I’m writing this post 30 000 ft up in the air, sipping cheap white wine and eating microwaved chicken (which, surprisingly, isn’t half bad). I’m on a recon mission to a hot tropical island to do some research for the Uncaged Adventure Retreat. Or at least that’s what I’m telling the tax man. Really, I just wanted to get away for a while.
As I sit here looking around the plane, I’m surrounded by people who are on their way to all-inclusive resorts. They have their base tans (the ones they spent the past 3 weeks cultivating in the tanning bed), and their Bermuda shorts, and most of them are already on their 3rd drink.
And while they’re happy as little clams, I can’t help but feel sorry for them.
For most of these people, this is what they have looked forward to ALL year. They’ve slaved away at their jobs, with their families, working their asses off to save the money, get the time off, find someone to watch the kids (except the annoying family in front of me with the screaming 4 year old – I guess they couldn’t get a sitter).
These people work hard. And this is their payoff?
Doesn’t really seem like a fair trade to me.
And I’m going to take a moment here to call myself out on something that has been coming up a lot for me lately.
The internet is saturated with “Live your dreams!”, “Quit the 9-5!”, “Follow Your Passions!” advice. Advice that I think is really, really irresponsible.
And I sometimes get worried that I am contributing to it, and I want to set the record straight.
While living the entrepreneurial life – the one where you get to take off to a hot tropical island on a last minute flight, where you get to work while drinking white wine on a plane, and bring your laptop to the beach with you – it’s GREAT. Don’t get me wrong.
But but but…
Sitting here pretending that it’s easy to just leave your life as you know it behind and start anew with a brand new dream passion job, would be an utter and total LIE.
It’s more than a lie. It’s BULLSHIT.
If you had any idea how hard I work, how hard we all work, and how much of a hustle it is, you might have a change of heart. It’s why you have to really LOVE what you’re doing, be GOOD at what you’re doing, and fill some kind of NEED in the marketplace. It’s not just about passion. Passion won’t cut it.
I spend 90% of my time marketing and selling and about 10% coaching. Luckily I LOVE marketing, but most business owners feel who aren’t as well versed in it get a hard reality check when they first get started.
And I’m getting off topic.
The point is – it’s not just an easy up and out to make the switch. And it’s definitely not the right move for everyone.
So then… all the people sitting on this plane with me who are thrilled to be taking a week off work, what are they supposed to do? They’re not willing to give up their jobs – they need the stable income, they have kids and families to support, and they kind of enjoy being able to leave work at 5pm and not think about it again until 9am. Many of them are actually totally ok being in jobs they don’t LOVE, because they understand that work is work, and it’s not their entire life.
But they still have a longing for more meaning in life. More excitement. More of a feeling like their life is worth something bigger than themselves.
Many of my clients are like this, and I see it all the time. They come to be asking me to help them find their passion, thinking that bold moves and big changes are the solution.
“I want more connection with people – maybe I should become a coach!” That type of thing.
And when we really dig into it, what’s really going on is that they have lost connection with what’s important to them. Their values are being stepped on BIG TIME, and they have no idea what they are anymore, let alone how to get them back.
For these clients, the solution we get to on our coaching calls is RARELY that they should quit their job and start their own business. It’s usually more about bringing more of what they love and what is missing back into their lives.
If you’re not ready for a major life switch,try implementing a few super small life-switches.
I’m talking about things like carving out one night a week for a date night with your partner. Or making a point of catching up with old friends. Or starting a hobby class on the weekends, where you can finally learn to master the pinch pot, or cultivate your passion for kombucha brewing.
There are PLENTY of ways to bring more of whatever you feel is missing into your life without having to take drastic measures.
(And sometimes drastic measures are called for.)
The key is to figure out what is right for you, and not get lost in all the irresponsible advice that’s being thrown around on the internet.
THAT’S what living Uncaged really means – listening to what’s right for YOU, and learning to course correct your life accordingly as you go.
Next time you feel like you just NEED to quit your job or make some other kind of huge move, check in with yourself and make sure that’s really what you want. And if not, find other ways to fill the gap that’s missing in your life so you don’t have to rely on your one big tropical vacation a year to fill the void.
And, if leaving the job, buying the ticket, and working on a beach in Thailand is the ONLY option for you, then pursue it for all you’ve got, and know that you’re in for one hell of a ride :)
And now, for a nap. This wine is making me sleepy.
If you’ve ever felt like you needed a change, be sure to post a comment and tell us what you did to ease that feeling – was it a major switch, or a mini-switch?