As I type this, I’m on an airplane in South America. The trolley just came by and a very bored looking steward asked me if I wanted something to drink. I said, in Spanish, “Yes please. I’d like a coffee with sugar and cream.”
He poured me a half-cup of coffee and carried on to the next person with the same amount of non-enthusiasm.
I said, “Excuse me, could I have some milk and sugar as well?”
He sighed and handed me a packet of sugar.
Then I said, “Excuse me again, can I have some milk please?”
(Mum always taught me to be extra polite.)
He looked at me and handed me a packet of powdered milk in slow motion.
Turns out no amount of sugar or powdered milk would help. The coffee tasted like burnt toast. I don’t even know how that’s possible, but I digress.
The point is, I get the feeling this guy isn’t doing work he gives two shits about. And it colours the experience of everyone who comes into contact with him.
I’m not judging, I’ve been there.
But I don’t think it’s a good place to stay.
And that includes those of you who are running your own business or freelance operation but feeling increasingly uninspired and possibly even stretched financially.
You don’t have to do the same thing forever.
You can do whatever you want.
And you don’t have to do just one thing.
You don’t have to be only a This or a That.
Maybe it’s the only thing you can think of right now to make money, but just because it’s the only thing you can think of doesn’t mean it’s the only option.
This doesn’t apply to everyone, but for those of us who need more than one creative outlet and who see the value in more than one income stream, there is no good reason not to do whatever the hell you want.
I’m a good case study. First and foremost, I run the Republic of Freedom and I help entrepreneurs build business strategies that support their lives. I also help build company culture in a polar expedition company & work a couple of months a year as a guide in Antarctica. I also invest in real estate. And I’m building a new company with my husband and his twin brother.
AND I have another excellent business concept that I’ll start working on in a couple of years.
AND I plan to have a fibre farm with a small herd of alpacas in the not too distant future.
In other words, I have multiple streams of income and I do whatever the hell I want. If I get bored of one, or the economy goes down, I’ll always have projects that I’m interested in and other streams of income to support my life.
The best part is that all of them dovetail beautifully into my primary role as business coach. I have various *current* mediums of experience that I can leverage to help my clients.
Want more examples?
I have a client who’s an opera singer. She teaches vocal lessons but recently started responding to numerous requests for painted pet portraits (she also happens to be an excellent artist), which if given a little TLC will turn into a decent new stream of income. Why stop there?
I have another client who’s a business strategist like me, but also runs a brick and mortar spa in Portland, retreats in Mexico, and who knows what she’ll come up with next. I say the more diverse the better.
Heck, look at what celebrities do: they have their primary career (actor, singer, sportsperson, whatever) but they also have lines of clothing, podcasts, real estate, perfumes, reality TV shows, art galleries, etc. You don’t need to be a celebrity or rich person to diversify. You just need to take their smart example and diversify yo’self.
The idea that you should do one thing only and do it really well simply isn’t applicable to everyone. And that’s cool. You have permission to do whatever the hell you want.
I’m not a fan of “should’s” but here are a couple I can get behind:
You should do what calls to you.
You should move towards what gives you energy.
You shouldn’t limit yourself because of what someone told you you’re supposed to do. You can be a book binder and a cat whisperer and a pilates teacher and an investor all in one. IF YOU WANT.
And do it all well so the naysayers shut their mouths. And then own it. Give yourself the permission you need to do whatever you want. This is your life, not someone else’s idea of what your life should be.
PS I asked Señor Aloof for another cup of burnt toast liquid and he complied, but this time gave me a cup with a hole in the bottom. (photo below) I hope he starts doing whatever the hell he really wants to do soon.