Use Your Summer Vacation to Start Working at What You Love
Remember writing those How I Spent My Summer Vacation essays way back
Summertime may not be the endless carefree season it was when you were a
kid but it’s still a great time to jumpstart your dream of working at
what you love.
Here are three ways to use your summer vacation to grow a dream:
1. Become a Dream Detective
Imagine yourself a Dream Detective… someone who has an uncanny nose for
scoping out unique business ventures. Like any good detective, you’ll
want to take lots and lots of notes. Whether your vacation plans take
you to the beach, the mountains, or the city, make sure to pack a small
notebook along with the sunscreen and maps. But this isn’t any old
notebook… it’s your Dream Notebook!
The idea is to use your Dream Notebook to capture as many cool business
ideas as possible. If you’re traveling with kids you might even want to
enlist their help by making a game of it. Maybe you’ll spy an
interesting business in the airport terminal or along the roadside. Or
perhaps you’ll find an existing business that’s come up with a unique
income stream like an outdoor cafe that, for a fee, will walk patron’s
dogs while they dine.
If the business itself is nothing new, but they’re using some neat
marketing tactic to get customers in the door, add the marketing idea to
your list as well. For example, I read about a CPA who partnered with a
hotel to offer weekend guests a completed tax return by checkout. Two
unlikely business partners who profited from a creative idea.
The purpose of capturing cool business and marketing ideas is to shift
your thinking away from the more limiting idea of “job’ to the more
option-expanding concept of “livelihood.” But that’s not all. Even if
you have no interest in starting your own soft serve ice cream-kids
bookstore (with a fun hand washing area dividing the two of course), a
summer camp for Star Wars fans, or an antique stove repair business,
just by paying attention to the wonderfully vast number of ways there
are to make a living without a j-o-b can help fuel your own creative
2. Use The Longer Days To Start Working On Your Dream
Even though there’s still only 24 hours in a day, the extra hours of
sunlight somehow make the day feel longer. Use the “extra” time to start
actively working on your dream. For example…
If you still don’t know what you want to be “when you grow up,” read a
book about tapping into your calling. A personal favorite of mine
is Barbara Sher’s Wishcraft (available in most
bookstores) and of course, Changing Course’s own
Find Your Calling.
If you’re in the exploring stage, consider taking an adult education
course through your local college. I did a random search for courses at
the Boston Center for Adult Education and found such intriguing topics
as How to Write and Sell Movie Treatments, Leather Bookbinding, and
Opening Your Own Bed & Breakfast.
If you have a business idea in mind, you could spend the time
researching your business, building your website, or working on your
marketing plan. The point is to find a way to shine some of that extra
sunlight time onto your dreams.
3. Invest in Your Dream
One way to invest in your dream is to start spending less and saving
more. If you need to save money to put toward your new home office or to
purchase inventory, consider vacationing at home and stashing away the
money you would have spent on a costly vacation into your “dream fund.”
The other way to invest in your dream is to make a conscious decision to
spend money in the service of your dream. Sometimes the smartest (and
quickest way) to start working at what you love is to invest in the
skills, training, experiences, materials, or other resources you’ll need
to launch your dream.
Having consulted with hundreds of clients, I’ve found THE biggest
stumbling block for most aspiring self-bossers is not knowing how to
market themselves or their business idea. I’m not alone. When Mark
Victor Hansen sat down with his staff to plan out their 2004 calendar of
MEGA events he began by asking the question:
“What’s the biggest challenge you hear about from our clients and event
The list varied from “I don’t have enough customers” to “I can’t compete
with XYZ Company” … from “I’m sick and tired of having to justify my
price all the time” to “I want to systematically grow my business – but
I don’t know how.”
Understanding that all of these challenges can be overcome with
effective marketing, Mark decided to put together what he’s calling his
Mega Marketing Magic event. Over three information-packed days in
August, industry giants and marketing icons will reveal their latest
strategies for finding and keeping your perfect customers... on- and
If you believe as I do that marketing is the key to building your
business and your personal time and financial freedom, I urge you to
seriously consider investing in yourself and your dreams by attending
Mega Marketing Magic.
Read all about it in the Workshops & Teleclasses section of Changing
Coleman Cox asks, “Now that it’s all over, what did you really do
yesterday that’s worth mentioning?” Looking ahead instead of back, the
question will become how did YOU spend your summer? Hopefully the answer
will be, “Launching my dream of working at what I love!”
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About the Author
"Profiting From Your Passions®" expert Valerie Young abandoned her corporate cubicle to become the Dreamer in Residence at ChangingCourse.com offering resources to help you discover your life mission and live it. Her career change tips have been cited in Kiplinger's, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today Weekend, Woman's Day, and elsewhere and on-line at MSN, CareerBuilder, and iVillage.com. An expert on the Impostor Syndrome, Valerie has spoken on the topic of How to Feel as Bright and Capable as Everyone Seems to Think You Are to such diverse organizations as Daimler Chrysler, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Harvard, and American Women in Radio and Television.
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