Jan Krokos

Getting clear on what you want

Getting clear on what you want

Getting clear on what you want

Jan Krokos

Jun 22, 2024

Fundamentally, if where you are is not where you truly desire to be in life, it is because of a flaw in how you’ve designed your own life.

Face it.


A) You do not know what you want

B) You’ve not taken the time to consciously design one you’d want

We’re all humans, I get it.

We may be busy with obligations, school, family, or simply put, life just gets in the way.

At some point though, after “waking up” from living on autopilot, it really comes to a matter of deciding whether your current circumstance is really something you’re willing to tolerate or not.

My earliest initiative of this was after I quit my second “real job” at a Chinese restaurant as a host.

I was miserable, depressed, and just wanted out. Finally, after some contemplation and enough willpower, I pulled the plug on that job and quit.

Two weeks go by and I came face-to-face with reality: you need to make money now. (I didn’t even make much from that job anyway, I was earning roughly $200/week as a 17 year old.)

So what did I do?

What any guy on the internet can do: search up “how to make money online.”

I was blown away by all the various different kinds of opportunities and business models I can get into:

  • Dropshipping

  • Affiliate marketing

  • Amazon

  • Personal branding

  • Writing

  • Selling on eBay

  • Plus more

While at the moment I wasn’t consciously designing my life, I was looking for a way out.

I’m not going to go much into this story, but fast forward to 2019 from 2017 when this all started, me and a business partner made $1.4M in revenue from our first profitable store.

The result at the end of it all? I was still miserable.

I remember vividly one day playing Fortnite in my parent’s basement.

I look up on my phone, and my daily Shopify revenue hits another $10k/day.

Meanwhile, I lost my hunger to drive and continue pressing onward.

After 2019 and mostly from then on to date, I explored my curiosity because I wanted to go on a quest and figure out who I am and what I genuinely want out of life.

After trying dozens of jobs, losing a bunch of money from scams, get-rich-quick schemes, learning skills from coding to no-code to writing to playing piano, and more…

I realized I gravitate towards a certain set of skills and domains of knowlege.

One thing I did love from this period of exploration is all the books and knowledge I was consuming. Anything from philosophy, spirituality, business, personal development, technology, and so on.

Honestly, I can read just about anything.

But that’s what I realized about myself from this entire quest…

And that is, I’m not necessarily a specialist in anything but more so of a generalist who loves learning and sharing what I learn or do.

It’s hard to put a category on this all because the hard truth is, there isn’t.

I’ve tried and failed multiple business opportunities following my first “real success” and always wondered why haven’t I stuck with it at all?

“Isn’t business just mostly me?” I thought.

I came to realize that sure, it is, but not the end.

Meaning, I came to realize that business and entrepreneurship is a means to an end. And that is, freedom.

Once I realized that, it became more and more clear for me which direction to head in life. Rather than optimizing for something massive and grandiose, like a Fortune 500, I realized I know my key critical values.

And from that what I had to do was organize my life in such a way where I can trigger my core values daily and ensure the vehicle I do it through offers freedom to explore my curiosity, sharing my learnings, and of course, trigger my other values.

I can stretch this lesson and story much further, perhaps for another time. But what I really want to stress in this letter is thus: figure out your values in life, figure out how you want to live your life, then set goals and a vision around that.

Otherwise, you’ll be miserable, just as I was.

Think about it, if you deeply value achievement, and you figure out how you can set up a life where you can constantly compete, win, and even strategize against others, this is hitting a massive value of yours.

And from this value, it’ll keep you happy. Assuming too you’re triggering other important values in your life as well.

My top three as of now are: Curiosity, insight, and contribution.

When I realized I love to explore my curiosity, gain insights, and share with others, I knew I had to construct a lifestyle and medium to somehow do this more often, daily, or even as the primary function of my work, that it is critical to my long-term happiness.

My wish is you do the same vs. starting out with something for the wrong ends or reasons.

Not to say I regret everything I’ve done in the past.

It’s made me who I am after all.

But realizing there could’ve been a better way I could have approached life purpose, skill-stacking, and knowledge acquisition to cut my exploration time much more and get to building something long-term much faster.

This is my very first newsletter.

I held it off for the longest time.

I hope you’ve found something insightful from this lesson and short story I’ve provided.

Happy Saturday and good morning from California.