Success stories are not all the same. I’m a huge believer that everyone’s path is different and for good reason. We can all learn from each other without having to copy the trajectory of someone else. That being said, learning how to build the life and career you want is essential for growth, inspiration and taking action. So, here’s a bit about how I did it and built a multi-six-figure business. Feel free to pick apart the pieces and make your plan out of them.
I was a new grad and I got the BIG job. It was the one I thought I would stay in for years and grow in. I quickly learned that the ceiling only went so high. After promotions in only a few months, I had the shiny corporate job and the 6-figure salary in a fun city. But it didn’t matter. It was soul-crushing.
I just wasn’t inspired and wanted more. I wanted to feel fulfilled at work and excited to go to work each day, I wasn’t feeling that. I needed a change.
As I contemplated the next steps I looked at the path at that company. I saw the stepping stones to “the top” and didn’t like what I saw. Working myself into the ground for someone else, to not have control and to not have the freedom and flexibility to travel or change my scenery.
I decided two things:
- I wanted to work for myself.
- I wanted to live abroad.
Since I didn’t know what business I wanted to start or how, I got my credentials to teach English online, bought a one-way ticket to Thailand and just knew I would figure it out.
Some people thought I was crazy. Others thought I’d get tired, bored or broke and be back in a few months. I’m entering my 3rd year of full-time travel so I feel pretty good about proving them wrong.
As I tried to figure out how to live this freedom lifestyle permanently I dove headfirst into anything and everything. I did drop shipping, travel blogging, social media management. You name it I did it. Then I began website design and it actually started to take off, I launched my design agency in 2019. I was surpassing monthly goals and getting questions about how I did it which led to me launching my coaching business in summer 2020. I began taking wannabe digital nomads under my wing and giving them all the tools they need to live the laptop lifestyle and start living a life of freedom and adventure.
It’s not rocket science but it isn’t a piece of cake either. People often think that those who travel full time never work but the truth is, we are always working. We just love what we do.
When I am teaching my students or reflecting on my own experience and successes (and failures) I attribute where I’m at to a couple things.
Finding my niche
The reason my first few tries were not successful was because I wanted to make it for everyone. If you are trying to sell to everyone you’re selling to know one. It is so important to know who your people are, in life and in business. You’ll never make everyone happy so stop trying. Invest your time and energy in the people who understand you, trust you, believe you and are willing to invest in you too.
Trusting my gut
If I only made the safe and “responsible” decisions I would probably be at that same corporate company leading the team I used to be on. While that isn’t a bad life by any means, it isn’t the one I wanted. With my 2 weeks of vacation a year, I may be able to squeeze in a trip or two but now I get unlimited time off, we live in a different city every month or so and I make the rules. My go-to phrase was always, “I know I can figure it out.”
Asking for help
Ah pride. We let it get the best of us sometimes. If you are tough and independent that is even the more reason why you should be constantly seeking out help. You don’t know what you don’t know, it’s better to have someone in your corner who you can ask than to fail when the answer was easy. I got a coach early on and she saved me, especially in entrepreneurship it can be really lonely. It’s nice to have someone to brainstorm with and give you tough love.
You don’t have to be a digital nomad or even an entrepreneur to incorporate these things into your life, these are skills that will take you through whatever industry, job, season of life or challenge that comes at you.