Y’all, today I’m going to share something I think you really need to hear.
I know it can be tough living in the ‘real world’ while working in a 9-5 but harbouring dreams of something completely different.
A life working for yourself, not for the man.
A life where you make a more than a full-time income while working in the field of your true passion. (And aren’t screwed over by the pay gap.)
A lifestyle tailored to fit you and your family.
I know it can be so hard to hold these dreams.
Why? Because it’s likely the people around you think you’re crazy for dreaming so big, and the idea of your new wild, out there life scares them.
Why? Because it’s different. We are creatures that are afraid of change. Following a different path is daring and unknown and therefore filled with a lot of fear.
But I want to tell you that you are not alone. You are not the only one with wild, big dreams.
There are many others out there living your exact dream life right as we speak. They’ve made it happen and there is nothing exceptionally different between you and them. They just decided they were going to make it happen and started working in the direction of their dreams. That’s truly the only difference between where you are now and getting to where you want to go.
Yes, real people truly do wake up in a tropical paradise, roll out of bed without an alarm, hit a yoga class, stop by a cute cafe for breakfast and roll on in to work at 11 AM, while making more than any 9-5er could imagine is possible.
But I have to tell you something from the other side, it’s not impossible.
It’s truly is a reality for many people and I want to share a few tips on things you can do right now to start moving in that direction too.
I don’t care how insane your passion sounds, it’s possible to build a business out of it. You truly would not believe the number of weird, random, obscure fields that people are making bank on online.
I am so not joking.
I was hanging out at my coworking space in Bali and behind me I heard a girl talking into her laptop ‘now close your eyes and see yourself in the most fulfilling, supportive relationship of your dreams.’
Call it corny, but there was a girl doing relationship, mindset, meditation coaching online. She was working with clients half way around the world.
People are making more than a full-time income fashion blogging, teaching calligraphy, talking about tantric femininity, and relationship meditation online these days, among a zillion other random things.
And you know what their 9-5 coworkers probably told them when they shared their dream? That they were crazy. And that’s what most people will tell you too.
But when you break free of the ‘real world’ and are bringing in money as you sleep from a tropical paradise or your fab new dream home, believe me, the opinions of negative Nancy from your office will literally mean less than nothing to you.
What is the very first step you can take?
Don’t beat up your passion or get down on yourself how drawing pretty letters on your iPad will never pay the bills. If you have that attitude, it definitely won’t. If you change your attitude and get after it already, it just might just pay the bills and then some.
Whatever your passion is, the first step is to get after it.
Stop thinking and start doing!
What’s a good way to practically do that? Start a blog.
Starting a blog means creating content and getting known in your field of passion and sharing your knowledge.
Don’t get me wrong. Blogging is no get-rich-quick-scheme. In fact it’s most often a be-lucky-if-you-break-even-for-many-years-scheme.
But it is a fabulous way to build your authority and attract people who are interested in what you’re interested in. And authority and a tribe of people can indeed make you money to leave your 9-5.
Every time a friend comes to me to share some wild idea with me, my advice is to always start a blog and build an email list.
That second part is important, so don’t take it lightly.
A zillion people came to your blog last month? Perfect. Now you need to build a relationship with those people. And praying that they might find their way back to you out of pure luck isn’t a good strategy.
An email list however is a solid strategy for getting people to visit your site again and again and again and to build that relationship.
Bottom line: Stop thinking. Start doing. Create a blog on your topic of passion. Build an email list. Leave the business plan and 9-5 exit strategy for later. You don’t need to figure it all out right now, you just need to get started.
Never heard of fear setting? It’s a Tim Ferris thing. I’ll give you the gist here.
Define your fears by writing them down. Finish the line ‘what if I … ?’
Then write down ALL the possible worst-scenario outcomes if you took the action mentioned in your ‘what if I … ?’
Back before I went full-time with my business I was paralyzed by fear of being out on my own, no safety of a ‘real job’ with a regular pay check to pay the bills.
I set my fears and when I did, I realized a lot of the the worst-case scenarios I had been fretting over weren’t even really a possibility.
I have a family and I was 25. If I started my business and failed I wasn’t about to become homeless and go out on the street. Mom and Dads house was always there if I really needed it.
If I took a year to go full-time and failed, it didn’t even matter. I was straight out of school and was living abroad at the time. If any potential employer asked me about the year gap between college and applying for a job on my resume, I could simply say I was traveling and learning a language. (Which was indeed true.)
It was only once I defined my fears that I realized I was stressing over a lot of stuff that honestly wasn’t a big deal and that was fixable.
Bottom line: Look your fears in the face. Define what they are. You’ll probably realize they either aren’t actually a big deal or are totally fixable.
(There’s more to fear setting, but that’s the most important part. If you want to learn about it a bit more in-depth, watch the video below. Tim starts talking about fear setting at minute 5:50.)
I met a girl in Bali who had just quit her job. What did I and the 2 other girls at the table all say to her at once?
Not what you expected? It wasn’t what she was expecting either.
She told us how when she had told her family and friends she quit they all immediately gasped. She had no other job lined up.
‘How would she pay rent?!’
‘What about retirement?’
‘Why was she throwing her life away? It was a good job!’
‘Trips to Bali are for vacation. You can’t live a real life there.’
She felt relieved to have people around that supported her decision and didn’t try to scare her back to a ‘normal life.’
I’m not going to lie, people close to you doubting you and your dreams can be so. freaking. hard.
They also often will give you terrible business advice.
It’s not that they’re trying to be unhelpful. They really do care and mean the best.
The world of modern business is just pretty foreign to most people.
I was all excited about my business idea. “I’m going to be a Squarespace website designer!” I told a long-time friend from university.
“Isn’t there other website platforms out there? What about WordPress or Shopify? Who wants to hire someone who only does one thing? Shouldn’t you try to offer web design on a few platforms? You’d have more potential customers then.”
She meant well, but as you will soon learn in business, ‘the riches are in the niches,’ and being around that kind of negativity will make it really hard to continue on.
When you encounter people who you share your dreams with who shoot them down, stop talking to them about it.
You won’t be able to change them, and it’s hard to keep up passion and motivation for something you’re new at in the first place.
The last thing you need is negative Nancy being all judgy and throwing your fears back in your face.
Even if you only find one person who believes in you and your idea, only talk to them about it and find something else to chat to negative Nancy about.
You know you can do it and that’s all you need. Prove the haters wrong. (It’s very satisfying.)
At this very moment, there are people out there free from the 9-5, living your ideal lifestyle.
And you know what? They aren’t unicorns. They’re real, normal people who decided that they were going to move mountains to make their dreams happen.
Today I just want you to know that I believe in you and your crazy dream and I can’t wait for you to take the leap and come join life on the other side of entrepreneurship.
Yes, you can do it. Today is the day to start working towards moving that mountain!