Have you ever felt like you were on someone else’s flight path? Or just completely got lost in the airport, a la Kevin Macallister, and ended up on the wrong plane? Going to the wrong destination?
The panic! The plane can’t turn around, and the flight attendants don’t understand why you are worried about it. After all, the destination is an all inclusive, in the sun, with perfect weather and a pina colada at every corner. What’s not to love, right?
In 2014, as I bailed ungracefully out of my corporate job in the energy efficiency industry, I realized that I was on the wrong plane and it was taking me somewhere I didn’t want to go.
In non-metaphorical speak, I was literally climbing up a ladder that I had no interest in being on.
We are taught from an early age that following the path set out by generations before us is the right thing to do.
School. Job. Better Job. Car. House. Marriage. Job Upgrade. Baby. Car Upgrade. House Upgrade. ALL THE THINGS.
The influence and pressures of our modern society makes breaking out of the mold feel challenging and, in some cases, not possible, because society has told all of us, both men and women, that to live an alternative lifestyle, to break the mold, to live and work remotely, and to not climb the ladder in both work and life, is unacceptable.
In some cases, even the mere mention of not doing all the things prescribed to us, can cause tension, questions, judgement (from others, and from ourselves), upset, family discourse, loss of friendship, the works. Basically, a whole pile of drama.
When did having an alternative view of life, become a pile-on of judgment, upset, and discourse?
A different view isn’t a bad view, it’s just different. This is how wars start. Just sayin. [I was a Peace and Conflict Studies student after all.]
I’ve started 2 Online Businesses since 2014, and although both of those businesses were doing well and making money, what I’ve come to realize is that neither of them were doing what I needed them to do. Bailing me out of my 9-5. I was self employed, yet still working as if I was in corporate.
What I had failed to do was actually envision the exact life I wanted for myself and my partner. I took the work that came along, and then let a business grow in a direction that didn’t suit me. I did it to myself. I did it to please others. I fell right back into the 9-5 as a self employed individual. It’s a slippery slope, my friends.
Here are some things to consider, no matter where you’re at in your journey.
IF you are stuck on a corporate ladder and are not sure how to get off…
- Talk to someone who’s made the leap from corporate to entrepreneurship so you can sort out if your skills are transferable. For Lifestyle Bonus Points, ask them if your skills can work in a consulting environment.
- Do a visioning exercise by mapping out the lifestyle you’d like to support with your work. Include details like:
- Do you plan to have a home base?
- Will you rent it out while you travel?
- Where would you like to travel to and for how long?
- Can your pets come too?
- If you have kids, are there schools nearby that they can attend or will you homeschool or unschool?
- How much does this all cost? Get real with the numbers by looking at flights, expenses at home and abroad, travel insurance, all the things.
- In total, map out the next year and crunch allllll the numbers.
- Determine how much money you need to save to give yourself 3-6 months of a cushion (the depth of the cushion is a personal choice!).
- Design your service offerings (ie accounting or digital marketing) or consulting offers.
- Build a website.
- Get yourself some clients (more on this later).
- The most important thing you can do to help yourself take the leap is talking through the plan with someone who’s already done it, and then take a leap of (reasonably planned out) faith.
IF you already have a successful business but it’s eating you alive and you can’t see the way out…
- Do the lifestyle visioning exercise I mention above. All of it. Crunch the numbers, and identify the gaps in your existing business.
- Then, ask yourself:
- Is this business allowing me to live the life I envision?
- If not, what do I need to do to make it work?
- Get better with time management?
- Restructure my service offerings?
- Add in a front end consulting offer?
- Am I prioritizing money over time?
- If yes, why?
- Whose expectations are you trying to fulfilling by building a business that is not serving you? Are they yours?
- We should probably talk. LOL. I have many things to share.
I’m not saying that ANY of this is easy. It’s not. Completely the opposite in fact. It’s not easy to walk away from a business you love, or a corporate gig that from the outside looks pretty cushy. But if it’s not serving your end game, then why are you doing it?
And I’m doing this with you. Simplifying. Taking a step back to evaluate both life and work.
Simplifying my business. Simplifying my life. Getting rid of ALL THE THINGS.
Making plans to experience the life I’m envisioning and then making those plans a reality. Travel. Work. Being at home. Being abroad. Both grounded at home and location independent.
I recognize that this is an unconventional choice and yet it’s my choice to make (and yours as well!). My goal is to use my situation (no kids of school age, small house that is easily rentable, a partner who can work remotely at least part of the year) to simplify my life and do the things I dream of doing. Experience places and people, and take my work with me.
My life. My Vision. My Business. Your Life. Your Vision. Your Business.
If you envision a different kind of life and business, we should talk. If your existing business is drowning you, we should talk. If you are stuck in your 9-5 and you’re not sure if your skills can build a business that supports the life you want, then we should talk.
My name is Madelaine and I’m a Small Business Lifestyle Consultant who focuses on Systems and Automations. I believe success can and should be defined by an individual and not society. I work with business owners to design businesses that support alternative lifestyles. My clients understand that success is unique to every individual and embrace a certain level of risk and adventure. Because life would sure be boring if we were all the same.