The other night I went with a couple of good friends to a local bookstore to hear THE Chris Guillebeau (as in The Art of Non-Conformity) give a a talk at his book signing. Now, if you’ve read the About page on this blog then you know his first book was what propelled me to start living my life on my own terms, even if it was just little by little. In case you haven’t read it, I figured this would be a good time to go into a little more detail of how Chris Guillebeau pretty much changed my life. So here goes…
Back in July of 2010 I was a hot freakin’ mess. I had just graduated, was back from a European escapade that left me flat ass broke, had no job and the market in Miami was an absolute nightmare. And by nightmare I mean we had one of the worst local economies in the country and there were literally no jobs to be had. In the pits of unemployment I started freelance writing as a means of making extra money. Or, more accurately put, I tried to freelance as a means of extra income. I really had no idea what I was doing and managed to make only $5.00 the first month of this endeavor only because it was the sign up bonus for joining a content mill.
Needless to say I was pretty down in the dumps, not just over my unemployment, or the fact that I now only had $5.00 in my bank account, but also over the fact that I was having a hard time with having moved back home after college. It was weird. It was different. It was certainly an adjustment. I had no real direction. No purpose. No understanding.
Despite the hardships I remained optimistic and kept thinking there had to be a better way, that I couldn’t just be another statistic of an economic downturn. I started thinking that if I could just figure out a way to make money on my own then I would at least be on the right track. As a result I dabbled in a few different things, including starting a Green Living blog and taking on way too much work for too little pay. I was completely spent.
I guess my friend Jose noticed this and one day while we were out for coffee he handed me a book saying “I think you’ll really enjoy this. It’s right up your alley and it might help you.” And well, he was right. Spot on actually. So right that it wasn’t until earlier this week that I gave the book back (Two years later. Timely, I know.)
Since then I have made it my sole mission to create the kind of life I want to live. I have found ways to create extra sources of income without driving myself into the ground, I’ve taken risks to position myself to someday become a full time entrepreneur, I’ve started trying new things like yoga and most of all I’m helping others do the same. So in reality, it’s almost like I have Chris Guillebeau to thank for this blog, my current job and all the exciting things I’ve got going on. I also, in a way, have him to thank for the fact that I have acquired enough balls to have slipped him my business card LOL.
Have I fallen along the way? Yes. Have I made mistakes? Absolutely. But that’s life and since we do live in an imperfect world we’d better start getting comfortable with living on our edge. After all, if we don’t we run the risk of wasting our lives away in jobs we hate and situations we’d rather avoid.
I’m sure that most of you side-hustling, traveling, dreaming, kick-ass millenials of you have read The Art of Non-Conformity. If you haven’t, make sure to pick it up because I promise it will rock your world. If you’ve already read that then I HIGHLY recommend $100 Start-Up. I haven’t finished it yet but what I have read so far is pure gold.
What books have inspired you? Changed your life?
Feel free to share in the comments!