The school calendar of your youth may have hardwired you to see Fall as the time for new beginnings.
But summertime is THE best time to launch your dream business.
Don’t worry — you can change course and still have time for summertime recreation.
After all, the word recreation literally means to “re-create.”
And what better way to spend this summer than recreating your LIFE!
Here are six ways you can use this summer to grow your dream:
1) Be lazy and still make progress
As the most carefree of the four seasons, summer is made for dreaming big. The key is to be deliberate about it.
One way is to make an appointment with yourself to go to your favorite park bench or other outdoor spot.
Give yourself a full half hour (ideally longer) to just lay back and watch the clouds roll by or gaze lazily at a star-filled sky.
As your breathing slows you’ll find the day-to-day trials and tribulations that consume us now seem trivial.
Start to imagine what could be…
Taking in the vastness of the sky reminds you to see your life in more expansive terms as well.
If you find yourself still thinking small, remember the wise words of Michelangelo…
“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”
2) Take advantage of the longer days
Yes, lazy days of summer are still busy.
Still, the additional hours of daylight do add a bit more time to our lives.
Why not use this “found time” to do things like…
- take a class
- start your blog
- build your inventory
- hone your craft or other skills like writing or speaking
- read up on ways to make money doing what you love
Even if you can only dedicate 20 minutes a day or one morning a month, it’s all forward motion!
3) You don’t need a yard to plant seeds
Summer is the ideal time to cultivate that dream.
Start with good soil by asking yourself some core questions like…
- Who and what do I care deeply about?
- What makes me happy?
- What do I want my life to look like? (click here for some tips on where to start)
Now get rid of the weeds – the lame excuses, apathy, self-doubt, and fear born from lack of information.
Next plant a few seeds that move you closer to your dream life.
- Interview someone doing your dream job
- Start or join a group of other self-bossers
- Write a business plan (or at least a loose outline) of what you want to do and steps needed to get there.
Of course you could always plant a real garden – and make some real money doing it!
To get started check out Homesteading for Beginners: How To Build A Profitable Homestead Backyard Farm and Make Money From Urban Farming by an enterprising Brit named William Walsworth.
The biggest “complaint” about his book is that it focuses on the business aspect of homesteading… which is precisely the info every aspiring self-bosser needs!
4) Find yourself in a real summer thriller
Light summer novels are great.
But how about treating your life like the adventure it could be by reading some books to help you change course? Like…
How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free by Ernie Zelinski
Or if you’re still trying to figure out what you want to be when you grow up there’s always…
Wishcraft by Barbara Sher (her first and still my favorite book)
Or instead of losing yourself in a summer novel, why not find yourself one of the many exercises in my own book — It’s Never Too Late to Find Your Calling.
Or, if you already have a new direction in mind, use this time to read a “how to” book on this new path.
Go to Amazon and search for “How to start a [fill in the blank] business.” You’ll be amazed at what you find!
Or check out courses with a proven track record on things like how to turn your photos into cash or how to get paid to travel.
5) Take a tax-deductible vacation
If your dream includes relocating, hit the road by using your vacation as an exciting research expedition.
Plan ahead to do things like arrange informational interviews with local entrepreneurs or craftspeople or to otherwise gather research about things like local costs, vendors, groups, and opportunities.
Say you spend two out of seven days doing research, calling on future customers, or even collaborators.
As long as you make what the IRS* considers a “good faith effort” to make a future profit within three years, then you should be able to deduct that portion of your trip as a tax-deductible business expense. (Tip: Be sure to document how you use your time)
You don’t have to be contemplating a move to take a tax-deductible road trip.
If you want to cash in on the profitable romance writing genre then head to the annual Romance Writers of America conference happening this July in Orlando.
I was at the 2016 conference to deliver a keynote to 3,000 attendees.
And I was blown away at the quantity and quality of the workshops as well as opportunities for aspiring writers to pitch to agents and publishers.
Again, if you’re acquiring training in order to go on and earn money — then it should be a tax-deductible expense.
*My friends outside the US will want to check on your country’s tax law.
6) Or take a “staycation” and invest in your dream
Use some or all of your summer vacation time to gain more passion-related knowledge, experience or connections locally.
In addition to doing any or all of the actions listed in #5, use your vacation time to take a local class, to volunteer, or maybe even do a super part-time apprenticeship.
Or just save both money and time by spending your vacation at home.
If you do, be sure to make it a real vacation by doing the kinds of things a tourist on a budget might do – go on a picnic, head to a museum, take a day trip to a place you’ve always wanted to go.
Then stash the money you would have spent on a costly vacation into a “dream fund.”
Use your savings to take career-expanding classes or even start your own business.
Then use at least a few vacation days to work on your action plan.
Re-creating your life is about making choices.
Hop on down to the comments and share one way you can use your summer to launch YOUR dream business… and life!
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