The Starting Point
I find that one of my biggest frustrations in life, is having an idea or a dream in my head, and for whatever reason, having the inability to see that idea in the physical realm. Dreams are cool, but reality is better! To that end, the saddest thing in the world to me is seeing someone perish with a burning passion, or an extraordinary talent, or dream inside that they never got a chance to see happen.
I don’t want you to feel that way. That’s why I do what I do. A year ago, I was disturbingly frustrated with life working at a job that I hated 60-70 hours a week which left me with no time and no headspace to pursue my passions and work towards my dreams. Every idea that I had, someone else brought to life. And each and every time I realized that someone somewhere is sitting around living their dream. Why couldn’t that someone be me? Why can’t that someone be you?
Today, at least for now – I wake up in the morning and do exactly what I want to do. Of course – I work. And most times I still work 60-70 hours a week, but I do so on my terms. If I need to take a break and work out or go for a swim I can. Most mornings I casually walk downstairs to the coffee shop in my building and grind it out for 4-5 hours. Then I take an afternoon break when I get tired, cook a healthy meal, and hit it hard in the early evenings when my brain is back in a productive mode. And it always helps when I can work with the grill going by the pool or on my rooftop deck. Today, I am literally living the dream and I want the same for you.
The Big Why?
That brings me to an important part of this journey towards living your dreams? The big WHY? My why involves 3 things:
- Time Freedom
- Money Freedom
- The ability to exercise creativity and gifts
Obviously, being able to do what you want to do when you want to do it is highly desirable. The flipside of that, having to do something you don’t want to do when you don’t feel like doing, absolutely sucks. For many years I actually had to get on a plane on a weekly basis, go somewhere I wasn’t inclined to go, and do what I didn’t want to do for 80% of my awake hours. Time is EVERYTHING, it’s the one thing you can’t get more of. That is why I value it so much.
Similar to money, if you have $100 in your pocket and you knew that was all you were going to get in this life and someone was telling you that you had to spend it $80 on horse feed, when you have no interest in horses, you probably wouldn’t be a happy camper.
Time works the same way. We only have a certain amount. What’s even more tricky with time is that we don’t even know the amount we have to spend. So why spend the limited amount of time on this Earth doing something you don’t want to do.
For some people, they’ve been able to align “the desire for how they want to spend their time” with their career. If you’re like me, for the most part my jobs have been a means to an end. But with the exception of maybe 1.5 jobs out of the 20 that I’ve had in my lifetime, in most cases I would have rather spent my time doing something else.
How about you? Is there something else you’d rather be doing? Has God gifted you with a talent that you don’t even get to use. Let’s focus on that together. I promise you, you’ll be a much more peaceful and happy person if you do.
No money isn’t everything, but keeping it 100 as they say, it does help. What good is time freedom, if you want to spend your time traveling but yo don’t have the money to do so. Again, the flipside of money freedom is that you can have all of the money in the world, but if you don’t have the time to spend it, what good is all of the money in the world.
I’ve lived this reality too. Hawaii has been on my bucket list forever and I missed out on an opportunity for a free trip to hawaii! Why? Because I was so drained by and spending so much time at work, that I I couldn’t fathom getting on a plane to do something that I had always dreamed of doing. What good is making six figures, if you’re too tired to go to Hawaii – FOR FREE! The Time/Money equation has to be balanced. Let’s make sure you never make the same type of mistake.
What I can tell you is that You CAN generate money for yourself doing something that you’re good at, and doing something that you like to do. We won’t even say “love”. Right now, one of the things I do is build websites. Do I love to build websites? Not necessarily. But it sure as heck beats healthcare accounting. So the key here is to make enough money to do what you want to do when yo want to do, while doing something that you like. And if you question that, just know that there is someone out there making enough to do what they want to do when they want to do it, doing exactly what you “like” or even love to do.
The goal is to figure out how much you need to do most of what you want to do when you want to do it, and then figure out how you can generate at least that much doing something you like. That’s why our program talks about defining your IDEAL life. I knew that I wanted to spend time traveling, spending time with loved ones, eating good food, engaging in edifying cultural experiences and the like. What I didn’t realize until 7 years had passed, is that I wouldn’t be able to do these things freely with a healthcare consulting job. That’s why it’s so important to define your IDEAL life so that you can be clear on what it will take to live your IDEAL. Get it?
The Freedom to Exercise Creativity
I have always been, and will forever be a creative spirit. I’ve always appreciate art and have been pretty darn good at creating my own. Most people don’t even know this, but in my college days and early twenties, I used to make beats and rap. My material was pretty decent if I may so myself. I still remember the energy, the peace, the awakening I felt being in the studio, or being in a writing session with my friends.
I remember the state of “flow” that I would feel when I would sit down to write a poem, and remembering the feeling of fulfillment I got when an hour later I had a thought provoking, wordsmithed masterpiece. I remember the feeling I got when I shared those poems with people. There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING like it – except for God. And I would even go so far as to say that experience IS God. The first book of the Bible talks about the act of creation, and Genesis made sure to relay the fact that God stepped back, looked at his creation, and said “it was good”. I have a feeling it works the same way for you, but when you don’t get an opportunity to express yourself or your ideas, it likely results in a good amount of bottled up frustration. I don’t want that for you. I’ve been there and it sucks.
Since I started my “adult career” I no longer make beats, rap, or write poems. But it’s still there. Do you have something that you once loved doing, but can’t do it any more because you are too busy adulting? Creation was the first act known to man. That IS what you should be doing.
An idea is the result of an act of creation. You want to be able to see an idea come out of your head, and out of your heart, and into the physical world where you can see it so that you can step back and it say “it is good”. What is that idea? I’m blessed to have a ton of them, all of which have come to fruition as a result of someone’s hard work.
So let’s take a step back here. Why do I work on websites if I don’t LOVE building websites. Well – the bills have to be paid. But unlike my career in corporate America, building websites (which I can do on my own terms and time) still leaves me with some time and some headspace to be creative, and to work on those ideas that I am passionate about in the hopes that one day, an idea will hatch in a way that brings about both the time freedom and the money freedom that we all aim for.
Freedom to Exercise Talents
Talent works similarly. Are you a good singer? A good painter? Do you have a green thumb? Another huge frustration is having a talent, and not having the time freedom or the money freedom to hone that craft. You should be sharing your talents with the world. That’s why God gave them to you. However, sometimes “adulting” gets in the way.
I never wanted to be a big time rapper. But a lot of people loved my music, and it was a gift that God gave me. When I had to step away from making music, to help hospitals build accounting software, I lost a little piece of myself and my authenticity. I even asked a friend of mine to take down a youtube video of me rocking a crowd of 300 people, because I felt it didn’t jive with my “corporate image”. Dude – don’t do that. God wants you to honor ALL of you. He doesn’t want you to forego things that he’s given you to bless others, just for the sake of a dollar.
This is my story. If it resonates with you, I would love to work with you to get clear, get focused, and get going. Which begs the question why should you work with me? It’s simple. It’s my gift, my passion, and I’m good at getting ideas out of my head and into the world.
Why Should You Work with Me?
Here’s a great example. 3 years ago I had an idea for a cartoon and book series that would teach children about travel and culture. Within 1 year I self published 5 picture books, created 3 animations, got a trademark, read my book to several 3rd grade classes in a custom costume, and submitted proposals to several entities who could amplify what I was doing to a larger audience. I don’t curse often, so I’ll simply say I know how to figure “ish” out and get “ish” done.
Another example. In college, I was President of an entrepreneurial organization that i created to help fellow college students do exactly what I am preaching and living now. In response to a racially motivated attack, a member of my organization had a “random” idea to bring Broadway’s production of Def Poetry Jam to the University of Virginia to initiate healthy dialogue about race and culture on campus. Within 60 days we raised $25,000 plus sponsorships, and hosted the production for a sold out audience of over 500 people. If that’s not results orientation, I don’t what is! I can certainly offer my brain, my heart, and m talent to help you get what’s in your heart and mind, out into the world.