Chase a lifestyle, not a career

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If I’ve learned one thing over the years is that the universe is capable of delivering some crazy opportunities, but being open to grab ahold of them and run is a completely different story.

I had a conversation with one of my friends in their last year of an undergraduate degree a while ago, and in passing they mentioned they were looking for a way to earn a bit of extra cash to throw at their student loans.

I immediately started listing off the various things I utilize on a regular basis to earn a living online, as well as a few other ideas I’ve played around with previously that I thought could be a good fit for them.

I’m pretty well versed in ways to earn cash online, because for the majority of my life I’ve been trying to figure out how to both support myself, and never have to deal with Canadian winters. Specifically the special brand of freezing that growing up in Winnipeg provided.

If I’ve learned one lesson in my endless quest to avoid winter, it’s that you need to figure out exactly what kind of lifestyle best suits you, and chase that, but being flexible about how you get there makes things a lot easier.

I’ve worked for a little fruit stand in Maui, I’ve written articles online in a whole bunch of different places, I’ve designed t-shirts, I’ve texted lonely dudes (surprisingly lucrative), I’ve taught English as a second language, I’ve made jewelry, I’ve altered clothes.

I’ve also worked in a fabric store, two different financial institutions, hotel room service, brand promotion, delivering food, fashion retail, and as a telemarketer.

Ultimately, I didn’t leave any of the jobs from my second list because I wasn’t excelling, or because they weren’t supporting me (I’m pretty sure my parents still think I’m nuts for getting out of finance), but because they didn’t lead me to the lifestyle that makes me happiest.

If I went all-in on any one project from the first list, not only would I have missed out on developing skills that have only made me more confident as a freelancer, but I also might have missed out on other opportunities. When the option to take off to a tropical paradise for 3 months arises, you’re going to want to be able to say “hell yes!”

Take a minute to think about what kind of lifestyle you really want.

If you’ve spent your life stuck thinking “I want to be a doctor” or “I want to be a lawyer” think about why. Do you want to make lots of money? Do you want to help people? Do you just enjoy being perpetually busy? Figure out the aspect of that particular life that really speaks to you, and chase that for a while, you might be surprised what the universe provides.

1 part girl boss, 1 part designer, 1 part writer, and 1 part depressed potato.

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