I get a ton of people emailing me or reaching out to me on social media to tell me how much they wish they could have a location-independent life and career.
The idea of having a life like mine, where I get to live in Bali, have a business online where I work with global clients, and being able to travel whenever I want seems like a faraway dream for them.
I’m here to tell you that your dream lifestyle may not be as far away of a dream as you think.
I had the same misconception when I was working in my corporate job years ago.
I thought I had to make the same amount of salary as I did in my job in my business to even entertain the idea that I was allowed to quit.
Or that I had to be uber successful first to prove something to myself in order to have the permission to start living the life I really wanted.
I was wrong.
What I didn’t do at the time, was think hard about what an ideal lifestyle was for me.
What did I really want to experience? Who did I want to be around?
What did I see myself doing on a daily basis that would bring me joy? Did I even have to be living where I was living?
In this week’s video, I share why it’s more important to focus on defining the details of your ideal life, and understanding the motivations behind why you are taking the leap from your 9-5 job.
What do you really want to experience in your ideal lifestyle?
Instead of thinking about how much money you have to make, think about the ideal experience you want to have with your life.
What does the day to day lifestyle look like? Get child-like about it and play with multiple ideas of “a day in the life”.
Get real and deep into the details. Write a story.
Make a list of what you really want to experience in your lifestyle that isn’t just something you saw out of a magazine. Make it yours.
- Think about the type of people and community that you would be aligned with. Who are they and how are they like-minded to you?
- What are the day to day activities you are immersing in and hobbies you are doing?
- What else is bringing you joy and fulfillment?
- How does your work make you feel?
- How will people talk about your work?
- How are you expressing yourself?
- What makes you smile when you wake up in the morning?
Forget about the “how” for a minute. Just allow yourself to dream about this and be honest and authentic about what you desire. Put it out there!
What does it really cost?
If you’ve read Tim Ferris’ 4 hour work week, he encourages readers to price out the costs of designing their ideal lifestyle. Perhaps you want to live in Bali. Take the time to research living costs in a place like this in terms of accommodation, food, extracurricular activities, and travelling around the region.
It’s no secret that when we choose to live in a city, like I did in Vancouver, prices are high. Even when I was making 6 figures with my corporate job, I seemed to be spending money more than I could save it. Rent, food, the lifestyle in a city can be costly for someone just starting out on launching their first business.
And I was right to say that if I was to stay in Vancouver, I may have had to make more money with my business right away to stay afloat. And that’s why I hustled, and sometimes took on clients I didn’t want just to make sure I could afford rent. Yuck!
Knowing what I know today, I also know that the idea of a better lifestyle trumps making more money. We make money TO HAVE a better lifestyle anyway. So instead of focusing on the big number, let’s actually think about what an ideal lifestyle would REALLY cost.
What you really want on a day to day basis may not be as costly as you think. For example, for me, I don’t need to be on a yacht every day and have full luxury, but travel and time to be creative is important to me. I don’t want to live in a hut or hostel, and am more than happy in a cozy villa without a pool.
Some things for you to think about:
- Think about what you love – yoga, good food, community, access to travel, peaceful environment – what does it really cost?
- What are some non-negotiables you MUST have in your lifestyle?
- Are you living in that sort of space right now? Are there other parts of the world that may cost less that you can actually consider?
- Do some research on the costs of your desires in places other than where you live to find out if your lifestyle may be more affordable and possible elsewhere
Go to Nomadlist to find out some basic costs of living, and it may surprise you.
Take the pressure off your first year of business by living abroad
The first year of business can be rough, and most likely (here’s a reality check), you won’t make the same as your salary. Time is an asset to you in your first year of business, because you’ll be immersing yourself in learning new things, figuring out how to market yourself, and what to create. You’ll make mistakes, and you want room to do so.
So the last thing you want to do, is feel pressured to make money right away that is going to fund your lifestyle that may be expensive.
But your lifestyle may not cost as much if you moved.
Perhaps your minimum amount to make per month is quite a bit less, and you buy yourself time to learn the ropes in your business, and can be stubborn on taking on clients you love rather than you have to.
Time is sometimes more valuable than money in the beginning as you can ease into your new business, and have time to learn and collaborate with other people.
I am a huge advocate for living abroad because it buys you time. It gives you a less pressure environment to not be spending as much to be able to live, therefore allowing you to experiment and build your business comfortably.
Envision the details of your new life to make it real for you
Thinking about your lifestyle will also give you a big motivation of why you want to quit in the first place that is bigger than money. It’s the freedom, more joy you want in your life, and the ability to create something that is truly your own.
You know why you are working hard towards. And your personal why to have a better life and experience more joyful things can be the fuel to help you continue your efforts to do this hustle.
When we don’t know why we’re quitting, and really envision what we want our new life to look like, we cannot dream bigger. You have to keep those images and those feelings you want to have alive because it’s helping your brain forecast to the future, and that makes it real for you.
Will you start today? Get out a journal or a pad of paper, and write a story of your ideal lifestyle.
And please, for the love of God, tell someone about it.
P.S. If you find today’s video helpful, please forward it to a friend, colleague, or anyone you think that could benefit. And of course, comment below to speak directly to me and I would love to support you 🙂