Dropping out of Highschool

Dropping out of Highschool

11/09/18 22:57 Canggu, Bali:

(As with all articles that I am writing, I do not proofread the article afterwards so please bear with my grammar / spelling errors. Thank you)

Almost exactly 1 year to this date I made the crucial decision to sacrifice everything that was important to me at the time in order to pursue my entrepreneurial journey.

Now I am able to live in Canggu, Bali, in one of the craziest Villas I could ever imagine with my beloved twin brother as well as one of my best friends, just with the digital ventures that we are pursuing day by day.

Today in this letter to myself I want to express my gratitude as well as share my experience on making one of the most important decisions in my life.

In order for this letter to make sense I just want to roll back everything to Summer 2017, where fitness was my priced possession. All I could ever think of was fitness. I was dying to get a workout in every day. Fuck I sometimes trained close to 4-5x a day (including Basketball, Calisthenics, running & School).

Let me tell you that I was pretty much addicted to sports. I was recognized as that one guy. I mean it was obvious since I was in really good shape, both physically & mentally.

Then something has happened which I will never forgot. My twin brother, the person I spent my entire life with, decided to drop out of high school in order to move out of our hometown in order to pursue his Videography & Photography journey. I was shocked. I still remember being in Portugal (partying almost every day with my friends) when my mother texted me that Roman is not coming back.

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Then time went by, the new school year started and I was at very depressed point in my life. It wasn’t jealousy or envy that drove me during that time, it really wasn’t. It was just the fact that the person I spent most of my time with actually made something out of himself. He went outside of his comfort zone. He took major risks. All I can say is that I admired him. I was incredibly amazed by the amount of courage this guy had to drop out of high school.

Now that was the time, where I started to question myself. That was the time that I was questioning Society. My twin brother opened me a getaway to a much bigger world that is out there. I looked myself into the mirror and asked myself: What do I really wanna do? Somehow I knew that things had to change. Immediately.

And things changed. A lot changed. Let me tell you that I made a lot of sacrifices:

  • Sleep
  • Health
  • Diet
  • School Grades
  • Lifestyle / Partying
  • Fitness
  • Love Life
  • Energy
  • Leisure / Time with Friends
  • Family
  • ….

It was December 2017 where I probably made the biggest sacrifice though. I stopped my fitness journey. Don’t get me wrong, I was still addicted to fitness, however I knew that if I want to live on my own terms, I had to free up time, energy & focus. During that time, all I could think of was fitness. But with limited time that was available to me (8h of free time, since I was locked in school for most of my days) I knew I had to make this sacrifice.

People say that it’s an excuse, but let me tell you how fucking hard it is to run an actual business, while going to school & running on 4-6h of sleep every day.

Now looking back there was one day in 2017 that still stands out to me: New Year‘s Eve. I was already running my business for a couple of months at the time. I still remember telling myself when the clock hit 0:00 that 2018 will be the greatest year of my life. All the sacrifices that I am making will play out in the end. I will drop out of high school and live independently, I told myself to also move out to L.A. and pursue my journey in the United States.

So there I was in Q1 of 2018, packed with energy, commitment & determination. But soon I hit rock bottom once again. Things were not going great during that time. Problems occurred left & right and the end of the school year was approaching nearer and nearer. I was questioning myself a lot. I was questioning my business a lot. Actually I was questioning my entire decision a lot. It was a depressing time because I was starting to lose hope. Will I be able to sustain my physical needs? What if I am not? Will I still need to go to school? The place that was ultimately hindering in my progress.

I still remember crying and screaming outside in a lonely wine field next to my house. The really sad side of this story is the fact that I was broke both mentally & physically. I lost all my gains. I lost my entire strength. I gained weight. I was not happy looking at my body in the mirror. Let me tell you that this was a very very depressing time for me.

Now looking back this probably was the most crucial point of my entrepreneurial path so far. I was super close to giving up. Luckily a lot of people gave me the courage to just keep on going. And that’s exactly what I did. I sacrificed even more sleep ( I averaged 4-5h/ day. Sometimes I literally had 2h of sleep…). I completely sacrificed school, as I really wasn’t doing anything for school anymore (no homework, not learning for class tests, not paying attention during lessons). I brought some huge support to our team by adding Rico to our Agency. This was hands down one of the biggest relieves at the time. I knew that there was someone else out there that also wanted to pursue the same route as I did.

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Time went by. Things have gotten a little bit better. At least I was happy during that time, because I removed a mental barrier from my mind.

Then my 18th birthday came up. I don’t know where this idea popped up, but something in my mind told me to visit my brother (who was living in L.A. during that time). I was already making quite some bucks to pay for myself, however my mother insisted on helping me out financially by paying for the flight tickets. The amount of gratitude I have for this person can not be described in words.

So this was really happening I told myself. I was going to see my brother in fucking L.A. + I was going to celebrate my 18th birthday as well there.

March was approaching and then everything happened. I booked the flight. Organized everything with Roman and his roommates and everything was set. In Late March I went to L.A. where I probably had some of the most fun time of my life. I met so many cool people during that trip, I learned so much stuff about myself, business & life in general. I was determined as fuck to crush my business and go to the next level.

Something that not a lot people know is the fact that I really was planing to move to L.A. as well. It wasn’t a coincidence that I wanted to meet my brother in L.A.. I also wanted to visit some apartments & also wanted to gather some information about Visa, etc… I was talking a lot about this with Roman and he told me that the plan I had would be really hard ( I knew he was trying to tell me that it was close to impossible to move to the United States, since I wasn’t qualifying for any of the Visas).

So there I was pretty much with false expectations of how everything would be turning to play out. But then Roman came up to me. He said that he really wasn’t happy with the situation that he was in during that time & he also wanted some change. I kind of didn’t want to tell him that I would love to move out with him together, but somehow we both knew what we wanted. I kindly asked him if he can imagine himself in a situation where we both live together and he was like fuck yeah of course would I love to move out with you. But where should we go?

Cyprus was coming to our heads a lot, because some of our friends & business partners were planning to also move out to Cyprus during that time.

I am really not sure where this idea came from, but Roman also proposed Bali as a destination. I really don’t know why Bali was tempting me so much. But we both talked about it. During our time in L.A. we both considered Bali as an actual option. And then close to our birthday we made the mental decision to move out to Bali. Fuck yeah.

I was enjoying my stay in L.A.. I actually skipped an entire week of school to stay there for 3 Weeks. Let me tell you that the teachers & principals in school were not amused about that.

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I came back to Germany and let me tell you that I was a completely different person (this could also be due the fact that I colored my hair blonde haha).

I had a clear vision. I knew that I made the majority of my sacrifices already. I knew that this was just a question of putting in the consistenc work.

Things were going great and I was finally happy. I was super happy with the situation, and my entire journey was starting to take some sort of form. I was considering my company as an actual business now.

Time passed by and all of the sudden Roman was back in Germany. He was back in late May, which was the peak of our business. We were all happy and I still remember our family sitting completely reunited at our dining table. It was like heaven. All of the anxiety that I had in the summer of 2017 when Roman left was gone.

The next day I woke up a little bit earlier than usual because an alarm was ringing in our living room. My mind was focused on a Volley Ball Exam I had that day so I was almost ignoring that alarm. I showered, went downstairs as usual to grab some breakfast, when my dad was standing in front of me. He told me that my grandmother just died…

I couldn’t comprehend this situation… I really do not want to describe how I felt in that moment because it was just straight up dreadful.

The strongest person that I ever knew, the person that gave me strength when I lost it, has passed away. I still remember my grandmother at the age of 85, working the entire day in our home garden. The things that she was going through during her childhood (WWII), the mental & physical strength that this person had was beyond anyone’s strength that I ever knew. To this day, I am feeling super sad (but also grateful) when I think of my grand mother.

My grand mother was a person who would persist some of the hardest situations. Being a teenager during WWII she was forced to be taken away from her family in order to serve for the army. Couple of years later she was put into prison because she had to steal bags of corn, otherwise she would have starved to death. Even as I already mentioned, at the age of 85, she had the drive and mental willpower to work in her garden. Work was the only thing that this person knew. Work. Work.

So time went by again. Although I was struggling to truly enjoy myself, I at least knew that things would get better on my side. The school year was finally coming to an end and everything I could ever imagine was starting to take actual form. I finally knew that I was going to “make it” (whatever this means).

Then the last school day was there. God damn, I was waiting for this moment for so long. It felt unreal.

It felt like the biggest relieve ever. Even though I really had a great „Abitur“ (Degree), I still to this day don’t know the grades I had in my last year of school. I never looked at that report card. I truthfully didn’t care about anything of that.

So now I was finally free. I was finally feeling this sense of freedom that I always wanted. I finally had time to do something other than working and going to school. I finally had the chance to go back to my old fitness routine.

Also I was also traveling a lot during that time: (Croatia), The Netherlands, Israel, Canada, Munich, The Netherlands II, Paris, Berlin. I was finally enjoying myself.

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Let me tell you that it can get depressing when your entire day consists of going to school, working, sleeping. Also I finally had the financial capacities to maintain myself during this lifestyle.

However this was also a time with a lot of ups & downs for my business. Growth stopped and we had consecutive worse months than before. It was a very crucial transitional period as my brother was starting to play a bigger role in our business. Even to this day we do not have most of the stuff figured out, however we are on the right track.

I gathered so much stuff from our trips, it’s insane. I had the opportunity to again spend some quality time, with my mum, dad, older brother, Roman, my entire foreign family & last but not least my deep meaningful friendships.

Now Bali was approaching. Although I was super fucking excited to finally move to Bali, I was still pretty anxious about our situation at home. We were ready to sell our beautiful home, where I was living my entire life. Although my parents didn’t get divorced they are now starting to live in different apartments. I knew that when I will come things will not be the same.

This is a blessing and disguise at the same time. I knew that I will never have this comfortable place I can call true home. However it was the right time to fully grow up as a male and start becoming 100% independent.

November 1st came along and now I was here in Bali, aka Paradise. I really didn’t film a lot of footage / content during the first week of our stay because I really just wanted to comprehend the amazing gift that we gave ourselves by sticking to the plan and consistently putting in the work. I couldn’t fall asleep tonight because of the pure amount of gratitude I am feeling to be in the situation that I currently am.

Let me tell you that more amazing thing are bound to happen in the future. I will keep you guys updated more than ever.

Here are a couple things I have learned during the last 12 months:

1. Sacrifices

I had to give up the thing I loved most in order to pursue this route. Other than that I had to give up my sleep, energy, mental health and so much other shit. Let me tell you that I had times where people could tell that I was feeling miserable. However you need to make sacrifices if you really want to change. During that time of course it felt fucking painful. However I knew that the temporary sacrifices I made during that time would 10x in the long term. Now I can happily say that it was the right decision to make these sacrifices.

PS: Re-Adaption is a lot faster than the initial adaption. I am feeling almost as strong, energetic as before and also my physique is slowly starting to come back.

2. Consistency

If it wasn’t for the consistent hard work that I was putting in during the last 12 months, I would have never gotten this far. Consistency in whatever you are doing is key to anything. And the best way to be consistent is to love what you are doing. I know this sounds cringy and basically everyone knows this, but why the fuck are only so little people acting on this??? How can you be consistent with the thing you love doing if you are stuck in a system (aka: school – college – work – retirement – death). I don’t get it. If you find something that you can not spend a day without thinking about it, then you should honestly take the leap as well.

Ups and downs were also a thing that I had to learn & grasp. It’s a vicious cycle of happiness and dreadfulness that you need to go through. If you are starting to question yourself, if you are starting to feel signs of unhappiness just let me tell you that things will get better. Just stay hungry. Stay consistent.

Vice Versa if you are feeling on top of the mountain, make sure to be grateful for what you have, as things can get a lot worse than they are right now.

3. Be in your own head, but be kind about it.

If I was doing the things, people were telling me during crucial times, I would probably not be at the place where I am today. I am not trying to say that you should be egoistic or arrogant, because this is by far some of the worst character traits someone could have, however I am trying to tell you that you should value your honest opinion the most. Really go deep inside of yourself and ask what your core beliefs, goals, etc… are. Ask yourself if you are in the situation you currently want to be in. If you truly are in ease with this, then everything is perfect, this can be considered a state of happiness (and also freedom).

If you feel like the opinion of someone else is holding you back (or the anxiety of behaving differently), then you must become aware of this feeling. It’s a feeling of tension and unease. Not expressing this feeling will lead to depression. Maybe it can be your parents, your teachers, your friends, I don’t know. This can be a very hard self realization, as you are confronting yourself with the deepest bonds you have created in your mind.

Written by
Richard Hopp
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