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This site isn’t the first time I’m heading off in the direction of following my dreams and living my best life. I mentioned it briefly HERE.
The first time was back in 2003. I’d been at another job, the third one in two years, for about six months when I woke up one morning and decided my creative instinct was raging for a channel. I had to follow my passion and wasn’t going to waste any more of my youth working at an asinine 9 – 5 gig dealing with dictators telling what I could and couldn’t do 10 hours a day.
Without consulting anyone, I handed in my resignation. I’d been at home, lurking in my room for a few days, before my mum asked me what I was playing at. I informed everyone I’d quit and gave a great big speech about following my dreams. My poor parents thought I was stark raving mad.
“How are you going to pay your bills?” cried my mum. “I’m not funding this new phase,” screamed my dad. I lived at home, drove my dad’s car and fed off the meals my mum cooked. I had no expenses except my phone bills and a few other things. As far as I was concerned, they were being overly dramatic.
With resounding enthusiasm, I bounded into my new life. Two months later, I finished the book I’d been trying to finish for close to a year. It coincided with my running out of money as well. I sent off 20 query letters via email. I had another 10 to send out via post, which required money I didn’t have.
Then my printer ran out of ink. My phone ran out of credit, I couldn’t afford petrol for the car anymore and I couldn’t pay for time at the Internet café to conduct research. I went to my dad and demanded money like a spoilt brat. He gave me a resounding “No” and reminded me I had chosen to quit a paying job for a non-paying one, and he wasn’t going to enable me. If I needed money, I had to go and get a job.
I hacked it out for another month, during which I transferred my mum’s phone credits to my phone when she wasn’t looking or siphoned petrol from one of the other cars into the car I used when everyone had gone to bed, then quietly went back to job hunting. It took me 3 months to find one. It was an unpleasant experience and I fought with my daddy a lot because he felt I was being irresponsible.
As far as starving writers go, I didn’t get very far along at all. I was dismayed I had to give up full time writing to return to work but there really wasn’t any other option.
Looking back, it isn’t a surprise I failed. The only reason I even lasted that long was because I was mooching off my parents. So why did I fail?
4 Reasons I Failed When I Followed My Dreams
1. No Clear Action Plan
I didn’t have a proper plan or strategy in place. I just decided I was tired of the man and quit without thinking it through. I had been trying to finish a book for months and was annoyed work wasn’t allowing me to get to a satisfactory endpoint.
2. No Back-Up Plan
I had no idea how I would move forward if things didn’t go my way. It never occurred to me that it wouldn’t work out. Faith in oneself is fantastic of course but complete blind faith without any action plan is just stupid.
3. No Money
I wasn’t broke but I didn’t have much money either. Even with living at home, I ran out of what little I had quite fast, and again I had no plan for what to do if and when I run out of money.
4. Youthful Folly
I was convinced I could wing it until I completed the great novel. I just had to finish it and everything would magically fall into place and work out as only a know it all youth would believe.
Out of all the reasons above, the number 1 reason I failed was lack of proper planning. A valid plan is vital if you want to achieve anything.
Without a proper plan, you’re basically just winging it until doomsday comes crashing down on you, or failure for a less dramatic word.
You also need structure – you need to know where you’re going, why you’re going there and how you’re going to get there. You can deviate along the way if you wish but as long as your bases are covered, you will come out on top.
Enroll in the free 12 Step Guide to Getting Started with a Plan mini-course for tips, tricks and best practices for taking the first step in the direction of achieving a goal, getting your money right and paying off debt.
I began my second break free rodeo in September after 4 years of working towards it and this time, it’s turning out to be the best experience of my life.
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- The 12 Step Guide to Getting Started with a Plan: Dream. Plan. Learn. Begin.