(For the first time in my 10+ years of blogging, I’ve asked other writers to add their voices on a more consistent basis to this blog. The first person I connected with Casey Lewis. I’ve known him for a few years now and have always appreciated the honesty and creativity he uses in his writing. I think he’s going to add a great new angle to the conversation we’re having about chasing our dreams. I’m excited he’s going to be sharing more of his thoughts more often and I think you’ll see why with the post he wrote today! – Jon)
I took a leap of faith way too soon. Here’s what I learned. – By Casey Lewis
It’s nice to think we can make a giant leap of faith toward a dream and that everything turns out great. That all the pieces will fall into place perfectly. That we get to keep all of our relationships in tact and that we won’t face any struggles on the way.
We stand on the shore thinking about the fun we could be having on the water, so we leap.
Those who risk it all in order to win stories are the ones that we root for. They’re the ones that get made into fictional books and movies.
I took that leap.
When I wrote my first book I had 27 followers on Twitter, 220 friends on Facebook, and a blog that received 200 page views a month.
In the previous 12 months I had 6 different speaking opportunities, none of them were paid gigs. I had personally coached 62 people on their finances and helped them pay off a combined $400,000 in debt, only 5 of them paid me.
But a month before my first book released I decided to take that leap of faith.
I quit my day job and started focusing 100% on my dream.
I grew my blog traffic and engaged like never before in social media. I promoted my new book and helped more people with their money than ever before. I thought things were working out perfectly.
Then at my book launch event 16 people showed up. They were my friends and family. In the first month I sold 42 copies of my book.
I spent the next year working hard to help as many people with their finances as possible. I had over 200 financial coaching clients in 2013, only a handful paid me.
While I was living out my dream of helping other people get out of debt, chase after their own dreams, build wealth and encouraging them to be incredibly generous, I wasn’t earning that much of an income.
There’s this thing about having a wife and 2 kids while chasing after a dream that is very important…
In the now famous words of Jenny Acuff, “Income Helps.”
I took that leap of faith way too soon. I thought I could force things into place for my dream and I was wrong.
To try and be the best financial writer, consultant and speaker out there, while not earning much of an income doing it is pretty tough. It’s been difficult on my own finances. It’s been difficult on my family. And ultimately it’s been hurting my dream job more than it’s been helping.
Instead of focusing on helping others I was focused on how I could convert blog traffic into money. I was focused on getting my free coaching sessions to pay me. I was focused on affiliate programs and ad revenue more than helping people.
So 16 weeks ago when I was offered a consulting job that would provide a solid income while allowing me the free-time to keep helping others with their finances and building up my business, I couldn’t turn it down.
At first it felt like I was abandoning my dream and the progress I’ve made, but now I realize I can invest more into myself and my dream than I ever could have before. I can help more people without going broke myself.
Maybe it’s possible to take a leap of faith without risking it all. Maybe we can spend some time building a dock on the shore before taking that leap. Then when the boats get close we can jump without falling in the water and drowning.
Have you ever been tempted to leap too soon?