Get Your $hit Together And Live Your Best Life!
What’s holding you back from living your best life, pursuing your passion and being truly happy? Is it time? Money? Fear? What if I told you none of that is what’s really holding you back?! And that the only thing stopping you, was you? You would probably say ‘Steph, that’s so cliche.’ and then click off the page… BUT WAIT! What if I know what I’m talking about? What if I am living my passion? Well, I am! And there are a few things that helped me get here- MINDSET & PRIORITIES! It is ALL about priorities. Just watch ‘Homeless to Harvard- The Liz Murray Story’ and you’ll likely begin to accept that if she can do it, so can you.
As kids we’re told we can do anything, be anything! So, we start to dream about becoming an astronaut, a farmer, or president! But as we get older, little seeds of doubt are planted in our heads telling us that our dreams are too hard to achieve…. only the really lucky people get to live those dreams. And, that’s when our passion starts to slowly die. It’s not that we can’t pursue our dreams. It’s that we get so busy taking the so-called ‘easier route’ that we no longer pursue our passion. It’s not that you can’t become president, or an astronaut if you wanted to. It’s that we stop trying! We live in a society that encourages you to take the easy way, and so we’ve ended up in a world where most of us have lost our passion. We believe that if it’s fun and enjoyable, it isn’t a viable career path. So, we become welders, bankers, mechanics, and office managers.
I’m a huge believer in pursuing your passion as a way of life. This is possibly the most important thing you’ll ever do. It’s how you’ll spend the majority of your life.
The best advice I believe fully in, is to spend your life doing what you love! But your first instinctive response to that is probably ‘It’s not that simple’ or ‘It’s too late, I already have a career and family. I have no time’.
The truth is, as long as you’re alive, you have time. Taking small steps toward your passion will get you closer to living the life you’ve always dreamed, but only if you stop doubting and start doing! Your passion might not be a full-time income at first, or it might not be an income at all. But most passions can be turned into profit.
Here’s My Story
As a teenager, I wanted to be a writer. But, many people and society tried to put doubt in my mind, saying that it’s a fantasy career, and only the very few become successful writers. Being the dreamer that I am, I pursued a career in writing anyway and I’m so grateful that I did. I landed my first full-time writing gig at 21 and I’ve been able to make a career from writing ever since! I’ve never had to take a job I wasn’t passionate about. And, I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that if you love your job, you’ll never work a day in your life! It’s true. I can work 10 hours a day, but it doesn’t feel like work. I get excited for Monday morning and want to put in extra hours because I love it so much. Imagine a ‘job’ like that?
Now, What’s Your Passion?
Many of us struggle to decide what to study in college, and then if we figure it out, we feel a little lost after graduation. What’s next? You may have chosen a major, but did you really know what career you wanted? Did you really have a handle on your passion? Unfortunately, many of us follow a certain path, one that we’ve been guided to walk.
Rarely do we have a handle on our dreams and desires in our youth. It’s a rare ability and those people are lucky. Just because you didn’t know what your passion was then, doesn’t mean you have to stay stuck where you are now. If you want to pursue your dreams and desires, you can! To make life a bit simpler, we have put together 30 ways that you can support yourself financially as well as mentally and emotionally so you can pursue your passion with out any excuses!
First, you’ll need some financial stability to be able to pursue your dreams!
How To Support Yourself Financially
Don’t Stop Working When you realize your dream it’s difficult to imagine doing anything else. It’s completely understandable that you’d want to dive in head-first. But, before you can really pursue your dreams and desires, you need to think practically.
Don’t quit your day job unless you are financially secure enough. If your dream is worth it, you’ll find a way to balance the day job and your pursuit. It won’t be forever, but it will help you provide for yourself financially.
Take a look at the steps you need to take to get you to where you need to be. Know how long you can realistically continue working and at what point you will need to quit. Maintaining a day job while preparing for that end goal is going to keep the pressure off. You won’t feel as pressured to succeed, you’ll have steady income, insurance, benefits, and you can save while you’re at it.
Estimate Expenses As you begin your journey, be aware and realistic. How much will you need to pursue your dream and where is it going to come from? This is why keeping your day job is a good idea. You have to consider your living expenses, as well as business expenses.
Take a look at your personal monthly outgoings and what you expect to expend in business or passion spending. You’ll need to add these totals together and multiply it by 12 to get an idea of your yearly costs. You see now why we suggest holding onto your job. Your business expenses will all depend on what your dreams and desires are, of course.
If you plan to be a freelance photographer, then you won’t have many ongoing monthly costs. However, if you intend to open a cafe, there will be a lot to purchase.
Determining how you plan to fund your venture won’t just provide you with financial support, having a plan in place is going to support you emotionally and mentally as well.
Explore Revenue Sources Your dream may have an obvious path to income, but as you embark on your journey it’s wise to explore other revenue sources. For example, if you plan to open a cafe- how else can that business generate cash? You could sell branded clothing, host events and parties to increase income, and even allow local artists to showcase their art.
Beyond exploring other revenue sources within your dream or business, it’s also a good idea to look at how you can generate a passive income source. For example, if you maintain a blog or have a business blog, then you could look at affiliate marketing within your blogosphere. You can also earn ad revenue by allowing companies to advertise on your website.
If you’re a photographer, there are websites where you can post generic photos for people to buy/use. It’s always great to have income that takes very little work, this is just another way to support yourself when chasing your dreams. Rideshare Uber, Lyft, Uber Eats, Deliveroo, there are plenty of options. There was once a stigma around side gigs. But, with the rise of these delivery and rideshare apps, it’s become more common for people to have side hustles. You can have flexible hours to work when you are free, earn extra money to support yourself while you achieve your goals.
Online Tutoring. There are a lot of companies that offer side jobs as online tutors. All you need is a bit of expertise in a specific subject and you can earn money for every question you answer on a live chat. Or, hold timed tutoring sessions with students in need of help. You’ll need great communication skills, but it’s easy enough to set the schedule you want, to work the hours that fit your life, and this allows you to do what you need to do to pursue your dream while still earning.
Freelancing. This option is two-fold. First of all, you can freelance to earn additional income to pursue your dream. Or, you can freelance to fulfill your dream. The latter allows you to flexibly pursue your dream while still working your day job. This will allow you to continue earning while you build up experience and a client base. Once you have experience, you can apply for permanent positions. Or, you may find that freelancing is the right move for you full-time.
Dog Walking. Again, this is another two-fold way to support yourself. If you love animals and working with them is your dream, then dog walking is a great place to get your start. It’s also a flexible way to earn additional income. All you need is a smartphone because there are on-demand apps that allow you to set yourself up as a dog walker. Rover and Wag! are two examples.
You can charge $20 an hour for dog walking, but it’s also possible to board animals or pet-sit at other’s homes.
Odd Jobs. Fiverr and Taskrabbit are good examples of odd job apps that will help you earn additional income. The idea is that you list as many abilities and skills as you can and tackle odd jobs for people willing to pay. It could be that someone needs a hand moving, but it might also be that they need help crafting their dating profile.
Flexible Working Hours. If there is no way you can work your day job while chasing your dreams, then you should find a new job. There’s a good chance you won’t walk into your dream job so, take a job that provides you a regular income and offers flexible working hours. This will allow you plenty of time on the side to pursue your dream. Many part-time roles come with health insurance and other benefits.
Sell It. Consider downsizing and streamlining your material possessions by selling off the things you don’t need or use anymore. A little nest egg is a handy thing to have for a rainy day, whether you need to draw from it to live or to support your dreams. If you’re lucky enough to have a spare room, then consider listing it for rent to create an additional source of income.
How To Support Yourself Mentally And Emotionally
Develop Your Plan. If you want to support yourself mentally and emotionally, then before you start chasing your dreams and desires you should have a plan in place. Your dream may be to be a business owner, it could be to work for yourself, but not every dream is job-related.
A business requires a business plan. You will need a plan to set yourself up as a freelancer working for yourself. Likewise, if your dreams and desires lay outside of the working world, it’s still wise to put a plan together.
There are all kinds of dreams, and every dream needs a plan in order to turn it into reality.
Gain Experience. If you’re in a position where you don’t feel fulfilled, then you may want to pursue a new job. You may have identified your dream, but your job isn’t related to that field and you’d like to make the move. Look for a job that will provide you with some relevant experience while also providing you with a steady paycheck. This will allow you to start the journey of pursuing your dream without putting your financial situation in too much peril.
Now, you may not be able to walk away from your salary. So, if your dream is to open a bar even though you have no experience, see if you can pick up odd shifts in your local bar. Some dreams we hold without realizing the work that’s required. It’s always good to get an insight into that world and gain experience before diving in headfirst.
If you want to change the world, well, you don’t have to quit your job to do that. You can start by volunteering in your local community. You may be able to carve out a career from there, but you have to get your foot in the door and gain experience first.
Perfect the Craft. What’s your dream? How can you become an expert in every part of it? If your dream is to be a fashion designer, then you can learn the tools of the trade. You can practice your sketches, work with fabric, research and test the necessary computer programs, and experiment with your designs. Every dream has components you can learn, research, and practice.
The idea behind perfecting your craft is that by the time you get to live your dream, you don’t need to worry about wasting money and time learning it. You’re already there. You’re essentially preparing yourself to live your dream while you chase after it.
Networking. If you want to achieve your dreams and desires, then you have to put yourself out there. How is networking supporting yourself? It’s improving your chances to succeed, which is supporting your dreams. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for yourself is to be in the right place at the right time. There’s also some truth to the saying ‘it’s all in who you know.’
When you open your opportunities, you open possibilities.
Embrace Reality. Did you ever dream of being a movie star? I know I did as a child. Did you ever take it to the extent that you hired an agent and went on auditions? Nope! Did you avoid taking a job with a steady income because you were you convinced that you would be starring opposite Jake Gyllenhaal? Or did you eventually take a job or follow a career path, but you never let go of that dream and you’re desperate to quit and chase it?
Dream big, but also be realistic. Many actors make a living acting, but are not millionaires.
There’s a little bit more to being realistic when it comes to chasing your dreams. So, before you go any further, you need to really question your dreams and desires. Use the questions below to get realistic.
If you have an extraordinary dream, ask yourself – Do I have the extraordinary talent necessary to fulfill my extraordinary dream? For example, do you have a voice that backs up your dream to be a singer? Will investing in voice lessons improve your chances?
Do I require specific training, experience, and qualifications to live my dream?
So, do you want to be a judge or an astronaut? Do you have the qualifications to chase that dream? If not, do you have the will, desire, and finances to obtain those qualifications?
Is my current position going to allow me to take major risks? For example, if you’re a single parent, you might not be able to take as many risks as you have children to support. If you’re dealing with an ongoing health issue, you might not be able to risk the loss of insurance.
Understand, the way you answer these questions doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give up your dream. It simply means you have to work on your plan. If you can’t hold a tune, then you’re not going to be a singer. However, you may have a voice that will improve with professional lessons.
You might not be in a position to be a judge right now, but schooling and experience can change that. Or, if your dream is to be an actor… you might not be on the path to an Oscar, but there are plenty of character actors that make a decent living from pursuing their passion. Sometimes, you have to adjust your expectations.
For example, I always wanted to be writer. Of course when I was younger I dreamed of being a famous journalist or best selling author. But, I was a single mother with a limited schedule and income. I became a local news reporter for 10 years and now a blogger… soon to be best selling author? I’m still working on that plan:)
Be Flexible. So what if you’re not going to win an Oscar, your dream doesn’t end at letting go of an unrealistic dream. As I mentioned above, don’t forget that you can still carve out an acting career if you’re prepared to put in the work, attend acting classes, and audition until it goes your way.
It’s all about adapting, identifying strengths, and then using them to pursue your dreams. It might be in a different way than you imagined, but the best way to succeed in your dreams is to take your strengths, combine your passion, and go for it.
Encouragement Not Discouragement. Taking risks is scary, you wouldn’t be human if you weren’t at least a little scared at the thought of chasing your dreams. It’s important that you constantly encourage yourself and avoid the people and situations that discourage you.
Protect Your Passion. My best advice for when you are in the beginning stages of pursuing your passion, is to protect it! This is why I chose to keep this blog a secret from my family and friends. I didn’t tell anyone close to me, so that I wouldn’t receive any doubt, intentional or unintentional. I knew there would be some eye rolls and discouraging comments from those people who didn’t understand my passion. Some people just don’t get it, and that’s okay. It’s not theirs to get!
Don’t Be Afraid To Change It Up. When you set a goal, set a path to reach it and learn and grow as you navigate those steps. If you don’t make it in time, don’t beat yourself up. Tweak your goal and go again. Give yourself time! Make note of the things that encourage and motivate you the most and draw on them when you need to.
Don’t Dwell. You can hold onto painful memories of failure or you can set your sights on chasing your dreams. You should learn more failure and move forward, never let it hold you back.
Don’t Deny. Don’t continue living in denial about your current situation. If it isn’t ideal, then you need to acknowledge it. You can’t move beyond the obstacles you’re dealing with it if you deny them. You won’t move closer to your dreams and desires if you ignore your situation. Accept your circumstances and determine what you can do to change it.
Don’t Procrastinate. Procrastination can be deadly. You can’t recover wasted time. If you want to succeed in chasing your dreams, then you’re going to have to put the hard work in. You can start right now! This means that you have to account for how you spend your time and focus on achievement.
Don’t Neglect Yourself. You’re putting a lot of pressure on yourself, when you commit to pursuing our passion. You are chasing your dreams, you’re working a day job to maintain a steady income, you’re busy! It’s easy to get sick and break down when you put yourself under pressure. It’s difficult to move forward when you’re struggling mentally and/or physically.
Always make time for self-care. Eat well, keep a consistent sleep pattern, exercise often, and look after yourself.
Don’t Wait For It. Perhaps the scariest step of all is starting! Don’t allow yourself to spend so much time preparing to start, that you end up failing to launch. Don’t wait for a door to open, knock the door down. You can’t wait for things to go your own way; you have to make your own luck. Don’t wait for friendships, go find friends. Don’t wait for romance, go out and find it.
Don’t Dwell on the Negative. You might not be able to remain positive all the time, but you can prevent yourself from constantly dwelling on the negative. Negative thoughts imprison you, and they hold you back from pursuing your dreams. You can cry through the negativity, you can allow yourself to feel it, but you can’t let it overtake you. There will be times of doubt. There will be bad days. Let those negative feelings out and focus on the positives.
Don’t Make Comparisons. This is a very important step! Your journey is a result of your actions. It has nothing to do with anyone else. And, your future is in the making. Everyone creates what they get. One year from now, your life could be better than your wildest dreams. What do you have to do to get there? Don’t torture yourself by comparing yourself to others. You have to focus on creating your own life and happiness. Don’t worry about what other people are doing.
Always Be True To Yourself. I see it so often- people trying to copy someone’s success, hoping for the same results. The thing is, when you don’t act in line with who you are and your ideas, you are out of alignment. It won’t come easy to you and you’ll ultimately fail.
Reflection. You’ve been working hard to pursue your dreams, don’t forget to take a break and reflect on your progress. This is your opportunity to tweak your plans, change your tact, and learn to adapt.
Don’t Rush In. It’s important to set timely goals and work hard, but be realistic. When I started this website, I gave myself a year before I figured I would make any income. I knew I had a lot to learn first and making money wasn’t my initial driving force, I was just happy to be writing again. I supported my passion and eventually my passion supported me back!
What many people don’t realize is, work doesn’t have to feel like work. When you feel good and allow yourself to be who you truly are, the universe responds with opportunities and inspiration. Think about it- when you work a high-stress job you don’t really enjoy, you feel low… your vibrations are low and you lack motivation. But, when you love your job and are feeling passionate every day, you are full of inspiration! I know you’re thinking it’s not so easy to pursue your passion, but what if you got started today and changed your life?