I gave my 11 year old daughter important advice the other day: there’s no painless way to kill yourself.
“What about with a gun?” she said.
I told her about a friend of mine who shot himself in the mouth. He put the gun in his mouth and pointed upwards towards the brain.
He shot off half his face, he went blind in one eye, and he is now in a wheelchair.
If you type in “I Want to Die” into Google, my website is the first result.
My first business I sold for $15 million. We built websites for entertainment companies. Bad Boy Records, Miramax, Time Warner, HBO, Sony, Disney, Loud Records, Interscope, on and on. Oh, and Con Edison.
Mobb Deep would hang out in my office. Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails would stop by. RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan would want to play chess. We even made a website for a brothel in Nevada.
Then I saw that kids in junior high school were learning HTML. So I sold the business.
I bought an apartment for millions. I rebuilt it. Feng Shui! I bought art. I played a lot of poker. I began investing in companies. A million here. A few hundred thousand there.
Then I started more companies. Then I bought more things. Then I became an addict. The worst kind of addict.
From June 2000 until September, 2001 I probably lost $1 million a month.
I couldn’t stop. I wanted to get back up to the peak.
I wanted to be loved. I wanted to have $100 million so people would love me.
Writing this now I even feel like slitting my wrists and stomach. I have 2 kids.
I felt like I was going to die. That zero equals death. I couldn’t believe how stupid I had been.
I lost all my friends. Nobody returned calls. I would go to the ATM machine – from $15 million to $143 left.
There were no jobs, There was nothing.
One weekend when I had $0 left in my bank account I called my parents to borrow money but they said “no”. “College was enough” they told me, even though I had ended up paying for every dime of college. That was the last time I spoke to my dad, who had a stroke six months later.
I tried meditation to calm down but it didn’t work. I never slept. I lost 30 lbs. I’m 5’9″. I went from 160 to 130. I couldn’t talk to anyone. I couldn’t move. I stopped having ideas. I cried every day.
There was never a moment when I didn’t feel sick. I had let my kids down. I would die and they would never remember me.
We moved 80 miles north of NYC with the tiny bit of money we took out of our apartment after being forced to sell at a million dollar loss.
I couldn’t leave the house for three months. I was depressed. I gained back all my weight and then another 30 lbs.
Finally I had to either die or feed my family. I was forced to choose myself.
– I started to exercise every day. I started to eat better. One item for breakfast. A healthy lunch. Tiny dinner. No snacks.
– I started to sleep 9 hours a day.
– I started to only be around people who loved and supported me. I broke off all ties with anyone who I felt bad to be around.
– I wrote down ideas every day of articles I could write and about businesses I could start. Bit by bit I started to get paid to write. If you don’t exercise the idea muscle it atrophies.
– I decided I wanted to help people every day and be honest every day. I was grateful for my daughters. I was grateful for what I had. I didn’t fight reality or regret. This was my reality and I had to make the best of it.
– Every day I came up with ideas for new businesses. I had a waiter’s pad. I would go to a cafe at 6 in the morning with about 4 books and read for an hour or two and then start writing down ideas for new businesses, articles, etc.
– I started a hedge fund. I started a fund of hedge funds. I started a newsletter. I did deals. I made introductions every day, expanding my brand new network from scratch. At least 5 introductions a day.
– I got involved in a mental health company I sold for $41mm.
– I started a website, Stockpickr! which got millions of unique users. I found advertising for it. I sold it to thestreet.com
– I had made millions again from scratch.
Then I stopped using the fundamental techniques I described above. Every time I’ve lost money it’s because I squandered my physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health.
I was really bad. I did everything you should not do. I was like an addict. Picture the worst abuses. That was me. Again.
And then I lost it all again. Everything. Agh!
I had to start over. I couldn’t even believe I had to start from scratch again.
Every day without fail I focus on physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. And it’s worked. I hope. I hope I don’t squander again.
People say it’s not about the end, it’s about the journey.
This is total BS.
It’s not about the journey and it never was.
It’s about right now.
Right now is the only place you’ll ever be. Choose yourself not to waste it.