The Lifestyle Business: On doing things my way

Recently, I have been asking myself the age-old question that we start asking our kids almost as soon as they can put together a sentence:

What do you want to be when you grow up?

From the earliest moment possible, we are inundated with this idea that we have one path to go on and we had best figure out where it’s going so that we can stay ahead of (or, at least, not get too far behind) everyone else (who we are given the impression have figured out their paths by 1st grade). So how do I even begin to answer this question? Well, there’s always the really awesome answer from this kid

“I want to be happy.”

I love that.

Of course, I am not under the illusion that life is full of rainbows and unicorns, and I think that tough times produce growth that happiness never can, but that doesn’t mean a girl can’t dream a little.

So back to the question, what do I want to be? I’m going to reframe it a bit.

What do you want to do?

I still find myself stuck. I have general ideas.
Working with people
Social justice
These are the kinds of things I want involved, but what that actually looks like, I have no idea.
Recently, I’ve been intrigued by the concept “Lifestyle Business.” I first heard the term when reading some (really cool) stuff by Idahosa Ness, a guy who chose what type of lifestyle he wanted (traveling and language learning), then built his career around it. I did more digging and found this to be a growing trend. There are even people who have lifestyle businesses built around helping others create their own lifestyle businesses.

We tend to view our careers as things that we build up to, that make us “grown-up,” that we spend the first parts of our lives preparing for and the rest of our lives doing. We give them so much importance, even when we end up doing things that we don’t necessarily love.
Because of this, I think many people who haven’t yet found their “career” feel like they can’t really start living.

When did it become not okay to just rest in not knowing, in uncertainty?destiny

There are people who have found a career that they really love, and that then becomes a really positive part of their lives.
Then there are those (like me) who are doing a job and, in our spare time, building up lives that feel like shells of what we really want to be doing. I spend so much time at my job and that scares me a little, because there are other really important things that I want to do that take a lot of time, too (not that teaching isn’t important. I am extremely grateful for those who are passionate about teaching and want make a career out of it. I am not one of those people.)

This idea of creating some type of lifestyle business is still a brand new hatchling idea, so I am still trying to think about things that I could actually do or have to offer. But I love that my lifestyle could be controlling my career, and not vice versa.

All of that to say, if you still aren’t sure what you want to “do” when you grow up, be encouraged. You’re not the only one. And maybe, just maybe, that’s okay.