Today, I want to give you a closer look into my own, personal journey– and what the decision to pursue a dream has actually cost me up until this point. Setting big goals and actually achieving them is not easy! It’s taken a lot of strength that frankly, I never knew I had until I started. It has cost me a lot of time, energy, sacrifice, money, tears and sweat. But that’s OK. Waking up everyday to do what I love, having the freedom to make my own hours and choose my own passion projects…yea it’s been well worth it!
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN:
- My timeline from then to now– how long it’s taken me to get to here
- The biggest PRICE I’ve paid in the pursuit of my dreams
- How much I’ve spent in dollars!
- The risk versus reward and if it’s been worth it?
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Welcome back everybody. Thanks so much for being here as always. To somewhat piggyback on the last episode, Episode #21: How to Pursue a Dream When You’re Broke, I want to give you a closer look into my own, personal journey– and what the decision to pursue a dream has actually cost me up until this point. Because remember, I was a broke twenty-something with $80,000 in post-grad debt when I chose the road less traveled.
But before we begin, I just want to share my timeline with you so that you can get an accurate representation of how long it’s taken me to get here today.
Now, I actually had to do a lot of digging to get the exact months and years down on paper. It is crazy how fast time flies and how blurry the lines become. So I’m actually glad I took the time to do this, because I’m always like, “How old was I when I left corporate? What year did I move cross country? How long have I been a coach?”
Now, I finally have some concrete answers to those questions.
OK, so here’s a little background for you. I quit my corporate job in October of 2010. I was 24 years old at the time. And that’s the job that I refer to often, where I literally woke up one day, quit without a plan because I was like “Oh hell no, I deserve to do something bigger and better with my life.”
But I had no idea what that was and I was in debt and I didn’t have a plan.
So in November of that same year, I moved to Boston where I nannied for a few different families, working 70+ hours a week. Because I thought, “OK, I’m just going to work my little booty off, save some money and then figure out my next big move.” So after 9 months, I was like “OK, Shaina, What am I doing? I’m getting caught up in making money, that I’m pushing aside my bigger mission which is to discover and pursue my dream career.”
And that’s when I opened myself up to the Universe, and said, OK, I’m ready. Guide me to what’s next– to my bigger, higher purpose!
And that’s when in August of 2011, a living opportunity presented itself to me in Los Angeles through a friend of mine from college. And it felt like the “neon sign” I was asking for. My gut was screaming YES, follow the sign.
So I sold all my belongings, I packed up my car and drove cross country in September of 2011. I did not have a job lined up, but at that point, I had some money in my savings, but more importantly, I had my GOAL– to figure out what I was meant to do with this one life that I was given.
So not too long after getting settled in LA, I began my own personal self-discovery quest along with a side hustle to ensure some stable cash flow. I spent an entire year learning about myself. Learning how to drop away from everything I wasn’t and stepping into everything I authentically was. I was learning what I like, what I don’t like, what I’m good at, what my flaws are, what my strengths are, what my passions are, what frustrates me, what lights me up, how my past has both negatively and positively affected my present day. Like I was getting to know the ins and outs, nooks and crannies of myself. And since practicing what I now preach, I always say this because it’s so true, my life has never been the same. It was the best investment (time and energy) I could’ve ever made for myself and my future.
So after about a full year of self-exploration and following my curiosities, It was around November 2012 that I had my “AHA moment.” I knew I was meant to work in the self-help field and guide others on their own self-discovery journey– while saving them their own time and money in the process!!!
I enrolled in coach training in March of 2013. I finished training in May of 2014. And I’ve been building my business since 2015.
So that’s my general timeline for you. And I think it’s really important for you to see and hear, because this is a journey you guys– in every sense of the word. Pursuing a dream whether you already know what that dream is or you don’t and need to do the extra legwork like I did to figure it out, is not overnight by any means.
With that being said, the first and the biggest price I’ve paid is my TIME and energy– and a whole lot of it. Days, nights, weekends and everything in between. From the actual discovery phase to the building of my career.
Pursuing a dream costs way more of our time and our energy, than it does money, at least in the beginning.
And doing what I’ve been doing for a while now, I believe it’s the #1 price that people are not willing to pay– even over money. Because we live in a world of instant gratification- so when people can’t see or feel the results right away, it scares them off. Which is the biggest shame, in my opinion, because I’ve learned that nothing worthwhile is instant.
Waking up every day now (and forever) to do what I love, I mean yea, that was absolutely worth my time, you better friggin believe it!
So a part of me, just wants to take people in my arms and be like, “It’s OK. Just be patient.” I’m working with a student of mine right now, and we’ve been working together for about 6 weeks now, and she sent me an email saying, that she was scared because she hasn’t found her passion yet. After just 6 weeks!
I mean again, it took me a full year to get to know myself and decipher between my hobbies and my bigger calling in life. Now it definitely could’ve taken me less time, however I made the mistake of running with the wrong dream (due to guess what? YUP, impatience!) which is the exact reason I created my course– to help people avoid traps like that and ultimately save them a lot of time and money!!!
Anyway, so dedicating my time to a bigger goal, without experiencing external rewards for a while, was for sure the #1 price I paid.
However, even with that, I was still being intrinsically rewarded. And I know that may sound very fluffy, especially if you’re accustomed to working for a paycheck or some sort of external validation or praise, but I can promise you that it’s anything but FLUFF. Working toward goals that you care about and that yes are challenging, but also fun…that’s the type of meaning and purpose we as human beings crave. It’s the reason I preach so heavily about taking the time to find your passion!
So in the beginning, even though I didn’t have money coming in or a superior (or anybody really) saying, “good job, keep going. You’re so talented,” my passion for what I was doing, the creation process and bringing my ideas to life is what kept me going. There’s no better feeling in the world than when your dreams start to connect to real life.
So for me, there was no amount or type of immediate gratification that was worth living out the rest of my life working a 9-5 job I was miserable in. Like no salary amount could’ve tempted me. I was committed to a better lifestyle and I trusted that by doing the “hard work,” it would pay off.
And by hard work, I mean working on myself, the development of my business and managing side hustles at the same time to take care of my responsibilities. For me, that meant continuing to nanny and do Personal Assistant things when I moved to Los Angeles.
Was it easy working two full-time jobs? One of which I wasn’t getting paid for? Definitely not!
Success is no accident. It takes a lot of hard work, perseverance, learning, studying and sacrifice.
My mid to late twenties, I gave up so much! Like so much. I obviously had to live roommates, I didn’t have nice things like nice furniture (I was still using the furniture that had been leftover when I moved in), I never went shopping for clothes, never got my nails done, got my hair cut twice a year, worked any overtime that was offered to me, denied social invitations, spent all my extra time working on my coaching stuff…like I did what I had to do in pursuit of my bigger dream.
Now, I’d be lying if I said that sometimes sacrificing those little luxuries in my twenties didn’t hurt, especially when I saw other people my age spending and splurging…after all, I live in this big, sexy city…yet, wasn’t experiencing the restaurants and nightlife like other people were. So yea, I had to manage my headspace around the sacrifices I was making. I had to remind myself: this is the price that I’m paying right now, but that’s OK because I’m willing to spend a few years of my life like most people won’t, so that I can spend the rest of my life like most people can’t.
I knew what my life would look like if I didn’t put the time and energy and sacrifice into changing it.
I had already experienced the 9-5 corporate lifestyle, and it wasn’t for me. And that was enough to drive me forward, keep me going, even when I may have felt frustrated about everything it was “costing” me to pursue my dreams.
The next price I paid was my lack of social life– as I kinda already mentioned, but generally speaking, I had to sacrifice a lot of my relationships–the relationships with my family and my closest friends, who reside on the East Coast. I have a very big family, a lot of nieces and nephews, my few really good friends (that I call “my people”) are back on the East Coast so that’s been one of the hardest sacrifices I’ve made.
I still consider myself to be very close to my family and friends– it’s not like there’s zero communication. In fact, there’s a lot of communication. But ya know, there’s obviously that physical distance that can sometimes create an emotional distance as well.
Now, your journey of pursuing a dream, may not take you to faraway places, a different state or continent (it may, it may not), but mine did.
This is the path that I was pulled toward. And I think in the beginning when I was trying to “find myself” and then go onto build my career up, the little to zero distractions I have here, was necessary for me and my success.
Now, luckily, after much sacrifice, I’ve created the freedom for myself to travel back and forth and get the best of both worlds. I spend about 8 weeks back home every year and that length of time slowly increases as the years go by (Nathan is like OH MY GOSH, you’re slowly creating a bi-costal lifestyle)…but again, I’ve created that freedom to do so. All that time and hard work in my twenties has provided me with that bigger luxury in life. Again, it required sacrificing those small luxuries that provided immediate gratification like manicures and shopping sprees, but now having the ability to travel whenever I want and work remotely, yea the wait was worth it.
This is not something I’d be able to do working in a corporate setting with 2 weeks paid vacation.
Now quickly, for those left-brain people listening, who are dying to know the dollar amount that I’ve invested into pursuing my dream, I’m happy to share some numbers with you.
The self-discovery phase of my journey, which was by far the most valuable, ironically, cost me the least amount of money. The only dollars spent were on personal development books. And you can get used books on Amazon for as little as one penny.
I approached the start of each book with a student’s mind, as if I were taking a college course. I made highlights, I took a ton of notes, I would go to the public library, bring my laptop and just type away for hours…answers to the questions authors were posing, elaborating on ideas that were coming to me. Like I really played the role of student.
So again, dollar wise, this phase didn’t cost much, but required a lot of my time and energy for learning and then to apply the concepts. I am a highly self-disciplined person so holding myself accountable was never an issue for me. In fact, I didn’t have a coach until later on when I started my business– and even then I bartered services with another coach.
Coach training was my biggest investment to date. I enrolled in one program for $7K and a second program for I think $3K…which if I could go back in time, I probably wouldn’t have enrolled in that second program, just because it was not an intuitive decision, but rather a decision made from my ego. I thought if I had all these certifications under my belt, it would make me a better coach. But in reality, all I needed to do to be a better coach was to start coaching.
Now both of these larger monetary investments were paid for with my savings. Because if you recall, I had that hard earned money from when I had nannied in Boston.
Last episode I talked about not using money as an excuse, but instead looking at it as an obstacle, which is exactly what I did. I worked my butt off those 9 months to invest in a bigger dream, not even knowing what that bigger dream was back then.
But the point is, I worked for it. I didn’t sit back and let money be a reason to not go after what I wanted. I figured it out. And for me that meant hustling 70 plus hours a week at the time and not letting my debt deter me from making other big investments.
Once I finished training, I’ll be honest, I spent a whole lotta money on unnecessary things like business cards, online fax services, a crazy expensive logo that I never used, a landline phone– like all of these things to make me appear more professional. When in reality, all I needed was my cell phone to start coaching.
So the monetary investment to get up and running was no more expensive than what I was paying for my monthly cell phone bill. I was the one who created these added costs that weren’t essential. I think the term is “too fancy, too fast.”
And then as the years went on, with any business or start up, once I started to see profit, I would take a portion of that profit to reinvest back into my business– things like online software and systems to keep everything running smoothly, creative tasks, virtual assistant, and so forth.
So yea, when it comes to how much my dream has cost me– monetarily speaking, it’s never weighed as heavily on me as TIME has. Ever!
Money was never an excuse in my mind, but rather an obstacle. In my opinion it’s an easier hurdle, no matter your circumstances, than things like time, energy and sacrifice. In fact, I think that a lot of times using money as an excuse, is just really an excuse to not PUT the time, energy and sacrifice into the bigger dream.
So as we wrap things up here, I want you to look outward toward your own future, and your own big dreams and goals…I want you to ask yourself, how important are these things to me? And what am I willing to sacrifice? What price am I willing to pay right now?
I want you to ask yourself: What is costing me not to invest in myself? When I choose not to put the time and energy into my big goals, what’s that costing me?
Guys it’s the people who are willing to pay the price of time, energy, patience, sacrifice and risk that are rewarded ten-fold. So it really starts with the commitment and the willingness to pay that price first and foremost. Yes, there will most likely be monetary investments along the way, but you figure it out. You let one step lead to the next, and then the next and the next.
What teeny tiny action step can you take right now toward that bigger goal? That’s not going to cost you a cent, but just your time and focus? Give yourself permission to do that thing now.
That is for today guys. Thank you so much for listening, I’ll see you next time.