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The only way to take control of your life, raise your standard of living and move beyond merely surviving is to create your own unique product or service that you offer to increasing numbers of people in exchange for the things of value that you desire. This simple formula applies to countries as well as people. A self-sufficient economy has its own products or services of value to export to the world. Similarly, a self-sufficient individual has something of value to exchange in the global marketplace. That thing of value is based on your natural talent, skill, or interest—in other words, your passion!
I believe I am here for a particular purpose. I believe I am here to tell a story. I believe that the story I am here to tell is the story of my own life. I believe that the purpose of that story is to inspire, empower and equip others to transition.
Transition is about change—conscious change, deliberate change, intentional change, empowered change.
I believe, too, that part of my mission and role is to stand as testament to, and be a living example of the thoughts and actions which lead to empowered change. In other words, I am here to live the life of my dreams simply to show others it can be done. This life shall question what I believe is real; challenge what I believe about myself, about others, about the world and about the universe I live in. In this life I shall walk where others believe there is no footing; I shall act where there is no script; I shall take risks without the assurance of success.
Here’s how it works: The quest for my own enlightenment and happiness puts me on a path and attracts certain experiences which I then document for the benefit of helping others to do the same or something similar. I am here to live an experience, process it, analyze it, explain it and teach it to others in the form of my own story.
If all goes well, I’ll be doing a workshop on Saipan in a few weeks. When I do my workshops, I usually begin with the telling of such a story—the story of how I went from being an employee to being an entrepreneur, then nomadpreneur, then Saipanpreneur, and share some of the thoughts and feelings that motivated me to do so.
Since our time during the workshop may be limited, we can get started right now. Here then, is the introduction to the upcoming workshop in the form of an excerpt from my book, Turn Your Passion Into Profit—a part of my story I call “Flatland.”
“Within the first fifteen minutes of my first assignment on my first day of work at my first job, I realized beyond the shadow of a single doubt that I hated being there. What I saw on that day scared me to the core, and haunted me until I left seven years later. I saw mostly men, and a few women, who were living lives of quiet desperation. People who, at age fifty and above, had spent their lives allowing their dreams, and thus their spirits, to stagnate. I met men who long ago had given up dreaming about doing more, and who had resigned themselves to live out their most productive years in the claustrophobic confines of cubicles engaged in personally unfulfilling work just for the sake of a paycheck. I met others who, at my young age of twenty-one, were already planning their retirement. I met people who had bought into someone else’s roles and expectations and were acting out the script without question or concern that there was something more.
They reminded me of the characters in Flatland by Edwin A. Abbott, a book I read in high school geometry class. The inhabitants of Flatland are paper-thin geometric shapes living on a flat surface, who think only in one dimension since the concept of height is one that has no meaning in their world. I felt like that lone inhabitant who discovers the existence of a third physical dimension. He is met with resistance, ridicule and scorn, but perhaps, most frustratingly of all, there was simply no one else he could
relate to or who could understand him.
As I met more and more of my co-workers, I felt more and more alone, for I had less and less in common with them. They all relished the comfort of working at what veteran employees called "the country club": a worker's paradise known for its great benefits, little real stress, and which rarely, if ever, laid people off. Many felt they had truly made it, and that all there was left to do was fit in, make as few waves as possible, draw a steady paycheck, earn their yearly 2% raise, and enjoy the ride. They were one-
dimensional figures living in a mental flatland, unaware or unwilling to conceive of anything more.
My soul felt imprisoned, and I was determined to set it free. Unlike most of my “flatland” coworkers, I dreamed of more. I dreamed of doing
something that I could really get excited about. I dreamed of a life-style where, instead of being locked away from the world for a third of my life during the daylight hours of every day, I would have the freedom to decide when to rise, when to have lunch, when to work and when to relax. One of my fantasies was simply having the freedom to go see a movie in the middle of the day. I spent the next 7 years doing everything within my power to realize that dream….
…Yes, it took me several years to do it, but I've created my own perfect Passion Profit life-style. I'm earning money in ways that allow me the most freedom. I create new products using my talent for writing and my skill at teaching to share what I know so that others may grow. The products are advertised in classified ads run in specific trade magazines, and by word of mouth, giving me the benefits of a 24-hour sales force. They are also marketed over the Internet, which provides me with a 24-hour storefront operation which doesn't require my presence. Customers order my products online or by mail, and a fulfillment company ships out the orders. I can run my business from a laptop on a beach, and don't ever need to be tied down to any particular place. I've turned my passion into profit, making money doing what I love, helping others to do the same, and, true to my personal vision of freedom, I finally have control of my days to go see movies in the middle of the afternoon!”
[end of excerpt; for the full story, including childhood influences, and my Prisoner of War experience at 7-years of age, you’ll have to pick up a copy of the book-- which I’ll have at the workshop]
Yes, to change, we must be willing to question what we believe is real; challenge what we believe about ourselves, about others, about the world and about the universe we live in. We must be willing to walk were we believe there is no footing; act where there is no script; take risks without the assurance of success. Whether that change is a new job, a new life, or a new relationship, change requires that we see beyond the limited dimensions of our current existence, and move out of Flatland. See you on the other side!
Note: For more tips on overcoming your fears, acting on your ideas, changing the game, and creating a passion-centered lifestyle, visit www.passionprofit.com!
Until next week, remember, success is a journey, not a destination!--Walt
Send article suggestions, entrepreneur nominations and feedback about this article to firstname.lastname@example.org. Walt F.J. Goodridge is author of 12 books including Turn Your Passion Into Profit. Walt offers coaching and workshops to help people pursue and profit from their passions. Originally from the island of Jamaica, Walt has grown several successful businesses in the US, and now makes his home here in Saipan. To learn more about the Saipanpreneur Project and Walt’s philosophy and formula visit www.saipanpreneur.com and www.passionprofit.com
WHERE IS SAIPAN?
Located in the western pacific, a short flight from Guam and 3 hours from Japan, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) is a popular tourist destination rich in history, culture and natural resources. Saipan, just 5 miles wide by 12 miles long, is the largest and most populated of the 14 islands making up an archipelago that stretches 400 miles (north to south) along the edge of the Marianas Trench.
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"hi Walt, I am very impressed. I never thought of early retiring there until seeing this website. I am interested in finding out more.-- Jim W (from the early-retirement.org forum about welovesaipan.com)
"I have read great things about you and your assistance. I have already found your book to be of great assistance. It is awesome! Thanks so much."-- B. Manuel re: Saipan Living
"Just finished your book and very much did enjoy it I am sure I will read again and again it has a lot of very good information and answered most of my questions."--Keith P. keep me in the loop please.
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