For the last 2 years I've been working to make myself a career that has become a bit of a rally cry for the "millennial" generation. You know the one, the type of camera-toting, jet-setting, my-own-schedule-making life that you might see as a stereotypical tinder profile. For many, this is a fun fantasy to throw around among friends and when asked "What do you want to do when you grow up?" For me, though, this is now a reality.
But here's the kicker. This life is not easy, and definitely not for everyone.
IT DOESN'T HAPPEN OVERNIGHT! - Like I said, I've been working at this for 2 years now, plus 5 years of college. I'm nowhere near the final goals I want to achieve. In fact, I'm broke most of the time. But I'm okay with that. I'm putting myself out there because I love film and photography and action sports and outdoors and I can see a life where I get to do that, and only that, for a living.
YOU HAVE TO BE COMFORTABLE PUSHING LIMITS! - I'm broke. A lot. There are times when I can go get other side jobs, but I avoid this because I don't want to miss opportunities that often come up last minute. This has been a huge benefit in my mind, though. Every day I understand how to manage my money better, how to pick up the odd jobs, how to live frugally. When I do have money, I feel so much more comfortable and understand how to put it away to make it through those hard times.
YOU WILL DOUBT YOURSELF! - Don't get me wrong. I wouldn't change the last year of my life. I got to meet and work with amazing people. I got to go new places. I got to play with toys that are way more fun than should be legal. BUT, and this is a big but, I spend a lot of time doubting myself and trying to figure out if I'm doing the right thing. Should I dial it back and make this a side gig while I work another job to make some money? Should I abandon it all together and try to get into a more corporate setting in a smaller role? Should I go back home where it's safe?
YOU WILL NOT SLEEP MUCH! - That brings me to my next point. You will be kept up late into the night and wake up in a panic early in the morning wondering how you're going to pay rent, how you're going to find clients, how you're going to meet friends, whether you're doomed to be alone.
IT'S LONELY AND YOU WILL LEAVE PEOPLE BEHIND! - This has probably been the hardest one for me to swallow. When I left home, I left behind a great girlfriend, an amazing group of friends, my family, a solid network, a town I knew and was comfortable in. It hurt. A lot. I spent the first week panicked in my room trying to cope with my decision and it still haunts me. But here's the thing. I've met some amazing people along the way who have embraced me because they understand what I'm going through. I've built a great network by showing up to work and showing a passion for what I want to do, even if the job isn't exactly what I want to do. I've also been given some amazing opportunities to work on projects that built my skills and opened future doors.
YOU'LL HAVE TO LEARN HOW TO LEARN! - In this type of life there's no such thing as the one trick pony. You have to know how to do everything and be able and willing to learn the stuff you don't, and quickly. It's a constantly evolving world. The ones that survive are the ones that adapt. It also means you have to be able to swallow your ego and admit that you aren't the best at something so you can take that step to learn to do it better. People will be better than you at things, but that doesn't mean you can't adapt to make yourself a better fit.
Now, this may make this type of life sound miserable, and ya, sometimes it is, but I'm doing what I love. I'm seeing new things, doing new things, meeting new people and constantly getting to learn more about myself. I'm stressed a lot, but I'm learning how to manage that. And I owe how far I've made it to so many people who have invested their time and love in me.
I also want to say that this is only one type path in life. I by no means intend to say that it's the only or the best way to make a living. I believe it's right for me, but I also have a tremendous amount of respect for my friends who have pursued jobs at bigger companies.
People often come to me and say "wow your life is amazing!" Ya, I love it, but it's not for everybody. So please, don't jump on the entrepreneur band wagon just because it's the hot thing to do as a "Millennial!" Consider the costs. Consider the benefits. And consider your personality. If it's a passion, then chase it, and chase it with all you have! Because take it from me, IT WILL BE A BATTLE! But I believe it's worth it.