I'm sure you don't need the #FOMO, so I'm only here telling you about my location independet business, international work and globetrotting story to say that it didn't happen by chance, my parents are not rich, and this was far from being the "natural" path. Like it's probably your case too!
You can develop a thriving biz, a strong brand, and live the life experiences of your dreams. This is the story of how it happened for me, and some valuable learnings I've collected on the road...
Back in the day, I had learned that the path to success was:
study > do well in college > land a job in a multinational corporation > work there for 50 years > enjoy life in your retirement.
And that to be anything else you'd need to have been blessed with some sort of divine talent or be filthy rich.
I was surrounded by so many people for whom this was exactly the plan, the ultimate and incontestable definition of success, that my Authentic Voice started to silence.
Maybe your passion is not within the "traditional path" of the corporate ladder.
And whatever is it that you want to do instead, you've been hearing for a while that "you haven't gone to college for that".
I get you. This is my academic background:
· 2 BA Hons: in Advertising and in Theatre Pedagogy
· Masters Degree in Text & Performance
· Personal and Professional Development Coaching qualification
· Several marketing and branding courses
· YouTube Certified
· (and a couple of awards)
I looked around that office, and realized I had never signed up for a life where you work 9 to 6 (or 7, or 8) for someone else.
All those degrees and praise, to end up in an office where straight guys did "Top 10 hotties of the office" and the gay guys did "Top 10 best dressed in the office", and the women were trying to fit in.
An office where the most thrilling discussion you ever witnessed was about the last contestant eliminated from Big Brother. Oh, and office gossip.
My first daring action was to quit my 9-to-5 to work as an actor. Yes! It was a life-long dream, and it wasn't going to realize itself.
And the journey into being free to be who I really am was only beginning...
Even in a career as artistic as acting, when you work for others, you can spend your life hearing people trying to fit you into their expectations:
- Try to be more Brazilian! (🤨 ?!)
- Try to sound more Spanish!
- Your ID says you're too old!
- Your face says you're too young!
- Sorry, this role is only for white people (?!)
- Are you sure you're Brazilian? You're too white (?!)
- Are you sure you're Spanish? You're not white enough (?!)
That's why I decided to write my own material, including webseries, comedy shows and YouTube channels.
And you know what? It worked.
You can read more about what fascinates me about acting and being an actor here, in this short text that I called "What's more exciting than fame?"
But the main lesson to be learned from an artistic career is that other people's opinion doesn't define talent, and doesn't necessarily sets people up for success.
Uncountable actors don't see this, and spend decades "waiting for the call", waiting for someone to see them fitting in their projects, and end up giving up and applying for that manager position in their day job.
It's not just the coaching market. The yoga market. The VA or Social Media market. E-V-E-R-Y market is saturated. #sorrytobreakittoyou
And how can people choose you, if your only strategy is "doing what everyone else is doing because this is how things work"?
I only got awards when I wrote my own stuff. When I teamed up with other creative, entrepreneurial people (yes, even in the artistic field). Even after I heard that "I should take that work and go back to my country" and that it was "confusing that a show that was not about being a foreigner had a foreigner in the lead role" by the same people who would offer or not offer me auditions based solely on how "white" they thought I was.
I was finally in control of my work and my career.
I only grew a YouTube channel, and then another one, when I started to offer something no one else was offering.
My first channel was teaching aspiring actors what NOT to do when it comes to trying to get an acting job. It spread like wildfire, and got so many comments of people thanking me for finally "casting a light" on their doubts and questions. And so many followers who weren't actors or aspiring actors, but commented saying they loved "my sarcasm and acid sense of humor".
And even when the channel barely had 600 people, I was invited to run in-person workshops, that sold out at $200/head! (so that's what YouTube can get you even before you start earning from Google monetization)
My second YouTube channel started up with a series of 4 videos about toxic relationships with individuals of cluster B personality disorders (since I myself was in a relationship with one), 2 years after I broke up and finally could talk about it from a place of information and even humor, and it got so popular so fast, that I started getting income from it within 6 months.
My dream of legally working in Australia came true when I wrote a show and it got booked by 2 big venues in Adelaide. I even got spontaneous press!
And my problem with doing something that had zero meaning, like I did in my corporate job, was finally long gone, when my students (because yes, from my early years as an assistant director in the drama school where I was studying, I got a thrill from helping people have that A-HA moment, unleash their true selves, be confident, express their creativity, and achieve much more in life) starting asking if I would work 1:1 with them.
Starting to work with what I love and being free to be who I am during my work hours was only the beginning. I was so sucked into the vortex of routine that I had completely forgotten my ultimate dream of traveling the world.
At some point, 4 years into an abusive relationship (gladly the end of it), I realized something.
I realized that every day, there are people setting out to live the same dreams you have, and they make these dreams true for themselves, and there are people who will always postpone and find an excuse not to. I got terrified at the idea that I might be with the latter group.
I was waiting to have the proper group of friends to do it with. The proper invitation by my partner (which happened, and if you know a bit about cluster B individuals, you know that this is called "future faking", only a manipulation maneuver to keep you hooked, with zero intention to actually do it). The ideal set of circumstances falling on my lap. And that was never going to happen. Or ir might or might not happen, but how much longer was I willing to just passively wait?