Do You Feel the Change?

  • April 22, 2010 by Corbett Barr
  • 20 Comments

I don’t know about you, but it seems like every week, someone I know or follow is joining the ranks of the blissfully free lifestyle entrepreneur. Seriously. Every week.

Look around, spend some time reading blogs and you’ll see what I’m talking about. The stories are everywhere: Dave Navarro just quit his day job, Adam Baker had a killer first product launch and Everett Bogue started making money in his sleep.

These are just a few examples of people I respect and keep up with online. You probably know dozens of others.

It’s awesome that these people are each realizing their dreams, but it’s even more remarkable that many of them started their lifestyle businesses so recently. Dave created The Launch Coach in January of last year, Baker started Man vs. Debt just over a year ago, and Everett is only six months into blogging at Far Beyond the Stars.

It’s amazing how much a motivated, committed person can accomplish in about a year’s time. If anyone tells you you’re crazy for thinking you can earn a living online doing something you’re passionate about, kindly ask them to stand aside and watch you do it. Show them some of these examples.

Sure, everyone who “makes it” is especially talented and hard-working, but surely are too, right? Plus, if you have half the work ethic and creativity of the three guys I mentioned, you’ll still do just fine. Maybe it will take you an extra year to succeed, but what is two or three year’s effort compared to the ultimate in life-changing freedom?

The World Really Is Changing

I know that referencing a few stories of success doesn’t count as providing evidence of some greater change. The plural of anecdote isn’t data. I’m not going to give you statistics here about how the economy is changing (I’ve already done that) and how it’s changing in favor of the self employed. But it is.

Trust me when I tell you that the place to be right now isn’t inside the walls of a giant decaying corporation. Job security is now a myth. There will still be corporate jobs for some time for those willing to put up with the increasing demands, workload, competitiveness and decreasing freedoms associated with them. But do you want to be the one who sticks around long enough to turn out the lights?

I didn’t think so.

Luckily, we’re at a fantastic point in the transition from the corporate-run economy to the individual-empowering economy. We’re not so close to the start of the transition that it’s too hard to figure things out for yourself, and not to close to the end that it’s too competitive to gain traction.

If you’re an aspiring lifestyle entrepreneur, you’re right in the midst of a perfect storm of elements coming together to make your wildest dreams possible. Take an unstable economy, failing institutions, and dissatisfied workers and combine that with unbridled technology and stunning examples of people who have already succeeded (and are willing to help you do the same) and it’s obviously the best time in history for people who want to realize personal freedom through a very small business.

That’s the bet that I’m taking, and the bet that many of the most creative, capable and inspiring people I’ve ever met are also taking. The upside is the lifestyle of our dreams. The downside is that we all go back to cubicles or wherever else we came from. Seems like an easy choice.

What’s Your Plan?

If you’ve been on the sidelines up ’till now, you might be jealous of the progress you see other people making all around you.

The feeling is healthy, but don’t take it too far. Feeling some pressure to succeed will help you move ahead. Feeling like it’s too late for you or that you don’t have what it takes are useless self-defeating emotions. Catch them every time you feel those feelings coming on and redirect your thoughts to what might be.

This isn’t a zero-sum game. There is plenty of room for everyone reading this to create the perfect lifestyle business of your design. Think abundance, not scarcity. Reach out and accept the help that people are willing to give you and reach back and offer the same to the person a little behind you.

Don’t fret over the time you’ve already spent not getting anywhere. Look ahead. Make a plan and get started. We’re all here waiting to help.

Do you feel the change? What’s your plan? Please share.

Have you signed up for free updates yet? I would be thrilled if you did.

photo by David Reece

Written by . Corbett is cofounder of Fizzle, a place for creative entrepreneurs, writers, makers, coders and artists, all working to support themselves doing what they love independently on the Internet. Follow Corbett on on Twitter.


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Nate April 22, 2010 at 6:27 am

I feel a big change! It’s amazing what people are doing and just seeing the success that they are having keeps me motivated each day. These folks you have mentioned as examples have made big things happen, even during a “recession.” All it took was hard work.

As for my plan? I feel like I could be free from my job in 6-8 months. Since I have no student loans or other debt, it will not require a huge sum of money to make it possible.

The hard thing though is not feeling like I need to rush. I find myself getting a little bit frustrated at times when I see all these other people quitting their jobs, doing what they love and all that good stuff. The key for me is turning that frustration into a drive to make it happen for myself.

Lots of great points here, Corbett. Great post as usual.

Eugene April 22, 2010 at 8:37 am

Its posts like these that help me to refocus and hustle towards my goals.

And like you say, its not a zero-sum game. One of the most important mind shifts I had early on was that the pie is big enough for everybody that works hard and takes some risks. And in these times, its only getting bigger.

You just have to remove doubts and take your share.

Corbett April 22, 2010 at 2:40 pm

It’s nice to be a position where you don’t have to rush though, right? If you have a steady day job at the moment, that can take some of the pressure off and help you think more clearly than if you were unemployed.

David Krug April 22, 2010 at 9:05 am

Thanks for the all the rabid encouragement.

Corbett April 22, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Sure thing.

Greg Linster April 22, 2010 at 5:09 pm

Way to incorporate some game theory Corbett! The online space is definitely not a zero-sum game. There are a plethora of niche markets out there for online entrepreneurs. More opportunities are being created everyday. It’s simply a matter of developing your ideas!

After I quit my corporate job, I struggled in career purgatory for a while. I’ve decided that I’d rather work a part-time job while I focus on getting an online business up and running. I’m trying to absorb as much as information as I can. I’ve blogged for several years, but not consistently or with a business purpose in mind. Currently, I’ve got a plan in the work and I’m finally taking the plunge to learn WordPress from the ground up.

On a side note, how do I get a picture to show with my name when I comment?

Thanks for the encouragement!

Cheers,
Greg

Corbett April 22, 2010 at 11:09 pm

Hey Greg, thanks for writing and best of luck absorbing all that information. It’s overwhelming at first, but definitely gets better.

To add a photo in your comments across blogs, go to gravatar.com

Moon Hussain April 22, 2010 at 7:32 pm

Hi Corbett,

Yesterday was my last day at work; I quit my job. Noone there understood why I would: after all, work was laid back, you go at your own pace and it’s a steady paycheck. Whee.. yeah, nope.

I want to work for myself and now it’s on. I’m excited….. it’s a turning point in my life and I’m glad for having this opportunity.

What a timely post.

Corbett April 23, 2010 at 11:46 am

Wow, jumping in with both feet, huh? That’s a bold move, but hopefully will provide all the motivation you need. A word of warning: be prepared for things to take longer than you expect (they always do), and make sure you can hang in there through “the dip” (as Seth Godin calls it).

Hailey Rene April 28, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Congrats on taking the plunge. I have a similarly laid back job that I can’t wait to job. No one understands why. But I have 3 awesome projects in the works so hopefully I can join you by quitting my job soon!

And Corbett, new to your blog. This is a great inspirational entry and I just love your blog theme. Gonna go subscribe to your feed now. :)

Cheers,
Hailey Rene

Jason April 23, 2010 at 11:33 am

Corbett – so much truth here. I’m seeing more and more people start very small businesses, muses, or lifestyle businesses. In the past year I’ve started two sites and couldn’t be happier. I’m still working a day job (because I like it and I can) but working towards success with two personal projects is incredibly rewarding. The process is part of the journey.

For anybody doubting if you can do this, learn a bit about social media and the free (or incredibly cheap) technology that exists to magnify your voice and your business. Take 1-2 hours per day, hustle a bit, and you can be on your way in a month. No joke.

Corbett April 23, 2010 at 11:46 am

Thanks for backing me up, Jason. Glad to hear things are moving along for you!

Richard @ No More Compromise April 23, 2010 at 1:12 pm

I’d like to chime in here when it comes to rapid results if I may.

I have been building content sites for years and every time I build one I get better results, faster.

Less than a month ago I launched a new site, which entered Google at position 240ish. Now, just a few weeks later it’s sitting on page 2 of Google and traffic is building daily as the site shoots up the rankings.

Within the next week or two I expect this site to be on page 1, generating several hundred visitors per day which I can then monetize in a variety of ways.

With the right knowledge and motivation, amazing things really are possible online. You just have to believe it’s possible and knuckle down.

Robert April 29, 2010 at 2:35 pm

“The World Really Is Changing” …. yes, yes it is. It’s steady and growing. It’s encouraging and keeps me excited.

It’s almost been a year that I’ve really dug into designing how I live instead of just floating along on good intentions, and it’s been about 4 months since pursuing to be a free lifestyle entrepreneur.

I get so psyched up when I read lines like this “we’re at a fantastic point in the transition from the corporate-run economy to the individual-empowering economy” … and although I’m still moonlighting my way out of my corporate job, I get thrilled with every new follower, idea, and step in the direction of creating a product launch. I’m on the cusp with my site, excited, moldable, and ready to hustle, and I can thank you Corbett just as much as anyone else! Fueling post.

PS. I laugh every time I see that image, must be really well searched on flikr haha.

Mike Carlson April 30, 2010 at 11:49 pm

Hey Corbett,

You couldn’t have done this better if you had heard my life story, knew all about my current concerns, and sent me a personal email with an inspirational roadmap.
Having jumped into this sort of thing with both feet recently, I know about the insecurities, the questions, the self doubt…and how these things really add up and try to derail the strongest and most motivated of people. Breaking out of the “box” is tough, but I’m looking forward to it being oh-so rewarding! Thanks for helping us out man.
Mike

Corbett May 2, 2010 at 11:08 pm

Cheers, Mike. Best of luck with your journey. Glad to be of inspiration.

Simon van Duivenvoorde May 7, 2010 at 11:42 pm

Hi Corbett,
I’m feeling it already. Just to quote you ‘everyone who “makes it” is especially talented and hard-working’. I think it’s 10% talent and 90% hard work. Talent will give you a head start, but hard work and commitment will determine the outcome.
Thanks for the inspiration! Best, Simon

Corbett April 22, 2010 at 2:41 pm

It’s definitely getting bigger. Most of the types of businesses I see springing up weren’t even possible 10 years ago.

Greg Linster April 23, 2010 at 1:53 pm

What a fortuitous comment… I just read “the dip” yesterday.

Mike Carlson April 30, 2010 at 11:56 pm

That’s what’s so amazing to me. I see so many young people doing amazing things on the internet, and kudos to them. I’m not that old (not even 40 yet) but I did learn to type on a typewriter. I remember the start of public internet, with compuserve, AOL and there was a third one, I forget the name. Dial up, ugh!

It’s so cool what can be done from the home these days, and I’m getting my piece of the pie. Why not right? It almost seems silly to me NOT to take advantage of this new stuff. It makes the 9-5 seem really dull in comparison.

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