Many years ago, I was a fresh fashion graduate in New York City who would willingly do any job famous fashion brands threw at me—even it meant very low wages and a great deal of undesirable tasks. I forced myself to hang in there because every other fashion graduate had to go through the same thing. It worked fine until the day my passion burned out. It was then that I began to regret the decision of why I did not enter the corporate finance world after my first degree. Why had I given up admission to some prestigious business grad schools? Why I had to fight all odds to go to New York, etc. Luckily, I caught myself before I started sinking into the abyss called head-tripping. Instead, I moved to another city, started anew in the field of marketing, and even started my journey on personal growth.
Today, I am an entrepreneur and a speaker (among other things) living a full and merry life that allows me to effortlessly be the breadwinner for a caring partner and two loving dogs. Here are some tips I use to create my life:
DRAWING OUT THE LIFESTYLE YOU DESIRE
What kind of life do you want to have? Would you like to live in a loft apartment in a metropolis? Or do you want to have a bigger home with a yard in the suburbs? Do you plan on going for happy hours at posh lounges and bars every day? Do you enjoy homemade gourmet meals? How often do you plan on taking vacations? Do you have any extracurricular activities that you do on a regular basis? Everyone has a different set of values, which determines their spending AND saving habits. Ask yourself: “If I am going to live the lifestyle I would like to have, how much exactly do I have to make?” Remember to include the money you would need to save in order to do things (i.e. a 12-day vacation to Antarctica) and buy things that are of investment values (i.e. an apartment).
IS THIS REAL AND TRUE TO YOU?
Now that you have a clear picture of the things you want to have in your life (and the numbers that come with it), it is time to review every single item and ask, “is this real and true for me?”
How many of these items are truly yours? How many of them are products of trying to fit into other people’s projections and expectations of how you and your life should look like? For example, do you really need that convertible with a V8 engine? Or is it something your successful friends have? We often unconsciously align and agree with other people’s standpoints and notions on values and goals, thinking that if everyone else is working really hard for them, then it must be something valuable for us too. We are trying to create a life based on the lies we believe as truths, and that often does not turn out well. We only live once. We should live our lives fully, joyfully and gracefully, not trying to fulfill or live up to anyone’s fantasies.
WHAT IS FUN AND EASY FOR YOU?
Passion is something that can run out, may it be towards a person, an object or an interest. The moment it runs out, it becomes prolonged suffering that is waiting to die off. Whether you are just entering the work field, or you are looking for a change of career, go for something that is easy and fun for you. For example, I have always been good at finding great jewelry that are way below retail value. I enjoyed the shopping experience and it was very easy for me to spot great pieces. One day, I realized that I could extend my personal hobby to a business service where I help people find quality jewelry pieces that do not break their banks. I also knew of a lady who worked as a bank representative and dreaded her job. I then found out she was very skilled at children illustrations, and later on, she became a professional children furniture artist who would do artwork on custom-ordered children furniture. And anything custom-made does not come with a low price-tag. She is now enjoying her life while getting paid to do what she enjoys. What is it that is easy and fun for you to do but you have never considered?
BE PROACTIVE, NOT PASSIVE
Opportunities come into our lives, and we have to be willing to recognize and grasp them. We also have to trust our instincts. I once had a seemingly attractive investment opportunity that, on papers, was just perfect. However, my instinct told me not to accept it and I had to painfully decline the offer. A few months later, the supposedly well-established company went bankrupt. When people around me are chatting, I always keep my ears open because I never know if they know someone I would like to connect with. Do not let your shame or embarrassment hold you back. Be willing to ask and the worst-case scenario is just a simple “no.” Do not hold yourself back from any future possibility.
Kayla Leung is a Global Entrepreneur with expertise and talents across many industries. Kayla’s education includes a doctorate in clinical psychology, a bachelor’s in economics and commerce, and a degree in fashion. The many hats Kayla wears include public speaker, Wealth Creators Anonymous Facilitator, philanthropist, managing director, angel investor, therapist, etiquette consultant, jewelry designer, writer, buyer and business consultant. With all her experience, she has been facilitating classes and workshops around the world to inspire others. Her empowering talents spreads across many cultures, languages, and countries across the Americas, Asia and Europe.