“Life is too short to be small.” – Benjamin Disraeli
Ever since I read Tim Ferriss’ game-changing book, The 4-Hour Workweek a few years ago, I’ve wanted to work for myself. I wanted the work-from-anywhere, location-independent lifestyle of writing and consulting from around the world. I wanted all the success he’d achieved with lifestyle design as a twentysomething, Princeton-educated young white male . . . yet I couldn’t quite figure out how to translate his success to my own very different life and circumstances. At the time I was working 40+ hours a week as a fundraiser for a nonprofit, and though I loved my job, I knew there was no way I could do it on four hours a week!
As my career soared and my income grew, however, I began to imagine more ambitious income goals for myself – goals that would benefit both me and my family. I got to the point where I was making way more money than most of my peers in the nonprofit field with my day job and my side hustle combined.
I started telling my family I was on a “$100 grand plan” to make six figures in my job within a couple years. The problem was, I realized quickly that to reach those income heights in the nonprofit industry, I would have to change jobs and work for an even bigger organization and probably work more hours than I was already.
I wanted to change the world. But I also wanted to make a comfortable living that would allow me to have nice things, eat decent food, travel and help take care of my grandmother.
I wanted the real-life American dream, but I didn’t want to wait until I was 65 to enjoy it, which is the whole idea behind the lifestyle design movement.
Lifestyle design is all about structuring your life in a such way that allows you to enjoy the wealth and freedom that comes with “retirement” but without having to wait until you’re a senior citizen.
I’ve always thought the idea of retirement was a joke. Why work all your life, day in and day out, just to delay happiness in enjoying the fruits of your labor?
So, Tim’s book came at the right time for me. It lit up an entrepreneurial fire inside me and I couldn’t shake it. It proved to me that something else was possible for my life besides working in a cubicle for 40 years for a gold watch and a timeshare in Florida. It taught me that if you really put your mind to it, you can live your wildest dreams.
Thing is, it’s really hard to become wealthy or live a location-independent lifestyle while punching the clock for a 9 to 5 job. If you look at most of the millionaires in the world, they all made their money and lifestyle off of running their own business and doing their own thing.
That’s one of the reasons I decided to become the CEO of me. I knew there was a way I could help empower people and facilitate social change in my own unique way, without working for any particular organization. Through writing, speaking and training, I can do my part to inspire and encourage others in their life journeys.
For years, I’ve held this intention in my mind, not wanting to share it with anyone. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a woman or because I come from an industry that thrives on helping those who are less fortunate, but I felt that it was selfish for me to want what I want. How dare I set a goal to make lots of money so I can do what I want and live where I want? How dare I ask the universe for that kind of success?
Well, now I’m doing it. I’m saying it out loud and in my heart:
- YES, I want to make a six figure income from doing what I love.
- YES, I want to be able to send my grandmother money every month to help her make ends meet.
- YES, I want to be able to afford to visit my family more often during the year.
- YES, I want to work less and have more time to explore my passions.
- YES, I want to be able to live in Paris during the summer and Hawaii during the winter.
- YES, I want to design the life of my dreams!
For the first time, I’m putting all my hopes and intentions out there to the universe. No matter how big. No matter how “selfish.” Why? Because I deserve to live my best life. And so do you.