For a long time, I’ve been using unorthodox methods to achieve my goals. On the surface, they might seem at least a little normal, but I assure you, I’m always taking at least one more step into the realm of weird than the next guy. The funny thing is, the more creative I get, the happier I am. Creativity drives me, and it can drive you too.
When I was about twelve years old, I ran a lemonade stand. I did it for about two weeks. I wanted to make money, and that was the first thing I thought of. Buy the materials, sell the product at a markup, and profit. Easy peasy. After two weeks of that, though, I realized that it was too hot in the sun, and I was tired of the same old thing.
When I turned fifteen, I got a job at a theme park. I know, I know, it sounds like child abuse, but my father thought it was more important for me to be able to pay for a car, gas, food, and insurance (at fifteen years old) than it was for me to study for my classes. If we had our druthers, eh? Although this job seems rather orthodox for a teenager, I used my unique set of skills to make it something more.
I worked at a face painting, tattooing, and hair wrapping stand. I was the best hair wrapper they had, and I used that to my advantage. Every time a customer came to my shop for a product, I guaranteed them that I would provide the absolute best product they could get. With a bit of worked in charm, I would almost always get a tip, on top of the super-inflated price of the product. I made a nice chunk of change on top of my hourly wage.
I got a few other jobs after the hair wrapping gig. I was a bagger/checker at a grocery store, a call center representative for an insurance company, a supplemental instructor for a college Physics class, an engineering intern, and (currently) an electrical engineer. During this time, I did a few creative things to earn extra income.
For a small period of time, I sold e-books on eBay. I bought them from someone and then began reselling them. It turns out, you actually need a license to resell an e-product. Whoops. I made about $180 from that two-month venture, and it was a fun learning experience.
Before I took my current job as an electrical engineer, I taught myself a lot about web design/programming. I offered web design services for an up and coming company, and I worked for them diligently. For a week. Not much, but I was an independent contractor for a week! That’s pretty cool, eh? I made $400 from that, and I learned a lot from the experience. I also designed a product website for another company, and made about $250 from it.
The point of this is – during my tenure as a web designer, I thought I didn’t have a clue. I thought I would never be able to make money from it. Although I didn’t make much, $650 isn’t nothing.
My most recent entrepreneurial activity is collecting frequent flyer miles. I’m almost up to 100,000 miles, and I’ve only flown 13,000 of those. I’m not only using the techniques I list in my Points, Miles, and Deals roundups – I’m using more creative techniques. My biggest current goal is to take a year-long round-the-world (RTW) trip,with the love of my life, in first class, for free. Well, maybe not for free, but as close to free as possible – for the airfare anyway.
I’m getting creative and making what seems like an impossibility become very real. Does it seem possible for two fresh college graduates to travel around the world for a year – in first class? Of course not! That’s why we’re doing it. We’re doing it to prove that it is indeed possible, and all it requires is a little extra creativity.
It’s Your Turn
What’s your impossibility? What seems impossible to you? What’s holding you back from achieving your goals? How can you creatively achieve your dreams? I don’t have the answers for you. Only you do. All you need is within you already. You just have to dedicate the time and willpower to figure it out. If it upsets you that people say your dreams are impossible, prove them wrong! Your creativity is your most important asset. Now go out and create!