The excerpt below suggests that instead of postponing our dreams for the future, we should live for today and pursue what excites us most because it’s the surest path to fulfilling our life’s purpose. It’s written by Adam Dudley, an author, mentor, coach, consultant, and speaker to solos—one person small business owners.
More information about the book and the author follows the excerpt.
Pursuing Your Dreams With No Regrets
by Adam Dudley
The old man pointed to a baker standing in his shop window at one corner of the plaza. “When he was a child, that man wanted to travel, too. But he decided first to buy his bakery and put some money aside. When he’s an old man, he’s going to spend a month in Africa. He never realized that people are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.”
This conversation from The Alchemist takes place in southern Spain, where Africa, the destination the baker dreamed of, was just a few miles away. Yet he postponed his dream indefinitely, as many of us do.
Do you remember how to dream? Most of us can relate to the baker because traveling the world at our leisure is a dream of ours, too—perhaps because human beings aren’t meant to be cooped up in cubicles forty hours a week. We are meant to roam the earth, if not literally, then figuratively. When we explore, we find out what excites us. That passion fuels the contributions we make as we live our lives.
My wife Heather and I lost everything in the Great Recession. We were running a cafe, and it crashed and burned with the rest of the economy. All we could do is cry as we lost our business, all our money, and our home. We saw many older friends lose their entire retirement portfolios and the equity in their homes.
That moment was a tipping point for us. We realized that nothing is certain in life. Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, said, “Knowing that you’re going to die is the best way to avoid thinking you have something to lose.” Suddenly the idea of working, saving, retiring, then dying without having ever really lived didn’t seem like such a good plan. The time to live our most exciting and fulfilling life is—and always has been—now.
Realizing this at a gut level, we decided to take drastic action. We sold all our belongings, counted our pennies, and began a new lifestyle of long-term travel, savoring it at our leisure. Much of this chapter is based on my reflections from our second floor apartment in the trendy Friedrichshain district of Berlin.
Living in Berlin was an amazing new experience. It was an absolute blast. Riding the trains, buses, and trams, and living car-free was refreshing, since driving a car was essential to our life back home. It was all very romantic and we relished every moment—the long walks, the cafes with delicious kuchen and coffee, and the food stands serving reasonably priced, tasty food.
Neither of us had ever lived in a big city. We had never lived a different kind of life, so how could we compare our familiar lifestyle to a different style of living? We didn’t know what we didn’t know. Our life in Florida was comfortable. Our work was fulfilling—but not as fulfilling as it could be—as we now know.
Living far from home changed us. It allowed us to live free of ordinary expectations. Our new lifestyle was fun, rewarding, exciting, and expansive. However, it was not easy to break free of our usual routine and become open to living free. Heather had a great job with generous compensation, a fabulous mentor, and good coworkers. The fact is we were scared to try it, and discussed it for almost a year before becoming “Location Liberated.”
Yes, the decision required courage and effort, but we decided it was better than waking up one day and asking, “Where did the time go?” A significant factor in our decision was that Heather was 22 years old when she started her job, and at 31, she was ready for a change. She had identified what she didn’t want to do anymore, and that was huge. If you know what you don’t want to do, it’s easier to take the first scary step toward an as yet unknown, better place. Heather was able to resign and create a proposal that was attractive to her employer and that made our new lifestyle possible.
We’re back in Florida after our traveling adventures, but we live for today, fulfilling our dreams now rather than postponing them for the future. Does this sound selfish? We don’t think so. Pursuing what excites you most is the best path to fully expressing your creative gifts in order to make your unique contribution to the world. Life is short and we have no guaranteed tomorrows.
When you’re doing exactly what you want to do every day, you naturally celebrate life. When you live expansively, you’re fulfilling your life’s purpose. You express deep gratitude toward God, the Creator, the Field, or whatever name you use.
On the other hand, if you do not choose to live for the maximum expression of your creative gifts, you are stealing. You are stealing from the world the amazing contribution you have to give, that all of us have to give.
About the Book
CLARITY FOR SOLOS: Secrets and Strategies for More Focus, Momentum, and Meaning in Your One Person Small Business
by Adam Dudley Published by Adam C. Dudley Associates ISBN 0998089702 (paperback), 5.5″ x 8.5″, 106 pages, paperback, also available as an eBook,
$14.95 (paperback), $9.95 (Kindle) Available directly from Amazon.com or through the publisher’s site: http://www.adamdudley.me
Are You a One Person Small Business Owner Who’s Struggling to Get Started, Stuck, or Unsure About What to Do Next?
If you’re like most solo small business owners, you face overwhelming demands and chronic uncertainty every single day. There are so many possibilities. So many decisions have to be made. How do you know what to do next? How do you know if it’s right or wrong?
You may find yourself rushing from one business guru and success program to the next, chasing silver bullets and snappy solutions that never pan out. Your attention is pulled in all directions. You’re floundering.
Without a clear head, how can you possibly make good decisions? Whether you’re brand new to business or an established entrepreneur, it’s vitally important to move from confusion to clarity. Stop the chasing and second-guessing and step into the business and lifestyle you long for.
Inside this book you will discover…
- The secret to clarity and confidence
- How to ALWAYS know what to do next
- A powerful method for eliminating overwhelm (for good)
- The hundred-year-old time management practice that never fails
- How working less will help you get more done (this counterintuitive secret will turbo charge your productivity)
- The prescription for procrastination, paralysis, and putting things off
- How to turn avoidance into action
- Practical strategies for enjoying a balanced life while building your business
In Adam Dudley’s role as a coach and mentor to one person small business owners, he discovered a recurring theme. Most of the solopreneurs that sought him out had a version of the same basic problem. They were confused and lacked clarity. They didn’t know what they should be doing, or they had a massive to-do list and just couldn’t decide what to do next because there were too many options.
The real problem was that they didn’t have the entrepreneurial skill of discernment. Discernment is knowing what to pay attention to and, more importantly, what not to pay attention to. Knowing what is relevant and what is not is critical to making the best use of your time as an entrepreneur. You must be able to attend to the things that will really move the needle towards your vision and goals.
Adam wrote this book to convey some of the strategies and secrets he imparts to his clients to a larger audience so that more people might benefit from his background and insights. The book uses stories from Adam’s experience, lessons learned while helping solo entrepreneurs build their businesses, and step-by-step practices for creating more focus, momentum, and meaning in a one person small business.
About the Author
ADAM DUDLEY is a Solo, a one person small owner, and an explorer of all things and places that interest him. He has endured his share of disappointments and setbacks, has found himself focused on the wrong things, has made plenty of changes, and now helps others build high-performing solo businesses and rich lives while removing obstacles and avoiding mistakes.
A graduate of University High School in Orlando, Florida, Adam earned a bachelor’s degree in Exercise & Sport Sciences from University of Florida. He passed his Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) exam, which 40% of candidates fail. Adam has gone on to become a certified Balanced Scorecard (BSC) Practitioner. Over 50% of large US firms have adopted the BSC.
Adam’s work experience is as varied as his education. After graduating from college, he worked for the YMCA doing fitness and wellness administration and client services. In 2002, he left the Y and went on to build several fitness businesses of his own, eventually employing personal trainers and a yoga teacher and taking up a management role. In 2005, he left the fitness profession for good.
Adam became the first entrepreneur in his family, and gained the invaluable mentorship of several high net worth individuals. During his career, Adam has formed over a dozen businesses and helped countless solo and small business owners move towards their vision and goals with more ease, speed, and certainty.
He has done such diverse work for clients as design and create marketing copy and campaigns, manage projects and programs, and design sophisticated business plans for an assortment of nonprofit and corporate clients. Adam’s experience also includes strategic planning and management for small private companies and nonprofits, and designing, analyzing, and implementing marketing and business strategies.
Adam made more than few shifts along the way. He ran marketing for an upstart restaurant and nightlife company in Orlando, which grew from $0 to $2 million in sales in less than one year. He then went on to take over and rebrand a struggling cafe, renaming it Sol River Coffeehouse & Lounge. His work for the cafe led to his first 15 minutes of fame, as Voice of America used his cafe and interview in a video piece in 2008. He has been a DJ, playing nightclubs and all night parties in 2002. He recently started his own music label with a friend, Flash Jack Music, which produces internationally-released recordings of classic and contemporary house music.
In 2011, Adam and his wife, Heather, created a lifestyle model that made even the wealthiest envious. Together they founded Location Liberated, a publishing and coaching business designed to educate others on how they too can live a “location liberated” lifestyle. They traded the corporate and traditional business lifestyle for the pursuit of destination spots worldwide while earning income through conducting virtual business from any location of their choice. They balanced time, lifestyle, and income and enjoyed each of these life components to its fullest through their “modern vagabond” experiences.
Adam and Heather dedicated themselves to helping others achieve this same lifestyle if they so choose. To this end, they created their website to chronicle their journey and encourage others to step out and fulfill their dreams as well.
Adam is a practitioner of yoga, mindfulness, and martial arts of over 25 years. In 2013 he joined the Give Back Yoga Foundation with a tribe of other yoga practitioners committed to making yoga available to underserved and under-resourced populations. Today GBY boasts thousands of people experiencing the healing power of yoga who otherwise wouldn’t have had access, and has raised hundreds of thousands for charitable purposes. Adam has served as Chief Operating Officer of The Give Back Yoga Foundation as well as a Strategic Advisor to another nonprofit, the Modern Widows Club.
Adam’s greatest accomplishments have nothing to do with money or status in the business world. When asked to list his most meaningful life experiences, he’ll tell anyone who’ll listen about training at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs just before he became President of the University of Florida Taekwondo Team. Another accomplishment is his marriage of 15 years.
When asked today what he does, Adam will answer, “I liberate Solos.” He is the President of Adam C. Dudley Associates, LLC, which offers mentoring, coaching, and consulting. “My mission is to help solo small business owners create high-performing businesses that empower their life’s work and get them free to live as they choose.”
Copyright ©2016 by Adam Dudley. All Rights Reserved. Please feel free to duplicate and distribute this file as long as the contents are not changed and this copyright notice is intact. Thank you.