In a previous post, “Ignore Everybody” – a creativity manifesto from Hugh MacLeod, I wrote about “Ignore Everybody”, Hugh MacLeod’s updated and published version of his very successful blog series, “How To Be Creative”. When I first found his blog version years ago, I found it so helpful that I shared his list of creativity tips in my blog, highlighting the ones that resonated more powerfully for me at that time, and directing my readers back to the author’s blog for his additional insights on each one.
This was July 2008. It was very interesting for me to go back recently and revisit that list and my highlights to see if my short list had changed. Many of them are still the same, but some have changed…
“6. Keep your day job”… or not
One of the tips that resonated strongly for me at the time, “6. Keep your day job” I’m not so sure about anymore. I’d have to add the caveat that it depends on your day job. For me, quitting my day job was the best move I ever made. It was akin to pulling my soul out of quicksand before being sucked under. It has given me the freedom to explore, branch out, do something different than what I had been immersed in for the majority of my waking hours for most of my life – something I loved and still do, but needed a break from so I could explore and enhance other talents/interests that I love even more… and grow a few new ones. July 2008 was a few short months before I took the leap off into the unknown and I am grateful I did it. I have learned and grown so much and done/experienced some wonderfully fulfilling things and accomplishments in the past few years… things I may not have been able to do without the extra 90+ hours a week… and it’s still happening and unfolding.
I think Mr. MacLeod’s tip to Keep Your Day Job is still very sound advice. I didn’t take my leap blindly. I had been laying the ground work for years “just in case” and I am very grateful for my years of corporate life and salary (and my dual career as a professional vocalist) in giving me that ability.
Everyone’s situation and circumstances are different. In my case, the universe gave me a little push – I don’t think anyone should remain in a bad corporate culture and environment, it’s not good for the soul. Should you find yourself in that situation, you owe it to yourself to explore other options – whether it be searching for another job or jumping off on your own. You alone know what the right solution is for you at that time.
Some recommendations and a few cents from me, if you think you may want to take that leap:
- Start putting some money aside
My fiance jokingly called it a “F-U” Fund (use your imagination ;). Save all that you comfortably can, especially if you’re going to make a clean break for a while without taking on another part-time or full-time job to help with the bills. Only you know what you need to live on (see next tip). Prepare accordingly.
- Scale back your lifestyle a bit – learn to live on less.
(Similar to Hugh Macleod’s “32. Remain Frugal” in “Ignore Everybody”, the expanded, published version of his creativity manifesto.) It’s amazing what you can do without and still live very comfortably… really. Most of us tend to spend at the level of what we earn, which is often more than we need to. I admit, I had some trepidation at first and it took a little time to adjust my habits. One revelation for me was that my need to spend money decreased as my day-to-day satisfaction and contentment level increased… after I took the leap. But you don’t need to wait for that to make your own adjustment.
- Allow yourself to recognize that the idea of job security is more myth than matter these days.
The concept of corporate job security is an idea ingrained in many of us by well-meaning parents and adults, mostly because it’s what they themselves were taught. But it’s just not reality – at least not in the economic climate we have been “enjoying” for a while now. The only real security is not needing security. One way to achieve that is by exploring and developing multiple streams of income, especially passive. You don’t need to do just one thing to make a living. It could be a combination of things – related or un-related.
- Be comfortable and confident in your own decision and path, regardless of what those around you say and think.
They are not you… and it’s not their life and choice, it’s yours.
- Seek the company and support of those who understand and support you in your choices, pay no heed to those who don’t (see recommendation above).
With regard to the naysayers – unfortunately, their opinion, in most cases, is fueled by fear of making the same courageous leap you just made (or are contemplating making). Don’t get sucked in by their negative view. Don’t let their fear – or competitiveness – foster doubt in you. If you need to, create some distance… even if it’s family and close friends.
- Allow yourself to change your mind and adjust your course, if the spirit moves you.
Your chosen path is never set in stone… anywhere – or time – in your life. It’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind… and a man’s. Heed your intuition, learn to read the signs along the way, let yourself be guided by your inner self. Don’t think everything has to evolve the way you initially thought it would. Don’t be afraid to put your initial intention on the back-burner if another, stronger motivation and path presents itself. It may be your initial idea is part of something bigger and you need time and focus to develop the other pieces of the puzzle.
- It’s often best to hold your cards close to your vest while you manifest.
As things – and you – evolve, you don’t need to share everything with everyone all the time. You’ll know when the time is right to let the cat out of the bag and spread that Straight Flush out on the table for all to see ;>
- "How To Be Creative": Brilliant!
- "Ignore Everybody" - a creativity manifesto from Hugh MacLeod
- "6. Keep your day job"... or not