Building a beautiful life part 3 – Increasing income without selling the bottom of your shoe…
This building a beautiful life adventure is in full swing. I’ve been merrily cutting costs left, right and centre and I do mean merrily. I find it amazing how often it has improved this family’s quality of life, instead of impinged.
My next step is to earn a decent income, doing something I find rewarding and stimulating. Hmm… this is my weak link, so I’ve enlisted some help, but I’ll get to that in a minute.
How to be an Outlier
Not long ago, I stumbled on Malcom Gladwell’s book Outliers. I didn’t expect to like it, but I found it an incredibly heartening and realistic look at how the ‘mighty’ are made. Although, I’ve since found out that many perceive the book as depressing. Each to their own…
Gladwell breaks down our fantasy of the self made woman, pulling herself up by her boot straps with nothing but tenacity, grit and a special (almost magical) quality to become a champion ice hockey player, one of The Beatles, Bill Gates and so on.
Outliers is heartening for people like me, because the self-made story makes me want to give up before I start, because I think, oh well, I couldn’t do that and would I want to? I’m not sure I want to do whatever it takes, all on my lonesome, for the sake of what?
Some trotted out, fake life that is manufactured by someone else and bought by your dying soul in order to impress people who give you the shits.
I don’t even think I have anything special that would make me stand out in that magical way, not in a woe-is-me-I’m-not-special way. I just have a firm belief that we all can be exceptional at something. Gladwell seems to agree and lists the common qualities of outliers as:
1. Expertise (usually at least 10,000 hours of work in the chosen field).
2. Community support through teachers, peers, family and the like and access to the necessary tools to do the work.
3. Good timing, which means having had the access to the community and having done the necessary hard work when the time is ripe.
However, it’s the message between the words I find heartening. This is my interpretation:
1.Try and find meaningful work we enjoy (most of the time).
2. Strive to become an expert in something, so we can help others.
3. Our perceived failures and shortcomings may end up being our greatest assets – being the odd ball is often the best person to be.
4. Seek out and be grateful to those who support us.
What does meaningful work look like for you?
It’s useful to look at the enjoyable common threads in our past employment and other activities. For me – communication, community and creativity.
A matter of doing the work, being proud of what we do and doing the best we can.
Odd ball assets
This point is basically about self acceptance. How we get to that point is the 300 million dollar question, but I think we can start on that road, by choosing to accept who we are and seeking out ways to do that and people who support that, which brings me to the final point.
Seeking out ‘bucket fillers’, a term my son now uses after reading a book of that name. These are the people who believe in you and support you.
As much as people criticise social media (often for good reason), it is where I’ve found my most recent ‘bucket fillers’.
The ridiculously articulate, wise and soulful Brooke from Slow Your Home – we will be running some workshops together on how it’s possible to take the slow road in this faster, faster world.
The gorgeous and incredibly supportive Sonia and Tessa, from Down That Little Lane will be letting me loose in their brand spanking new space to teach people how to make beauty products.
The Business Mamas for accepting me on their Business Diploma course. They have truly created the most supportive and encouraging business course I’ve come across. I will be collaborating with them to share what I learn along the way.