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I stumbled upon your blog and have to say that I love it! I would love if it if you could share some insight/direction with me . . . I have this sense of being trapped in the rat race and want so much more to life. So far, the closest I’ve gotten is taking the coveted one week vacation per year to see some of the most beautiful places on earth! I want more like one week of work a year and beautiful places the rest of the year! I know that it is possible for me and that there is a way out, but I don’t know where to find the “door” as I have a dream but no plan. I am a therapist (I work with emotionally disturbed teens at a highly stressful and demanding job) and have no idea how I can leave the rat race and still support myself and cover things like medical insurance living abroad. I am not an entrepreneur (that I am aware of thus far lol!) so I’m kind of at a loss. I so admire everything that you are doing but don’t have the business experience you have. I know that you are very busy and living the dream but if you have a moment to share some of your blessings and direction I would be so appreciative. Congratulations on everything you’ve done thus far and to the adventures that await you!
So this is an email I got from one of my readers a few months ago and I have finally got round to writing a proper response. I am sure that Laurie’s questions are very much the same as many people reading this blog and wanting more out of life. Therefore I have tried to address the question raised by giving three pieces of advice that I have learn’t over the last few years of living the life that I do.
Obviously this is not a step by step solution to living the dream life as I don’t believe there really is a “dream life” or a step by step way of getting there. To me, there is simply “life” and making the most of it. However, if you are feeling stuck, these three keynotes should help.
1. You Have To Risk It
As Laurie puts it, she has a sense of being trapped in the rat race trap and I think we can all relate to that one, I know I certainly can. I spent a few years after the failure of my first business working as a Project Manager in the oil and gas industry, getting paid decently but feeling more and more stuck with every passing day. The thing is, the only way I had to get out of that life and into the one that I live now was to risk giving up the good to go for the great. I was well paid, traveled Europe and was responsible for almost £8 million in business before I was 23. This was an incredible job and if I wanted to rise in the corporate world I was a fool to give it up.
Thats just the thing though, I had a good life but I wanted a great life. I was willing to take the risk to get the great life. It may not have worked out, I might have failed considerably, I could be in a very different situation right now…but thats ok, I know the risk I was taking and I was ready to take on the consequences, whatever happened…good or bad.
I still would have liked to have done better than I have by now, who doesn’t, that is simply human nature, though I am glad I took the risk and wouldn’t change it for the world.
The number one reason that people don’t managed to escape the rat race and live life on their own terms is that they are not willing to take the risk, and even more than that, the are not willing to fail, dust themselves off and start again.
My first company failed after 18 months of hard slog. I made no money, in fact, it cost me money and it took me almost two years to get over it. But I did get over it, learnt from my mistakes and took that experience into building more businesses, better and stronger businesses which now provide the income I need to live the life I do.
There is always going to be a risk and you are going to fail and be disappointed…a lot. If you can handle that risk, failure and disappointment than the world is yours. I promise you.
2. It’s Not About Removing work, It Is About Blending it
Laurie mentions that she is looking for one week of work a year and the rest of the time in beautiful places. I have to say to you Laurie, that this is the worst thing you could possibly do. Life is not about removing work, everyone needs work to live a full life. Having meaningful work in your life is part of what brings the most happiness, without it you have no purpose and sunbathing gets very boring, very quickly.
Getting the life you want is not about removing work and working less hours, it is about blending your work with your life and doing something you are passionate about and love, then it does not seem life work.
I work exceptionally hard; on my businesses, on new projects, with helping people out. The difference is that I am free to define my own hours, I can choose not to work if I want to do something else and I enjoy my work so much I look forward to doing it.
Everyone needs to work to live a full and happy life, it is just that the difference between working for a paycheck and working to create value for others and making cash through that, doing something you love is so vastly a better way to live.
I would suggest you don’t look to remove work from your life but simply focus on ways of creating value in other peoples lives doing the things you enjoy. If you can create value for others, you will also create wealth and freedom for yourself.
3. Experience is only 10% of the battle
I appreciated Laurie’s comment about my business experience, though in all honesty I am not that experienced at all. I may have more businesses and entrepreneurial and lifestyle design experience that most but I am still playing in the little league at the moment.
What I do have though, is an incredibly ability to fail. I have probably failed more than anyone I know, more often and much greater.
Experience is great and it can help but more than experience you need guts, determination, a willingness to fail, to face the challenges head on and battle through them. That is the only way you are going to find happiness and the life you want; by sweat, effort and in all honestly quite a hefty handful of luck.
If I were given the choice to be lucky or talented I would take lucky every time. There is a chance that you will never succeed, there is a chance that I will never find more success than I have now, there is a chance we all might plateau and never rise again, but there is also a chance that we will make it and I for one jump at the opportunity.
Sometimes life can be a bitch and luck does play a large part in success. However, the harder you work the luckier you become as you will never have the chance at the opportunities if you don’t put yourself in a position to succeed.
To Sum Up
I hope this has been somewhat helpful. I know it is not step by step advice, “A do this, do that guide” to success. I don’t do this because i don’t believe in it. Everyones journey is unique and how I have found success will more than likely not work for you, everyone has to find their own path.
At the end of the day just remember, it is about the journey not the end result. Enjoy the journey, enjoy the success and enjoy the failures and you can’t go too far wrong.
If you have any more questions for me then just simply email me at email@example.com. I am going to make most of my future posts simple answering peoples questions as I think that this is the best way to add value to your guys. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to get answers.
Also, if you want more personal help and advise then I work one on one with people to help them develop the life they want. Get in contact to find to more.