In her “Support your Wanderlust” seminar, my friend and mentor, Barbara Winter, tells the story of writing a report in high school about wanting to be a flight attendant. She yearned to travel and figured working for the airlines was a means to see the world. She also had absolutely no idea what the job entailed as she’d never been on a plane but obviously, serving drinks and instructing passengers on proper use of their oxygen masks would not have satisfied her desire to see the world. Barbara was wise to recognize early on that in order to have the travel experience she dreamed of, she could design a career for herself that pays her to do what she loves, which is teaching and speaking in her ideal environment: conference rooms around the world.
A few years ago I met a group of traveling nurses in California. One said it was the ideal job because they could choose where to work for 3 months contracts, all expenses paid anywhere in the world, while they sent money back home to Kansas or Nebraska. “We get paid to travel to beautiful places like this.” I said, “I don’t have to find a job that takes me to a lovely coastal town-I live here and think I have the ideal job, working for myself.” I didn’t mention that I had just popped into the shop briefly to pick up the previous day’s deposit before heading to the beach for a walk and that I frequently traveled wherever I wanted on my own time while trusted employees continued to keep the business rolling and put money in the bank. Why would I want a job that pays me to go somewhere when I can create a job doing what I love wherever I want?
As you consider a career change, rather than look at the perks and benefits of a job, think first about what you want your day to look like. Do you want to be at home, in an office or outdoors? Will you enjoy spending your days alone or will you crave company? How can you find a balance of solitude and social contact? Does being in one location all the time appeal to you or do you prefer more mobility? Is having your pet or child with you a priority? Do you see yourself wearing comfy sweats or do you enjoy dressing up?
What’s you ideal work schedule? You may love to bake but if you’re not a morning person, opening a bakery probably isn’t your ideal livelihood. Consider your environment. Most people think about the visual elements of their ideal work environment but sounds and smells are important to consider, . What about the temperature? Don’t laugh-it matters. Years ago I studied healing arts and developed a thriving bodywork practice. I was in my element in a dimly lit room with soothing music and the aromatic herbs. I made my own schedule and could travel and spend time with family. I had a natural intuition about what a body needed and my clients were happy. I also faint when I stand for long periods, particularly in a small, warm space. Environment matters.
Before focusing on an actual occupation, close your eyes and visualize your ideal environment. Consider all your senses and sensitivities, your body clock and what makes you tick. Yes, you may have to make some compromises, but this is your chance to design your ideal livelihood. Make it work for you.
If you know what you love to do but haven’t figured out HOW to make a living doing it, Barbara Winter and I want to help you work around the obstacles. Join us in Sedona for Mastermind Magic where we’ll focus on your individual dreams and come up with a plan for your ideal livelihood.