For the past 8+ years I’ve been (sing it with me now) workin’ 9 to 5, (actually, it’s more like 8ish to 5:30ish, because who really works 9 to 5’s anymore?) while simultaneously building my coaching and travel lifestyle businesses. Quite the balancing act. How I manage this is the most frequently asked question I get from clients. Short answer: determination. Long answer: keep reading.
If you read my first post you know that I was raised in a rather non-traditional household. My dad was a CPA who worked tirelessly during tax season, then spent the rest of the year traveling with us. My mom home-schooled me and my sister, teaching us our lessons wherever we were – at home or on the road. And, thanks to their dedication to living their dream, I grew up understanding the concept of “time freedom.” I guess you could say either I was ruined from the start, or I was destined for this lifestyle. I’m going for the second option!
Needless to say, I knew I was going to be in for a bit of a rude awakening when I officially became a young professional and only had 2-weeks of PTO per year, versus PTO whenever. It didn’t really sink in, though, until after I’d been laid off my first post-grad job, and was starting to build my first business – the travel club membership. [Just to recap, in case you don’t remember from my first post – members could take vacations and travel at uniquely affordable prices.] Of course, I wanted to travel to all the places that I would be encouraging my clients to experience. I mean, I had to sample what I would be selling, right? Well, yes and no. I was fresh meat when it came to experience in the network marketing industry. It would serve me well to attend the quarterly and monthly travel club conferences around the country where I would learn the essentials behind effectively building the business, as well as the mindset it took to stay in the game. So, I made the responsible choice to attend these conferences rather that jet-setting to the Italian Riviera. I was determined to overcome the naysayers who were constantly telling me “it’s not going to work,” or my personal favorite, “talk to me again when you’ve made some money.”
My decision was the right one. Within two years I was earning the same amount per month in residual income (passive income that comes in every month based on past work you’ve done) as I was at my full-time job. Take that haters!
There are a lot of cloudy days and rain in the pursuit of happiness. My first couple of years in the workforce were like the Pacific Northwest winter – gray and blurry. It was the height of the recession and no one was landing “secure” jobs. All my college friends were being laid off due to budget cuts. I was no exception. I lost trust in the system, which was failing me. The travel club business made as much sense as anything, and provided the opportunity to pursue my goal of a freedom-based lifestyle.
Building your own business or becoming an independent representative for any company is not as glamorous as it looks in the movies. It takes guts to go the distance. In the first few years, most of the people I brought into the travel club business dropped out before the end of their first year. No judgement. This just isn’t for everyone.
There are many, MANY sacrifices to be made in order to make your dreams come true. For me, it was learning the balancing act. I worked my full-time job during the day, and used any time afterward to set up coffee dates and happy hour meetings with people interested in the travel club business. It was exhausting. My free time wasn’t always my own. But, I had a dream that I believed in, and I wasn’t going to stop until I achieved it.
Luckily, I wasn’t the first person to ever try this. There were many that had gone before me that had made sacrifices too, and succeeded. They became my mentors. They taught me that the key was to get as many “no’s” as possible. By doing so, I would eventually get a “yes.” Frustrated? Disheartened? Do it again, and again, and AGAIN, and never stop. Stopping meant my dream wasn’t big enough.
The vision of NOT sitting at a desk eight hours per day, 40+ hours per week until I was 66 pushed me to my goal. I was willing to make a sacrifice for a small part of my life, work really hard at something worth getting good at, so that I could eventually live the life I wanted.
Real talk: being “good enough” won’t get you very far. My early years in network marketing taught me to be humble enough to continue learning and seeking personal growth. Once I transitioned into the coaching industry this was even more true. After all, how could I help my clients grow and move closer to their dreams if I wasn’t continuously improving and investing in my own growth and development?
“If you’re not growing, you’re dying.” I recently heard this while listening to author and self-help guru, Rachel Hollis’s podcast. She was interviewing John Maxwell, globally renowned author and public speaker, on the topic of leadership. Their discussion centered on people falling in to one of two states of mind – focusing on growth and improvement or focusing on reversing the effects of yesterday.
Ah ha! Is this true or what? Can I get an amen? Remember the last time you said, “I wish I hadn’t (insert regrettable decision here).” It was probably just before you sat down to read this post. We all have these moments. Me included. I’m over here raising my hand as well. Pay attention the next time you’re in conversation with someone about what’s happening in their life. Does the conversation come from a growth perspective? Or, does is seem to dwell on what happened in the past? Which state of mind do you find yourself in right now?
This is where I leave you for now. I’ll be back with some actionable steps to pursuing the lifestyle you’re meant to live. For now, ponder over what we’ve covered here. Do you have the determination, tough skin and the guts to follow your dreams? Are you willing to make some sacrifices now for the good stuff later? Are you ready to leave the comfort of your 8 to 5 for the uncomfortable but possibly wonderful opportunity that lies ahead? Are there butterflies in your stomach when you ask yourself these questions? Good! That’s what you need. That means you’re dreaming big! I’ll be back soon with more.