If you met Joe, you might mistake him for your average dude who went to a California university, wears vans and high sock, and now works at a NYC tech company. But if you were to take a peek inside his room, you’d realize there’s more to Joe than meets the eye. Instead of a pile of dirty clothes, you’ll see books stockpiled high – everything from Buddha Walks Into a Bar to When Breath Becomes Air. Instead of a poster of his favorite sports team, you’ll see a salt lamp. And then on his desk, you’d see the book he published, Finding Balance.
It was while living in San Francisco, during his first job post-college, that Joe began to feel the monotony of a 9-5 job take its toll. Party on the weekend, get in to work on Monday and mumble to your coworkers “man, never long enough,” celebrate “hump day”, and then do it all over again. It was during this time that Joe began to set goals for himself outside of his day job. Setting goals in all areas of his life - personal growth, health, career, life purpose, family, and relationships - helped him focus on areas of his life that were beyond the monotonous work routine. So, he began scribbling designs on napkins, and thought - why not share with the world?
Finding Balance: The No Bullshit Approach to Goals. Joe starts the book out by saying “This is not a to-do list. This is not a daily planner for you to schedule your meetings. This is not a to-do list of your weekly activities. This is not for the lazy that want a shortcut to success. This is a big-picture thinking for big thinkers. This is for those who are ready to put the work in to live their greatest life.”
Find your life’s purpose… if only it were that easy, right? If only we could roll out of bed and become that person that we wanted to be and do that thing that we wanted to do. Some people (like those we’re interviewing in TheYoungNYC) are already there or are on their way there, but for most of us, it takes a lot of time and dedication (and probably a lot of missteps along the way). Nothing ever gets done if you just keep that idea in your head, so Finding Balance provides the first step towards actually making shit happen.
Just like any good book creation story begins, Joe started writing his ideas for a workbook on napkins at the Bean, a coffee shop in East Village (yes that’s definitely a J.K. Rowling allusion). The process of going from the back of the napkin to actual production was a long on as in the beginning he was only relying on himself.
One of the themes I’ve heard from all of TheYoungNYC interviewees thus far is something along the lines of “In the beginning, I wanted to do it all on my own. But after some time, I realized that I needed help and, in the end, I’m so glad I did.” When it came time to move beyond the napkin design to production, Joe started out thinking he could do it all on his own, so he first downloaded inDesign, which proved to be more time-consuming than he originally expected. Next, he decided to hire someone online and in Joe’s words, it just “totally missed the mark.”
After a few false starts, Joe remembered that he has friends in all of these professions and enlisted their help. After the design was finished, next step was actually printing the book, and for that, Joe went overseas. It was at this point that Joe learned another valuable lesson in perseverance: he sold pre-sales for Christmas time, and the company was unable to deliver in that timeframe, so Joe had to apologize to all of those who had ordered the books for a Christmas present.
Joe had an idea and actually made it happen. Writing ideas down and creating plans makes it real. So, if you’re looking to make something real, you should buy Finding Balance. Joe’s final advice: everyone has these ideas in New York, but rarely take action, so Joe says first of all, “you just gotta take step one.” You’ll never have the time or the money, but you definitely will keep getting older. And let’s be honest, time is all the pressure we need. So, what do you want to do?