How to become an Independent Lifestyle Entrepreneur (who wants to join me?)
Independent Lifestyle Entrepreneur: someone who builds a small, flexible (generally 1-person) business as a means of living a dream lifestyle in the present, without focusing on selling the business to become wealthy as the end goal.
Yes, these are terms flying around these days – literally.
To create a world of our own. Many of us are aspiring to do just that but I am not so sure if we really know why or more importantly how to go about it.
I have been at a crossroads these past couple of months. Working my day job but also on other projects consuming a lot of energy and time but feeling like I am not getting anywhere. How many of us have felt like that? No, I realise I am not Robinson Crusoe but I am confident you and I have some connection here.
Just this week I have finished reading two very important books – well one was a manifesto but the light bulb has been switched on in my head. A sense of relief came over me and the books have provided me with the inspiration to get out there and as the Nike ads say ‘just do it’. At present, I am a 9 to 5 employee who actually wants to break away from the grind of conventionalism into entrepreneurialism. I have decided I have had enough of the employee mentality and would like to become the female equivalent of Tim Ferriss, to live the life as a location independent “solopreneur” and work only 4 hours per week.
What is this Entrepreneurial Revolution people are talking about today, where millions of people are going into business for themselves? As Michael Gerber said in his fabulous book The E-myth, it’s nothing more than a flight from the world of chaos “out there” into a world of our own.
It’s a yearning for structure, for form, for control. It’s also for something more personal as well, connected with who we are as human beings. It’s a yearning for relationship with ourselves and the world in a way impossible to experience in a job.
Unfortunately the “dream” is rarely achieved. Most small businesses fail. Why? Because we bring our chaos with us.
We don’t change; we try to change “out there”. We try to change the world by starting a small business BUT we stay the same.
The lesson to learn from this is simple: we can’t change our lives by starting “out there”. All we produce in the process is more chaos.
We can only change our lives and create a world of our own if we first understand how such a world is constructed, how it works and the rules of the game. And that means we have to study the world and how we are in it.
His book is one of the two I mentioned above. For most of this year, I have wanted to start my own business but I have been unsure as to what business model I want to implement. I have been trying to figure that out, waiting for some inspiration or glimmer of hope as to what direction I will proceed. But thank goodness I read this book and I realise now that perhaps it was divine intervention that I hadn’t proceeded with my business, because I can tell you right now, I was heading down the wrong path.
While his book was written for people wanting to start their own business, I believe the principles he talked about can be applied to anyone simply wanting to change or improve their lives. What strikes me though is why some people want to change their lives. What is wrong with the way some people currently live their lives that they are so unhappy that they want to change it? I ask myself this too – why don’t I like being an employee anymore and what I am truly seeking in my life to want to change that?
How come I don’t feel entirely fulfilled or satisfied?
It just seems to be a never ending question. I mean I was asking these questions to myself 10 years ago when I first started travelling. After travelling for half the decade, I am still yearning for more. But for more of what I am really not sure.
I guess the question remains, will we ever be happy no matter what we choose?
What is it that humans are really searching for that will provide us with whatever it is that appears to be missing from our lives?
Is the setting of goals really all it’s cracked up to be or are we only setting ourselves up for more disappointment and failure?
Or are we becoming far too self-indulgent, selfish and greedy?
Actually I do know what I want. It’s all of this:
no fixed location
no office hours
no set salary
no “2 weeks of vacation” b.s.
no permission required
Maybe, just maybe though, most of us are waking up to the fact that we can create a more meaningful existence for ourselves than what we currently lead (only if we believe that to be true) and that we are in fact worthy of pursuing more.
I recently watched Eat Pray Love and it spurred and stirred some of those inner desires that I thought were locked away. Those desires to just start travelling and do it all over again but do it so very differently this time. That little voice inside my head saying “Shae, life’s too short to work and buy a house – go out and explore the world further”. What was I thinking when I went to see it because there is a very good reason why I currently avoid watching any sort of travel program on TV? Now those niggles won’t go away – damn it!
At the end of it, the same questions I was asking myself 10 years ago remain. What am I looking for in my life or what is the purpose of my existence on this planet?
Deep I know but the heading of my blog must indicate to you that this is not the place to come to if you want to read about celebrity gossip or Lindsay Lohan’s drug charges. Admit it – most of you are constantly asking yourself the same or very similar questions. Am I right?
I am going to Bali next week and I hope to indulge in my own Eat, Pray, Love experiences. I will be going with an open mind and to seek some spiritual enlightenment just like Elizabeth Gilbert did.
It’s a big ask considering these are questions I have been asking for over 10 years but hopefully I will come back with some of the answers I have been searching for.
One can only hope!
Let’s have a conversation. What questions are you seeking to answer in your life or things that you hope to discover? Are we becoming too selfish and greedy for our own good?