I’m hesitant to say this for fear that it sounds like boasting, but I love my life. On a daily basis, I help other creative entrepreneurs achieve balance between work and family, make more money, and help more people without sacrificing their values from the comfort of my home office.
More than that, however, I live the mantra: “Family First.” I start my day by getting my kids ready for the day (a process I love). I see them off to school and daycare, head to the gym for self-care, and then back to my home office… all within a square mile. I don’t work. I get paid to help others, and I get to make a difference in the world on a daily basis… first at home, then throughout the US, including clients in Canada and Australia. Sometimes, I can’t believe I am getting away with the life I’m living! As a kid, I watched my dad put on a suit, sit in traffic, and then sit in an office year after year… and he was miserable doing it. I promised I wouldn’t do that, and now I’m not.
It wasn’t always this way though.
In my 20’s, my DREAM was to make it in the music business. Yes, I wanted to be a rock star. During those dark days, I worked my “Clark Kent” day job by day, then lived my dream by night… essentially living two lives. My M.O. was “once my band gets signed (in the future), everything will change and I will be happy.”
The problem was I was MISERABLE in the present!
I remember my breaking point.
It was the day I realized I was CHAINED TO A SCREEN FOR 10 HOURS A DAY in a sales and marketing call center the size of a football field. One day, I walked into the building and it was dark out. When I walked back out, it was dark out. The GLORY of the day came and went, and I never saw any of it. I was spending so many hours a day pursuing a paycheck, I was missing out on half my life. Meanwhile, my band got more and more successful on the outside, but on the inside we were constantly fighting. All the while, I kept hoping, “Once my band gets signed, everything will change.” So I just worked harder and harder, hoping and living for someday.
That was it. I knew that if I couldn’t find a way to be happy and content in the present, no amount of “future hoping” would keep me sane. I needed to be making music, making a difference, AND making a living. So I left my own band that I started, and went back to school to become a music therapist.
However, while I was there chained to that screen I learned a lot about business and personal development, and when I got out of music therapy school, I realized that while we got trained to deliver music therapy, we didn’t get trained how to actually get paid to deliver music therapy. So, I leaned on my years in the trenches of sales and marketing to immediately fill my schedule after my internship. Now, I run a profitable business from home that I keep small by design, while still rocking the minivan. I figure I can always work more later on in life, but my kids will never be young again.
I am still an avid student of business and personal development, and the exploding field of Positive Psychology. I read a new book on one of these topics every month, and most months I devour the book twice within that month before moving on to something new. I also walk the walk in that I personally invest over 5 figures a year in attending educational seminars and personal coaching so that I continue to grow and learn, thereby passing this knowledge on to the therapists I serve.