What do you crave?

What do you crave?

For a few years now, I’ve called myself an “entrepreneur.”

Recently, though, I want to call myself everything but.

The term “entrepreneur” and I are no longer friends — we’re frenemies. I’ll tell you why…

I have a young friend — a good kid, recently out of college, looking for something awesome to do with his life. He’s eager to make new friends in different industries, thirsty for knowledge and experiences. He’s searching for his calling, for his dream project, for his life’s work.

When you ask him what he does for a living, he says, “I’m an entrepreneur.”

What? Really?

In fact, all his online profiles brandish the term proudly, too. He’s an entrepreneur, he says, but what does he do?

Nothing yet.

Cue the record scratch.

Aspiring entrepreneurs, do not be discouraged. Let’s just take a moment to put the word “entrepreneur” in its place, to discredit the power society has recently given it.

Because I’ve written about prestige before, but here’s a quick reminder:

“Prestige is like a powerful magnet that warps even your beliefs about what you enjoy. It causes you to work not on what you like, but what you’d like to like.”
— Paul Graham

Since when is being an “entrepreneur” something prestigious? Since when is being an “entrepreneur” something to lie about?

A surprise answer

For a few years now, my “business” has been websites, apps, and e-commerce. Recently, though, I was asked if I could lend a hand with something I wouldn’t usually take on as a “job”: designing a slide deck. I did a quick gut check and said, “Sure, why not?”

Surprise, surprise — it was awesome.

And yet another surprise — I went the extra mile for the project, and I didn’t mind at all.

I enjoyed pouring over the background documents that fed the presentation’s contents. I enjoyed breaking the entire presentation apart from start to finish and recommending a new outline — even if that was more than I was hired to do. I enjoyed working with my designer to bring the right look and feel to each slide. I especially loved the team meetings. (My mentor was there for a few of them, which may explain it.)

Never in a million years did I think that helping a company put together a beautiful, story-driven presentation would be something I’d enjoy so much.

What if I had said no? I could’ve stayed my course and said, “Sorry, that’s not something I do.” But I didn’t. I went out on a limb, and I ended up having so much fun.

Cravings

The term “entrepreneur” is becoming increasingly idolized, and society and the media are doing their part in fueling the fire. Personally, my projects land me within the “entrepreneur” category, but I’m opting out of the term entirely. That label isn’t serving me. It’s doing quite the opposite.

Instead, I’m exploring something different. Something more creative. Something that makes me feel more alive. Something that doesn’t include chasing money. Something that allows me to follow my gut. Something that changes and flows as I do.

I’m starting by following my cravings.

Lately, this is what I’ve been craving:

  1. A community of makers that support and encourage each other
  2. Writing morning pages to get all my worries and pesky thoughts off my mind
  3. Creating a project using the word “canvas”, a word that’s calling to me for some reason
  4. Feeling more like a creative and less like a manager
  5. Meditating and giving my headspace some peace and serenity

At all hours of the day, I find myself yearning for some interesting conversation, for shedding my worries, for a pen and paper. When I’m driving, when I’m in a meeting, when I’m at the computer, when I’m sitting in listening to a conversation about gossip, when I’m winding down for bed.

As constant, as persistent, as vital as my pulse.

Cravings have a life of their own. All they do is wait — until we give in.

And give in I shall.

What do you crave?

Like the wind gusts of a tornado, you’re constantly changing.

One year you’re one thing, the next you’re another. One week you’re interested in one topic, the next in another. One day you feel up, the next you’re down.

As time passes and you carve the path of your identities, as you morph from one version to the next, how do you know what path is the right one to follow?

Easy — your cravings.

You might think you don’t have them, these “cravings” I speak of. But you do. Everyone does.

They’re the stirrings in the back of your mind that keep you up at night. They’re the dream you have of living in a faraway land or exploring a mountain full of greenery. They’re the journal you keep under your bed or the songs you sing only when you’re alone. They’re the childhood hobby that was stolen from you by society, by parents, by your friends. They’re what your heart yearns for, day in and day out.

Take a moment and ask yourself: what do you crave?

Your cravings are always there with you. They never leave you. They’re with you every step of the way, waiting patiently for the day you’ll pay them a sliver of attention. And once you do, once you even so much as pet them lightly on the head, they’ll pounce on you like a puppy in love. They’ll nag at you. They’ll swoon at you. They’ll become difficult to ignore.

And that’s when true change happens — when you stop ignoring the cravings and you start to give in.

Because more important than what you’re craving is whether or not you will heed their call.

As my young friend craves to be an “entrepreneur”, I crave to no longer be one. And now, it’s on each of us to walk the path of turning our cravings into reality.

Next week, I’ll share exactly how I’m doing this. Stay tuned. icon smile What do you crave?

For the comments: I love hearing about all the journeys occurring all over the world. I hope you’ll share with us:

What are you craving?

Wishing you awesomeness from a peaceful and chilly Nicaraguan night (a rarity, I promise you),

— Marcella

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  • Justin Nuckols

    Thank you for this Marcella!
    This truely hit home, I knew from the first post I read from you about two years ago you & I have like minds and this post proves it most of all of them.
    I blamed it on ADD simply because it made sense that I couldn’t concentrate on one thing without 5 others intruding halfway through the process.

    This coming from you who has been where I want to go, this give me insight to look forward to to keep evolving, stay thirsty, and keep adding to the “intrested” side of the canvas.

    I’m looking forward to next post thank you Marcella.

    P.S. Please don’t forget to add “the comments” button for pole who read on lunchbreaks. :) you forgot past two emails.

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

      Knowing people who are like-minded feels like a blessing, doesn’t it? Just curious — what are you going after these days?

      And you’re right, I won’t forget the link to add a comment in the emails. Thanks for catching that!

      • Justin Nuckols

        Well let’s start about two years ago when I stumbled upon your blog, I was working at this cushioned state job with great perks but poor pay, so I got offerd a job working in a meat dept. Where the manager was retiring in 8 months and they promised me the job with a hefty raise of $14hr.

        Well after a year and half of working in the meat market and 3 crooked bosses over my head they never let me hold the reigns of my own market, so with great support from my wife I quit.

        Now I’m back at this cushie state job again where I have peace of mind and serenity its worth more than anything. Getting those addaboys and allowing free will research on the job is Damn near priceless.

        So, the conclusion is; I am planing a facility that will boost local economy & generate prosperous revenue.

        Here is pitch.
        The world is evolving fast, and time doesn’t slow down for anything. Education system are falling behind, manufacturing in the US is at an all time low. And word of mouth is jobs are scarce. But the fact is jobs are plentiful, but no one fits the bill to fill it.

        What I am offering is a place for people of all ages to learn new skills, give them the equipment they need to make it happen, and then help them sell their product while the company takes a % of profits based on each product’s revenue.

        Everyone’s dream is to be self sustainable, now they can explore new trades & skills to build their own business, or join one & I would like for you to be apart of building this dream with me.

        That’s my goal, although not a S.M.A.R.T. goal yet, I do plan to execute this at fall startup event. And follow up in first quarter of 2015.

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

          That sounds like a very noble / exciting venture, Justin! Definitely keep me posted on your progress bringing it to life.

      • Justin Nuckols

        And to answer your first question, it is a gift to have your shared insight on life and the things you are going through and most of all your thoughts as you execute major decisions. I think your readers minds relate to you because you include the fine details.

        Thank you Marcella!

  • Tamara

    I can relate to Justin. I have a very cushy consulting job, pays well, I only have to work a few hours every day, I can go anywhere because I telecommute, and they love me. It involves hours of online research and writing, which is tough because what I really want to do is be outside doing pretty much anything else. I love gardening, hiking, and camping. I could do those things all the time….like a gypsy with a home base. I haven’t found any way to be a gypsy with a home base that pays anything at all, so I’m going to stick with the consulting until I can draw Social Security in a few more years. In the mean time, I’ll be thinking about something I can do to bring in a little cash….maybe making some awesome sauces and seasonings from the foods I grow and selling them online or at the farmers’ market? Nah….I’d have to be here to fill the orders and sit at the market. At least you got me thinking. And I’m reading Marianne Williamson’s book, “The Law of Divine Compensation” which is along these same lines. Thanks for the nudge in the right direction!

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

      Tamara, I love both your current situation and your cravings! :) Question, though: is there any way to increase the time you spend outside (gardening, hiking, etc, like you mentioned) while you still have the consulting job indoors?

      • Tamara

        Yes, I could and I do. That is where the ADD comes in. I get out in the morning for a while when my energy level is too high to concentrate on work. I take a long bike ride 2-3 times a week, work in the garden, etc….I find that I work best on the computer in the mid-to-late afternoons. If I can work from 1-5 every day, I’m OK. That still gives me evenings free. But, I do spend a lot of time on Facebook and reading stuff online that means I feel like I sit at the computer more than I need to. BUT….that is why I read your post…so all is not lost :-)

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

          I use the Chrome extension StayFocusd to help me limit usage of websites that don’t really serve me. Maybe it’d help? https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/stayfocusd/laankejkbhbdhmipfmgcngdelahlfoji

          • Tamara

            Thanks for the idea :-) I actually try to stay away from Google as much as I can because they pry into every aspect of your life! But, I have been pretty successful in just limiting the hours that I allow myself to open my mail and Facebook….NOT while working. I’ve gotten sloppy about it lately, though. Anyway, thanks for the kick in the butt. One thing that has really been helping me formulate a meaningful new chapter in life is this chart: http://www.popularresistance.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/1roadmap-e1401995513223.jpg

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

            I’m going to check this out, thanks!

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