Money. I hate it. Seriously. Who invented the idea that everything had to have a price tag? Life would be a lot simpler if we weren’t driven by the almighty dollar, but unfortunately, money, like it or not, is necessary for survival.
What I’ve also found is that money, above all else, is the most common reason (excuse) people give as to why they’re not doing what they want to be doing. Maybe it’s valid, maybe there’s absolutely no way you can pursue your passion until you save up a little cash. Or maybe it isn’t…
Is money holding you back?
Maybe ‘money’ is an excuse. Something you use it to justify your complacency – a means for you to say “maybe tomorrow”. Sound familiar? I’ve been there myself. It’s time to throw away that excuse.
When I take the train into the city, I almost always hear others complaining about the routine – getting up, spending an hour on the train, taking the bus to the office, working all day, hopping a bus to the train station, heading home, making dinner, and going to bed. Let’s face it, many people out there, many of you have a similar routine. I’ve been there and done that myself.
Growing up we’re force-fed that this whole routine thing is ‘normal’ – and that at the end of the day, it’s all about bringing home a paycheck. We go to college and the teachers tell us that we have to get good grades so we can get a good job to make good money that’ll support our family and allow us to buy more “stuff”. The good life, right?
The New American Dream
The American Dream of old is gone. It has evolved. The American Dream is no longer singular, it’s plural - there is not one “dream” – there are many. The American Dream is whatever you want it to be. Travel the world and live out of a backpack if that’s YOUR dream – grow old, build a white picket fence collect your pension and retire if that’s YOUR dream. There’s no right or wrong, there’s no set path. I’m sick of everyone out there trying to tell you what path you ‘should be’ following. Screw that, I’m making my own rules, you better be doing the same for your own life.
I’m living my passion right now – I’m living a life I never thought I’d be living, especially not before my 25th birthday. Married, running my own business…never would I have guessed this when I was handed a college diploma only two years ago….
We’re somehow convinced throughout our lives that our dreams should stay dreams. Hell, even I’m guilty of using the word ‘realistic’ far too often. But it doesn’t have to be this way. All you have to do is take action to make those unrealistic dreams a reality. Here are a few things to consider:
Step 1: Figure Out Exactly What You Need
Not want…but need.
Whenever I talk to anyone about starting a business or doing anything outside of what you’re ‘used to’ – I tell them that first and foremost, you have to figure out what you absolutely need to maintain your quality of life.
When I decided to pursue my current business full-time, before anything else, I thought about one thing – and one thing ONLY. What did I absolutely need to survive? How much money did I need to make to pay for the essentials, what did I have to come up with to keep a roof over my head and food on the table while making sure to not put any additional burden on my wife?
I had that number. I wrote it down. I pinned it to my refrigerator, and then I got to work.
Figuring out what you need = instant clarity
When you take a step back and think about what you NEED (not what you want), it makes things much (much) easier to achieve. When I did this my fear subsided and I was able to regain my confidence. I had direction, I had focus. I was ready to rock and roll.
Folks, getting there is the easy part – it’s figuring out where you need and want to be that’s tricky (I know that may be the opposite of what you’re used to hearing). But once you have that, once you know what it is you want, it’s like instant euphoric clarity. It’s one of those rare brilliant moments that lets you breathe easy and say, “I can do this”…
You can do what I have (well, maybe not get fired, I wouldn’t recommend that). You can do anything you want. That lady on the train, my next door neighbor, and yes – even you – can go out there and do what you want to be doing, you CAN break free from the routine. You’re not trapped.
There’s a lot of help out there
Having a strong support group around you is so important. It may sound like it, but none of this stuff is easy, doing what you want is going to take risks and it’s going to be challenging. But the reward will far outweigh any challenges you may see ahead of you.
If you think you can’t take that leap of faith, if you’re fear is holding you back, if you have ANY doubt or questions, I encourage you to reach out to the likes of Sam Davidson, Everett Bogue, Ashley Ambirge, Jonathan Mead, Adam Baker – even myself – people who are truly living the lives that they want to be living, passionate individuals and ‘life artists’ who are dedicated to helping others get the most out of their personal and professional lives. Leading by example, even if that’s not their intent.
Surround yourself with people you respect and admire, those who challenge you and push you to be at your best. People who will play Devils’ Advocate and ask “why” – forcing you to think outside the box.
Are you stuck in a routine? Take a step back, relax, and take control of your life…it honestly may not be as terrifying as you think.
And it can happen whenever you want. Why not right now?