What Is Your Project?

Five years ago I went on a short horseback tour in the Venezuelan Andes, led by a Frenchman who landed in Caracas fifteen years before. He lived with his wife and daughter on a horse ranch on the outskirts of Merida, making a small side income by giving occasional tours to gringos like myself.

He never planned on settling in Venezuela. It started when he was rehabilitating a boat that doubled as his home while docked somewhere in the Caribbean. “It was my project,” he said to me. “Several hours a day I worked on that boat.” One day he learned that a hurricane was approaching the islands. To save his boat he decided to go out to sea, as far southwest as he could. Unfortunately the hurricane was not forecasted correctly, and he ended up getting caught on the storm’s edge. His boat sustained heavy damage and he was forced to make landfall in Venezuela.

He sold his boat for scrap and moved to a Caracas slum. Thanks to his knowledge of French he picked up Spanish quickly. He found odd jobs here and there and eventually met his future Venezuelan wife. They resettled in Merida where he bought a small piece of land upon which he built his ranching business. A look at his dozen horses, workshop, large house, and gun collection made it clear to me that he did well for himself.

After he finished his story, he looked at me and asked, “What is your project?”

“My project?”

“Yes, your project. What are you working on?”

I had a blog at that time, but was that a project? To me it seemed more like a way to procrastinate from doing work reports. “I just started the outline to a book I want to write,” I said.

“So you’re going to write a book?”

I hesitated. Before that moment I had only thought about writing the book, jotting down ideas on napkins here or there, but had never fully committed.

I looked at the Frenchman and said, “Yes, I’m going to write a book.” Apparently all it took was verbalizing the goal to get my brain to commit to it, and Bang was released a year and a half after that. You can say it was my personal hurricane.

Chances are if you’re reading this, all your basic survival needs are met. You have food, shelter, clothing, and hopefully women as well. Maybe you want more money, but it’s safe to assume you have enough to get by and are in no danger of starving to death. There probably isn’t much telling you to go above and beyond your current situation. No one to motivate you to learn a new skill, no one to push you to take a risk with something that has no obvious opportunity for monetary gain. Besides what you’re assigned at work or school, you’re not required to do anything else but spend your free time watching television, reading magazines, or playing video games. That’s not a bad existence, and a billion men living in the slums of the world would kill for it, but it’s not good enough for one reason: there is no growth. You will be the same man that you are now in ten years time—grayer, but no wiser.

For you to grow, there has to be something in your life that is difficult and challenging. There has to be a goal where the chance of failure is very possible, and it has to be hard enough where you’ll be required to call upon forces within you that you didn’t know existed. There has to be a point where you wonder to yourself, “Maybe I can’t do it—maybe I’m doing all this for nothing.” If you don’t day dream about quitting, about going back to what you used to do, then you picked something that wasn’t hard enough.

If it is hard enough, the mere act of attempting to accomplish your goal will make you a better man. Success is not at all required—it serves as the cherry on top. The journey itself will be its own reward, and you’ll look back to how far you’ve come. And how much wisdom you’ve gained. I cannot predict what benefits will come from taking on a difficult task. It really could be one of a hundred things, most of which you would have never expected. But it will come.

So, what is your project?


  1. The G Manifesto January 31, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Good post Roosh.

    I just wrote about some similar themes on the forum.

    Challenges and failures are crucial to progress and success.

    One of the main things that made me who I am today is that I have failed so much. I have taken gruesome, bone chilling beatdowns in life. Mentally and Physically. The kind of beatings that would break most men.

    Looking back, I am glad they happened, now I feel untouchable.

    – MPM

  2. Antonio January 31, 2011 at 10:16 am

    I’d go further… a man without a project is probably a man without Game.

  3. Satu January 31, 2011 at 11:00 am

    I´ve been wanting to write a book for God knows how long but haven´t got around it yet. I´d really need my own Frenchman to make me verbalize my goal so maybe then I´d make a start…

  4. hydrogonian January 31, 2011 at 11:07 am

    I agree with G and Roosh.

    The “What doesn’t kill you…” maxim is one of the most accurate truisms of life.

    Best to start early (business projects, women) and get the hard knocks out of the way.

  5. Satu January 31, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Forgot to mention this post might help me though. At least it put some thoughts in my head.

  6. hydrogonian January 31, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Oh, and writing a book, doing a good job, and making it pay off is one of the most difficult business projects possible I think. I’m not done what I started three years ago, but will see it to the end. I wouldn’t do it again. Too much risk in time and effort for something that may or may not pay off. I have a project slated next that will require much less time and effort to complete and potentially has a much higher payoff.

    The one benefit for building a book brand, such as Roosh has, is that it is relatively well protected from competition and therefore probably has a much longer payoff than projects which can be one upped do to the lower barrier of entry.

  7. John January 31, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    How do you guys deal with procrastination?

    I found the internet seduces you into that because of the endless potential for mental distraction. Forget the TV, that’s technology from the last century. Internet has taken it’s place.

  8. Stefan K January 31, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    My project is building a sustainable income from purely web-based copywriting. The income and skill I get from that will enable me to become an extremely good writer.

  9. G January 31, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    You’ve been on a roll lately Roosh. Keep up the good work.

  10. speakeasy January 31, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    This post was a motivational tour de force. I bet if you ask the “what’s your project” question to a hundred people, 95% of the time nobody will have a clue what to answer as they have never thought it through.

  11. Lee January 31, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    My project?… I’m trying to make my cock bigger. I keep buying the tools advertised but nothing seems to work.

  12. Morpho January 31, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    “For you to grow, there has to be something in your life that is difficult and challenging. There has to be a goal where the chance of failure is very possible, and it has to be hard enough where you’ll be required to call upon forces within you that you didn’t know existed. There has to be a point where you wonder to yourself, ‘Maybe I can’t do it—maybe I’m doing all this for nothing.'”

    Very well said. Sums up why I got into running (9 marathons to date) and doing triathlons (2 Ironmans so far) perfectly. I was out of grad school, had pretty much advanced up my career ladder as far as I was going to go, and had just turned 30. My life consisted of going to work and going out drinking all the time. I asked: “is this it?”

    However, not so sure about this part:

    “If you don’t day dream about quitting, about going back to what you used to do, then you picked something that wasn’t hard enough.”

    I fell in love with endurance sports BECAUSE they are so hard. Like you said, “The journey itself will be its own reward”. Wouldn’t think of voluntarily quitting in a million years. If my body tells me differently that’s another story. In that case I will find another project. I can see learning how to fly as being high on that list.

    One of your most inspiring posts yet! Looking forward to hearing about Iceland.

    1. Roosh January 31, 2011 at 3:11 pm

      “Wouldn’t think of voluntarily quitting in a million years”

      You haven’t tried to write a book, have you? 🙂

  13. gringoed January 31, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Roosh, great post. After reading this I’d say you’re one of the best bloggers for men. More of these, and fewer “What’s wrong with American Women” posts and I think your long term readership will increase.

  14. Workshy Joe January 31, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    I’m writing an ebook about relationship game. I wasn’t before I read this post, but I am now!

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  16. HarmonicaFTW January 31, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    It was marriage, now it’s myself. Specifically, getting very fit. I’m also writing. Eventually, it’s going back to school for behavior sciences and making a shit ton of money breaking people’s minds. I love doing that. And probably a mechanical hobby, eventually.

  17. nathan January 31, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Hey, this post looks real familiar…totally on the money though, no doubt about it. Hope Iceland is treating you well

  18. That1Guy January 31, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    What if my challenge is video games? What if I want to be the number 1 world of warcraft warrior. This is horrendously challenging with a huge presence of failure.

    Is it still a project? Or does a project entail PRODUCING something.

  19. Naughty Nomad January 31, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Nice vibe about that post. That story of the French Guy getting swept to Venezuela where he meets his wife – a good one for the grandchildren..

    Sounds like his story started yours.

    My project-
    every country in the world before I’m 35.

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  21. Schwanson January 31, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    I was contemplating about my next step with a friend earlier today, then I visited your website and read this. Eerie.

  22. VI January 31, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Long-term: CEO. I have many small goals before I get there.

  23. Marmot January 31, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    Pffft…. I am young so not too many specific projects, only general ones.

    – Improve my game
    – Publish a short story in a popular magazine
    – Write a novel
    – Perform pull-ups with only one hand
    etc. etc.

    On the topic of writing books: anyone can write a book, but it’s writing a book good enough for people to buy and read that is the real challenge.

  24. Marmot January 31, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    p.s. and I definitely number Bang among those books. You’ve completed your project wonderfully 😉

  25. Anonymous January 31, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    Good post Roosh. I am a real advocate of projects and taking on hobbies. If one doesn’t find and consciously choose things to occupy their time it ends up going to compulsive activities which for most people are: TV shows, Internet, going to bar to drink beer, taking up any invitation that comes one’s way. But in the above cases there isn’t real direction. While the activities can be positive and positive things can come from them, I think having a project or a hobby that is focused is more rewarding.

  26. kissmeimshomer January 31, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    AMAZING post!! My project is acting. I’ve stepped up my game and am training intensively, which is tough cuz im in school and working as well. Seriously though you’ve inspired me tonite. Thanks!

  27. Cracker ass Cracker February 1, 2011 at 12:04 am

    Great post Roosh.

    It is important that we make our goals tough but realistic. Too many people these days set extremely low and easily obtainable goals, or even worse, goals that only please other peoeple ie. Getting a better salary to buy that BMW you don’t need to impress their frat boy buddy down the street.

  28. Lumiere February 1, 2011 at 2:19 am

    I am writing a book … but you already knew that

  29. Jay Gatsby February 1, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Nice post. Suggestion for a future post – “Don’t always choose the ‘safe’ route”

    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth;
    Then took the other, as just as fair
    And having perhaps the better claim,
    Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
    Though as for that, the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same,

    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black
    Oh, I kept the first for another day!
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
    I doubted if I should ever come back.

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

  30. Snoeperd February 1, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Funny, when I see you in the video’s you dont seem as high on life as happy people are normally supposed to (or like kenny when he’s drugged up :)).

    Still you’re obviously more motivated than me to do different shit & i’m quite jealous of that. However in what measure would you describe yourself being tempted by the carrot; aka cumming in the wet hole of that columbian girl with the nice ass while getting stoned on grass made from the passive income of your books, or the stick; aka fearing you’ll end up like one of those middleclass yuppies.

    hopefully you’re able to take the time to answer this

    gonna apply for some phd positions now (yeah i know, suck it)

  31. Southern Man February 1, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Probably the best advice I’ve read on Roosh and at Chateau Roissy is “a man must put his mission first.”

  32. Anonymous February 1, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Knowledge of French helped him? It’s so different from Spanish. I can understand if it was Italian.

  33. Anonymous February 1, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    The G Manifesto

    “One of the main things that made me who I am today is that I have failed so much.”

    We knew that.

  34. roissy February 1, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    Great post Roosh. It spoke to me.

  35. Jesse February 1, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    Marathons, acting classes, video games, chasing girls, making money, etc. None of these are projects. None of these include risking your life (physically–so that you might die).

    These are all middle-class adventures, safe and secure, and that you can easily stop them when you want to.

    Building a boat and avoiding hurricaines is a project. The Frenchman put it all on the line, where you couldn’t just stay stop and walk away when shit got tough.

    I would add that Roosh is putting more on the line than most of the readers of this blog. No way most of you would walk out of your jobs and fancy degrees and careers and go to S America.

    When Fred Nietzsche wrote “What doesn’t kill you…” he wasn’t referring to failing at an acting course, vomiting during a triathalon, or having difficulty writing the last chapter of your book. It really was physical death.

  36. Dopilsya February 2, 2011 at 12:53 am

    “When Fred Nietzsche wrote “What doesn’t kill you…” he wasn’t referring to failing at an acting course, vomiting during a triathalon, or having difficulty writing the last chapter of your book. It really was physical death.”


  37. Negro February 2, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    1) Learn poker – log my hands, my wins, my losses, my mood for the day and what I did. Have bought and read 3 books on poker already and played and recorded 10 hands. In 10 days Ishould have 100 hands played and results too.

    2) Stand up comedy – once I get employed again I’m paying for this course with my first pay cheque

    3) Investing – learning to do this properly with my own money

    and lastly, re-opening the channels of communication to all the chicks I had to cancel on after I lost my job this week

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  39. Nacirema February 5, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    I dig this post Roosh.

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  44. Neil Skywalker April 18, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Inspiring story, especially since i’m writing a book myself with no possible view on the future but even when i make zero money of this “project” i will have a lifetime of pride for accomplishing my project.

  45. TonyD June 10, 2012 at 12:09 am

    I’ve been working on my book almost every day for five months. It’s sitting at 43,000 words and I’ve cut 6000. It’s so…not there yet. Haha. I actually took a month off writing it to work on my blog again. I don’t know when it will be done.

    If you want the big prize, you need to focus on the daily process. Little steps to climb a mountain.

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  48. YB13 October 30, 2012 at 1:32 am

    Another great post Roosh. Mesmerizing stuff. As of 2010, I got to the point at age 26 where I got tired of the work hard/party hard phase in life not to mention my lack of career path. Yeah the girls, work, work traveling, international leisure traveling was fun at the time, but it sucked waking up with the same position and skill sets everyday.

    I had the option of starting grad school in a program/path right off the bat in Fall 2010 but I wanted to step outside of doing things by the book to try something new. So instead of starting grad school right away like my peers urged me to do, my schedule allowed me to take 17 hours of intensive Portuguese in 5 months (winning student of year might i add, lol). I also completed 8 hours of Spanish at a community college along with currently being in the middle of an IT Program that will land me a university position that will give me even more vacation time along with tuition reimbursement. Before starting grad school and my new job, I’m quitting my job 3 mos prior to enroll in an advanced grammar workshop in Curitiba, Brazil through a program well known for training foreign employees of Haliburton, Coca-Cola, and Citi where hopefully I will be able to acquire not only more language skills but more life-based influences as well.

    Instead of doing things by the book and starting grad school right away as my peers advised, I developed other new skills that would’ve been much been harder to pick up on after my masters program. It’s also another bonus bc now I know what potential career paths I want in accordance with my grad program and now tuition reimbursement as another added bonus.

  49. YB13 October 30, 2012 at 1:53 am

    More to add..funny thing is..the ppl I meet in these classes as a degreed undergraduate is have had more vision and definitely a helluva lot more ambition than your typical Dallas-ite young professionals with no drive but only the desire to meet new people on the weekends and define themselves on which trendy neighborhood they’re renting in with no end goal in sight.

    Call me a career student at this point if you will, but at least I’m secure enough to come clean on a skewed foundation I had in the past without fear to address the issue through formal education instead of being a constant whore for attention on the social scene while being slated to contemplate a generic MBA in 2-3 years running.

  50. Xn March 31, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    It’s like the book, Alchemist.

  51. Ian Fleming June 30, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    This is a nice added inspiration. I had already decided to join a band again when I get back to the states.

    Pros: That’s what I’m good at, I’ve been doing it since I was a kid and it’s the ONLY way I’ve ever been able to get girls.

    Cons: VERY little money, lots of work, odd hours and you basically have to own a car.

    Been on hiatus for the past year and I’ll let you guess if it’s working out for me or not!

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  53. Lt. Greyman, NVA October 22, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    Building the ultimate urban carbine.

    Longer range than a shotgun, cartridge compatible with the sidearm, as powerful as the .44 magnum out of a long barrel and as light (or lighter) than the .30 carbine with better balance and more compact than anything on the market.


  54. Sovereign May 24, 2017 at 4:22 am

    A great post. I wish I could share this on social media but you know… it would be social suicide if I did.

  55. SoullessTechnocrat May 24, 2017 at 6:03 am

    My project is to get someone to help me kill myself. Because some retarded Pajeet who thinks that I can be saved by PUA niggardry wanted to link me here. Goes by /u/rafay_m on Reddit.com.
    **Ashes and Echoes**