“Living the dream”.
“Living on your own terms”.
“Living the freedom lifestyle”.
There are many words to describe this thing that so many are after, and for many reasons.
Each year you make a New Year’s resolution in hopes that this year will finally be your year.
So you begin the year with a bang, knocking down your goals one-by-one.
A few weeks later, reality kicks in.
You’re back to the old vicious cycle of getting up, going to your 9 to 5 job, commuting back home then relax and stream an episode or two of your favorite TV show. By the time you know it, it’s bed time… and so the cycle repeats each and every day.
You get “busy”. You get caught up. You stop making time to work towards your dream.
Does this all sound too familiar to you?
I’m sure you’ve gone through a time when you dreamed, “One day I’ll start my own business doing what I truly love and enjoy”.
Just the thought of living life on your own terms seems so far-fetched.
It’s been over 10 years since I first had a taste of online business and it hasn’t always been easy.
I’ve had many setbacks, challenges and felt like giving up altogether.
I’ve been privileged to have people admire what I have achieved and do and how they wish they could one day live the dream.
People have this misconception that just because I work from home, I am living the dream and have it “easy”. That it partly true but it didn’t come without a lot of dedication and long nights putting every effort to make it work.
Yes, truth be told, it’s not easy, but I love what I do, regardless.
So if you’ve ever wanted to chase your dreams or need some inspiration to help you continue it, I’d like to share my story, experiences, and words of encouragement with you.
Before I started my business, I was working 6 days a week in a supermarket filling shelves and serving customers at the checkout, wondering if there was anything better out there than this dead-end job I was in.
I wanted freedom. I was fed up slaving away, taking orders and being fixed with what time I had to start and finish work.
While browsing online for home businesses I could start, I found a particular opportunity that interested me. Little did I know it was about selling overpriced health products to friends, family, and neighbors…a.k.a. – multi-level marketing.
I have nothing against it but selling $80 green tea just wasn’t my thing.
That was short lived in just under six months but don’t get me wrong, the mentoring that was provided in the program was priceless.
It introduced me to a book called Rich Dad, Poor Dad. It completely changed my mindset about work, wealth and life in general.
In my pursuit of finding what other opportunities were out there, I was surrounded by a lot of negativity and naysayers.
Family, friends and even my boss were really against what I was doing — telling me that I this online thing was all a scam.
I used that negativity as fuel to push me further. I didn’t let them put me down though, instead, I trusted my instincts and kept going.
Finally, I made my first breakthrough when I created an online giveaway.
I did it by contacting digital product owners and asked if they would like to contribute their product in my giveaway.
In a matter of hours a received dozens of replies, and in just over a month I launched the giveaway. Do note, this was circa 2005 when email was actually effective.
All those nights burning the midnight oil paid off.
As exhilarated and excited as I was, I didn’t quit my job yet.
I still had to put a roof over my head and make a living. And by the way, I wouldn’t recommend anyone quitting their jobs to pursue their entrepreneurial venture without some sort of financial security.
I slowly reduced my work days from 6 days to 4 days then from 4 days to 2 days as my online income grew. My audience grew and so did my business revenue.
By the time I knew it, I was making a full-time living and called it quits at my supermarket job. Hooray!
The BIG lesson?
Success is sequential.
It’s a progression and it doesn’t happen overnight.
Those who appear to have become an “overnight success” most likely spent years learning their craft until they made a breakthrough.
You can’t expect to know everything before you get started, and that’s one of many reasons why you may be struggling to even get ahead.
Before I even made my first sale online I had to learn what a domain name was, that lead to how to create a website to taking payments from customers and then to manage my business finances.
One of the greatest feelings of working for yourself is the sense of achievement. You learn, implement, grow and reap the benefits.
Don’t live life with regrets, filled with woulda, coulda, shoulda’s.
It’s okay to have big audacious dreams.
When you make that initiative to STEP UP, things will just magically come together and you’ll attract the right people and opportunities you probably didn’t see before.
Would you rather wake up knowing you’re doing something you truly love or dread?
I think the answer’s simple.
So go ahead. Take that first step, second step or wherever you are in your journey.
What is it that you can do right now?
Perhaps it’s writing your first article?
Finally set up your blog?
Connecting with a potential business partner?
If you’re a photographer for instance, why not take those extra snapshots on the weekends? Upload a photo on Instagram and Facebook? Connect with at least one person in your industry?
It doesn’t have to be big.
Just by doing one thing today, you’re already a step ahead of reaching your dream.
Living your dream starts now.