13 Lessons Cancer And Job Changes Showed Me In 2022

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13 Lessons Cancer And Job Changes Showed Me In 2022

It was December 23rd, 2021 and I was in the car with my wife. We had a Christmas tree strapped to the roof and were driving to our brand new home that we had just closed on that day.

We weren't moving our 3 kids (my son was 4 and our twins were almost 2) in until the day after. We wanted to get the lights and ornaments on the tree for when they came into their new home the next morning on Christmas Eve.

Then the phone rang 5 minutes before we got to new house.

Lindsay's mom called her and changed our life and priorities in 3 words.

"I have cancer."

It would be two weeks before we completely understood the extent of the cancer.

Stage 4. And for the cherry on top of the shit-sandwich, it was a rare type that normally doesn't ever progress to stage 4 since its caught in regular check ups (which she had).

That was another hard reality...her doctor had missed this for 2 years allowing this slow-growing clump of mutated cells to expand and grow.

In a family of health care professionals, that was a hard pill to swallow.

On top of all of this, I was planning on quitting corporate and starting my own company. So we put that on hold.

We took a deep breath, accepted reality and charged forward into 2022. 

Here are 13 lessons I learned from one of the most challenging years of my life...

1) I needed to protect the ones I love from when I die.

What would happen to everyone in your life if you died right now?

Do you have a living will? Life insurance? Money saved up? Do they know if you want to be buried or cremated or will the family have to argue over what they think you would want? 

I had to get a lot of these things in place because I realized it'd be a huge problem for my wife if I died suddenly.

There's already enough pain and logistics involved in death. Make it easier on the ones you love and make sure your affairs are in order.

2) Define and write out what brings value, then eliminate everything else.

I quit the board of a non-profit and stopped hanging out with 2 friends that were dragging me down more than lifting me up. 

Then, I used that extra time to take care of my kids and give my wife the ability to help her parents through the chemo and radiation. It also gave me time to just listen to her struggles. And I don't miss the "friends" I just stopped communicating with.

Everything in life is a trade-off. Be sure to understand what you are giving up for things you are giving your time and money towards.

3) Shut up, listen to my wife and stop trying to fix everything

After 8 years of marriage, I know this lesson. But its a hard one for me to get right consistently because it goes against my nature which is to fix things. 

But I couldn't fix her mom's cancer or the problems with her job.

So it was more important than ever I focus on being present and listening. And somehow...it made things better.

4) Read less books

This won't apply to everyone since a lot of you don't read any books. But for the past decade, I averaged 25 books a year.

This year, I did 10. And for 2023, I'll do 8. Why?

Because at some point, I was just collecting knowledge and giving myself a false-sense of getting better and being productive.

But information without execution is just theory, and I'm no academic. So its time to put what I've learned into practice. 

Less time reading and more time DOING.

5) Invest in myself

So far this year, I've spent $14,300 in courses, events and coaching to gain skills that I need for my new ventures.

Some of them were better than others, but they were all worth the money.

Could I have learned some of this stuff cheaper? Absolutely. But velocity matters and I'm getting great results faster because I'm paying for it versus figuring it out myself.

I have zero doubt that I will 100x my $14,300 investment in my skills over the next 5 years. Yes, I mean 100x. I'll do more than $1,400,000 in revenue from this investment in 5 years.

Investing in yourself is underrated.

6) Actively evaluate what's in my "god slot"

We all have a heirarchy of beliefs. Whatever is in your "god slot" is the highest level of belief. 

It is what we put our faith and trust in. For me, its Jesus Christ.

For others, its...

  • Allah
  • the "universe"
  • political leaders 
  • yourself

Our highest level of belief can change, even if we profess it to be one thing or the other.

Be sure whatever you put in your "god slot" is worthy of your dedication and faith and seek to reinforce that belief. It defines who we are more than anything.

7) Take care of myself so I can take care of others

After a few years of babies and toddlers, I had developed some bad habits, specifically with sugar and my diet.

I did my first real diet ever and lost 17lbs while reducing caffiene intake.

This was crucial for my energy and overall health so I could meet the additional needs of my family.

8) Buy low, sell high

Anyone who has ever considered buying a stock has heard this, but its harder to do than most think.

In hard economic times like the ones we are in now, its easy to hoard cash. But things are cheap...so I invest.

Fear creates opportunity for the brave.

9) Self-discipline is the key to attaining anything I want

No one is coming to save you. And no one is coming to do the work for you.

If you can build habits and do one thing consistently, you will encounter success like you've never experienced. 

It all starts with a powerful, clearly-defined WHY followed by execution and accountability.

10) Expand my professional network

I dedicated time and money to building my personal brand before I quit my job and continue to do so.

There's no downside to having strong networks. I recommend LinkedIN over all other sites.

Big tip for strengthening this network...Take a few minutes every work to text or email someone for no other reason to ask how they are doing.

11) Eliminated 10% of my monthly expenses

I run my life like a business. And businesses regular have budget cuts because unnecessary expenses creep in.

The same happens in life. You can cut 10% without much a lifestyle change. Then reinvest the money into debt payoff, investments or something meaningful like a family trip.

I cut 10% this year and we didn't notice at all.

12) Pray more

Praying gets a bad rap in culture. I understand why if you don't believe in a higher power.

But for me, it changes everything from my mindset to my actual measurable biological stress levels. 

13) Belief is one of the most powerful forces in this world

The doctors said only one thing was for certain, the cancer was not going to be cured.

Managed was the best outcome we could hope for.

9 months of chemo, radiation, diet changes, losing the ability to walk, prayers, tears, and laughter...

...the doctor came in with the biggest smile on his face and told us he couldn't explain it...

but my mother-in-law was CURED. The cancer was GONE.

 My Theme For 2023

I have one word that will sum up my 36th trip around the sun.

Execution.

I will execute on loving my wife.

I will execute on building my business.

I will execute on raising my children to the standards I set for them, not society's. 

I will execute on getting more physically and mentally fit.

I will execute on loving and supporting those around me during difficult times.

And that will make all the difference.

Until our paths cross again...

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