Has anyone ever asked you that? The “no limits, money is no object” question? Or the “if you won the lottery….” question. What this often shows is where our hearts are and what our path would be if we pursued our souls calling with abandon. The question is always how to get there, how to jump the chasm from selling your time to pay rent to pursuing your dreams without starving.
What would your life look like if you knew you only had to bust your ass for a few years to be able to have the freedom to do whatever you dream of? Travel, raise goats, pay for your kids college without having 5 jobs. Would it be worth it to get really uncomfortable and work your ass off for 4 or 5 years if you knew that you could, potentially not have to work like that ever again?
Here’s the thing, you can do it, that dream, have that life, but it’s going to take some hard work to get over the gap from what they call the 40/40/40 lifestyle (work 40 hours a week for 40 years and retire on 40% of your income) to a life where you are only limited by your willingness to learn new skills. It’s hard work, daily work, on yourself and developing whatever business you pursue. But it’s more and more clear that the old way of doing things, finding a “good job” and keeping your head down so they “take care of you” isn’t really an option anymore. It’s just not financially viable long term for most businesses to carry on supporting you after you’re not longer a daily part of their functioning. The gold watch and pension programs are less and less accessible.
Add to that, people are living longer every year than expected, I heard the other day that now 1 in 50 people in California can expect to live to be over 100 years old. This means our normal retirement age of 65 leaves us with a minimum of 35 more years to fill with activities, interests, and potentially, work, because who of us has planned for a retirement that lasts nearly the same length of time as our whole working career?
This new culture and structure of work is paving the way for people willing to take up the mantle of small business owner and entrepreneur to fill the gaps in both monthly income and long term productivity. For some people that means launching an Etsy store or buying into a franchise, for others it’s launching a service or store front or restaurant or food truck. For many the idea of the monthly overhead of a traditional business is terrifying. Getting to grab the brass ring of being profitable never happens for a large percentage of business owners who end up worse off than they were before they took the risk.
I used to own a bath and body care company. It was fairly large, we sold product in all 50 states and 5 countries. It was all made by hand in our factory (mostly by me and a small group of friends the first couple of years) and even with what from the outside, looked like admirable sales, we never managed solvency. When my wife got ill, I abandoned my shares of the company, relieved in part to not have to carry the constant worry that we needed to generate a minimum of $45,000 every month just to keep the doors open. That didn’t get us, the owners a paycheck, just allowed us to keep struggling on. I pulled 17 hour days, 7 days a week (slept on the floor over the holidays, working 24 hour shifts from October to the end of December) to keep it afloat, and never really profited. So when I got the news that my wife would survive the bout with brain cancer, I got a job in an office, began working again, for someone else instead of myself, and realized, all over again, that working in an office is just not for me, I started considering what we could do.
When my wife got sick we had to fundraise to pay for medical bills and keep a roof over our heads. It became increasingly apparent to me that we were incredibly lucky. Without our amazing and supportive tribe we would be homeless now. What I started looking for was a way to ensure that if we had an issue again, where we couldn’t work, we would still be ok. Ongoing, residual income, money that comes in even if we don’t go to work. See, when we went back to what we were doing before the body care company, we’re massage therapists with a bunch of side things like teaching and doula work and we don’t make money if we aren’t physically present and working with our clients. This means if we have a cold, we are losing money. There’s no sick pay in a massage practice.We love what we do, but we want to travel and see the world now that we know Cyn will be around to experience it. We don’t want to miss out or wait for anything.
So, compounding residual income. A business with low overhead ($150-300 a month to essentially own the right to build the business, and an investment in whatever tools needed to build it well, so about $1000 a month), that requires 4-5 years of hard work and then maintenance to support us. Something in the wellness industry which we are already a part of.
For years we’d been product customers of a wellness company for years at this point, used the products to support our health and Cyndi’s healing all through her journey with cancer, we know they work, we use the products every single day and had never really considered the business opportunity presented by the company. Now we did. We’re a little over a year into building the business and even though it’s a lot of work (all small businesses are), we now have a plan to officially retire from leaning on all our other work pursuits in 2021. We are excited about getting to do bodywork or assist a birth because we love it and when we are well enough to do the work. We are excited about being able to travel and work from our laptops, taking time off when we want or need it. It’s the life we’ve dreamed of and we can see it unfolding as we do the work.
What are your dreams worth? Are you willing to put in the work to have something more? Something extraordinary? Are you willing to invest in yourself, work through the things that hold you back so that you can become the person who can have the things you dream of? Would you like information on our business and the training we have to help you make it work? Send us your info below.