Tag Archives: Marianne Cantwell

Patience and Perseverance

I’ve noticed a change this week. Not a dramatic one but enough to make a difference. One of the sayings I love is ‘If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got.’

I have a habit of starting something and then giving up when I get bored or it gets difficult. I lack patience and the ability to persevere. However, despite not feeling well at all the last couple of weeks, it’s finally been driven home that if I quit this time, in a year or ten years or thirty years I will still be bored out of my brain, stuck in a 9-5, desperately unhappy and nothing will ever change.

Quitting is no longer an option.

At the risk of sounding like my life is now a cheesy 80’s motivational montage from a Rocky film, I want to assure you it’s not. For example, if it was I’d be cheerfully selling loads of t-shirts, working hard but doing well etc. However, apart from 2 t-shirts I bought myself, my Teemill site remains deserted. So, when I can bear it, I’m tediously uploading my designs to another site, Redbubble. This site appears to be better known and I’m hoping I will actually sell something now.

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I have the above picture on my wardrobe. Around my flat I have several quotes I find motivating. One of the pieces of advice I see in all the books I read is to keep going, keep persevering. In Jack Canfield’s ’25 Principles of Success’ he lists several examples of this at work. Colonel Sanders got rejected 300 times before someone accepted his KFC receipe. A quick google search shows me that JK Rowling got rejected 12 times before publishing her first Harry Potter book.

What strikes me is these people didn’t have a special spotlight on them that announced that one day they were going to be successful. They had to believe in themselves, despite their friends and family, however well intentioned telling them they were crazy and should be ‘realistic.’

In her book ‘Be a Free Range Human’, Marianne Cantwell asks 2 really good questions.

1) Who has told you to be realistic, stay in your 9-5 and accept life the way it is?

2) Do they have a life you want?

It was an ‘oh yeah!’ moment. Without exception, every single person who has told me to be realistic has lived the 9-5 lifestyle. Without exception, every single book I’ve read or advice I’ve seen from someone saying ‘there is more to life than this and you can have it too’, has been from someone who has already made it. Would I not be foolish to listen to the unhappy people rather than the successful people?

In his biography, Lee Mack talks about having a delusional quality with regards to his ability to succeed. I’ve noticed this in many, many successful people. They have, against the odds, believed they can achieve their goal and have gone out and done just that. I remember seeing Pink in an interview say that when she was 18, she ran up to one of her idols and said ‘You don’t know me yet, but I’m totally going to be famous’. That self-belief was clearly there again.

So, I will be patient, I will persevere and I will believe. Like Will Smith once said, you just have to decide and believe that it’s done and then wait for everyone else to see it.

So you guys, you don’t know it yet, but I’m totally going to be successful.

A Brand is Launched

One of the things I love about the steps to becoming a Free Range Human is the lack of commitment and preparation needed to start a project. The whole point is that it doesn’t tie you down. So very quietly this week I’ve been working when I can (and have the inclination to) on starting a line of t-shirts. 10 minutes ago I quietly pressed the ‘launch store’ button and am waiting for it to start. The whole preparation for it cost me less than £15 and I have about 8-10 products in store. My work for that is done, I can play around with advertising it if and when I want to for little to no money. I’ve lost very little money if it doesn’t work and have already learned a bit about liaising with designers and what’s possible to do.

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Excuse me while I do a proud parent moment, this is the logo for my new brand!

If you’re anything like me, patience is not one of your strong points. If I decide to do something I want it done in the next 30 minutes or I get frustrated. However, a good tip I got from Jack Canfield’s book ’25 Principles of Success’ is to do 5 things a day towards your goal. If you keep chipping away doing 5 things a day, eventually you will get to your goal. So for example, once my store has finished launching I could send the link to a bunch of Universities (so far the products are aimed at university students), I could buy one or more of my own t-shirts and be my own advertising, I could send some t-shirts for free to influential people to wear. If I kept plugging away, it could be that my line of t-shirts becomes really popular. I like it because it takes the pressure off me having to do everything RIGHT NOW.

I’m also reminded of a saying about fitness. It goes something like ‘No matter how slow you’re going, you’re still running circles around the person sat on the sofa.’ Linking it to my t-shirts, no matter how slowly they take off, I’m still running circles around the me of 2 weeks ago who was just sitting and wishing for money to fall into my lap. Watch this space for the link to my store!

My First Taste of Freedom

It’s been 8 days since I started an 18 month project, by the end of which I wanted to be completely free. In the first few days I was really excited because possibilities and options make me happy. Then I experienced ‘analysis paralysis’.  I had so many ideas I wasn’t sure which one to for go for or how to get started or who to target things towards. I’d start one idea, get frustrated because things became tricky or difficult and then move onto something else.  I spent hours trying to figure out how to get one of my ideas going.

Then with a surge of excitement I remembered I didn’t have to do everything by myself. I contacted a graphic designer on Fiverr (a site where you can contract someone to do any number of things for you, from around a fiver) and asked him if he could help me with one of my ideas, which he completed in less than 24 hours. He’s now working on a second piece of work for me as I write.

I’m also happy and excited because I had my first taste of freedom this weekend. I was able to visit family the other side of the country, do some sight-seeing and do what I wanted, when I wanted. I also happened to write and publish my last blog post on the two hour train journey, using my laptop and the train’s wifi. In the evenings I used the hotel’s wifi to research my idea and contact the graphic designer on Fiverr.

If you take advantage of this kind of stuff all the time it won’t be all that exciting. I try to spend as much time in the moment with the people who are around me rather than staring constantly at something on the internet, so it’s a novelty to me. Not once did any of it have to wait till I got back home, nor did it interfere with my schedule over the weekend, I just fitted it in around seeing my family and relaxing with my wife.

Marianne Cantwell (author of ‘Be a Free Range Human’) suggests you try and put in as many little bits of your dream life as possible whilst you’re on your way. So for example, if you desire variety, even something small as taking a different route to work can be a start. Being able to ‘work’ around what I wanted to do this weekend felt amazing. Not being tied to a location or a time of day was fantastic and I can’t wait for my next taste of freedom.

The Journey

This is a journal of my attempt to go from stuck in a 9-5 job to complete career freedom in 18 months. I will be using 3 books as my main inspiration.

25 Principles of Success – Jack Canfield

Refuse to Choose – Barbara Sher

Be a Free Range Human – Marianne Cantwell

These 3 authors have each inspired me to reach for something that right now feels completely out of the realm of possibility but which I desperately want. This blog will be sharing how I put into practice the techniques and tools these authors explain to create the life I’ve always wanted.

I want to be able to have an idea and start work on it without the restraints of a 9-5 job. I want to have the financial freedom to give some kid from the Make a Wish foundation the time of their life.  I want to be able to stop sitting on my sofa in the evenings scratching out various sums on the back of an envelope, working out how long it will take to save to buy a house or pay for a holiday. I want to be excited on a Sunday night at the prospect of what may be in store on Monday.

The journey starts now. 22nd May 2017. No matter what my circumstances are I will be posting on 22nd November 2018 to let you know how far I’ve got.

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Being Me

Judy Garland once urged us to ‘always be a first rate version of yourself instead of a second rate version of someone else.’ For a long time I thought ‘Easy for her to say.’ For people who are talented and successful of course they are happy to be themselves.

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Then one day recently I was reading ‘Be a Free Range Human’ by Marianne Cantwell and for some reason, the message just clicked.

Marianne talked about how as a coach she felt restricted when she wasn’t being herself. Once she relaxed and coached using her personality instead of hiding it, not only did she enjoy herself more, but her clients appreciated it too.

I realised that I haven’t done a lot of things because I couldn’t be like the people I admire. If I couldn’t deliver a deliver a comedic line like Ellen Degeneres or write like Pat Conroy what was the point of even trying? A huge weight lifted off me when I realised the whole point wasn’t to try and be like Ellen Degeneres or Pat Conroy but to be me! All this time I’ve been trying to repress my personality but I should be using it as a strength.

Now I feel a lot more excited to create stuff. I can do what I like without trying to be like someone else. It feels great!

Not Just ANY Job

2009

Walking into my office, I saw a stack of paperwork waiting for me on my desk. The same paperwork I had been doing day in, day out, for months. The same paperwork that would build up again and be waiting for me tomorrow. 

It wouldn’t have hit me so hard if I hadn’t been at a concert the night before. The singers and dancers had genuine smiles on their faces, loving what they did for a living. Watching them move across the stage they seemed to be having the time of their lives. I wanted that level of joy and passion in my job. 

I was literally bored to tears. 

I decided I had to find something I was passionate about, that I enjoyed doing, that I found worthwhile. Common sense, family and friends all told me the same thing; that work is meant to be boring and hard. You go to work, do what you have to do and try to enjoy your evenings and weekends. 

But why should that be the case? Why should I just muddle through with a half decent job, trying to pay my way through life, living for the weekend? Who dictated that work must be boring or hard? Why should the best bits of my life be squeezed into tiny time slots throughout the year? Must I really wait until retirement, which isn’t even guaranteed, before I live my life properly?

2017

If it had been a Hollywood movie, I would have resigned there and then, walking out of the building to some epic guitar solo (in slow motion). In reality I had rent to pay and food to buy and I stayed in that job for another YEAR. (I know, stupid.)

It did, however, start me thinking. I decided to start trying to find what made me happy, what I was passionate about and how on earth I could make a living from it.

I am still discovering, but know for sure that one single formal job is not for me.  Not just any job. For the past few years I have been reading about so many people who have broken free from the daily grind, the rat race or the career cage. I refuse to believe there is something special about them which sets them apart and makes that kind of life off-limits to me.

There are 2 reasons I am starting this blog. I have made several false starts towards becoming what Marianne Cantwell would call a ‘free range human’. I need some accountability. Without no one but myself to answer to I give up way too quickly and easily. I plan to share this with friends and get some support.

The second reason is that I also want to show that I am a real person, in a real 9-5 job that is sucking the life out of me and making me die a little each day. I want to share the ups and downs of the journey I am about to take from living in a 2 bed flat, not able to save much money to buy a property, deeply unhappy with my professional life, to feeling alive and excited about what I do each day and actually thriving financially and contributing so much to the people around me.

My motto for this journey will be a quote I love.

‘The question isn’t who is going to let me. It’s who is going to stop me.’ Ayn Rand