Stepping into the next version of ourselves
the ridiculous journey I’m committing to in public
I set a ridiculous goal last month.
Normally, when I set goals like this, I regret them immediately and let them quietly fade away. I have a long history of lofty ideas that never left the edges of my brain. (Tell me I’m not alone?)
But I want to make this one happen.
So I’m going to write it down right here in this email, where you and my mother can see it, and… well, then I guess I have to do the things to make it happen, right? It’d be embarrassing not to, wouldn’t it?
Notice I haven’t said it yet. I’m procrastinating. Not sure I should say it. Because, well, this is a whopper.
OK. Here it goes.
I’m going to save $50,000 and take a one-year sabbatical to work full-time on Healthy Rich.
Oh boy, I can’t believe I said that.
So, there it is. I’m doing this now.
Here’s the deal: By the end of 2023 — or sooner, as soon as possible — I’ll stash $50,000, enough to pay myself a livable salary for a year, so I can hit pause on freelance work and devote 100% of my working hours to building Healthy Rich.
I don’t want to run a passion project on the side for years. I want to build a business. And running an entire freelance business in the meantime is awfully distracting.
I want to see what I can make when making it is all I’m doing.
You’ve probably felt this way
I’ve been on this journey as a writer-cum-entrepreneur for 11 (omgoodness 11?!) years, and this isn’t the first time I’ve thought of a good use for a sabbatical. I’ve thought, if I could just take a year to…
write a book
work on a blog
create a course
design a brand
open a food truck (always have to keep a theme in your back pocket)…
What could I accomplish in that time?
Have you, too? What’s your sabbatical fantasy?
The fantasy isn’t good enough anymore
I’ve always let this idea of total creative freedom be a fantasy. As long as it was a fantasy, I didn’t have to believe it was possible, so I didn’t have to make the moves to make it happen.
That served me for a while. I needed to fantasize, imagine the highest level of impractical joy, let it marinate in the back of my mind while I learned a Very Practical Set of Skills and how it felt to pay rent on time and buy organic vegetables without comparing prices. I needed to let it run wild and take shape, free from the pressure of existing in the real world.
The fantasy isn’t good enough for me anymore.
This time, I believe this creative freedom is possible. I can see the steps it’ll take to get there, and I can imagine myself taking them in concrete ways in this very real world.
This feeling is new, and it’s a bit alarming. But what can I do?
If this goal is possible, I have no choice but to pursue it.
Of course, I’ll write about it
As I do whenever I’ve got a new challenge to untangle, I’ll write about this journey.
I’ll write about the financial challenge of siphoning off about half of my income into a sabbatical savings fund. And I’ll write about the much bigger challenge: learning how to be a founder.
I haven’t run this sort of business full time before; I need to fill that well just as much as I need to fill the savings bucket.
That’s why I’m firing this newsletter up again. I’m going to learn a lot and think a lot, and I’ll put all the good bits right here.
I know not everyone reading is gearing up to launch a business, but I hope there’ll be plenty for you here regardless of what you do next. This is about learning to be the next version of yourself — and that feels the same every time, whether you’re stepping into day one or year 11.
Whether you want to start a blog or open a wacky French toast food truck, keep reading to learn with me about business, productivity, leadership, marketing and life as I make this transition from freelance writer to full-time founder.