I made my very first speech yesterday at the Happiness Club meeting. So another tick on my “to-try” list was made.
I decided to share the text of what I spoke about here too, because I am sure that some of those who listen to my podcast and read my blog might need inspiration and encouragement.
So here we go!
Just few years ago I would never be approached to make this speech because me and the happiness were on a completely different planets back then. Why was that? Well because I had reached a place where I did not want to be in my life.
Like many people around us… by following the society norms and the path of the pre-designed life.
Recall how we made decisions about our future?
We never thought if we wanted to apply for university, because that’s what the society expected and respected… by all means we needed higher education.
And how did we choose where to study?
Passion had no role in that. We simply chose professions, after gaining which we would eventually get a well-paid job and promising career…
We kind of know the whole life in advance. We graduate from school, study at the university, get a job, get married, have kids, have a career growth, buy a house, have grandchildren, retire…
So it brings us to where I was few years ago… I had what people thought a happy life should be – I had a good job, I had amazing husband, wonderful child,… at some point I even had a black 4 wheel drive… but I felt miserable.
And that was because with each passing week I hated the place where I worked more and when one spends in average 10 hours a day somewhere where she doesn’t feel good it negatively impacts all the other areas of her life…
The reason I had reached that point was that I could no longer find the answer to “why?”. Why was I waking up every morning and driving to my work? I had no answer to that… there was no reason. I had re-evaluated my life and as a result my life values and the job were no longer compatible.
I did Steven Covey’s exercise – imagining my funeral and thinking about who I wanted to be there and what I wanted them to say and remember about me… Guess what? “She was a very good employee at Orange Armenia” was not among the things I wanted to hear. “She was pretty depressed most of the time” was not what I wanted to hear either.
I did not know what I wanted yet… but it definitely was something much bigger and more meaningful.
So I quit and many thought that I was crazy to toss away a “dream job” like that.
Many thought that it was risky to leave a career when you are 35 and decide to start everything from scratch.
But let me argue back by saying that many overestimate the safety of the 9-6 job. How can you be sure that things won’t change? How can you be sure that one day you will not get a new boss, who’ll make you miserable and whom you’d like to kill at some point? How can you be sure that one day you will not become the victim of restructuring or cost cutting? Has anyone guaranteed you a lifetime employment? Or even in that case… doesn’t it seem unexciting or scary that in 5, 10 or 15 years you will be working in the same place, doing the same thing?
Well it did scare me and if that was the risk then I was willing to take it. Because not taking the risk was a risk itself.
Besides, I truly believe that the way to success is by stepping out of the comfort zone and
The job I had occupied all my time, thoughts and ate my nerve cells. So once I left the job there was finally a free space for new and better things to fit in my life. I got the time to think things through and experiment. As a result in the past years I did things I never thought I could do. I self-published 3 books 2 out of which became #1 Amazon bestsellers, I created my personal brand online, I became self-publishing coach and I launched a podcast called Write 2B Read which featured NY Times bestselling authors and inspiring entrepreneurs and has been listened to more than 70k times by now. Right now with all I do I am getting what my job paid me and believe me, I enjoy it so much more!
The only reason I’m telling you this is to let you know that yes – there is is a way out. Yes, your passion can be monetized and yes, it is never too late to start over.
And if I was able to do that – you can too.
I am a bit eccentric by nature so my path has been a bit extreme and I do realize that not many can afford giving up the stable income. But you don’t have to. You could side hustle… You can pursue your passion on your spare time and later on smoothly transition from your day job to your dream job later on.
These days you can pretty much do anything online. You can become a virtual assistant and get around $500 per month working 4 hours a day. You can create online courses teaching pretty much anything you want to teach on Udemy and similar platforms and get passive income. Once you gain audience you can get affiliate commissions by directing your audience to different products and services. You can create a virtual summit and charge a fee for access. You can publish and sell books. You can create a digital video yoga programs. You can do any kind of freelance gigs… the possibilities are endless.
And the good news is – it doesn’t matter where you live – all you need is a laptop, internet and English knowledge.
There is a whole tribe out there – people who make from $30-70k per month, who love what they do and enjoy laptop lifestyle. I thought it was not possible… but now I know them personally.
I know you can come up with many excuses and explanations of why it can’t be done… so I will bring just 2 examples.
Leo Babauta was in a deep debt, he had 7 kids and he was working on 2 low paid jobs when he started his extremely popular blog Zen Habits.
Jon Morrow, who is one of the most popular bloggers in the US got muscular dystrophy and is not able to move anything but his face… so he uses dictation software to write.
They both changed careers and took risks… and they both are truly passionate about what they are doing.
There is no magic button or shortcut to success. It takes time, it requires hard work and it’s a path with many obstacles. But believe me it’s totally worth it.
I want to leave you with a message, which I’d like you to think through…
So the choice is yours!