The New York Times headline this morning is that the average American family had a higher net worth 20 years ago than they do today. That means that the average household was worth more in 1990 than it is today. In 2010, it was $78,000. In 2007, it was $133,000. Times are tighter now, and it’s harder to finance a business today than it was 5 years ago. Everyone I talk to is working twice as hard to make the same (or less) money.

I have a ritual I do every morning. (I’ll go into more detail on my personal lifestyle tomorrow on the JK Mastermind.) I go onto my front porch, get the paper, have a cup of coffee, and read it. I skim it; I don’t read cover to cover. I read the business and sports sections. I do the crossword sometimes (only on Mondays and Tuesdays when it’s the easiest!) That’s my routine. I’m sure you have one too.

Yesterday, my neighbor walks outside. He’s a builder of custom houses. He started to tell me about the housing industry and how it’s been tough for the past couple of years. He’s always looking for an opportunity to fulfill a want or need – he’s an entrepreneur, but in the traditional sense. He invented this little hood that makes microwave ventilators work better. He sells those to people who want to make their oven/microwave setup more efficient. He wants a bigger part of his industry of 20 million microwaves sold every year. He’s expanding production into China and has sold units in 48 states. And he asked for my help.

Here I am, about half this guy’s age, and he asked me to help him market his product. I’m living in one of his homes. And I realized: how lucky am I that I get to sit on my porch at 9:30 in the morning and look forward to a day doing what I’m absolutely passionate about? I get to do what I love. I get paid to do what I love. How many people get to live like that? And I ALMOST took today for granted. Almost. Because although what I do in a morning is routine for me, it’s no less of a blessing to be able to live this way.

Traditional entrepreneurs have to work their asses off in ways that we as online entrepreneurs don’t. My neighbor had to go through years of patents and manufacturing troubles just to get to this point, and he’s nowhere near breaking a profit. I don’t know if I would have had the passion to go through all of that for so long like a “traditional” entrepreneur has to do (like my neighbor) to make his dreams happen. (How can you be passionate about microwave hoods anyway?) We as online entrepreneurs are so lucky to have the opportunities we have. I’m so grateful to be doing what I love.

We’ve got to get clear on what we’re looking to accomplish today. If we go into today reactive, we’ll end the day with that haunting feeling of not getting what we wanted to get done. If you let your day drive your actions, it will throw things at you that you just have to get done – and what you wanted to do will be sitting on the sidelines all day. You have to set the tone for your day before it does it for you. We can’t just react to what comes our way if we want to create an incredible lifestyle.

Figure out what you want today – don’t wait to let it figure it out for you – and go GET IT.


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1 thought on “Microwaves versus gratitude”

  1. Lindseyannerowe

    Talking of rituals Jay, I start my day grateful that I have feelings of gratitude for so many wonderful things in my life. It would be easy to take it all for granted but just as you’ve taught us, to think of different things we are grateful for each day, I realise there are hundreds of things I’m grateful for. Thanks for making me more aware of how lucky I am, and have always been.

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