I have a secret to share with you.
I’m a virgin.
That might be a shocker.
But I’ve got an even bigger shocker for you.
Are you ready?
You’re also a virgin.
In fact, we’re all virgins.
And I’ll tell you why.
Richard Branson’s Virginity
I came across a nice interview with Richard Branson a while back.
He was discussing many different aspects of his life and his story as an entrepreneur thus far.
One point that came up during the interview was the genesis of the brand name Virgin.
Apparently, the name came about because Branson and his partners at the time considered themselves virgins in business (which they were).
The rest, as they say, is history.
But one thing we can say, for sure, is that Branson is no longer a virgin. He lost his business virginity by… well… going into business for himself. The very act of starting a business meant he was a businessman. Thus, he was no longer a virgin.
He’s now a very experienced businessman worth billions of dollars.
And that’s really the crux of the matter here.
We’re All Virgins
See, we’re all virgins at something.
There are many things that we haven’t yet tried, learned, or experienced.
This is slightly frightening on one hand.
That’s because it’s always a bit scary to start or try something new. We don’t know what we’re doing. There’s often a good measure of anxiety and discomfort when we’re doing something for the very first time.
But it’s also exciting.
There’s that sense of exhilaration when you press on and become an intrepid adventurer. There’s newness. It’s uncharted territory for you. No memory or habit to rely on to autopilot things. You have to have your wits about you and actually pay attention. It requires all of you.
We might be incredibly experienced at one thing, but we can just as well be virgins at almost everything else.
However, the only way we can actually become experienced at anything (even what we’re now experienced at) is to actually start.
Begin. One foot forward. Then one foot in front of the other. So on and so forth.
The very act of trying, doing, or learning something for the very first time “breaks the seal”, and you’re no longer a virgin at that particular thing.
Knowing that there are so many things out there to “lose your virginity” with is a large part of what makes life interesting and exciting.
Losing My Virginity
For example, I was once a total virgin at investing.
Back in early 2010, I didn’t know a thing about investing. It seemed like something reserved for wealthy people with way more information (and money) than little ol’ me.
But then I began.
I read numerous books. Consumed information like a maniac. I sucked up knowledge like a vacuum and absorbed it like a sponge. I couldn’t get enough.
Before long, I was no longer a virgin.
And here we are, almost ten years into my journey as an investor.
I’ve built my FIRE Fund in the process.
It’s a phenomenal collection of world-class businesses. These companies are collectively sending me more than $14,000 annually in dividends!
I’m not the most successful or knowledgeable investor in the world.
Not even close.
Indeed, it’s knowing that I still have more to learn and experience that keeps me interested and excited.
But I’m also no longer a virgin at it. That’s for sure.
And this could be said for anything in life.
Likewise, I was once a total virgin with fitness. Didn’t know a thing about it.
But then I tried it and learned more as I went along.
I’m now pretty proficient at fitness, which has allowed me to build the body of my dreams. In fact, I’d argue that becoming a better investor, which has resulted in becoming more financially fit, has led to becoming more physically fit.
You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.
We cannot be world-class at anything unless we actually start. We can’t lose our virginity without taking that first step.
Furthermore, the more of your virginity you lose, the more you’ll find that experience in one element of your life aids a different element. Losing your virginity in one thing will likely complement another thing, making you a well-rounded, happy person. The whole becomes more than the sum of its parts.
I didn’t retire in my early 30s and move to Thailand by letting my virginity hold me back.
I gleefully lost my virginity – many times over in order to get here. And I continue to do so.
Losing Your Virginity
The point of this article is to motivate you to move beyond fears.
Don’t let the fear of the unknown stop you from learning or trying something new.
There are many things that you’re undoubtedly a virgin at.
That can be scary. I get it. It’s not comfortable to be so inexperienced at something. We have to ask questions. We feel dumb.
But operating out of our comfort zone is what makes life worth living.
Learning, trying, and experiencing new things is part of the magic.
Don’t let fear hold you back from learning or trying new things.
Before long, you’ll find that your virginity has evaporated.
You’re a novice quickly. Then you become quite experienced over time. Ups and downs are traversed. Bumps in the road smooth out. And then you find yourself an expert in that field. Perhaps even a master.
Nothing amazing can happen if we don’t get out there and grow. We can’t have something we’ve never had before without doing things we’ve never done before.
I’ll sometimes get emails from readers who are amazed by the life I’ve built for myself.
I guess I just see it as normal now.
I’m eternally grateful for it. Don’t get me wrong.
But it’s simply been a series of new events that have led me here. I’ve basically lost my virginity over and over again.
Now even living abroad seems quite routine to me. There’s nothing unusual about it for me.
But I can tell you that it wasn’t always that way. When I first arrived to Thailand, it was totally new. A radically different culture and a language I didn’t understand. It was an alien world.
Bravery wasn’t hard to come by, however, because I knew that losing my virginity was, in the moment, something to savor. It wouldn’t be long before all of that newness and craziness wore off. So I tried to hold on to the amazement for as long as I could.
While it’s now gone, I’m comforted by the fact that I’m still a virgin at so many other things in life. And I look forward to losing my virginity in new areas, in time.
Whether it’s marching toward FIRE, starting a new business, moving abroad, or making any other major lifestyle change, don’t let your virginity hold you back. Break the seal, put one foot in front of the other, move forward, and become the experienced non-virgin you’d like to be.
What do you think? Are you a virgin at many things? Do you let fear hold you back?
Thanks for reading.
Image courtesy of: iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
P.S. If you’re ready to lose your virginity and achieve FIRE, check out some fantastic tools and services I personally used on my way to becoming financially free at 33!