A goldmine is only as good as your pick

How to get rid of FOMO on business ideas

A goldmine is only as good as your pick

This week:

  • Musings: A goldmine is only as good as your pick
  • Resources: Challenging the strive for ambition
  • Personal Updates: Deciding my focus
  • Questions: Work you enjoy

A goldmine is only as good as your pick

This week, I was browsing for a video to watch while I made my afternoon latte.

I, against my best judgement, clicked on a video titled something in the realm of "5 Business Ideas to Make 10k/mo." As someone who enjoys learning about business building, I figured something could've sparked some interest.

Instead, it ended up annoying me the entire time.

The ideas in the video were pretty normal: doing POD & dropshipping, starting a service (in this case, cleaning) business, squat on domains people want, etc. And of course, right in the middle of the video, the creator pitched his affiliate code for one of those "sign up and get a free stock" apps.

Could this content have been useful for someone who knows nothing about starting side hustles and digital business opportunities? Quite possibly. But I'm sure for a vast majority of the audience, it was a distraction.

For this creator, a very profitable distraction.

Platforms like YouTube and Medium incentivize creators to provide this type of content, feeding into the fear of missing out (FOMO) of those wanting to make more money. Baiting them with the idea that there might be some other opportunity that includes less work and more profit for the time and place that they're in.

And while I still get sucked in just like the others, there is a key concept that I've been thinking about to keep that FOMO at bay:

A goldmine is only as good as your pick

Quite often in this type of content, we hear some sort of version of "this niche is a goldmine."

These content creators are doing the equivalent of handing out maps, showing you where those gold mines are, with a (not so little) "sponsored by:" advertisement at the top.

But, if you follow their directions and show up to the gold mine with a dental pick, you're going to go home empty handed.

To add insult to injury, on your way home you're going to see people who came out of the cave showing off all their gold, leaving you wondering why you had such a hard time. Cue the negative thought spirals and stay-in-bed-all-day type emotions.

(Was that analogy beat into the ground enough for you?)

Your pick represents who you are: your motivation, desires, values, natural inclinations, skill sets, and current situation.

And a business opportunity is only as good as you - personally - are able to make of it.

If I were to start a cleaning business, as recommended by this YouTuber, I would hate it and nearly instantly burn out.

The alternative?

Get to know your pick

While that dental pick might not bring home many gold flakes, it can sure do a great job cleaning teeth.

I believe it's in this awareness - of the skills we have and the type of work that we enjoy - that we can find the path to living more and working less.

Cal Newport also talks about this in "So Good They Can't Ignore You", where his framework recommends that you treat your career almost like a flywheel, where you're building upon the skillset and opportunities that you already have. Building and doubling down on your "career capital."

This also extends into our strengths and personalities. I'm finding that I can't motivate myself to "just do the work" that my logical brain thinks will bring in beaucoup bucks. It's like trying to shove a square peg into a round hole.

Instead, I'm learning how to work with my pick, and figuring out how I can best build money making opportunities based on it.


I normally don’t care for the “Daily Motivation” type YouTube channels, but this video piqued my interest, and I’m glad I watched it. This story really challenges our default instinct for more ambition, and is helping to inspire some of my thoughts on choosing what to work on.


Personal Updates

Not much progress on any personal projects this week, as the above may suggest, I’ve really been grappling with choosing what to work on. I’m really leaning towards giving up on my pursuit of building a business for money’s sake, and have started to feel some anxiety lift away because of that.

I’m in progress on building a website for a family friend, and I’m hoping to get that finished and off my plate ASAP. Upcoming, I’ll most likely be focused on a bit of brainstorming around doubling down on the type of work I actually enjoy doing.


This week I would love to hear from you:

Have you found the type of work you enjoy doing? What does that look like for you?