NYPL blogger, Rachel Mazza, recently wrote a guest blog for our fellow entrepreneur’s and travelers over at NOMADasaurus. Here’s Rachel’s thoughts on why she focuses on living life, instead of making a living.
When you tell people that you’re traveling long term, usually they’re excited for you. Sometimes that’s not the case when you speak to people back home. Many of us are fortunate to have a great support networks, but ask any lifetime traveler and I bet they’ll tell you they have some friends and family members, who provide valuable nuggets of wisdom such as:
“It’s great that you can escape from life.”
“How are you going to find someone to marry and have a family with?”
“That’s great, but I’d be too worried about my career”
“When are you going to settle down and start your life?”
And my personal favorite…
“When are you going to get a real job?”
Who made it law that we need to ‘settle down’ to start our lives? I think I’m living pretty extensively and vigorously right now while working remotely and traveling Southeast Asia! There’s a quote I’ve recently fallen in love with:
“We should do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest.
The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian Darwinian theory he must justify his right to exist.
So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.”
– Richard Buckminster Fuller
It’s not such a crazy notion that you can live and enjoy life to the fullest without ‘making a living.’ Of course, we all need to feed ourselves, find a place to live, save up some extra funds for emergencies, and provide for our families. Working for an employer at a steady job that provides great benefits is popular way to do this – but it’s not the only way. There are so many opportunities out there to help you build your dreams, instead of working to build someone else’s.
Some people might say, “I’m afraid to quit my job.” When people ask me about creating an income that will sustain them and let them pursue their goals outside of working for someone else, I always recommend that they read The Four Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss. 2 reasons:
1.) It’s a test to see if they’re willing to take direction and put in a little effort to making their dreams a reality. I’m busy building my own perfect lifestyle! If you’re going to ask my advice and then ignore it, I’d rather spend the time and effort on someone who actually wants to hear what I have to say.
2.) This book is a step-by-step manual to setting up a low-maintenance, low-cost business that will provide enough income to pay your basic expenses, so you can live securely while pursuing what you really want to do with your life! It will also teach you how to think like someone who works for themselves, and can build a remote income.
I’m currently renting an apartment in Chiang, Mai Thailand for the next 6 months. I live in a brand new apartment, with an updated kitchen and balcony, in a great neighborhood for around $300 USD per month – including expenses. There’s a market downstairs where I buy a week’s worth of fresh meats and locally grown vegetables for less than the price of a cup of coffee back home in Chicago. It’s 80 degrees everyday, and the Internet is cheap, fast and reliable – a must-have for a freelance writer and web-designer working from ‘home.’
So the answer is no thanks! I don’t plan on growing up, settling down, or getting a real job anytime soon. My fake life and I are doing just fine here for now, and when I’m ready for something new, something more, I’ll create a plan to make that happen too. That’s the freedom of working for yourself and designing your perfect lifestyle. As one of my favorite entrepreneurs, Jim Rohn, said,
“If you don’t like something, change it! You’re not a tree.”
Wiser words I could not tell you.