Creating the Life You Want to Live

August 22, 2011

The universe sends us opportunities when we least expect it. Sometimes those opportunities are veiled as disappointments, and sometimes we miss them altogether.

But when we recognize them and jump, an amazing thing happens: the opportunities multiply.

Which is why, when an appealing client came my way recently, I decided to go for it.

Not just for this client. I mean really go for it. Head out on my own, as an entrepreneur, an independent consultant, an innovator with time to follow through on all of the projects she’s outlined in her head. Because if I make this jump, the opportunities will multiply, right? (This is where you nod and tell me I made the right decision.)

So Friday was my last day at the media company where I’ve worked for the last year. I met some lovely people there and learned skills (like the power of SEO) that I’ll carry with me to my next venture. But I want my career to be about professional and personal growth, and heading off on my own is the best way to continue on that path.

Can we stop and raise a glass? I’m a FREE AGENT!

I’m not one of those people who shuns full-time jobs. I appreciate the stability of a paycheck every two weeks and health insurance, and I see myself back in a full-time position in the future.

But everything is about timing, and sometimes the non-traditional route is the smart one, especially when you have ideas coming out of your ears.

This client is an innovative company I’m psyched to work for, and my blogging and editing skills are a perfect match for what they need. But here’s what sealed the deal: they wanted me for 2-3 days a week. That means I can have a steady paycheck (albeit not a full-time one) and time to focus on my own projects. I can cobble together an income doing all the things I love.

When friends hear I’m making this move — that I’m working remotely and challenging myself in new ways — some will say I’m lucky. (Others will think I’m nuts.) I know to expect this because they said it when I spent six months traveling in Africa and when I landed the full-time job I just left and when I said my side biz brings in $2,000 a month (never mind the failures along the way). And there is an element of luck to everything, of being in front of the right door at the right time.

But you know my mantra: We make our own luck. If you want to create a different life for yourself, you can make it happen. There are always opportunities to make your own luck if you dig hard enough to find them. You might not be able to make that luck immediately, but if you chip away at it over time, it will be there when you need it, even if you didn't expect to need it.

Unfortunately, making your own luck is more difficult and, quite frankly, more terrifying than staying in a good job.

Yet risk brings reward, and now I have a huge opportunity. I have more time to complete exciting, money-making projects like my social-media consulting guide. Time to freelance as a journalist and finish my second book. And I'll be able to take on new creative opportunities that come my way, work-related or otherwise.

Over the next few weeks, I'll tell you more about my plans for generating income, factors that went into this decision and what I’m hoping to learn along the way. I’ll also share tips for how you might be able to make a similar move if you want more flexibility in your career. But for now, I'll leave you with this:

I'm available for hire! WOOT!

She looks psyched, but also kind of like a deer in the headlights, which is pretty much how I feel. (Photo credit: Flickr's skippyjon)


Friday was my last day with the media company where I've worked for the last year.

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