's the measure of a person. You'll see people who will never be billionaires like Bill Gates but I would call them equally as successful because they have overcome so much to do what they've done with their lives."
I asked Jon about how he found his digital marketing/entrepreneurial passions and his answer threw me for serious a loop.
"A lot of people go through their lives looking for what they're meant to do. They want to find what they're meant to do it's this fate thing and I don't really believe in that. I don't think people have purpose or a mission in their life necessarily.
I think they have a series of things that they enjoy doing and all they can do is pick a cookie and take a bite because everyone has a bunch of things that they love.
Look at Steve Jobs he loved music and he loved technology and video games and ended up picking one aspect and...building tech companies.
I had a call the other day with an 18 year old from London who said that she was looking for her purpose and life and asked me how to find it. I said,
"Well at 18 you shouldn't even, be thinking of that just pick some stuff you want to do go do them and have a blast because that's the only way to find out what you'll be happy doing for the rest of your life.""
With articles headlined: The Next Generation Already Doesn’t Give A Shit, No You Don’t Need An Investor. You Need To Think Creatively, and Someone Will Always Think You’re An Asshole Westenberg is a daily dose of reality, marketing and business advice, and self improvement (be ready to be told the harsh truth).
"It's not like I have this huge big billion dollar idea that I want to push. My idea is that I want to make some money by helping some people.
Right now my biggest thing is Creatomic which is what I spend most of my days working on, publishing and coaching in one kind of area. It's also Reach Genius by Creatomic which is also marketing, content, creation...it's a range of different things but they all center around creating great content and helping people. What's the point of Creatomic? The point is to help people.
Kudos to Jon-for fearlessly quitting the norm that he was being pushed into, for following his passions even when they seemed to turn on him, and for creating something with value.
If you want to learn more about Jon you can find him here:
Jon's favorite book (He reads it annually):
Jon's Top 3 Products:
More awesome Jon Westenberg quotes:
"It always feels like you're treading water or you're on a plateau or your not doing things that others are doing. In Buddhism they talk about realms that we inhabit in our lives and one of the realms is the jealous god realm where supposedly we feel like we're killing it, we feel like are above everything else and then we look at our peers and think they're doing better and then suddenly go from there to the hungry ghost realm where nothing makes us happy and no matter how much we eat we aren't satisfied. I think a lot of entrepreneurs are existing along those lines. No matter how much they achieve they think someone next to them is achieving more and I am definitely not impervious to that."
"If we treated our employees like we treat ourselves we would get sued."
"I have no interest in running a billion dollar company it sounds very stressful."
"I think people always want you to live a version of the life they've lived because it makes them feel better about their own choices. so you have people who have become lawyers who want you to become a lawyer and work for them and if it works for you as well then that means they their decisions are right and that's what works for everyone. It'll make them happy to see you live the life that you want to live but they won't be the ones who look back in 60 years and say f*ck what did I do that for."
"I don't tend to enjoy having people in my life who don't make my life better in some way. I don't have high bar for making my life better, if someone can just make me laugh over a cup of coffee that makes my life better. so I don't have a high bar for that but if someone doesn't meet that requirement then there's no point in having them around."