Some people are perfectly happy to live conventional lifestyles, working 40-hour weeks in jobs they are ambivalent about. For other people, however, this type of life is suffocating. These people want to work for themselves at jobs that they are proud to do. If you are one of these people, then keep reading.
It is possible to set yourself free from the rat race way of life. Millions of people have already done it. According to a report by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, approximately 27 million Americans are now entrepreneurs. Some of the world’s most successful businesses were startups just a few years ago. When you become your own boss, you spend each day making your dreams a reality. You get to set your own hours and implement your own ideas. There is no time like the present to take control of your destiny.
Look for Inspiration
If it were not for various innovators throughout history, the world would be nothing like it is today. You probably do not spend much time thinking about those who found ways to transcend their circumstances and solve the problems in front of them, but you are going to have to join their ranks if you are trying to live your life free from the constraints of the 9-to-5 lifestyle. It can be helpful to read about the lives of these trailblazers for inspiration.
Thanks to the Internet, it is easy to access this type of information. For example, Patrick Dwyer of Merrill Lynch is a successful financial executive who offers wealth management services. Considering that he is in a position to guide highly successful people, it is telling that he offers write-ups of influential innovators on his blog. In his selection of biographies, you can find stories of people who decided that the status quo was not good enough, and pushed back.
Of course, you will not be able to copy these people—if you could, then you would not be innovating! What you can do is draw inspiration from their stories and attempt to adopt the unique perspectives that enabled them to conquer the obstacles that they faced.
Determine What You Can Do…
Once you have found some motivation, it is time to figure out how you can make a living while enjoying your freedom. There are a few ways you can go about this task. You can start by listing what your skills are and what you love to do. This should help you start brainstorming ways that you can apply your talents and passions to the world around you. Maybe your skills with graphic design software could translate into an advertising business, or maybe your love of carpentry could lead you into selling custom woodworking projects.
A different angle from which you can approach this puzzle is to think about a problem in the world that you would like to solve. Perhaps there is a product that you think ought to become available, or perhaps there is a service that you want to provide. If the problem that you want to solve aligns with the skills that you possess, then you can get started with tackling your mission. If that is not quite the case, then you may need to develop some new skills or educate yourself on new subjects.
…Then Do It
Your next step should be to develop an action plan. Following your passions is an admirable goal, but you have to do so responsibly. In this world, being responsible often means making sure that you have enough money to stay afloat. Determine how much money you will need to get your ideas moving and set up a budget.
Navigating your cash flow is important, but it is only part of the story. You should also write up a business plan that includes details such as industry research, market analysis and operational logistics. If you are free spirited then this step might seem like a chore, but it is more than worth it because it will help you avoid being blindsided by unexpected costs and responsibilities.
Try, Try Again
For any number of reasons, your first million-dollar idea might amount to pennies. If you are truly motivated to escape the norm, do not throw in the towel. Instead, look at what went wrong and figure out how you can fix it the next time around. Build your second idea off of the lessons you learned from your first. Even if things do go well, it might take some time before you can quit your day job. Do not be discouraged by this. If you are willing to apply yourself now you have a better chance of enjoying success later.
Taking control of your tomorrow begins with today. If you play your cards right, you can harness your passions into an occupation that gives you the freedom you have always desired. Transitioning from a life that bores you to a life that is fueled by your dreams is like going from walking to flying. You just have to be willing to take the first leap.