Hello World!

My name is Mathew Lenning and I’m the cliché struggling entrepreneur trying to find his passion and live a life worth living.

This blog is how a “baller-on-a-budget” does psychotherapy. Basiclly I know there is a whole bunch of emotional junk holding me back and this is my way to get over it.

I’ve created blogs and tried to do all the “pick a niche” how-to’s on all the “successful” entrepreneur blogs, but my heart is never in it. So I’ve never been able to actually keep it up.

While the concept of niche marketing is logical, to me it just feels unnatural. Of course trying to please everyone really isn’t going to please anyone, but picking some random niche just feels fake and dishonest.

So every attempt goes like this.

First I pick some keyword, because Market Samurai says there is a chance I could get on googles first page, then I do some research and set up a WordPress site, Adsense, SEO, newsletter, etc, etc…

Choose my overly generic template which I tell myself, I’ll make pretty later on and finally go to write some content “targeting” the niche.

But nothing comes out.

I sit looking at a blank screen thinking what do they want to hear?What could I say to get them to like me? How could I convince them to give me some money or click on my ads, so I can pay rent for another month?

You see the problem is I don’t give a shit about the niche. I don’t know what kind of person actually searches for “Japanese Masks” and even if I did, they probably wouldn’t be my kind of people. I mean the masks are cool and all, but really that’s about as far as my interest goes.

So this goes on for a few weeks, before I think to myself, “Matt! What the hell were you thinking?”. Then I tear down the site and park the domain in my growing library of random keyword domains.

I know this might sound selfish (because it is), but the only things I really care about are providing for my family and living a life that actually MEANS something. Everything else in my life is in the pursuit of those two aspirations.

All the books I’ve read on how to be an entrepreneur all talk about understanding your market and knowing why they buy stuff. But honestly I don’t know why people buy half the crap they do.

When I go to a department store or shopping mall and I see people lined up to purchase the new shiny gadget or pretty fluffy thing, I just don’t get it.

In some of the better content out there, they advise you to look at your own spending habits and ask why you bought what you bought.  Know thyself type thinking, but to be honest I don’t even know why I buy half the crap I do.

Did I really need the tripod stand which I was going to use to hold the camera I don’t have while I make content for the blog I might build someday, if I every find my niche? Probably not.

Would I feel comfortable selling tripods to people like me who don’t have a camera, but might use it if they every found their niche? Not really.

My passion is the pursuit of freedom and being a entrepreneur. So writing about this stuff is something I enjoy and can do, but I’m not a guru. Which leads to the next problem.

We all know, the “Entrepreneur” niche is the worst niche to try to get into because until you’ve actually succeeded at being an entrepreneur, you’re not going to get any traction.

So where does that leave me? Yep, up the creek without a paddle as they say. I can’t target the entrepreneurial niche, because I’m not a successful entrepreneur, but I can’t stand to target some other niche, because I’m not passionate about anything but the entrepreneurial life.

Sometimes I wish that I didn’t take the red pill and follow Morpheus down the rabbit hole.

I wish I could be one of the many people in the world that truly believe that life is about working hard to save up enough money to buy the new gadget or pretty fluffy thing.

If I could only believe that living a life of meaning was impossible, then I could live with the million and one excuses for not trying. I could just believe that my situation is unavoidable and that life dealt me rotten cards.

They say ignorance is bliss, but I can’t see it on the faces of the “Gainfully employed” as they fight their way through the morning traffic. I know “that life” will never converge with my dreams.

Every job I’ve ever had sucked. I’ve tried almost every possible type of employment out there landscaper, construction worker, rehabilitation assistant for the developmentally disabled, teacher, sales clerk, department store clerk, garbage man, farmer, framer, carpenter, maintenance man, mechanic, web designer, etc, etc, etc…  Its always the same.

When I’m just starting out and learning the ropes, I really find pleasure in it. Then comes the point where there is nothing more to learn. From that point forward I feel like I’m just wasting time until payday. When payday comes it’s never enough and after everyone gets their cut, I’m just as broke as I was before payday.

I used to think it was because I was lazy and had no work ethic or under educated and had no marketable skills.

but truthfully every employer I’ve ever worked for has been impressed and sad when I put in my two weeks notice.

I still get random emails from some of them asking if I would be interested in coming back. But I went down the rabbit hole, I drank the kool-aid and I can never go back.

Knowing about a life determined by passion and purpose rather than paychecks and price tags, one can never go back. Some people think its a choice, but that is because their eyes are still closed.

Once your eyes are open, you can’t close them ever again without living the rest of your life knowing you’ve abandoned the opportunity to make an impact in the world and live a life of freedom.

However The cost of freedom is high. It’s lonely when everyone in your life thinks you’re crazy and that if only you’d get your head out of your ass and start being realistic, you’d be alright.

I hate the way my friends and family look at me when they arrange interviews for me and I have to tell them “I’m sorry, but I can’t do it.”

I feel like I’m disappointing everyone around me, because I just can’t sit in my cubical and wait for retirement.

I’ve read enough entrepreneur blogs to know there is an unwritten law about keeping your blog posts positive, but I just can’t put up a smiley face and poop rainbows all the time.

And people really need to know what they are getting into before they take that dam red pill, because like Morpheus says, “After this, there is no turning back.”

This is how I’ve chosen to get through my trials and tribulations as a struggling entrepreneur.

Hopefully it will inspire some of you to get it off your chest too. Pretending to be invincible hasn’t served me well, so I just want to be me again.

If you’re picking up what I’m putting down then leave a comment and let me know I’m not alone.

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Born in the Rocky mountains of western Montana, Mathew now lives in Japan where he is the active "Crazy Foreign Guy" of a small town in the Tohoku region on the main island of Honshu. He is a father, a husband and a hopeless dreamer who believes that it is better to fail at life than to never try to live.

4 thoughts on “Hello World!”

  1. You my dear Nephew have much to offer. You were on a path that the Good Lord wanted you off. There is a reason and I KNOW FOR A FACT YOU HAVE MANY MORE BLESSINGS AHEAD OF YOU. I’M SO VERY PROUD OF WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU’VE ACCOMPLISHLED. I HOPE THINGS TURN AROUND QUICKLY….STAY ON TRACK…FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS. LOVE YA TONS. Aunt Elly xo

    1. Thanks Aunt Elly. I’m sure that things will work themselves out, so long as I keep pushing forward. Love you too. Hopefully I’ll be able to come visit one of these days.

  2. Matt you are one of the most magnificent people I have ever known. You make a decision and you follow through. Look at the amazing things you have accomplished in your life. You didn’t fail at Babel-U. You were robbed by the takers in this world who find it easier to steal someone’s hard work. You cannot let that defeat your dreams. Just learn to protect your work and dreams from them. The creativity is yours and if you think about it… Your work was such good work, it was worth stealing it from you!

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