“You can become and accomplish anything in life! Your successes, greatness, and potential are determined by you alone; and all of the characteristics necessary to achieve your goals and dreams already lie within you. Our success and potential is not determined by talent or ability, knowledge or money, race or gender, or even circumstance or setting – it is created, developed, and determined from within ourselves.” Matthew V. Toone
According to the Stanford Brain Institute the average person uses only 2% of his potential. Can you imagine that?
This means that the quality of life we have today is a result of these 2%. And the rest is just wasted.
Honestly, that doesn’t come as a surprise once we analyze our daily routines – getting up, brushing our teeth, going to work (usually to a job we don’t like), coming back, watching TV, eating junk food in front of it, staying in front of the computer after that and so on.
And if you look at the bigger picture the average person doesn’t do any significant activity or one that requires high mental performance. He literally lives on autopilot, does what he’s instructed and doesn’t even have to take decisions..
Now imagine what could happen if we use 30 or 40% of our potential? That will be tremendous.
In fact, I think we can. And all the geniuses and remarkable people these days, and in our history, have done it – they just found ways to unleash their potential and powers and use them to level up in life, create amazing things and become someone to look up to.
That can happen by transforming our lifestyle, changing it completely and starting to do the following things repeatedly:
These are things we’ve all heard of, but how many of us actually practice them every day?
The truth is that until we stop considering huge success and building the ideal lifestyle something impossible that we don’t deserve and are not good enough to achieve, we won’t have it.
Once we embrace our potential and eliminate hopelessness, unworthiness and mediocrity, we will get there through hard work and dedication.
Realizing and defining it
The first thing that stops us from awakening the giant within us is that we don’t realize what we’re capable of. We simply think it’s impossible and that thought itself prevents us from making the first step and beginning our journey to leading a legendary life.
The next thing is that we can’t define it. Here is what Jonathan Mead says in 7 Essentials for Living Your Fullest Potential:
“Most of us have heard something like this before: “You have a lot of potential,” or in school, “You have so much potential, work hard and you might realize it.”
The only problem is no one seems to tell us where to start or how to achieve our fullest potential. After all, potential is such an ominous term. You can’t measure it. You can’t quantify it. You can’tdefine potential.”
The simple act of becoming aware of our own abilities and powers can help us move forward and actually do something about it. And it always helps to have support and people close to you who believe in you, but in the end it’s all up to you whether you’ll be confident enough and try again and again until you succeed.
Every now and then we have epiphanies and a short but powerful moment in which we feel we’re worth it, we know there’s more about life than what we’re currently experiencing and want to do something about it immediately. But soon these feelings are gone and we’re back to our everyday life with its daily worries.
What we need to have to make a permanent change is the never-ending belief that we can do anything we want, become whoever we want and get anywhere we decide. That also means that we need to be constantly motivated.
Now think of what you will want to do if you could use 30-40% of your potential. That means performing 40 times better than you are now. And having much higher results in every area of your life.
You would be able to make more money, to learn new skills better and faster, to have great relationships, to maximize your productivity, start a new business and succeed, to have control over your habits and develop only healthy ones, to eliminate stress and be able to solve any problem, to be focused all the time on the things that are important and to be able to enjoy life at the same time.
That would be great. And it is possible. It requires hard work, dedication, sacrifices and strong mindset, but many people have gone there and so can you.
So start working on your ideal lifestyle now and stay true to what you believe in. Soon you will see small changes going on, then come small but significant achievements. And after a while you’ll be able to see how you’re starting to get closer to the things you’ve always wanted.
Writing is what I love doing and I managed to turn it into my career. But that wouldn’t have been as enjoyable without having the freedom to work from anywhere and move to my favorite country. So after I became a freelance writer, I also took a few steps to become location independent.
Let me share how that journey looked like for me and maybe inspire you to take the leap and not just become a freelancer but also travel the world or just leave your home country and never look back.
Stage 1: Overcoming The Doubts
I believe all change happens on the inside first. In the case of becoming a freelance writer and a lifestyle designer, you’d first need to do a couple of things related to developing a strong mindset.
To begin with, define what you don’t like about your current lifestyle. Be clear about it and see yourself living a better life some time from now. This vision will also help you realize what you truly desire.
For me, it was freedom and independence but in a specific way.
I mean, I don’t really need to travel the world. It was enough to spend a few weeks in Thailand and to always have the chance to get back to a destination like that if I feel like. But what I truly desired was to leave my home country, Bulgaria, and instead move to the Netherlands.
However, my transformation started many years ago, before I even knew that’s where I wanted to live. First, I wasn’t satisfied with my life back then. I was already in my 20s and I always felt like I wasn’t spending my time right. So something had to be done.
Doubts are scary.
In fact, they are one of the reasons why so many people all over the world never start a business, end a relationship, travel or else.
Once you get through that stage though, you start having hope, you visualize a better life, and you finally take action. And once you take the first step, magical things begin to happen.
For me, that first step was to define my passion (personal development) and combine it with writing, which I simply loved doing and felt like it was the right way to spend my time.
English is just my second language. I had no official degree in what I’m doing. I wasn’t tech-savvy and had no idea how the Internet actually worked.
But the desire for a different life and more meaningful activities was stronger than any lack of knowledge or experience. So I dedicated the 4 years of my life during university to building the foundation of my online business and the lifestyle I enjoy today.
Stage 2: Getting The First Clients
I began writing, first on my blog (more on that below), then for others. But the magical ingredient here is reading.
I spent a ton of time (still do and probably always will) reading about people who were already living the life I was after. And that changed it all. I overcame all the doubts because I saw all that I wanted was possible. If other people were living like that and they all started from nothing, then it’s just a matter of time till I get there too.
That encouraged me. And my motivation never decreased because of some people I started following consistently and seeing their progress kept me action-oriented too.
It was time to earn my first dollars freelancing.
The good thing about the Internet is that you don’t have to be anyone in order to land your first gig. Once you do, the second one is easier. You just need someone to pay you for your freelance services so you can have confidence in your abilities and improve your skills.
I never thought I’d be able to call myself a freelance writer, not to mention be location independent together with that. But I left the big picture behind for a while and focused on simpler things. Such as:
What can I do today to land my first client?
After researching, I realized there are sites for freelancers where employers post jobs and I can apply to each that seems like a good fit for me. And so I did.
I created my profiles, had low rates (because any money was good money for me then if it was online), and applied for a few jobs. I had no idea what to say exactly so I just went with what felt right.
I introduced myself when pitching clients and told them how I can help them with their project. Rejection here is normal as there’s a ton of competition.
Eventually, someone hired me for a job and I made my first $20 or so.
It was a short and sweet gig and I did a good job. The communication with the client was smooth.
It’s hard to land someone for the first time, especially in my case. On my profile they could see Bulgaria and that English isn’t my native language. Also, that I’m new to the site and have no previous feedback. Basically, not the most trustworthy freelance writer to hire.
But there are new employers to such platforms too and they are ready to hire you as long as you have something to offer them.
So if you want to make money online and eventually turn that into a business, become location independent and work remotely, or just want to do what you love freelancing, then create your profiles on sites like Upwork, Guru, Freelancer and PeoplePerHour and start pitching.
Stage 3: Building a Blog and a Brand
The 3rd crucial step in my journey to becoming a location independent freelance writer was this blog.
Let’s Reach Success started as a personal blog on self-improvement. But consistency was the key and I seemed to be good at this. It’s because I love writing too of course. It eventually turned into my biggest project and today it’s my portfolio.
There are more than 1600 articles in the archives, a whole book store, proper design (thanks to this premium theme), authority, and a story behind it. Which makes me and Let’s Reach Success kind of a personal brand.
If you haven’t started a site yet, you’re wasting time. Whatever it is that you wanna do online, you need that one platform.
I’ve written a quick guide on how to do that. Check out How to Set Up a WordPress Site on Bluehost. Don’t worry, the technical aspect is easy and I’ve outlined the few simple steps you should take to have your site up and running in less than 30 minutes.
Blogging is a must for every freelance writer. Here’s why:
First, you get to showcase your work. You can write articles all the time and show them to clients. Whenever you want to start writing about a new topic, you’ll simply start covering it on your blog and then provide samples to employers.
You become known as an expert. If you stay consistent and provide unique and quality content frequently, people will know you’re the go-to blogger in the niche. Together with your unique voice and all other things you’re doing on the side, you can build a name for yourself. That means clients will start finding you soon.
Blogging is a learning experience. There’s a lot going on in the archives on my blog. If I go back, I can even see how I’ve grown over the years. Your writing will change too and that’s okay. Your site becomes your biggest project, especially if you’re a writer yourself. Also, it’s thanks to wanting to improve Let’s Reach Success that I’ve learned so much about optimizing content, making money from a blog, and more.
Stage 4: Setting Up an Online Business
Now that you’ve overcome the doubts, have landed your first freelance client, and have your own blog, you can turn that into an online business soon.
First, of course, you’ll need to have some decent income monthly to be a proper location independent freelance writer. Although plenty of people register a company from the beginning and then slowly grow their freelance business.
However, in the beginning, I had no idea what I was doing. I was paying taxes and fees for the freelancing platforms I worked with and that was enough. I wasn’t sure how much more I could make each month.
When I got to a few hundred dollars monthly, though, (which is an amount you can live with back in my home country if you aren’t paying rent), I decided to fix the legal part and register as an independent worker there and start paying my taxes.
Over the next months, I truly believed I’m now a freelance writer earning money from my craft and loved it. Of course, I also wanted to grow, build skills, land better clients, improve my site and see what else I could be doing online.
Stage 5: Choosing Your Ideal Destination and Moving There
When I was making $1000/month from my blog and freelance writing services, and because the business was online, I finally felt like I could soon move away and start a new life.
The country I wanted to live in was the Netherlands. I already had friends there and knew it was the place to be for me. So I booked a place in Amsterdam with AirBnB and dedicated these 10 days to finding my new home.
I needed it to be affordable and in a good neighborhood and that’s exactly what I got.
Because I wanted to be there so much and worked hard for it, there hasn’t been a day since I moved that I didn’t wake up with a smile on my face.
That’s one of the main aspects of lifestyle design. Doing work you love and making just enough to be able to live the way you like.
Of course, Amsterdam isn’t cheap so I had to limit my expenses and change things.
Stage 6: Living The Location Independent Lifestyle
I did some traveling too. Spending 5 weeks in Thailand cost me a lot in terms of money (although it could have been cheaper too but I didn’t prepare well) and focus. But it’s safe to say these weeks have been the craziest and most adventurous ones in my life.
I might go back there, but that’s not necessary. I love my daily life too and don’t need an escape from that. The important thing about being a location independent freelance writer is that you have to enjoy the freedom of being where you are. And if you earned your chance to get there, it tastes even better.
Stage 7: Mastering Working Remotely and From Home
Location independence and freelancing aren’t for everyone as it’s not easy, there are sacrifices to be made and plenty of challenges. One of them is getting distracted and not doing focused work on a daily basis.
One thing I did right though was to build some good productivity habits and eliminate procrastination and distractions early on. In fact, that was when I started making my first money as a freelance writer.
It’s nice to imagine how you can live and work from anywhere 6 months from now. But if you don’t build the discipline in advance and learn how to structure your day so you can do your best work, you won’t make it.