Entrepreneurship

How I got much needed clarity on my career path.

Ever wonder if you're in the right career track? Here's what's helping me figure it out.

I've been spending a fair bit of time thinking about what I want to do with my life.

For context, I'm currently running two creative businesses, both of which are doing better than expected and provide a decent income and time flexibility. But I still feel like I'm not living into my full potential.

Let me be clear - I'm super grateful for where I'm at these days. My life looks vastly different than it did 5 years ago. I'm happier than I've ever been, I have more flexibility and I get paid really well to do things I enjoy.

But I want to take it up a notch and go further.

I have so many things I want to do in my life, but oftentimes I get bogged down with figuring out what I should actually focus on. Here's what I've been doing to help me figure it out.

Writing it out helps me process and weigh my options.

Writing gives me a sense of clarity. It helps me scope out new ideas and visualize what these concepts/businesses might look like. Writing isn't nearly as difficult as launching a new business/branding from scratch, so it's a low-risk way to validate some concepts I have in mind.

But getting feedback is even more important. So instead just journalling for myself, I've decided to write more in public.

Create things for people like you.

You know when you're on YouTube and you've hit the 'end of the road' for the day? Sure, there's tons of videos to choose from, but the creators  you watch didn't upload a video that day, so now you've got nothing to watch.

Well, if you're feeling that gap, others are feeling it too. So you should fill it. Seriously. You're just as qualified to as they are.

You might think to yourself "Well, I'm not ______" or "I'm not qualified". But nobody is qualified, and everyone starts somewhere. When I taught at BrainStation, I learned quite quickly that teachers don't actually know all the answers. They're just the ones willing to stand up and figure them out for other people.

I want to write for people who are going down a similar path in life as I am. A path that doesn't revolve around a typical 9-5.

Entrepreneurship can be freaking awesome. You set your own hours, take on as much (or as little) work as you want. You can break through every salary cap you've ever been given and regain control of your finances. Hell, there were many times in 2020 that I made more in one week than I did in a typical month at my old job.

Running a solo business can also be super lonely.

Most of my friends (aside from a few) don't understand the challenges I face. It's not all sunshine and rainbows. And if you're not building a traditional startup, finding people in the same boat as you can be difficult.

I love Rand Fishkin, but I'll never build a SaaS company. I don't want 10+ employees. I don't want VC funding. I resonate more with the entrepreneurs in books like Company of One, The $100 Startup and Essentialism than How to Win at the Sport of Business.

Three of my favourite all-time favourite business books (so far).

Write about the sh*t you want to read about.

What kind of content do you follow that you can't get enough of? 

For me, it's the joys, stresses and growing pains of being a new solopreneur. I'm always looking for tips, stories and advice to make this whole process easier.

I'm fascinated by how people are finding unique ways to live/work that completely flip the idea of a career on its' head. It's exciting to meet people who are able to work 1-2 days a week and spend the rest of their time travelling with loved ones - but still bring in 2-3x their previous salaries.

There's a new breed of creators, makers and builders out there who are building a purpose-built life around their passions, such as:

  • Travelling nomads who don't have a permanent address
  • Writers on Substack who bring in $500k/year
  • The whole #vanlife/tiny home movement
  • How YouTubers build personal brands and monetize them
  • How some OnlyFans creators bring in seven-figure salaries
  • eSport gamers who are making millions
  • Artists like Chance the Rapper who go completely solo

A lot of people think YouTuber's have a dream job. Did you know most of them teeter on the side of burnout because of how hard they work? You ask any major video creator and they'll tell you they work harder now than they ever have before. The only difference is they love every minute of it.

This stuff excites me. Let me rephrase, how they're working excites me.

In many career paths, there's a limit to how far you can go, or how much money you can make. But these people are redefining what's possible and tilting the scales in their favour. Here are some of the topics I'm most interested in this year: 

  • How to make an extra $1000/month with the skills you already have
  • How to decide which idea to pursue (when they're all so exciting)
  • How to put your finances and investing on autopilot
  • How to develop income streams that aren't tied to your time
  • How to align yourself with the right clients
  • How to double your rates by providing more value
  • How to provide value to people at-scale instead of 1-on-1
  • How to find other entrepreneurs who are doing rad sh*t

I don't have the answers to all of these questions, but I've spent a fair bit of time contemplating them and putting them into action myself.  I want to write about these things because they genuinely interest me. I'm sure they interest other people, too, so this content will act as a beacon to attract those people into my life.

Write for those who come after you.

Don't let the potentially outrageous payouts above fool you - there's a good chance you'll create something and it'll fall flat on it's face upon launch. I've failed, a lot, but it kinda comes with the territory. You learn by doing, so once you make enough mistakes, your sub-conscious will course-correct and put you on a path to success.

Or... You can learn from the mistakes of others. I wish someone warned me about all the mistakes I was going to make in this venture before I made them myself. It would've saved me a lot of time and money.

By writing about your experiences, you're helping others learn from those experiences, too.

Seriously an awesome read, especially if you've ever faced burnout.

Write to find your people.

I want to attract more people into my life who are going through the same sh*t that I am.

I want to find people who love the book Essentialism as much as I do, so we can geek out about the idea of having zero meetings and doing less, but better work.

I want to connect with people who are building awesome things, launching rad ideas into the world and blazing their own unique paths in life. If you're one of those people, or thinking to become one of those people, I hope you’ll follow along.

And if you ever have any questions about being your own boss (or anything really), don't ever hesitate to give me a shout.