In the past month, I’ve been making my way across the globe to cities like Bangkok, Vancouver, and London to meet people on the road and start conversations around career transitions and unconventional routes to a successful life.
It has been amazing to hear everyone’s stories of what motivates them to seek an alternative solution to how they can live and work. Some people were corporates recovering from burnouts. Some were just fed up with climbing the 9-5 ladder without getting personal fulfillment from it all. Others were simply refusing to believe ‘this was all there is’, and were craving inspiration to get out there and do something different with their lives.
For me, it was such a great experience to be able to go back to high pressured cities, share my story, and use these events and meetups as a way for me to listen to the needs of the people I want to help. As I have been living in Bali for the last 3.5 years, it can be easy to forget the fears and misconceptions I used to have when I was starting this journey 4 years ago myself.
One of the biggest things I heard from people that were in transition to make big and bold changes for their careers were this:
People were craving community – They felt alone in carving out the path to transition on their own.
People wanted to feel inspired by other people who are doing what they want to do – They simply wanted to meet a new community of people who believe in their dreams.
People needed accountability for their goals – They were falling off the wagon too often when it comes to doing what is necessary to achieve their dreams.
People didn’t know what they were great at – This made them feel stuck on what to do if they were to quit their jobs.
If all of this sounds all too familiar, today’s blog post is for you.
If you are currently looking to transition from your current career to a more independent work life that is going to bring you more control over your life, earning potential, and freedom, here is my advice for you to make your big and bold changes today.
1. Make your choice and decide wholeheartedly
that you want it
Decide to make a choice
When you decide that what you want in your life is your top priority, everything you do focuses to get you there. One of the biggest game changers for people I’ve ever interviewed or studied for the Screw The Cubicle book or on Screw The Cubicle TV was the moment they made a distinct decision to make their dreams non negotiable.
It wasn’t a “I’ll do it when the children grow up”, or “I’ll wait for when life isn’t as busy”.
The decision has to be made in your mindset that you deserve what you want, and you’ll do what it takes to bring your dreams into reality. You may not need to know how yet, but you do need to know you want what you want.
Deciding to make a choice is the first step to get your heart and mind ready to receive what is necessary to make changes in your life.
Define what success and a good life means to you
One of the biggest reasons why most of us are dissatisfied with our careers and lifestyle is because we got busy creating a version of success that weren’t ours.
It was defined to us by society, our teachers, our parents, and what we believe we HAVE to do. Not what we WANT to do.
Once you feel a misalignment with your current life path, whether it comes to you in a form of a burnout, health scare, unhappiness, or all of the above, THIS is your opportunity to redefine what success means to you instead.
You have gone down the route of what doesn’t work. Let’s find out what DOES work.
I remembered when I was struggling to quit a high paying job in exchange for an unknown road of entrepreneurship. It was difficult for me to justify giving up a six figure job for a ‘chance’ of freedom.
I had to really understand what a successful life and career meant to me.
For the longest time, I thought it was about the money (you too, right?). But I received that money. I bought a house, car, and nice things with that money.
It sure as hell didn’t get me closer to feeling successful.
So if money doesn’t buy happiness and the feeling of success, then what? What would I REALLY want to experience with all these buckets of money I felt I had to have?
When I started writing it down, it surprised me that things that made me feel fulfilled and meaningful in my life were sometimes the simplest things.
Having time to do creative projects. Feeling fulfilled with helping someone. Inspiring people to do different things. Travelling to a few different places a year. Waking up and deciding what I wanted to do with my time. Meeting new people often.
They weren’t big cars, luxurious trips, Louis Vuitton handbags, or a big mansion.
Success and a good life to me was what I was experiencing every day.
And those experiences didn’t cost as much as I thought.
That helped me make that trade from a six figure job to an unknown path of independent working. I did not have to make six figures to have a good life..today. Not when I’m 65, but right now – read my blog on how I live in a tropical paradise for less than $1,000/month.
2. Act before you think you’re ready
Small incremental moves leads to results
When I facilitated meetups in the last month in several communities, so many people came to me to tell me that they have had ideas brewing in the back burner for so long, but they’ve been waiting for the perfect time or the perfect solution before they made a move.
I’m here to tell you to stop this right now (with love).
Every small move you make to create active changes in your life matters, big time. Every conversation you have, every thought you change, every skill you learn, all leads to small incremental steps towards the results you are craving.
But you gotta move.
Think about one thing you can do each week (or even each day) that will chip a little bit more towards your goals.
It can be simple things. Ask someone for help. Read a book someone recommended. Join an online community to ask questions. Help someone with what you know.
Every move you make (and every breath you take – The Police fans, anyone?) creates the difference between getting what you want and hoping for what you want.
Create value-driven actions and decisions every single day
Don’t just be a sheep in the online world duplicating what everyone tells you to do. Listen to the advice, and make it your own. But always check in with yourself whether each strategy, tip, or advice you get is also one that is in tune with your values.
Just because it works for someone else doesn’t mean it’ll work for you.
Whatever action you decide on to create a new career or reinvent your lifestyle, make sure it links to how YOU want to live your life. If it feels sleazy, don’t do it. If it shakes up your ethics, walk away.
Seek mentorship, but find your route of doing it your way. That’s the point of a freedom-based career and lifestyle anyway.
Start where you are
Everything you know now, puts you in the perfect place to start today. You do know enough. You are equipped enough.
You are enough.
Give yourself the permission to know that everything you’ve experienced so far in life has led you to be ready for where you want to go.
Consistently put yourself out there and do the work. That means if you are curious about something, make the moves to see where it goes.
Start that research. Sleuth a competitor. Ask someone about the industry or career type you are interested in. Help someone with a problem you think you may be interested in solving as a job.
As you expand into different horizons, your knowledge and expertise expands with you.
3. Side hustle while still in your full time job
Start small and look for ways to repurpose what you know
One of the questions I got asked the most is “How do I know what I’m good at to create a business from?”
Well, sometimes you don’t know until you do it.
My advice is always to start small, and test different paths, without overcomplicating the process.
If you’re in a stage where you may not know what you’re great at, or are good at multiple things and need some focus on your career niche, start with the best skill or strength that have gotten you paid or recognized in the past.
Repurposing what you know into a new career is a low hanging fruit opportunity that may be best for you to start at.
Perhaps you’ve been a good financial advisor, but you do not want to work for a bank anymore. So instead, could you re-use that knowledge into a new direction? Perhaps it’s mentoring millennials on how to plan for their future with a better money mindset. Or helping women who are starting a business to plan and budget for their dream business.
There are multiple ways to repurpose your skills to create a new direction for your talents. You can breathe new life with old knowledge simply by changing who you help, how you help, and why you help.
Same knowledge, new focus.
Experiment, test, and adapt your ideas
In the beginning stage of dreaming up a business idea or career direction, it’s essential that you create an environment where you can experiment with your ideas and test where you can take them.
Get out there in the playing field and ask questions.
There’s no need for a website or anything shiny to start this. You simply must be curious about figuring out how to solve problems for people.
Use social media to your advantage by using platforms like Facebook groups where you think your potential clients may be hanging out and learn to ask questions.
People love giving their opinions. Especially if you are committed to helping them.
Use this stage to dig deeper into what people struggle with by asking specific questions on the problem you think you want to help solve. Ask them how they currently deal with the problem and what they wish they could learn. Get on the phone with people. I like using a 30 for 30 exchange format – 30 minutes of surveying them, and they get 30 minutes of free advice/coaching as an exchange.
The point is to use all these real valuable insights to help you create a solution you can sell in your business.
Celebrate small milestones so you get to win more often
As you go through the growing pains and learning curves of creating a new career or business, you need to keep motivated.
That means creating goals that are reachable and bite-sized enough to be able to celebrate your wins quicker.
Don’t wait until you get your first $10,000 to celebrate. Your first $100 you make is worth celebrating first.
Don’t wait until you can surpass your full time job salary to celebrate. Your first client that pays is worth celebrating right away.
Don’t wait until you feel like a complete genius in your work to celebrate your expertise. The first time anyone you help shows their appreciation or gives you a great testimonial, celebrate that immediately.
In order for us to keep our mojo going through all the sticky parts of building a business, we must keep ourselves feeling validated as often as possible. Think of small wins you can focus on in your first year, and trust me, this will absolutely help encourage you to keep on going.
4. Community and people matter
Surround yourself with people who are doing what you dream to do
As humans, we are like sponges. We become who we hang out with most often.
If you are surrounded by people who aren’t living a type of life that you want to have or believe in (don’t worry, it’s not a personal thing), you need to start talking to different people.
When we are able to meet people that are like-minded and share common values that we have in our lives, we can become more courageous in reaching for our dreams. They believe in us and they get our ‘why’.
Now imagine being around people who are DOING what you dream to do. Seeing real people do the things we dream to do can be a very powerful thing to change our belief systems of what we dream to do.
You can hear their stories and get their advice of how they got to their success. They can help you bypass the unknown.
Change the community around you, and change the reality of what you can achieve.
Don’t tell your dreams to people who don’t support it
The key to ‘keeping your eyes on the prize’ of your dream life is to talk often about your dreams and desires.
However, be picky on who you tell your dreams to.
It can be utterly exhausting trying to convince people on why you are making particular decisions about your life (especially if it’s something like giving up a high salaried job for entrepreneurship) when they don’t share the same outlook in life.
Not everyone we love will support our dreams. And that is OK.
We don’t have to explain ourselves to people who can’t be the best support for us. What we can control instead is who we tell our dreams to. And you want to pick the right people that will help support or guide you to where you want to go.
5. Change what you know and see ‘problems’ from a new view
Your attitude determines whether you see opportunities or setbacks
Mindset and attitude is the most important thing you’ll need to transition from being an employee to an entrepreneur.
Being an entrepreneur means that you create your own solutions, not wait for someone to do it for you. If you hit a wall, you find a way to go over or around it.
However, to see these solutions, you need to have a positive perspective.
You have to see your circumstances with an attitude that wants to see opportunities rather than setbacks. Your intentions must be focused on using so called ‘failures’ and ‘setbacks’ as stepping stones or clues to alternative possibilities.
Get curious as to what new door you can take. Explore what didn’t work to lead you to what can work. Breathe in, breathe out, dust yourself off, and keep going.
Perseverance is the name of the game
What makes a successful entrepreneur? Perseverance.
Perseverance = persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
My friends, you will get somewhere if you keep going. But if you stop, you fail by default.
Steve Jobs said, “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance”.
Most people give up at the first sight of an obstacle, when really, that obstacle had key insights and answers to what their next step should be.
In order to keep persevering, you need to redefine what you believe is ‘failure’.
6. Disrupt your routine
Don’t let monotony suck you into a ‘not bad enough’ life
We are creatures of habit, but we must also choose to change things if those habits aren’t leading us to a life experience we want to have.
Most of us that live in the western first world may suffer from the ‘not bad enough’ syndrome that keeps us even more stuck in circumstances that aren’t making us happy.
I know it was true in my case where it took a mental breakdown and burnout to finally wake me up to the fact that my life was extremely dissatisfying and unhappy.
Don’t wait until something major happens to create change.
If you have an inclination that something isn’t right or where you are isn’t where you want to be, trust that feeling.
Life doesn’t have to be ‘not bad enough’. It should be a damn good life. Mediocrity was not why we are put on this earth for.
Set higher standards for what you want to experience in life. Start knowing that your heart wants what it wants, and trust that it also knows when you shouldn’t be somewhere.
Extract yourself from your comfort zone to be open to explore new ideas
When we do the same things each day like go into the office at the same time each day, eat the same breakfast, see the same people, go to the gym, and then watch Netflix after dinner each day, there isn’t much room to explore other aspects of how much richer our life could be.
We need to disrupt our routine to explore new ways of living.
This may mean taking a sabbatical as a way of rediscovering what you want.
Or simply leaving familiar territory for a few days to explore your thoughts and reflect upon what your heart desires.
Physically taking yourself away from your day to day routine can help you focus and pay attention to what you need to act upon to create your best life.
Travel has been one of my secret weapons in expanding my business and personal development. New communities, people, and ideas that I’m exposed to when I travel allows me to see fresh perspective and change what’s possible in my head.
You only know what you know, so you may need to find new knowledge and possibilities in places you’ve never been.
One of the big reasons of why I’ve been based in Ubud, Bali for 3.5 years is because of the community and opportunities that have helped me grow myself and my business. Imagine being surrounded by talented people who have created things in the world, and know more than you. They are truly an asset when you need mentorship and support.
Coworking places like Hubud (my second home) connects you to a community of people who think like you and see life the way you do. Uncaged and unbounded by location and old work rules.
Reinvent your career and create a major shift in how you live and work
Making big and bold moves in your career transition can be daunting, especially if you’re doing it alone.
I’ve witnessed too many purpose-driven people shying away from the impact they can make in the world just because they’re overwhelmed on where to start.
Want to know how we’re going to do this in 7 days at the island of the gods?
★ Generating ideas for Your Next Big Thing
★ Designing a business to incorporate your strengths, skills, and purpose
★ Creating a lifestyle that is supported by your business, and incorporating more of what you want to live a joyful life today rather than waiting for it
★ Crafting goals with soul to align your actions with what your heart truly desires
It’s going to be 7 days of CLARITY for the path for your FREEDOM career, creating work that moves you, and designing the plan to make it all happen on YOUR TERMS.
There are only a few spots left for the early bird rate to join me in Bali in April 2017 – come find out how you can participate in this intimate new career creation experience.