The Hillbilly Heretic

If you evolve you never stop learning.

Archive for the category “Career and Success”

5 Obstacles to Success and Happiness That I Overcame

For most of my life, I just accepted what came to me. I worked hard and moved through the ranks of my chosen profession. With that plan I did ok. I got several promotions and increased my income modestly over the years. I was a steady, efficient, and capable workhorse.

But I was just, OK.

I saw people around me and on television who were doing things, different things. The type of things I never considered possible for me. They were building businesses, becoming media moguls, traveling around the world. The only thing I was doing was helping others build their dreams and lifestyle. Mainly because I just didn’t see how someone like me could ever be anything other than just a workhorse.

My family, in general, was just that, workhorses. They are a proud bunch that’s for sure but not very entrepreneurial. Most worked the same job their entire lives or at least the same type of jobs and for the most part never left the area of central Alabama we were born. Now I am not saying any of this is bad or wrong; there is certainly something to be said for sticking to your roots. I just knew at an early age it wasn’t for me. Even with that knowledge, I wasn’t doing anything about it.


I had dreams; everyone does, but my dreams were varied and plentiful. I have never been the type of person that just dreamt of doing one thing and to be done with it. I wanted to do everything!

I always held myself back, I never pushed the envelope or challenged the status quo.

I always held myself back, I never pushed the envelope or challenged the status quo. In fact, I began to mock and degrade those who were trying to do something different. I became a voice of discouragement. Instead of living my dream, jealousy made me want to stop others from living theirs.

That all changed a few years ago, I decided that for my family and me to gain everything we wanted and desired, I had to do things differently. That has lead to taking a new job on the opposite side of the country, taking vacations to places I would never have visited before, and becoming a writer that has been published on some of the biggest websites in the world. I am far from where I want to be, but I am on the path, and I can see what I want within reach.


Here are the steps I had to take to make these things begin to happen:

I confronted my depression and anxiety- Depression and anxiety will cripple you. By telling you constantly that you’re not capable or even worthy of success. If you are suffering from either or both of these demons, you will struggle to reach any goals until you confront it head on. I found treatment and put myself on the correct mental path to begin accomplishing the goals I had in life.

I stopped being a people pleaser- I grew up only wanting to make other people happy. I always put the needs of others ahead of my own. Again, this isn’t a negative trait in general. The problem was that it began to impact my happiness and well-being. My needs and the needs of my immediate family sometimes suffered due to the fact I was always helping someone else. Generally, these were financial issues, but sometimes it was purely emotional support. I will still help whoever I can whenever I am able, but never again will it be to the detriment of my own tribe.

Bosses, coworkers, business partners, and friends will almost always let you down when you solely rely on them to help promote your talents.

I started selling myself- The one thing I have learned in this process is never to expect that anyone will ever put you ahead of them. Even though I did it myself many times, I found that it was almost never reciprocal. Bosses, coworkers, business partners, and friends will almost always let you down when you solely rely on them to help promote your talents. In business as in life, it truly becomes a dog eat dog world. Sitting back hoping that you’ll be noticed will almost assuredly mean that you will be in the same spot a year from now. You have to take the bull by the horns and push your agenda and your desires for success.

I stopped living others fears- There were many voices, and there still are, that said things like “oh that’s too hard.” or “that isn’t possible.” For most of my life I listened to them, and when I shared a dream, they shot it down. When I finally realized that the advice they were giving was really just their personal fears or even their feelings of regret for not experiencing life to the fullest, I stopped listening. Allowing these life suckers to permeate your thoughts are an instant dream killer. Taking responsibility for your own dreams and goals is the only way they will happen.

I knew the things I wanted to do, and I knew deep down what I was really capable of.

I stopped just dreaming- As I said, I had a lot of dreams. I knew the things I wanted to do, and I knew deep down what I was really capable of. The only thing I ever did with any of this knowledge was to dream about what was possible. I finally decided that dreaming wasn’t enough to be happy. I started putting action to my thoughts. Less than a year of writing my first article for public view for The Good Men Project, I had been published on sites like Babble, The Huffington Post, Fatherly, and The Libertarian Republic. Thousands of people have read my words, and it just took me finally deciding to take action.


By no means have I reached the goals I have set. Truthfully I don’t want ever to get to a point where I am satisfied. The thing is, now I can see the path clearly, and I know that I do have within myself the ability to reach my dreams. There are a lot of “gurus” out there selling happiness, just remember before dealing with any of them, only you truly have any control over your future.

If there is something you want to do, dream you want to accomplish, or place you want to go. Remember one thing. You can!
Join and crush a stereotype or two

Photo:Getty Images 


5 Steps For Guys To Regain Career Happiness

The story is the same for many, you graduated, started a job, it turned into a career. You’ve been successful, and you’re good at what you do. You provide for your family, you’re respected, and you are depended on. It seems you have everything under control and everything you want in life. Awards, recognition, and an annual raises are all regular occurrences in your life. 5careerhappiness

The problem is you’re miserable.

This certainly isn’t the faults of our families, and it isn’t the fault of the companies.

Where did we go wrong, when did this happen, why do we feel trapped? I’ve done everything I thought I was supposed to do in life; worked hard, provided for my family, and started planning for my retirement. For many men, we find ourselves doing only what we think we are required to do. Our personal happiness is often left on the side of the road somewhere to make ourselves feel like providers or protectors. 

This certainly isn’t the faults of our families, and it isn’t the fault of the companies we have dedicated our lives to. The issue isn’t finding fault at all or even a place to lay blame for our unhappiness. The key is to find out why are we really unhappy and find ways to solve it. There will be no relief for anyone if we continue to wallow in our self-pity and feelings of unfulfillment. The unhappiness is there, and if you don’t find a solution, it will continue to eat at you, maybe even to the point you do something detrimental to your career and the livelihood of those who depend on you. 

The answer may simply be finding happiness in what you are already doing. This isn’t what most of us in these circumstances want to hear. The easy answer today is to say, “find freedom” “create happiness” “live your passions” and nobody wants to face a reality that sometimes it isn’t the job, it’s you. Believe it or not, even in today’s society of living for yourself and an almost cult-like following of self-centeredness responsibilities still exist. Those responsibilities don’t go away because you decide that you should have become a magician instead of an investment banker. 

So you’re unhappy, you’re unsatisfied, and you’re ready to quit your job. How do you reignite the passion you once had and find the desire to continue to be the best you can be? It’s not easy but there are some steps to take that can help you get there.


Identity what the real issues are— Every problem has a root cause, you don’t suddenly wake up one day hating your life and your career. It’s a set of circumstances that build up over the course of months or even years that convince you that your chosen career is not only unfulfilling but meaningless. There is an unhappiness that has built up, usually in several areas of our lives that push us to the point that we decide we have to do something drastic to get our lives under control again. 

Eliminate as much debt as possible— From my personal experiences, the times I had the feeling of restlessness and unfulfillment in my job were when I had allowed debt and monthly bills balloon out of control. Nothing will make you believe that you are in the wrong line of work like being underwater in debt. The sinking feeling is unbearable, and when panic sets in, we begin to think irrationally. In our minds, we decide that to get out of this debt, we need a new better job that will pay more. So obviously we have to make wholesale changes in our lives, and that means a career change. 

Recognize the good you do provide— I’ve heard it many times, “what I do doesn’t matter to the world” meaning they don’t feel they make a difference. I have had that feeling a few times. Truthfully, it doesn’t matter what you do in life; somehow it touches someone else’s life. In some small way, you have the ability to make someone’s life better by what you do, you have to identify that and understand that without you and people like you then the world isn’t a better place. 

Reevaluate your life outside of work— What are you filling your spare time with? Do you have real quality time away from the office? Coming home kicking off your shoes and flopping down in the recliner seems wonderful at times, and occasionally isn’t a bad idea. However, if all there is to your life is work and television, your sense of fulfillment is going to be pretty empty. Find a hobby, get involved with your children’s schools, take your wife on weekend adventures. Whatever it is, find something away from your job that helps shape who you are as a person. 

Understand risk— I certainly don’t want anyone to think I don’t believe in chasing dreams or following your hearts. What I am saying is that you should never go into anything uninformed. Too often we only hear the positive stories of people who have taken risks and decided to follow new paths. The biggest thing most of those success stories have is people that were prepared, educated and a sufficient backup plan. You must understand for yourself and your family what the entire risk of such a decision is. Knowing the goals are easy, to understand what happens if you fail, is altogether different.


The truth is, all of us have in us the ability to be successful at anything we put our minds to. I know that our heart has to be in what we do to be fulfilled. For many of us, though, uprooting an entire life’s work is not always the answer. When so much time, energy and effort have been put into building a foundation for a career, we have to be willing to, at least, evaluate the situation on a much broader scale. 

Happiness doesn’t always have to be out of reach.

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