For those of you tired in your jobs, or frustrated that the dizziness of working 9-5 (and beyond) prevents you from seeing your kids or living your life, Justin’s story will inspire you. He started off living a dream, only to find out that dream didn’t hold what he wanted. I have a feeling there are several of you out there who will view this post as a Divine Appointment, the very thing you need to start making strategic changes in your working life.
So if you want to change your life, read Justin Lukasavige’s story.Fantasies of soaring above homes and trees filled my mind as I walked home from the bus in first grade. From the time I was little I dreamed about flying airplanes, and that thought never strayed far as I grew up.
I had the unusual experience of getting to live my childhood dreams as I became an airline pilot at the age of 22. Instead of wondering what it’d be like to live my dream, I was actually doing it and seeing the world in the process.
Something didn’t gel though as I left home multiple every month. Leaving my wife and growing family of daughters (I now have three) at home didn’t seem like the life I wanted to live much longer. School plays, recitals, birthday’s, and events became things I couldn’t bear to miss, even if I was doing something I loved and getting paid well to do it.
My base was New York City’s La Guardia airport, to which I commuted from my home in Raleigh, NC nearly every Sunday. I rented a place a few miles from the airport and spent many lonely miles between there and the airport, searching for an exit strategy.
There had to be something else I’ve always wanted to do. If I could only find it, I’d put an end to the frustration of life on the road, seeing things like my girl’s first steps in person, rather than on video. You could say I was pretty determined.
There was something else I’ve always wanted to do. While I wouldn’t call it a dream, I always thought it’d be fun to be the consultant who was hired by large businesses to cut costs. I’d swoop in, determine the company could switch from #2 pencils to #1 pencils (if they exist, I’m sure they’re cheaper) and save millions of dollars each year.
Cutting costs is sort of what I do now, but it didn’t happen that easily.
My wife, Christine, and I married right out of school and had a lot of debt. School loans, credit cards, and a car payment became the focus of every spare penny. After a lot of hard work, we paid off $45,000 in 12 short months.
Christine jokes that I had probably read every financial book in the library at that point. While I didn’t read them all, I quickly become an expert and had the proof of taking action to back it up.
I thought it’d be fun to help other people get out of debt just as fast as we did, and Christine obviously got frustrated at hearing me say so. One day she simply replied, “Why don’t you?” Over the next two days I couldn’t find a single reason not to do it, so I turned to research and became a Financial Coach nearly overnight.
During that time, Christine was my biggest influence and cheerleader. Through the late nights, early mornings, and many meetings away from the house (on top of still traveling while working as an airline pilot), it was Christine who never lost hope in me.
Our goal was for me to build the business while still flying and make a transition over a period of 24 months. I had some ups and downs during that time, but somehow I was able to take the leap into self-employment in only 20 months.
I was a Financial Coach very long when other business owners and people who hated their traditional jobs, began asking me for advice. I freely gave it until it interfered with my paying financial clients. Before I knew it, I was a paid business coach.
My focus now lies with people making the leap from traditional work into the self-employed world. I hold the hands of some of the bravest people launches start-ups that are changing the world. I’m only one person and can’t do much to change the world, so my mission has become working with and supporting others who are doing life changing things.
I’ve learned that balance sheets and cash flow forecasts are important, but more important to me is helping people change the world. My business needs to be profitable and change the world, but I’ve learned to measure success, not by how much money I’m making, but how many lives I’m changing. It’s been about that since the beginning and I’ll never give it up.
I’ve also learned that success doesn’t come easy. It’s a struggle and has to be fought for every single day. I’ve laid on the floor of my office, stared at the ceiling, and wondered where my next payment was going to come from. Business has been tough, but I haven’t gotten here on my own. I’ve hired coaches, been a long time member (and now leader) at the Free Agent Academy, and continue to be mentored by some amazing people.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re on your own. You can be in business for yourself, but no by yourself.
Justin Lukasavige is a storywriter who lives his stories rather than watching them on TV. He authored the Six Figure Coaching Model and helps his community do what they love. Connect with Justin on twitter @pastdue.