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When I quit my last* job (* referring to terminal or final rather than previous or most recent) the CEO asked me why I was leaving. The only answer I could come up with that even began to resemble what I was feeling inside was,

“I don’t fit!”

Something inside of me knew that I didn’t fit in to that organisation. I found myself moaning a lot about how things were being run, how people were being treated and how I couldn’t see myself lasting more than a year. It ended up being almost two years before I left.

If I look back at my life, I have always experienced this resistance with conformity. Since leaving university, I have fluctuated between a ‘proper’ job and doing my own thing, spending a year or two in one camp before getting frustrated and jumping back across to the other side. However, it is different forces that push each way.

The conformist part of me, that element that society says is the ‘right and proper‘ way of doing things, keeps telling me I should get a proper job. I’ve tried that, and I know it isn’t for me. However, if you have ever spent time being self employed, you will know how attractive a steady pay cheque can appear at times.

And yet, as soon as you concede defeat and re-write your cv as part of your application (most non-conformist self employed people don’t even have a CV!) you light a small fire inside of yourself. For many people, quenching those flames and keeping the fire at bay will allow them to stay in their job until they get the gold watch.

However, for me, that fire kept burning and burning until I knew something had to be done. I needed to get out, and I knew it needed to happen fast.

Sound familiar?

If you like the sound of the gold watch after 25 years service, you can probably stop reading now and go back to check your emails. However, if something inside of you resonates with my story, I have good news and a way that you too can use that passion burning inside you.

You see, there is a small proportion of people in this world that have discovered how to live their lives free of the constraints of normality and who experience life on a different level to the masses. I am not talking about the billionaires of this world, rather those people all around you right now that have cast aside tradition and are embracing the opportunities that the world now presents to those wishing to live life to the full.

Chances are you already know someone who is doing it, or at least you come into close contact with them each day. Remember that person in the coffee shop before work who let you into the line, wasn’t in a rush and was wearing sneakers not shoes? How about the person driving the opposite way to the traffic jam that you sit in every day? Or the person that leaves the gym just as everyone else is getting there?

The truth is, there is no way of telling who these people are from the outside. It is not until you start speaking with them and asking question about how they live their lives that you begin to uncover what makes them different to everyone else.

I count myself lucky that I have been able to spend a lot of time around these people over the years. I worked for a couple of years marketing personal development seminars and trainings and during that time, I got to hear their stories and how they managed to create their lifestyles. From training to internet marketing to property to forex trading… the range of options for creating your ideal life are truly innumerable. And as you would expect, being around these people rubbed off and I instantly created my lifestyle…right?

I guess I am a slow learner. I’m not stupid, and I have certificates that prove I can remember lots of facts and figures that other people tell me are important. However, when it comes to ‘getting’ how to live life, it has taken me a while.

However, I finally figured it out!

After years of trying to reinvent the wheel for my life (FAIL), I decided to do some more research as to why people would want to change but then not make the shift. Myself included, the reason people do not change their lifestyle and live the life they want is because they cannot answer the following questions clearly:

1 – What is the crossover between my skills and talents and the things I enjoy doing?

Most people are good at things and think they can make a living from these talents. However, after a period of time, they realise that what they are doing does not make them happy and they end up resenting the life they have created for themselves. Those people that are truly happy have created a balance between talent and enjoyment.

2 – Who out there is creating a lifestyle and monetizing the same talents that I have?

This is important for two reasons. Number one, it gives you the belief that it can be done. If it is possible for that one person to succeed then others can do it too. Secondly, it gives you someone to learn from that can help make your journey that little bit easier.

3 – What does my ideal lifestyle look like?

Forget the dream of retirement… you need to scratch that from your mind completely. Instead, imagine a lifestyle that you could lead every day from now until your last breath. For most people, not working is the goal. For those who have created their lifestyle, every day brings so much joy that they never want to stop. What does your ideal day or week look like? How do you spend your time? We all know our time here is limited, so how are you best going to use the hours you have left?

4 – What action steps do I need to take to create that lifestyle?

Once you have your dream lifestyle clearly defined, there is going to be a gap to cross. You need to develop a plan on how to get from where you are to where you know you ought to be. What do you need to learn and how do you need to grow to become the person who lives that life? Life is not a race, so whether you have to jump across a crack in the pavement or the Grand Canyon, get it clear and develop a plan.

5 – How can I let go of everything that if holding me back from taking action?

How do you know if you have the first four steps clear enough? The true test is whether or not you cry when you visualise yourself living that lifestyle every day. If it moves you to that level emotionally, you know what you want, how to get it and have the passion and excitement needed to pull you through the tough times. However, you will probably simultaneously feel like throwing up or have a little voice in the back of your head telling you it will never work. This final aspect is what makes success attainable only for the few. Passion is everywhere, but fear and ‘reality’ keeps people from stepping outside of their comfort zone. What if you fail? What if you lose everything? What if people think you are nuts? If you can get enough excitement to start and be crazy enough to laugh at your limitations when they arise, you have what it takes.

So that brings us back to today and my current lifestyle which is still very much “under construction”.

I finally figured out outsourcing, and now have a business which is almost entirely outsourced, other than some of the sales elements and the bits that I enjoy doing, such as writing. This pays my bills and I spend about 1 day per week working on this. It is growing, but I have systems in place that mean that even as we take on more clients, my amount of work does not increase. I learned the model for this business by combining the skills I learned in my last job (jobs can be useful!) with some of the ideas from The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss.

Secondly, I am putting the finishing touches on my first book which combines my knowledge of neuro-linguistic programming and sales training. I figure if I have been teaching something for over ten years, it deserves a book. I love writing and although I didn’t feel entirely comfortable writing an instructional textbook, I think I have found a nice balance between teaching and story telling. I will continue to teach sales as I love how sales people can take the concepts of personal development and apply them immediately to their situation for measurable results. There are not many jobs which give you that feedback so quickly.

Finally, there is DanStorey.com. I would say I am on to the third edition of this website having started writing my personal blog back in 2007. At the time, I just wanted to get my thoughts out of my head and into a medium that I could eventually do something with them. However, I made the mistake of being very ‘vanilla‘ with my writing. This time round, however, I know why I am writing the things I write.

So what is DanStorey.com all about now?

This site is dedicated to those people who know there is more to life than they are currently experiencing. Those people who are stuck in jobs where they just don’t fit and who know there is something better out there for them, whether they have started the journey yet or not. It is for those of you who have tried it all before but who still believe that it is possible, not matter how many times you have gotten it wrong so far. Those people who don’t want to sit in traffic jams and commute for 25 years just to get a gold watch and a pat on the back at the end of it. Those people that want to live every day, not just exist every day.

I promise to share with you ideas that will help you make your transition as well as make it easier. Ideas ranging from finding out what path to take to maximising your productivity to how to be successful as well as the mindset that supports each of those elements.

I will share with you my own personal experiments and challenges in each of those areas so that I we can share this journey together. If there is one thing I know, there is always more to learn, and as a lifelong learner, I am committed to developing myself along the way.

If you want to start this journey for yourself, sign up for my rss feed or my free email newsletter so that I can keep you updated with the latest articles and ideas.

Otherwise, I wish you every success on your journey and look forward to hearing from you along the way. Feel free to send me over any questions you may have at any time, I promise to answer you and if the same question is asked repeatedly, I’ll write a specific post just for you.

To your success!

Dan Storey

Slow Learner's Guide To Success

NLP for Salespeople