I read this post from Braid Creative and it got me thinking. I’ve already been thinking a ton about what direction I want to take this freelance career and more importantly, why.
So this is a good first step — figuring out how I define being “rich, wealthy, and successful” so I can make sure that what I’m doing is putting me on the track to get there.
This isn’t exactly a complete picture, but for now? Here’s what being rich, wealthy, and successful looks like to me:
- a wardrobe of sustainably-made clothes, purchased from local shops and small businesses
- high-quality, fresh coffee beans and luxe tea in the kitchen
- going to the doctor, dentist, whatever without any anxiety that “something” will come up that needs expensive (unaffordable) treatment
- organic (local) groceries
- wine clubs
- a MacBook Pro and DSLR
- unlimited membership to a yoga studio with a strong community
- eating out, ranging from the hole-in-the-wall Mexican joint to brunches to dinners — and picking up the tab for our friends
- being able to send my future kids to college without saddling them with student loan debt
- lots and lots of dogs
- living in a place where I frequently run into people I know and like — at the store, the coffeeshop, the park, the movies, restaurants, wherever
- having a wide and supportive social circle
- friends who take turns hosting dinner and holiday parties and plan trips together
- always spending holidays, birthdays, and special occasions with laughter, love, and great food and drink
- multiple vacations each year — seeing our families and new places, instead choosing just one or two trips because we don’t have the vacation hours to take time off work
- regularly using high-end skincare and beauty products
- an energy-efficient, space-conscious home with solar panels, a greywater system, local, environmentally-friendly materials, and all the other sustainable stuff my husband keeps telling me about
- donating to charities in amounts that get our names on plaques or bricks
- getting new clients solely from referrals from happy clients who looooove me
- working with clients who I love and who have businesses I genuinely believe in
- getting emails asking to “pick my brain” (though hopefully with less graphic cliches) because people know that I’m knowledgeable, helpful, and generous with my time
- the time to volunteer
- speaking or giving presentations at events for writers, students, freelancers, etc.
- the NY Times bestseller list
- getting interviewed by Terry Gross on Fresh Air
- having a waitlist of clients — and being able to refer them to talented peers because I’m all about sharing the success
- setting my own schedule, and not having to work during the time I want to be spending with my family
- mentoring someone
Geez, I could go on. Will I achieve all of that? Well, probably not.
Will I be a failure if I don’t? No.
But will I be supremely disappointed with myself down the line if I don’t keep this in mind and keep striving for it? Hell yeah.
The point of this exercise isn’t that I build up some ridiculously unrealistic, perfect vision of what my life “should” be in my head. It’s to get me clear on what I want (simple, high-quality products that add to my and my family’s well-being, social support, being able to be generous, time to enjoy life and have memorable experiences) and what I don’t (a bunch of “things” and junk that weigh me down) so when I’m making decisions about my business, I’m choosing the options that point me in this direction.
I have soooo much else to say on this and related topics — I’ve got a lot I want to accomplish in the rest of 2014 and I’m already thinking about how I want to shape 2015, so expect more on this!
Let’s get some discussions going. What does “rich, wealthy, and successful” look like to you? Leave a comment, email me, or post on your own blog and link back here or whatever!
again, huge hat tip to Braid Creative for getting me thinking on this