I recently went to a talk by the founder of Camping with Dogs at the Outdoor Bloggers Summit entitled 6 Figures and 250k Instagram Followers in 12 Months. A simple idea: photos of dogs plus camping turns into a six figure blogging machine in only one year.
My first thought was ughh why hadn’t I thought of that? But my second was, is that what I really want? Is my goal to build a blogging empire with employees and a warehouse and all that goes along with that? And NOPE, that is not what I want.
I’m a huge fan of Camping with Dogs – puppies plus camping in beautiful places – nothing brings me more joy than that! Ryan Carter took a simple idea and executed it perfectly. Not only is he bringing smiles to dog loving Instagram users all over the world, but he seems to enjoy the work and he’s making a decent living too.
I have no interest in becoming a boss, becoming disconnected with the actual work, overseeing several employees and a shipping warehouse, and dealing with advertising and invoicing, Yuck, not for me. But what is it that I actually want? And is it even feasible in this oversaturated blogosphere?
I know what I want. It is to live a location independent lifestyle, set my own hours, create, work hard, be challenged, constantly learn new things, and make enough money to survive and travel and save some. But HOW to do this?
Ryan said, “If you can side hustle, you can do this! Find an idea you’re excited about and also living.”
What is it that I’m excited about and also living? So I make a list of all the things I love and fill my life with: trail running, dogs, coffee, beer, cooking veggies, the desert, the mountains, Italy, mindfulness, meditation, poetry, green living, backcountry skiing, books, wildflowers, music, podcasts, wilderness, puffy jackets and wool everythings, photography, science, wellness, and wild empty places.
My interests zigzag all over the place and I’m no expert in one single thing. I dabble in everything, read about what interests me in the moment and then on to the next thing. I cannot seem to stay with one idea or thought for much time at all. My mind is an endless reel of ideas and thoughts and ughhhh, how do I make a living when I love everything?
For as long as I can remember I’ve been interested in too many things. I’ve never been able to decide on a direct career path because if I committed to one path I’d lose the dream of everything else I had imagined. Meanwhile everyone else seems to be building their careers while I’m wandering around like a lost puppy imagining what would have been if I was ever able to make up my mind about anything. I had always viewed my inability to decide and my interest and passion about everything my biggest fault, but what if….
What if the thing I thought was my biggest fault is actually my biggest strength
and I just never knew it? Perhaps now is the time to embrace my love of
everything rather than fighting it and trying to fit my blog or writing
style into someone else’s mold. Perhaps now is the time to carve out
some sort of creative existence from everything I love. Perhaps I can be
a hobby archaeologist, dog photographer, mindfulness blogger, teacher
of English to refugees, beer aficionado, seasonal conservationist, ski
patroller. Who knows what I could become if I begin to see my love of
everything as my biggest strength?