Creating a profitable passion business is like climbing a mountain:
You’re at the basecamp, watching that huge peak you’re about to climb, and it feels almost intimidating. After all, it will take thousands and thousands of steps to get to the top.
Launching your lifestyle business is similar:
The climb is a bit scary at first, but the secret is to make the first step. And then make another one. And another one.
That’s what Peter Fritz did, with the help of our 365 Days to Freedom program.
Peter helps fellow midlifers through his blog and podcast at the midlifetribe.com.
He’s a great example of what I call the Snowball Effect: he started with one single blog post, and grew things one step at a time into a large blog with a book and a podcast, that truly helps people out there.
All of that done with authenticity.
I interviewed Peter recently. This post is a redacted summary of this interview. You’ll find the full interview audio and a transcript at the bottom of this page.
Paid to Exist: Can you tell us what The Midlife Tribe is?
Peter Fritz: The Midlife Tribe is a weekly blog and a podcast that essentially aims to offer a blunt assessment of the issues that midlifers face – common things like money worries, not having enough time, right up to the good old midlife crisis.
My job, as I see it, is to… having gone through my own midlife crisis, having had my own financial failures, being through divorce twice all this kind of stuff … I see my job as offering a sort of a guiding hand, a bit of a touch of wisdom if I can… and the occasional kick up the ass!
Mostly with the noble objective of helping people master their midlife, their time, their money and their life.
Paid to Exist: How did you come up with this idea?
Peter Fritz: It all came down to a pivotal moment where I knew something was wrong (…). I had all the outward appearances of doing well (…) but I sensed that there was something deeply wrong. That I just wasn’t fulfilled or wasn’t happy. I didn’t feel like anything I was doing work-wise had any purpose or meaning to it.
I guess I just got to a point where I thought:
I know there are lots of other people out there going through the same crap that I am going through. I’ve done so many different things in my life and I’ve learnt so many valuable lessons… especially when it comes to things like overwhelm, lacking a sense of purpose, money issues and having no time – working 20 hours straight time after time, not seeming to get anywhere.
And I thought: I really want to share this with people.
I’ve always been writing since I was a kid. I have always enjoyed communicating with people. I’ve been on stage (…) so I thought:
I want to just do something that’s really purposeful and has long term value for over-40’s.
I don’t care if I make a dollar or not.
I just want to do something authentic, something real, something of value. And doing it online is the best way to distribute that.
Comment from Cedric – note how Peter started this project without any specific goal in mind. He just did it, committed to writing on a weekly basis and over the course of a year or two, built an amazing blog, wrote a book and started podcasting. Here’s what he said about this when I brought this up during the interview:
Peter Fritz: When you want to do something (…) because you feel the urge to serve and to share what you’ve learned, then I think you do a far better job of it if you leave the whole money side at the end of it.
(…) So, it all comes down to the authenticity.
And that was ultimately the thing that was really causing me to feel aimless and depressed.
I felt like all of these jobs I was doing sure generated some money and bought me some stuff, but they didn’t deliver any sense of purpose or meaning.
Paid to Exist: How was life like before you started this project and what did it change in your daily life?
Peter Fritz: Before I committed to writing on a weekly basis and building Midlife Tribe into something that I could be proud of, my life was just a blur of:
Wake up, work till I’m exhausted, collapse, go to sleep. Get up and do it again.
My life was one that was extremely busy, making good money. (…) And it (…) culminated with me sitting on the toilet once at 2 o’clock in the morning, staring at my phone and googling things like “Why am I so depressed?”
That’s when I found “Paid to Exist” and as I read through the website; I immediately found a kindred spirit there.
I read everything, signed up for the 365 Days to Freedom and then I started digging myself out of the psychological hole. (…)
I read the [365 Days to Freedom] emails every single day and a lot of stuff I put into action.
A lot of the stuff I didn’t, but it was just a wonderful kick in the pants every day, a dose of encouragement, a touch of wisdom.
And just kind of having this guy who I respected giving me a nudge every single day. (…)
Now I wake up every day with this sense of genuine purpose and excitement for the work that I do (…)
So, life is very different now, life has a real sense of purpose and genuine authentic satisfaction from the work that I do.
Paid to Exist: How do you think the 365 Days to Freedom Program helped you achieve results?
Peter Fritz: Apart from the fact that the stuff in the program is clearly very well thought out… it’s not packed with platitudes … it’s all clearly very original and authentic and genuine (…), apart from that: it effectively keeps you thinking the right way.
We all know victories and failures usually happen in your mind before they manifest out there in reality.
And if you just have somebody there, who keeps you thinking the right way and moving forward every single day… and not with any platitudes pulled off the internet somewhere, but stuff that is genuine and authentic and original…
Well when you struggle to make sense of things, let alone make any meaningful progress – you know you have someone or something there that is there for you every single day… giving you short, concise and meaningful support.
And that’s what the 365 Days to Freedom program did for me.
It made sure I didn’t fall off the wagon. And it kept me moving forward one day at a time.
Because you reach a kind of a critical mass; a pivotal point where you become so accustomed to everyday just doing a little bit.
When you have that (…) gentle little nudge every day, it starts to fill you with a sense of reassurance that you’ve gone far enough now that you can never slip back again. I’m now so conditioned to just to do a little every day. It is impossible for me to fall of the wagon like I have on some many other projects in in the past. And I know I’m now in this for good. So, it’s enormously powerful.
Paid to Exist: People looking at your website might feel like there is such a long way for them to go and that they’ll never manage to build all this. Can you give us a feel of how your website grew into what it is today?
Peter Fritz: I started out with a commitment that “Hey! If I’m going to do this, I’m going to be consistent” and I wrote one blog post and I published it.
That was it. I didn’t have three in the bag ready to go. I had one. I wrote it and I published it.
And then I wrote another one a week later and I published it.
It was simply one step at a time.
Then after a few months, I realized that I needed to have a decent “About Page” (…) and then 8 months later I thought I really should have a “Start Here Page” (…). And you know it was certainly more than a year into writing that I realized I should be giving people the option to subscribe so that they can receive an email when I write a new blog post.
The other things like the podcast or the book that I wrote and stuff like that…they were all sort of added later . That was less important.
Paid to Exist: Is there anything you would like to share?
Peter Fritz: The thing that I really picked up when I landed on Paid to Exist, and this is really what started my whole journey on re-invention; re-inventing my midlife was that it all comes down to living authentically.
(…) The reality is in my mind is that most of the misery out there in the world is driven internally, rather than stuff that is caused by certain external circumstances.
Most of the misery is internal misery, simply because people aren’t living authentically.
They are not doing what really resonates with them, what really matters to them.
They are using outside signals and drivers to determine what they do with their lives on a daily basis.
And life goes pretty fast… especially life after 40!
It’s not hard to do something you hate for 50 years and then you get to 70 and you think “Shouldn’t I have done something that was important to me this whole time?”
We get to experience this very brief but magical time here and we should be doing something that really resonates with us and really matters to us. So we can enjoy life to its fullest in a way that is true to us.
To access the full interview, either download the transcript or play the audio below:
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