Surely, I’m a believer that you can find your career passion within the walls of Corporate America (if you don’t laze out or settle on some miserable, two-bit j-o-b). But I’m also a giant cheerleader for those who decide to bag that route entirely and go it alone.
Like Morgan Day Cecil, a friend and one of life’s great examples of living Mach II with your hair on fire.
Morgan, by definition, is a blogger and photographer. But that’s like trying to describe the Eiffel Tower as a sort of impressive bit of architecture. She also is a skilled web designer, travels extensively with husband and son in tow, and oh-by-the-way, teaches pole dancing fitness classes.
I interviewed Morgan recently. Really, I wanted to see what kind of formula she uses to “make it” as a solopreneur. Here’s what she had to say:
How’d you decide that you were going to go it alone instead of working a corporate job?
Honestly? My dad was the biggest influence. He always worked for himself. He was always around to take us swimming and waterskiing, and really to just hang out with us. I saw from an early age the freedom that comes with being completely autonomous and in charge of how you spend your days. Now, my dad worked very hard. Our whole family would come together and clean the apartment buildings he owned and help put pieces together (he’s an inventor), but I saw firsthand the value that comes with a life that’s not restricted to “9 to 5,” and I knew I wanted that for my own family. Time is so much more important to me than money.
You’ve just launched a new personal development blog (MorganDayCecil.com). What is your goal with this project?
I truly believe that life is meant to be lived bigger than most people are currently living it. I wanted to help people understand what it means to be alive. The blog offers tips on falling more in love with life and living each day with romance and adventure. Honestly, it’s as much for me as it is for those who follow the blog. I need constant motivation and inspiration to live life with an adventurous and romantic perspective.
What can a job seeker learn by following MorganDayCecil.com?
The blog can provide job seekers and those stressed about unemployment a great opportunity to regroup and focus on what they’re passionate about so that, in this next phase of life/career, they can make sure making choices that lead them to a life they love. It’s about how to figure out what you want out of life, and what you want to “do” for your income.
For those considering just going it alone, what’s the scariest part?
For me, it’s the insecurity that comes with an inconsistent income. For those working “secure” jobs with corporations, even if it’s a false sense of comfort, they tend to feel safer with that regular paycheck even when “safe” means “unhappy.” That’s something you must get comfortable with as an entrepreneur. You also have to be a big self-promoter. You could have the best product or offer the best service in the world, but no one is going to know who you are unless you give them many reasons and reminders. And, you’ve got to keep your focus; keep persevering without getting distracted or intimidated by “what everyone else” is doing.
Best advice for someone considering building a career as a solopreneur?
Learn. Start learning from people who are living and working in the world you want to be in. Get on social media, especially Twitter. Approach people, connect with them online. Ask them questions. Learn everything you can from those who have paved the path you want to walk on. My dream is to become a travel photographer. I’m not yet sure how I’ll get there, but right now I’m studying everything I can about the subject from a place of pure enjoyment and curiosity. There’s incredible value in this.
A peek into the life of someone doing things a little bit unconventionally, with seemingly major payoff. She’s not a zillionaire (yet), but she’s making a living doing things she loves.
And you just can’t put a price tag on the value of a flexible career built out of personal passion.
Morgan Day Cecil is a photographer/blogger with a M.A. in Philosophy. Her personal development blog (MorganDayCecil.com) aims to help you fall more in love with your life and live each day with romance and adventure. She daydreams about living in a land where lemon trees and avocadoes grow, but until then she lives in Kentucky, with her husband and son. You can connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.