In 2009, I was at (or near) the top of the “fame game.” I had the #1 book in the country, a Hollywood movie was made about my life, and I was on the Time Magazine 100 Most Influential List. I spent most of my time doing media interviews, flying around the country speaking, or doing all the other bullshit celebrity things you do when you are “famous.” I was at all the fancy parties, in the right groups, attending the cool events, etc.
I had everything I thought I wanted…and I hated it. I hated (almost) every minute of it. The fakeness, the toxicity, the dehumanizing grind of it all.
If this was ‘success’, I wanted no part of it.
So I quit it.
I opted out of the “fame game.” I left LA, moved to Austin, and started building something real, with real people.
In 2019, I wake up around 6 am, and make a leisurely breakfast for my family and play with my 3 kids. My nanny takes them to school around 8, and I start my day. I usually work from my guest house, or sometimes I work in the home office to be near my wife. I probably work about 5 hours a day, mainly writing or creating new stuff for my company, sometimes coaching or helping my team improve. I talk to the Authors we’ve helped write and publish their books and hear about how their books have changed other lives. I workout when I want, I play with kids when I want, I basically do whatever I want. I eat dinner around 5 pm, then spend the rest of the day with my family. I go to bed every night around 9 pm next to my wife of 6 years. Yeah, it sounds kind of boring, and it is—but in the best possible way.
It’s about as opposite as possible to the life I had in 2009, and I love it.
Building something real—both a family and a company—feels to me what life is about.
Struggling in vain to climb the attention status hierarchy does not.
I’m not trying to tell you what to do. I’m just telling you what I felt, and what I did as a result. Make your own decision.
But I’ve been on both sides and its way better here.