It can be really easy... I s#!@ you not. But that all comes down to you.
But the funny thing is, if you were to ask me this question about 3 years ago, I would of said, "This has to be the hardest thing ever..."
For those of you looking for my proposed solution on how I believe you could lead your dream career / life, go ahead and skip a bit ahead to the big bold letters that say, my proposed solution.
So what has changed since than? Well, my overall outlook upon business and successful business. To be honest, I kind of reached a point where I stopped caring (for those of you who have seen Office Space the movie, you would understand by seeing this scene). I know it sounds terrible but I realized that by constantly stressing over trying to make the business 'successful' that I was actually just getting further and further away from my goal.
It was a constant spiral and went something along the lines of I would get ahead, make a huge leap business wise (whether it be financially or reach wise) and then, I would introduce stress into my own life through simply letting the fear of losing my progress get to me and with that seed of doubt in mind, I would start all over again and try to make MORE progress and would stress over that when it wouldn't come immediately. I was constantly thinking that what I had wasn't good enough for me and my family. I thought my business wasn't big enough or just because it wasn't making at least $8,000 as a down payment, it wasn't good enough. Sounds stupid right? Well, it was.
See that is the problem with our strategies today. We look to much into the actual business that we start to forget what we created that particular business for. That is exactly what I did and I watch so many others do the same.
To put this in easy terms, we narrow our sites far too much. We tend to become overly concerned with the small details of a particular niche' that we become A) burnt out or B) create an obligated feeling towards said business that then increases the amount of stress we experience (well both create stress which is no bueno). If you are like me, you most likely want to love what you do right?
So what do I think the key is? Well, as I said before. It can be really easy or... as hard as you want to make it. I choose not to care and somehow that is totally working for me.
To put this into context, as many of you may now know, my profession was design / web design / development. I ran a successful multi-media company with my wife and together we created full digital stores / brands / company images and all in all, we were creative for a living. Sounds great right? It was / is but it had it's drawbacks. You see, we created but it was never for us. There were always tweaks needed and ultimately, the brilliant ideas we had ended up being butchered and chipped away at to become what the client wanted because they had the opinions of 10 others breathing down their necks as well. They no longer were our ideas and we simply followed through because we were supposed to. Yep... Living the dream.
Please understand, this is not me complaining like "Oh I have it so hard" but in fact, this is me trying to illustrate the situation I created. For some, that is the dream and that is ok but for me and Jennifer, it wasn't. So, please look at this as my approach to trying to really take life by the horns and make the most of it. This is just my journey to live my passion and dream which, I am confident you can too.
My Proposed Solution (It Worked For Me So Adjust As You Need)
1) Don't focus too much...
Now, here is what I have learned and again will try to put this into context. Stop focusing so much. It is NOT a bad thing to have multiple interests and to devote your time to more than 1 idea / possible business (I currently have my hand in about 6 - 10 but again, I know my stress level and I am willing to burn some bridges to maintain happiness... cut-throat I know).
Focusing too much can make you miss opportunities that are presented. This was by far the biggest lesson. You see, I created an Adobe Muse tutorial years ago when I was first frustrated with how much of a pain it was for me to learn and from that, stemmed a following that I never expected. I let it sit for a while until I finally realized, "Holy crap, I can do something with this..."
So I did and Pure Presence Creative was born. Now, lucky for me, that opportunity went on for a while (seriously, I sat on this for a year before taking action) but for some, it may not be around for so long. So be open, be observant, be free to work on what you want.
2) Make time for you
Here is the real kicker and where I found that I don't need to work crazy hard to lead my dream life. I was always working so that way I would eventually have more free time. Sounds familiar right?
"If I just put in the time now, I will make more than enough to retire early and then pay attention to my family then." - Some words I uttered entirely too often.
Well, I noticed that the first two years of my daughters life cruised by and as much as I regret to say it, I don't feel like I was there to watch her / be with her as much as I wish I was. Kills me to say that but it is true. So, I decided to try something out of the box... Something crazy.
I decided to make time. I decided that the business I had become a slave to was not getting me that much closer to 'having more time'. I realized that the only moment I truly knew existed was the 'now'. I don't know what the future holds so why rely so much on a plan for it that could be swept away in an instant. From a scientific standpoint, we only have this one chance (that we currently know of) to make the best in this life so why spend it planning for a future full of time that quite possibly may never come to fruition?
So, make time for you. Take time for you.
** Also, I understand that items in life NEED to get done. Please understand that with the insights I try to present, I try to do so without creating dichotomies. Of course get the items you need to do done, but typically most of those fall outside of the business realm (at least for me).
3) Don't Be Too Serious
Business... Let's face it. The game tends to be cutthroat, overly competitive and can really bring out the worst in people (I say this as I have fallen in to this same spiral). But I implore you to change the game entirely. That is why I am writing this. I want to change it up.
Business doesn't need to be too serious or cutthroat. It can be fun, organic, and fulfilling but only if you decide to bend the rules. YOU have to take these steps to make either your dream career, dream life or even both. But one of the biggest keys to unlock that door is to not take what your doing too seriously (unless your a surgeon). Laugh, appreciate, and enjoy your journey.
So this may sound all frilly and full of fairies and rainbows but I s#%@ you not, this is how it works. These solutions may sound vague but that is the point. they are designed to get you to sculpt your own 'correct' path. My own solution will not necessarily work for you because you don't share my exact same interest or passions. So please, take these and make them your own. Remember:
- Don't focus too much
- Make time for yourself (and family)
- Don't be too serious