A Brief Guide to Living On Your Own Terms

A Brief Guide to Living On Your Own Terms

Two years ago, I pulled off one of the scariest things I’ve ever attempted.

I quit my job.

Two years earlier, though, I pulled off something even scarier: I started a blog.

As scary as leaving my job felt at the time, it didn’t start my journey as an entrepreneur. If I’m honest with myself, I know that my adventures started with the blog.

Four years ago, I started a random little blog that had no real direction and absolutely no readers. Every day since, I’ve been blessed with so much, including finding my writing voice, discovering new sides of myself, building up my confidence, meeting new people, learning how to lead a team, and more.

Four years ago, I decided to try something I knew nothing about, and I ended up with a business of my own and incredible independence.

Four years ago, I decided to start living on my own terms.

I know that you’re here for the same reason. You want to start living on your own terms, don’t you?

(If you don’t want to live start living on your own terms, you’re probably in the wrong place. This blog is the place for bold transformations, for wild dreams, and enthusiastic action. Sorry.)

For those who do, here’s my brief guide to living on your own terms… It’s the path I followed to a life full of awesomeness. I hope it helps.

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Uncover what breaks your heart.tweet A Brief Guide to Living On Your Own Terms
If you’re not sure what your “passion” is, ask yourself what breaks your heart. It’s a shortcut to finding out what you care about working on.

Discover how you want to feel. tweet A Brief Guide to Living On Your Own Terms
Before you think about what you want to do, take the time to decide how you want to feel while you do it. This will help you design your ideal lifestyle and organize your projects accordingly.

Invest in yourself. tweet A Brief Guide to Living On Your Own Terms
To live and work awesomely, you’ll need to invest time and money in yourself, especially your well-being and your learning.

Dump the “work versus vacation” mindset. tweet A Brief Guide to Living On Your Own Terms
When you work on a problem you want to solve, you’ll find it doesn’t matter what day of the week it is. Mixing work and play, every day of the week, will help keep you (somewhat) balanced.

Set up a “side” business. tweet A Brief Guide to Living On Your Own Terms
As you start brainstorming making a life-change, there are ways to set up small businesses or projects on the side to see how they do before taking a big risk.

Discover what you want problem you want to solve. tweet A Brief Guide to Living On Your Own Terms
Now that you know what you’d like to do, what specific problem will you solve? More importantly, what will your solution be?

Consider yourself an entrepreneur. tweet A Brief Guide to Living On Your Own Terms
Now, you might not consider yourself an “entrepreneur”, but we’re all entrepreneurs when you stop to think about it. No matter what you do and how you do it, you’ll be forging a new path for yourself.

Keep your thoughts positive. tweet A Brief Guide to Living On Your Own Terms
Your thoughts are what make your life, what create your ideas, what open your life’s paths. If you want them to be clear for new opportunities, positive thinking is critical.

Keep learning. tweet A Brief Guide to Living On Your Own Terms
It will be impossible to succeed without continuously learning. There are various ways you can do that, but the most up-to-date information is always online. When you love what you’re doing, though, learning won’t feel like work.

Know who you want to be like. tweet A Brief Guide to Living On Your Own Terms
As you forge your path, it’s worth taking the time to think about who you can model. You won’t copy anyone, but knowing who you want to be like will give you an idea of what steps you need to take to get where you want to go.

Enjoy your progress. tweet A Brief Guide to Living On Your Own Terms
It’s common to feel like your progress is never good enough. Take a chill pill. If you’ve gotten this far, your progress is more substantial than you think. Give yourself a pat on the back!

Follow a system or a routine. tweet A Brief Guide to Living On Your Own Terms
It’s easy to get distracted with so much going on in the entrepreneurship world. Keeping a regular routine will help keep you focused. Technology helps.

Make success un-scary. tweet A Brief Guide to Living On Your Own Terms
As you make strides in your projects, you may feel uncomfortable with your successes. It’s quite normal. But there’s a way around it.

Don’t stop at “ideas.” Take action. tweet A Brief Guide to Living On Your Own Terms
Ideas will come and go, especially as you meet more new people and your projects become more successful. Be wary of getting stuck in the idea trap. Decipher which ideas are best and then take action.

Consider what happens if you don’t. tweet A Brief Guide to Living On Your Own Terms
No matter what hardships you face on your journey, remember that it’s more important to do what you’re doing than to not. The pain of NOT solving the problems you’re solving is bigger than any rough patch you may face.

* * *

Are you ready to start living on your own terms?

I’d love to hear from you … Post a comment if you have a question I could answer or if you have any stories/ideas you’d like to share…

Wishing you awesomeness from my couch in Managua,

— Marcella

PS. If you’re serious about living on your own terms, be sure to get this… I’m writing a guide on how to transition to an independent career of your choosing called The Freelance Switch. Sign up below for an exclusive discount when its ready.

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  • Ashley Berg

    Sometimes I make the mistake of having an “all or nothing” mindset, thinking that I have to commit fully to a project from the beginning, or I shouldn’t start it at all. I lump the whole thing into one giant (and usually scary) step (like starting a business for example) when in reality, it’s a series of steps and I can make the steps as small as I need to. At some point I would probably have to make the decision to be fully committed, but I am learning that it can be gradual instead of all at once.

    • http://www.theperpetualvacation.com/ Marcella Chamorro

      Slow and steady definitely wins the race — and slow and steady is much easier to accomplish with a list of small tasks (instead of one big task, like you mentioned above).

      It takes time to sit down and plan that stuff out, though. It’s sometimes tough for me to make the time to sit and make a list of small tasks and then distribute them over a period of time … but when I do it, it’s so worth it. :)

      Happy new year, Ashley!

  • Nikko

    I have been constantly on a journey of self-discovery and coming into the new year I again spent time reflecting on my progress. I realize that every time I think about doing something I want to do I look at the whole picture and become overwhelmed. I realize that it prevents me from even starting a project because I unconsciously discourage myself and end up procrastinating because of the amount of work I have to do to get there. What this article has taught me (and many previous ones you also wrote) is to take it one step at a time and work to encourage myself from there. By doing so I start to encourage myself that every small progress towards my goal will be rewarded in the end, that everything has to go through a process and there are no shortcuts. Slowly but surely I am working my way towards that perpetual vacation that we are all dreaming about. Thanks for helping start my new year right Marcella!

    • http://www.theperpetualvacation.com/ Marcella Chamorro

      Thank you for being here, Nikko! It may be helpful for you to read below, Ashley’s comment is along the same lines, and it’s encouraging to know you’re not the only one facing that dilemma. The good thing is: there’s a way around it. Like you said, one step at a time…

  • Kevin Diamond

    Ummmmmm you should know i am giving all these resources to any and all students/peeps/trailblzers I come across through any engagement. (this just made collecting all of your amazing resources for some students in my speech, so muchhh easier) Haha, but it also made taking the leap, jumping off the cliff, and running into the unknown so much easierr (and still easier as I go) :) This is gold.

    Keep at it sistaaaa ;) Thanks for packaging em all up

    Ps. stil think a special writing is the Sandlot post ;) Facing your beast ;)

    • http://www.theperpetualvacation.com/ Marcella Chamorro

      Thanks, Kevin! You’re right, maybe I did miss The Sandlot…

      • Kevin Diamond

        Hahaha no worries:) just wanted to give it a shout out ;)

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