Don't Keep Your Day Job - 5 Tips For Living Out Your Dreams
I recently left my successful and lucrative corporate career to pursue a lifelong dream of owning my own design business. Although I know that dreaming about pursuing one's passions isn't unique, the willingness to put everything on the line to actually do it is. This process is terrifying, overwhelming and isolating. It’s also completely WORTH IT!
I just spent several days in Los Angeles at the Don’t Keep Your Day Job Dreamtopia Workshop hearing amazing creatives share their jump stories. It was incredibly inspiring to hear how these very successful entrepreneurs rode the highs and lows to ultimately craft the lives of their dreams.
Below are the five key tips from my journey along with some great quotes from the speakers on how to launch your creative business and thrive.
1. Allow Yourself to Want What You TRULY Want and Go After It!
Jeff Goins says, “Don’t act like you don’t know what your dream is, when you’re actually just scared to want it.”
When we open up and allow ourselves to really want something deep down, we become vulnerable and exposed to potential pain. To protect ourselves, we make excuses, tell ourselves we don’t really want it and settle.
Messages from childhood, stories we tell ourselves, and concern about what people will think are ways we create limiting beliefs and keep ourselves small and safe. This includes things like it’s materialistic/vain to want this, I don’t have the background, I wouldn’t even know where to start, I don’t have time, etc.
I’m here to tell you that there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting what you want, and in fact it’s an obligation to go after it with everything you’ve got!
Your desires are the roadmap to your purpose. I believe the Universe/Spirit/God (whatever term resonates best) gifts us our desires and ideas. They come down to a person because that person has everything needed to bring it to life. These desires exist because the world needs what you will create.
How often do you say, I really want to do x, but…? You can take comfort in the fact that everything after but is a story. If we will just release the emergency brake of fear and just take one step at a time, it’s incredible what can happen.
Get really clear on what you desire, eliminate the stories as to why you can’t have, do and be that thing, and take one small step closer today.
2. “Give yourself permission to make the messy version” – Cathy Heller
All we need is clarity on the what. We don’t need to know the how. So many of us tell ourselves we need to know every single step in order to even get started. We zoom right to the perfect end solution and get overwhelmed thinking of the million things that now need to happen.
Clarity only follows action, not overthinking. Just start where you are. The only way to make progress is to practice your craft, put it out there, get feedback and improve it. Over and over again.
Don’t be scared of visibility. The fear that people are judging you or that you aren’t good enough is just one more false story keeping you stuck. Keep your mind on the joy and purpose around your work and let that be your guide.
3. “Keep your eyes on your own paper - Comparison is the thief of everything.” Andy J. Pizza
In a world full of perfectly curated lives displayed across social media, it’s hard not to compare ourselves to others. Just because someone else is following a particular path doesn’t mean you should try to do the same thing.
It’s okay to look at other peoples’ work to get inspired, but comparison is completely pointless. Your unique voice, perspective and process is what makes your work valuable. Give yourself the time and grace needed to grow slow, follow your own path and be completely you.
The extent to which you will be successful is the extent to which you believe in yourself. This has absolutely nothing to do with anyone else!
4. Realize that things will get very bumpy, but with conviction and persistence, success will come. It may not look like what you expected, but you will be successful.
I love this advice from Andy J. Pizza: “Envision the future being wildly successful and this current moment as part of your future anecdote in a speech.”
It’s funny - we expect tension and struggle as part of every great story, but when it comes to our lives we somehow think things should be smooth sailing. We let rejection, mistakes, and lack of progress completely derail our belief in ourselves.
I am coming around to the notion that there is no failure, only revelation. Although I intrinsically know this to be true, it’s tough in the moment to remain unwaivering in the face of a setback. My advice is to not magnify the situation when something doesn’t go your way. Don’t let these learning opportunities have you questioning your decisions, intuition and value!
Know you will make a million mistakes, just as EVERY successful person before you did. By quickly learning lessons, keeping a positive mindset and maintaining your belief that you’ll be successful, you will be successful!
5. Always look for how you can add value
When you look at your work in terms of how you can bring value, it takes the pressure off. You will completely shift your mindset from seeing all the ways you are falling down to seeing the good you are doing.
Heidi Stevens advises, “Just serve and breathe, serve and breathe. Stay the course with what you love and you will find success! It’s that simple! Success is SO much closer than you think!”
I hope this was helpful! I would love to hear your jump stories or any pieces of advice you have!