Do you have a lifestyle or workstyle?

The most common thing I hear people talk about is “time off”.

What exactly does that mean?  And what is being “off” all about?

There is a simple, yet dramatic distinction between workstyle and lifestyle.  Workstyle means you need “time off”.  If you talk in terms of “time off” you have a work style.  Lifestyle means that you live a full and complete life that just so happens to have an occupation or business that you love.  It doesn’t define you and its just part of who you are.  You don’t need to be “off” from it because “you” are always “on”.

Whether you are a business owner or employee, you probably spend most of your awake hours involved in profit-seeking of some kind.  Whether it is punching a clock for pay or working a deal to generate new business, you have probably defined your life as a product of the types and amounts of work you do.  Think of this.  When you meet someone new, what is normally one of the first things you ask them?  It is usually “What do you do for a living”?  What do you tell them?

Most people tell others their occupation.  I did the same thing for years.  As a former Marine Pilot and United Airlines Captain, I would tell people I was a pilot.  Being a pilot defined who I was, what I did, how I lived my life, and let people know what to expect from me.

I lived a work style.  My work defined who I was.  Not anymore.

I have an amazing life.  In truth it came easier than I thought and you don’t need a bunch of cash to make it happen.  You just need to believe the right things about yourself.

Here are some ways to transition from workstyle to lifestyle.

First, don’t sweat your job or business.  There are other jobs out there and other businesses to start.  If you have the skills, someone somewhere will pay you for your labor.  If you have the ability to find a need in the marketplace, and put together the resources to fill that need (and make a profit) you will always thrive.  A strong attachment to a job or business is the first sign of a workstyle.

Next, plan your business and job around your life, and not the other way around.  Want to travel?  Find the best time that works for you, and schedule everything around that.  Are there things you like to do but can’t because you don’t have enough money?  Then focus on doing things that you love to generate the cash so that you can do the things you love.  This doesn’t mean piling onto your workload but instead the opposite.  Do something that you love and are good at that will reward you with the things you want in life.

Begin opportunity thinking.  Most of us are so focused about our current earning vehicle that we don’t stop to think about what activity we would love to do that would also earn us some profit.  If you’ve ever thought to yourself “I’d always wanted to…” then go make it happen.

I was talking with a person who had always wanted to learn to fly.  He said it was a dream of his.  He was wealthy, successful, and certainly had the time to learn but he never did.  I asked him what has stopped him, and his answer was that he didn’t know how to start.  I told him it was easy.  Take action.  Go down to the local airport and find the flight school.  Tell them you want flying lessons and give them a check.  For about $60/hour for the aircraft and $40/hour for the instructor you can learn to fly.  It will cost you about $1,200 to get to your first solo and $3,000 – $4,000 to a private license.  It’s that easy.

So what are your dreams?  Do you write them down?  Are you living your dream, or working for “retirement”.

Whatever you choose, do it fast.

Your clock is ticking.