When I was in 5th grade, I couldn’t wait to get into middle school.
When I was in 8th grade, I couldn’t wait to move on up to high school.
And, of course, in high school, I was quickly disenchanted with being told what to study, and I absolutely could not wait to go to college.
That’s how I’ve been my entire life. One thing just wasn’t good enough, especially with the prospect of something bigger and/or better waiting for me just over the horizon.
Let me get into the nitty-gritty details, just to prove my point:
I wanted to be a child country-music superstar.
Go ahead, laugh. I had the dual-mic karaoke machine, the Country Top 10 Greatest Hits CD in my boom box (with detachable speakers!), and any friends who came over were no doubt subjected to endless hours of “concert rehearsals,” eventually leading to an all-night (until bedtime, of course) gala event featuring Yours Truly on lead vocals, Poor Unassuming Friend on background vocals and the occasional duet (lucky them), and Little Brother on front-of-house sound control.
Thankfully, I remember absolutely none of this.
More thankfully, I quickly (by age 14) grew out of this weird childhood fantasy and became an amateur magician.
And I was still in a band until my senior year of high school.
Why I’m telling you this.
One day, my Wikipedia page might disclaim all of these awesome personal anecdotes, but until then I want you to know two things:
- I was (still am) a huge dork.
- I was (still am) the kind of person who wants something more; the next great thing.
Basically, I’m a dork who doesn’t have patience for the status quo. I didn’t want to go to school, because half of the time I felt like I knew more than the teachers, and the other half of the time I didn’t care about the subject matter (aren’t you glad I wasn’t your student?!?).
In college, I was 50% excited about course material, and 50% excited about what I was going to do after I was told I had enough knowledge to go out on my own and start a huge company.
Let me rephrase that:
My entire life, I’ve been excited to do the things that other people do, after many more years of training, study, and practice than what I had.
To put it another way, I was waiting for permission from someone else. I thought, deep down, that I might not need that permission, but for some reason I should still seek it.
A diploma, a degree, 5+ years of experience, management training, etc. This “permission” we’re told we need was something that caused me to do a double-take when I met people like Noah Kagan, Dan Blank, and Chris Guillebeau. Further, reading about people like Tim Ferriss, Ramit Sethi, and Danny Iny, I realized something:
These people didn’t (and don’t) wait for permission. They created what they wanted, and then figured out how to get others to pay them for it.
Every single “status quo,” “tried-and-true methodology,” and “common practice” you’ve come across in your job, your schooling, and your life, has been created by someone else. These things are what I call “permissions”–if you do your due diligence; do your time, you can get permission to do what you want to do with your life.
Obviously, these “permissions” aren’t always arbitrary–most have been created on accident over the course of generations of people repeating the same habits–go to school, get an education, get a great job, retire, rinse and repeat.
But more and more of these “permissions” are being proved ineffective for a small handful of the world population–a population that’s growing more and more quickly as advances in technology, Internet prowess, and average business intelligence shift the barrier for entry lower.
The 10-year vision.
My “10-year vision” involves a world of choosers–people who aren’t satisfied taking their cues from others and receiving their “permissions” from a systematic culture. I envision a population that can go to college but isn’t expected to.
These people won’t make up the majority, but they’ll make up enough of the overall population that we’ll be hard-pressed to keep ignoring them.
The original “American dream” involved landownership and freedom; of self-sufficiency with a limited and decentralized government.
The new “American dream” (and I’d argue that that term should now be the “New world dream”) is owning a stake in the future of online communication; the ability to spread ideas and concepts and dreams through that directly correlate to personal fulfillment, wellness, and “the pursuit of happiness.”
Basically, I think we’re going to see more “outliers” become mainstream. More and more “online entrepreneurs” are going to pop up and make drastic changes in our current frame of mind. No longer are we going to think of these people as “living the dream”–they’ll be living normally. The rest of us–those of us who abide by a status quo, expect government handouts, wait for permission, etc.–are the ones who’ll be living in the past, waiting in vain for social fulfillment from somewhere else.
Enough of the idealistic ranting.
Okay, great. You know where I’m coming from. You can see that I’m a fan of people creating the things they’re passionate about, getting paid to keep creating those things, and not having to worry about waiting for someone else to give them permission.
I’m a fan of the new world of communication, and what it can allow us all to accomplish.
But how do we get there?
How do we go from 9-5 job, working for someone else, to the beautiful, free life of working on our own terms; on our own dime?
Here are a few ideas.
- Create art for art’s sake.
- Know that there already is a market for your art out there, you just need to find it.
- Understand that your art is your business, and your business is your art. Forget one of these key things and you become a starving artist or a passionless business drone.
- Start with the first ten, and work up from there.
- Always add value.
If you do these things, you can still fail (and you probably will). But that failure will be yours–and that’s a freedom every person on Earth should feel. Plus, after a few of these failures, you’ll realize something:
Pretty soon, you’ll know how not to fail, and then you won’t.
And all of a sudden your dreams will start to come true.
You’ll be able to create art that people want, and they’ll pay you handsomely for it.
You’ll be able to do what you want, when you want, and not have to answer to anyone but your customers/fans/clients.
You’ll be able to feel more “free” than you’ve ever felt before.
That’s what that this blog is about, and that’s what I’ll be writing about for the next few weeks.
I’m not an expert, so I have absolutely preconceived notions about this business of “living the dream.” I’m just a guy who wants to figure out how to help people in a way that will allow me to work and live wherever I want, not penned down to a specific title, role, company, or job, and without having to worry about what tomorrow will bring.
Of course, I’ve done a lot of things that haven’t worked–and a few things that have.
If you want to join me, I’d love to have you on board. You can expect on-target, helpful, and actionable advice each and every time you hear from me, or at least a set of ready-to-listen ears. Just sign up here, and let’s get going!