Reality Over Fantasy - Data Driven Design

My Choice: Reality Over Fantasy

By: Paul Hickey, Founder and Lead Strategist

It’s time to get personal with you for a minute. Personal Fridays.

Two-plus years ago I started thinking a different way about how I wanted to spend my time.  When I was 34, my wife and I had just moved into a new house, and I realized we didn’t really have any money.

Debt on the credit card, debt on the new house, having used our savings to put a minimum down payment on it.

The credit card bill was more than what was in the savings account. Of course, we both had jobs, so we weren’t really that worried about it, but it was a bit frustrating for me, and I believe eye-opening for her.

This undesirable financial situation really caused me to take a deep look at my behavior and how I had been spending my time and money over the previous decade.

For anyone who really knows me, you know that from 2004 – 2015 I was absolutely obsessed with Fantasy Football. In 2006, I turned that obsession into a very productive entrepreneurial endeavor and sometimes lucrative business, and justified the obsession by acquiring useful marketing skills and business experience that has helped me in my career, but in late 2015 it started to get worse.

I was playing daily fantasy football for 2-3 years in a row, literally trying to win $1 million on Fanduel and Draft Kings. I was already addicted to Fantasy Football, but if you’ve ever played Daily Games, it’s 10 times worse, and riskier to lose a ton of money while trying to win a ton of money.

My behavior finally changed after my brain realized what I was truly doing late in 2015.

I was simply justifying my obsession by saying, “well, I know a lot about Fantasy Football, so I could win the money that our family needs, etc.”

Bullshit.

What I really was doing, and this is the punch line of the article, is I was focusing all of my time and resources on things I could not control. I was essentially betting on the performance of grown ass men who have no effing clue who I am.

On New Year’s Eve of 2015, at a friend’s wedding (more in the audio version), I truly became motivated to take control of my life, and put the ball in my court. I realized I needed to focus on what I could control.

First, I audited how I was spending my time. I realized that I needed to stop researching Fantasy Football, and spend that time teaching myself new skills.

I’d done it before, and I’d do it again. I phased out all the media and distractions surrounding fantasy sports, and honed in on WordPress Development, Facebook Ads, Google Tag Manager and more.

Instead of hoping for Rob Gronkowski touchdowns and reading Rotoworld, I spent more time in CSS code and WooCommerce.

By creating websites by myself I opened up a whole new feeling of fulfillment.

Then I focused on my physical fitness and nutritional health and lost 30 pounds, cut my half marathon time by an hour, and began boxing three days a week. I like to pretend I’m in a Mark Wahlberg movie.

The punch line is, instead of worrying about what other people did, I focused on what I did, and almost as soon as I started doing that, my earning potential changed, and I started to really work to achieve what I was trying to achieve when I was hoping to win $1 million playing Fantasy Football.

I have to say, two years later, it is working, and it feels good. By focusing on what I can control, and only what I can control, I have unlocked my own formula for how to operate.

I encourage anyone out there who aspires to improve their earning potential to focus on one thing this year…

LEARN A NEW SKILL.

Then, when you master that, learn several more complimentary skills. You will be amazed at what happens.

Choose your own reality. And when you do, I want to hear from you. What do you want to learn? Please reach out and let me know how I can help.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Paul Hickey has created and grown businesses via digital strategy and internet marketing for more than 10 years. His sweet spot is using analytics to design and build websites and grow the audience and revenue of businesses via SEO/Blogging, Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook and Instagram Ads, Social Media Content Marketing and Email Marketing. The part that he’s most passionate about is quantifying next marketing actions based on real data.

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