When I Grow Up

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The plan was always to become a writer and an artist. 

I am reminded of this as my nephew who I nanny tells me his dreams for the future. The NHL, an olympic speed skater, American ninja warrior (even though we’re Canucks), NBA… and finally, an artist who sells his work.

chalkAs a nanny, my job description is diverse and ever-changing. My sister did a back to school photo shoot with her boys last week and I got to be the chalk artist for her.

So, technically, I got paid to make art. I didn’t sell anything but my time and talents were valued enough for her to ask me to do it for her. It was an a-ha! moment for me.

I want to keep doing the things I love always. Whether I am paid to do them or not. I must create; I must absorb and learn from other people’s creations; I must keep asking questions.

Now that I am working two jobs, my time to create is somewhat limited. But I try to play some music, do some drawing or writing and some reading every day. It keeps me sane and feeds my soul.

Today, I was off nanny duty, so I started my #radicalselflovebible.  It was great to just curl up in bed, put on an audio book (Harry Potter again, of course, what else?) and create something of importance to me.

I hope you hold on to the dreams of your youth and pursue them with gusto. And if you are having trouble finding what you want in life, hit the rewind button and look at what you spent time doing as a child. What did you want to be when you grew up? 

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My daddy taught me…

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ImageMy dad told me before I even got my first job that if I worked for someone, my income and opportunities would be limited to my own output (hours, availability, time, energy).

However, if you work for yourself, and eventually have people working for you, then your income and opportunities are instantly multiplied by the time, energy, hours and availability of many people. Ever since then, I have wanted to work for myself. I have wanted to start and own a business. I didn’t (and don’t) want to build someone else’s dream, I want to build my own.

I was reminded of this today at a career fair at the university I attend. I’m in my third year, and anyone I talked to asked “What do you want to do?” or “What kind of job are you looking for?” To be honest, I wasn’t looking at all. And as I looked at each of the exhibitors, nothing really caught my eye. Nothing was exciting.

What is exciting to me?

Coming up with an idea, planning, organizing, working hard and late into the night, collaboration, innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity.

I found a great quote from the founder and CEO of Amazon.com, Jeff Bezos.

ImageI haven’t laid out my first business plan, saved up capital, made an investment in my dreams… I am taking an uncommon path by taking a year off school (after finishing my 3rd) in lieu of charging through 4-5 years without a break. I have many reasons that I’ve shared, and it may seem like a frivolous or unnecessary step along the path to “success.”

I would challenge you to think of what success truly is. I don’t believe any two people will share the exact same definition.

I remember reading in The Simple Living Guide about living within your means. For example, if you liked to fish, you could move somewhere remote where you lived simply and sold and ate fish. The less you need to spend, the less you need to work. If you want to have the fancy car, the big house and yard, you’ll likely have big responsibilities and long hours of work to match.

I really love the quote by Jeff Bezos because change.. revolutions even… have always been met with resistance. As the saying goes, if something is worth having, it’s worth fighting for. That resistance that I will face (and that all entrepreneurs face) is simply indicative of the stone-set paradigms of society. Things can change. But people like what is familiar and it takes time, persuasion and consistency to show them that things can be done differently, or better.

Are you an entrepreneur? What’s your elevator pitch? What do you want to change?