• Marcel Riemer

Why Your Own Complacency Is A Killer (escaping the 9 to 5 rate race)

Updated: Nov 3, 2021

So where to start? The only thing you know is that you desperately want to escape the 9 to 5 rat race to become financially independent. You also know that to reach that goal you will have to start your own business, most likely an online business.

I am coming from the personal development sector and read books like “The Success Principles” or “The Power of Habits”. This is how I started in 2016. Most of the authors I read were and still are successful and independent businessmen and women themselves. That got me thinking and it also inspired me.

Since 1993, when I was 16, I have been an employee. I am a trained chef. The great thing is that I have been able to combine cooking with traveling. Eventually I have lived and worked in 14 countries, cooking on 5 continents. That sounds great and adventurous, doesn’t it?

Yes sure, I have traveled the world, met tons of people and made new friends. I expanded not only my culinary skills and know-how but also my human horizon by living and immersing myself in different cultures around the globe.

These experiences made me who I am today.

After two decades of jumping from place to place I felt that the job is repeating itself. It became a boring routine. Meanwhile I had reached my goal which was to become an executive chef. About six years into this role, I knew that this is not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

Inspired by the books I read I also wanted to become an entrepreneur. That was in 2016. I was still employed then in Indonesia, had good paying job and a great team. I studied intensively and felt competent to quit my job and move to the Philippines to start my very first business. I joined three Filipinas who started a food business, selling dried fish named “Tuyo”. Tuyo is an extremely popular snack in the Philippines.

Long story short, we did not get along. At the same time, I was thinking to develop an app which would connect food stores and customers to sell surplus food for a discounted price. I met some guys who were interested in my project but the whole thing turned out a failure since one of these guys just took my money and ran.

Lessons learned. When I think about it today, I am still wanting to beat up myself for this. How could I be so stupid, naive and gullible? I mean I was 40 at the time.

Anyway, almost bankrupt, I found a new job and started working as a chef a gain. Fast forward to 2018. I finished licking my wounds and still was committed and determined to start my own business.

I began again to read books from entrepreneurs. One of the first ones was “Click Millionaire” from Scott Fox. This got me a bit going. The book is about building a digital business. I started to experiment with building websites. Then I read the book “Side Hustle” from Chris Guillebeau. That was still in 2018. This book provided me with some great insights. I also learned that you have to develop a certain mindset if you want to achieve your goal of becoming independent of your day-to-day job.

I want to be frank: The biggest obstacles to get started are my own fears, limited thinking and complacency. You can read about it more in this post because it deserves special attention and time.

Complacency really is a killer. The problem with complacency is that we are mostly not aware of it. I experience complacency as a strong force, silently infiltrating all areas of my life.

When you have been trained for decades to comply to the system and be an employee then you were conditioned to think in comfortable terms.

Go to work, do your job, get your salary at the end of the month. It does not matter how well you perform; you will receive your paycheck anyway as long you do not mess it up completely.

You are indeed in a very comfy position. No desperation, no determination, no willpower, no goals and no vision.

You have come to terms with the pettiness of your existence, and you don’t even realize it.

Everyone of us is different. Everyone of us has a different story to tell. And everyone of us has to develop their own very personal strategy to overcome these inner demons.

In 2020 I had started to produce online classes on various topics I was interested in. Suddenly I had a business and earned some bucks. This is when I realized that this business model (online teaching) could be something viable. I imagined myself earning 4 figures per month by creating more and more online classes.

In theory it would work but I realized soon that it takes a bit more to becoming a successful online teacher than just randomly releasing some online courses on various platforms.

Lots to learn for me in this field too! But I like public speaking and sharing my knowledge. I have been doing this for many years in my role as an executive chef.

Now I am learning not only how to create online courses but more importantly how to build an audience and sell these courses. The marketing aspect is huge and not easy to succeed in.

By the way, I have also released a book in 2020. In it I tell the story of how I became a chef and working in a dozen countries.

So, this is where I am standing here and today. I released a book and a few online courses. Now I must figure out how to connect the dots. I definitely want to build an online business. I want to leverage my skills and knowledge so others can benefit from it.


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