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working towards your ideal job

We know many people who have big plans, wonderful dreams and goals for their future, and their sights are set on the work they most want to do with their lives. Sometimes the building of these wonderful lives requires keeping a day job, or even a series of freelance jobs so the bills can be paid. We asked a few people about taking care of business while also building and planning the life they most want to have.making-a-living-column-header

Are you working {or have you worked} a “day-job” while at the same time—in your free time—working toward getting your own business or creative endeavor off the ground? If so, can you tell us a few things you do {or did} to keep yourself focused and energized?

While I was building my business (and still today!), in addition to a robust task list and vision of what I’ve set out to accomplish, I always found ways to make the “extra” work enjoyable. Things in the environment that helped me stay energized and focused (aromatherapy, candles, funny pictures, inspirational quotes), scheduled breaks (if I was pulling an all-nighter I’d always take a break for 20 minutes of the Tonight Show and a snack), and I would both figuratively and literally “pat myself on the back” when I hit a deliverable or a benchmark toward my goals.

Acknowledging progress inspires more action, and there’s magic in that momentum. Without fail I take time daily to breathe, laugh, and move. And there’s ALWAYS chocolate.

Deanna Davis is the CEO of Applied Insight and the author of The Law of Attraction in Action, Living With Intention, and Laugh, Cry, Eat Some Pie. Visit her online at deannadavis.net and appliedinsight.net.

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Luckily my 9-5 (which is actually 7-7) is pretty creative already. But in every spare moment I’m not working at Creativebug, I make something, show up to an event, curate a show, organize a #socialsketch or have some project going. What keeps me on track and focused is collaboration. If I have another person involved then I HAVE to show up, move forward and keep going. And it also makes the project more fun to work on. In addition, I’m an avid Instagramer, and posting work to my feed keeps me accountable.

Courtney Cerruti is a Maker Extraordinaire, artist and author of 3 craft books. She can be found on Instagram as @ccerruti

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I am currently doing a full-time day job while completely changing my life! I felt myself going under quite early on, so now my husband and I spend one minute every morning (before we get out of bed) to both visualise ourselves in our new life. It has helped give me a touchstone to go back to whenever I start getting overwhelmed during the day. We are doing other things, but this single practice also seems to keep the others on track. The fact that we are both doing it feels really powerful.

Meghan Genge | Writer • Seeker • Finder of magic. Believer in the power of stories. Author of the inspirational novel, Unfurl.

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I wear a couple of different hats—and I have for years. That just makes sense to me because I’ve always been super practical. The bottom line is pay the bills—whatever I have to do. In the early years of becoming a writer, that meant I worked at a bookstore and then at Simon & Schuster—the publisher—while I wrote and worked on documentary films.

These days I teach a number of classes at a website called writers.com because the added income eases the burden of those lighter months over at 27 Powers. I like having this side work because I never like to feel panicked about how many people work with me at 27 Powers. I want those people to come to me because they’re called to come—not because I pleaded with them. So having side work enables me not to have to plead and I appreciate that.

Being able to pay my bills keeps me focused and energized. I never feel like, “Oh, poor me, I have to work a side job!” And I would add, it helps that my side job is very much related to my “real” work over at 27 Powers. It’s not like I’m stuffing mattresses in a factory to make a few bucks. Everything I do over at writers.com makes me a better teacher through and though.

Laurie Wagner is a writer and writing teacher over at 27powers.org

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When I was launching my wedding photography business while working full time, I made myself a big calender that I tacked up on my office wall.  It was so big, it took up the entire wall and I scheduled my photography time along with all my family activities around the hours of my day job.

It kept me sane being able to see it all at a glance.  I also tacked up polaroid photos to represent various activities.  For example, I put up photographs of my son’s basketball games or photographs of fun activities we did to remind myself that there was still time for fun and living outside of work.  I no longer have the business but I employed the same sort of tactics when I started triathlon training last year only I used a painted chalkboard wall.

Darlene Kreutzer lives in Canada and is grateful for family and friends, light that casts shadows, music that lifts emotions and all the dreams that become their own realities.

Do you have a story to share about how you are working towards {or have arrived at} your ideal job/life? Please share your stories here in the comments.

Submit your questions for Making a Living • Creating a Life to info@mabelmag.com, subject line: Mabel Community Question

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