In this video coaching newsletter, I discuss an email from a viewer who says he is currently debating what he wants to do with his life. He typically spends many years working and saving his money until he gets burned out. Then, he quits his job and lives off of his savings for several years until it runs out. Currently, he is broke again and needs to find a job. However, this time around he has decided to delve into his passions, which include music composing, dancing and singing. He feels like he would be really unhappy if he did not have the money he needed to pay for his bills and maintain a good lifestyle. He has made a living when he was working over the past decade doing programming, but this does not appeal to him anymore. He is torn between going for what he really wants full time, sacrificing the quality of his life and lifestyle, and taking a more measured approach, where he primarily works doing what he knows, while he builds his dream job on the side. He asks my opinion on the best way to proceed. My comments are in (bold parenthesis like this below) in the body of his email:
First let me start by thanking you so much for your work. You have enlightened me beyond description and helped me surmount difficult times in my life. (I appreciate the fact you can take what I’ve learned from the struggles I have been through, learn from it and find value in that.) I’m currently debating myself on what to do with my life. I’ve been living a life of working and earning good money, then getting burned out and quitting and living off my savings for years. (That is attainable, but it’s not sustainable. The idea is to put the money you make to work for you, so you make money off of what you can save.) I am really good at being a miser, so this is actually possible for me. Right now, I’m at the “broke again, need a job” stage. (For me, when the enthusiasm for a job was gone, it was time for me to move on to another job. It’s just like Steve Jobs said, “I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” I know what you’re thinking and feeling, but remember, you’ve also got to know your down side. What happens if things don’t go the way you expect?) This time around, I have decided I’m going to take care of myself and my life and started delving into my passions, which include music composing, dancing and singing. (If you look at some of the most successful musicians, you’ll see they got started in childhood. It took time and repetition before they made it in the industry. At this point in your life, since you don’t live with parents who support you, you have to do it in a measured way. I would suggest you go back into programming, even though it’s not fun or compelling, so you can make an income.) However, my economic situation is alarming enough that I need the money as soon as possible. (Look at my article and video “How To Get Any Job You Want,” then click on the blue links at the bottom of the page to see more articles and videos I’ve done that are career related. If you’re at the point where you know what you’re doing now is not what you’ll ultimately want to do, then get a better job, because getting better pay or being around people you enjoy working with will contribute to your happiness. It will improve the quality of your life.)While it is plausible that going all in on my newly discovered interests may yield positive results, I really don’t want to risk getting in trouble again. (That’s an important outcome for you.) I’ve had to literally ask for food before. Eating well, doing healthy activities and taking care of expenses all take money, and I think I’d be really unhappy if I don’t have enough to pay for the stuff I need. (That makes you feel like the walls are closing in on you, and will sap your health, happiness and will to live right out of you. It’s not a healthy situation. Do things that are life affirming and have a stable source of income.) The thing is, what I’ve been doing for these last 10 years to survive, programming, doesn’t appeal to me anymore. (But obviously, you’re very competent at it, and if you want to make enough money where you don’t have to work for several years, go back and make some money, but maybe just work part-time. You could also work full-time for awhile, then work part-time and do the things you enjoy on the side.) I still find it kind of fun, but it’s not attracting me and it’s something I’d rather not do anymore. (Sometimes you have to do something you hate in order to eventually do what you really love. The important thing is, if you’re building a career on the side, that’s going to give you a sense of making progress. That’s the important thing, even if it takes you ten years to get to where you want to be.) My current plan is to keep at my old business, raise some money to maintain my quality of life, and then slowly shift towards the things I most enjoy, without having to go hungry, but some part of my mind keeps ringing the bell that “maybe going for what you really want is better, and we should sacrifice life quality, which is going to go up and down anyway.” (I would not recommend sacrificing your life quality. You don’t know how long it will take for your new career to take off, and if you are going to be performing, you need to be in a peaceful, relaxed state to be really awesome at that. If you’re stressed about money, you will be coming from a fearful place, and it’s going to be really hard to make it.) I even think it would be irresponsible of me to put my energy into an unknown territory while my economy crumbles. (That’s smart.) Do you have any advice on this? (You need to do it in a way where you can take measured steps, by earning a good living while you build your business on the side, part-time. If you can focus on that, you can enjoy the journey of getting the the success you want. It’s just time and repetition. If you put the time in, eventually, you will be rewarded.)
Much love, and keep up the good work!
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From my heart to yours,
Author, Speaker, Peak Performance Coach, Entrepreneur
“Success is a process, not an overnight phenomenon. When you start a job, change careers, start a business or realize what you really want to do with your life, purpose and mission, you often may have to do things you hate for many years until you reach a level of competency and success doing what you love, where you can finally spend your life in your own way. The reality is, succeeding at your wildest goals and dreams are, at a minimum, a decade or more long process. The purpose of life is to enjoy it. You will always do your best work when you are in a peaceful and relaxed state. Therefore, you should find a way to earn a living and have an enjoyable lifestyle, while you work on the side building what you really want to create and master.” ~ Coach Corey Wayne
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