If you’re like me, you have shaken your head at the offer to stay in the job you’ve been dis enamored with for some time.
“No thanks”, you said. “No more asinine meetings or automatic tasks that held little meaning for me. I’m living life on my own terms.”
And then…you dramatically thrust open those job doors one last time, striding into the expanse of blue sky and Future.
Maybe you’ve taken things a little further. Sold some stuff you never used, packed up your home, and filled a backpack full of clothes you’ll creatively mix n’ match for a few months, until you’re new location is finalized.
You weigh less in possessions and obligations. The world is yours. You’re ready to join the growing movement of geographically independent entrepreneurs in the quest for the perfect combination of cafe-sitting-blog writing + an idea that makes money while you travel + impact the world.
It’s gonna be awesome!
Only…for the first days, heck, the first weeks, a thing called reality sets in. What initially felt like an awesome-rest-of-your-life has the suspicious similarity of what vacation feels like: sleeping in, a latte at 10AM and then again at 2PM, sleeping in varied locations, eating out.
It’s good, at first. After all, you deserve a break, right? But then you realize this can’t go on. Your life isn’t on vacation, nor do you want it to be. And the part of creating a way to support yourself while LOVING it is blindingly present. Can this really happen? Can it happen to you? You had some ideas on how to go about this some time ago, but they’ve become fuzzy, silly, intangible.
So, now what?
Since I’m in the thick of this very moment, here are my humble suggestions:
1. Read (or listen to) Chris Guillebeau’s The $100 Startup. Take notes (there are tons of great tips here). Take breaths (otherwise your growing panic will kill you).
2. Make a budget. Figure out what you can live on daily and set that amount aside monthly for a few months. Put the rest of you money in a savings or other account. Try not to touch that unless for things of ABSOLUTE NEED. Once you’re making money again, reassess the budget.
3. Write…often. Read. Blog. Make a list of ideas. Keep stickies. Tweet. Comment. Question. Share.
4. Don’t lose yourself: exercise, do yoga, meditate, laugh with friends, enjoy nature.
5. Step back: it’s easy to get worked up on what’s next when you have it RIGHT IN YOUR FACE all the time. Take the magnitude out of what is happening for a moment and look at the whole picture. There, you can spot the options, possibilities, and opportunities that are often hidden in the tunnel vision.
As this new career thing unfolds, there are days when I don’t realize I’m still in my pajamas eating toast until my husband tells me so at 3PM…or days when I find comfort in watching all three seasons of Arrested Development yet again…or days when I can’t stop rocking myself in fetal position. That’s ok; it’s normal to feel out of sorts during a big transition.
But, there are certainly going to be good days; days when things are clicking into place, days when I’m riding on my own creativity and work; days reminiscent of that elated initial feeling of “go-suck-it,-conventional-job”.
I’m living for those days.