This isn’t one of those 4 hour work week type posts. I hate to break it to you, but as lovely as that sounds, it’s not possible. Not unless you’ve already put the time into growing your business, and it certainly isn’t possible if you’re growing someone else’s. I recently started reading a book from 99u (Maximize Your Potential: Grow Your Expertise, Take Bold Risks & Build an Incredible Career– Disclosure: Affiliate Link) and this quote stood out to me:
“Their satisfaction doesn’t come from the details of their work, but instead from a set of important lifestyle traits they’ve gained in their careers.”
I feel like I’ve went through a pretty drastic change in the past year. The kind of change that only happens when you have something incredibly weird, random, and very unexpected happen. But it’s the kind of change that’s positive, once you get out of that “scary as hell” feeling.
Also, maybe it’s the panic that I have only a year and a half left in my 20s. Is it possible to have a 1/3rd life crisis?
I’ve started really thinking about living life by design. What is it? Well, it certainly isn’t easy. It’s not a cop out. If you have the goal to live your life by design at some point, it takes a lot of freaking hard work. This tweet from TedX pretty much encompasses my thoughts right now:
@TEDx: “You’re living in a world that is going to force you to evolve. There will be no playbook to follow.” – @katherinehague
One of the biggest changes has been the way I view and think about things. I’ve always had the challenge of not being able to shut off (whether it was by choice or overwhelmingly by necessity) and never being able to pull myself out of the machine long enough to look past being a cog, even though my dreams have far exceeded that. I always thought life was about the constantle “hustle” (god I hate that word)… and while that’s a large part of whether you meet your own standards of success, the how and why to hustling doesn’t mean you need to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Actually, in forcing myself to not do that, I feel like I’ve progressed miles past where I was last year.
Living your life by design means 1) finding what’s important to you 2) understanding your goals 3) understanding the reason why you’re hustling (there’s that word again! argh.) and then connecting 1, 2 and 3 in order to live your life in a way that allows you to be happy, successful, and more importantly, operating at your best, highest and most creative way possible.
Living life by design means answering those questions, and then working your way towards it. Not falling victim to your circumstance and living how you feel you’re forced to live.
1) What’s important to you & 2) what are your goals? I’m just going to tie these two together. Is it following your passion? Is it wealth? Is it being available to travel at the drop of a dime to visit family members? Is it traveling and experiencing amazing places? Spending more time with your kids?
Reach down deep and figure out the answer to that question, because that answer should be the first driving factor in why you do what you do. For me, it’s the ability to work on multiple things and not relying on one source of revenue. If there’s anything that my dad taught me (along with BSchool, while I gouged my eyes out in the theoretical crap) was to never put all your eggs in one basket.
Diversify, diversify, diversify.
Money is also important to me, and I’m not afraid to say that. I’ve seen how you can live in abundance and all of a sudden have it snatched away. I’ve seen the consequences of not realizing how quickly it’s made and how, even quicker, it’s gone. Money doesn’t care about your circumstances. You’re either making it, or you’re not. While money doesn’t (and shouldn’t) mean everything, it definitely enables you and gives you opportunities to have experiences that you otherwise wouldn’t have. It also helps you support family when needed. I am well aware that sometimes you have to forgo money and put in alot of hard work to make money, then at a certain point you also need money to make money. It’s a catch-22 isn’t it?
Freedom: I’m not talking about the kind of freedom where I can f around for half of the day. I’m talking longterm freedom. The kind that can only be built by design. The freedom to travel and visit family is important (especially living across the US from them) and also the freedom to travel to places that you could only imagine existed in your dreams. Also, the freedom to live the life that my husband and I want without the typical chains that people experience.
Avoiding Complacency: Shane and I have kept making moves (literally, from north to south, coast to coast) and it’s important to keep moving forward. To keep setting the bar higher. To never get complacent and feel like you’ve “made it.” You’ve never made it. There’s always another mountain to climb, something else to conquer. With that said, quantity does not equal quality. Quality actually diminishes when you’re faced with an overwhelming quantity, and when this is also out of your control, you live the lifestyle and expect that it’s how every business and hard working person operates. That is false. There are times when long hours are required, yes, especially in a young business. Just make sure those hours are actually productive, and moving the needle. There’s a big difference between long, effective hours, and long hours “just cause.” There’s definitely a point of diminishing returns.
One of my lifetime goals [pretty far out, I’d say] is to eventually build or take ownership in a company that has a strong impact in our future, specifically in an area where technology and marketing intersect.
I want to build.
No matter how many ways I try to ignore or suppress the urge, I like it. And it’s one of the traits I probably hate most about myself too, because there’s always an unrelenting urge to be making or doing something. There’s nothing more infectious than being caught in the crossfire of passion and talent when something is being built. Nothing. When I’m in the position to, I’d also like to invest [monetarily] in startups that I really believe in. Oh, and please, don’t even get me started on this Justin Bieber and selfie app fiasco…
Being Close to the Pulse: Sure, you can really live anywhere and do what I do, if you want to spend 50% of your time traveling. My generation is one that doesn’t realize how special face to face, person to person meetings actually are. You can’t just expect relationships to be formed from talking to someone online.
I was reading this article the other day, and this quote stuck with me:
“Most people follow all sorts of writers, bloggers and tweeters these days. That’s fine, but to get somewhere in life, to do great things, you have to have real mentors in the real world. Former Intel chairman Andy Grove mentored Steve Jobs. Jobs, in turn, advised Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.”
The best business (and personal) relationships come about from real, in person happenstance. The ability to simply jump up and go into the city for the day and work from there. This coast is ridiculously rich when it comes to smart, creative people and innovation. If you ever want to be inspired, just go hang out around people. I like randomly grabbing coffee or drinks with people. I like going out to dinner. I like exploring new places and meeting people.
Which leads me to my next thing…
2) Why are you “hustling”? This reason is typically tied directly to #1.
To be in a place to pay it forward: In my lifetime I want to pay it forward and help others achieve what they want to achieve. I don’t want to spend my whole life taking.
I want to teach and empower people. I want to have an impact on others in a positive way.
I want to help those who have had their financial situations completely turned upside down.
I also have extremely personal reasons for why I’m hustling, which I’m not comfortable sharing with the world (yet). It’s one reason why I’ll never turn back and admit defeat. Those close to me understand why I work as hard as I do, and I never feel settled.
Outside of deeply personal reasons, I want my end result to be a mixture of monetary success (in multiple areas), happiness, being able to help support family in their older age, and doing something impactful in the world.
So after reading all this, I really want you to take a look at what you’re doing and start digging deep to find out what really matters to you and what makes you tick. You may be surprised at what you find. There’s always the thought that combining passion and work is the ultimate goal, but I really think it has more to do with designing your life so that work and passion can coexist together, rather than basing one on the other. Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s how I intend to live it.