It was exactly 1 year ago and is actually what sparked the idea for this blog in the first place. I was in my final year of college studying Kinesiology at Western Washington University, set to graduate in August. My whole life I grew up around my mom in healthcare and was taught by those around me that healthcare is the "best" and "safest" route for a future career. Yes I was interested in the human body (still am) but it's not like I would wake up excited to get to class to learn about organic chemistry or exercise physiology. Many of you might be thinking...."well duh!" Isn't that crazy though? We are pressured into learning things we are not excited about all for the security and comfort of knowing that we could potentially make $100,000 (maybe) per year and we are willing to just settle for that miserable existence where we go to a job that we hate and live for the weekends FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. All for what? $100,000 per year that can barely pay the bills living in a place like Seattle?
Anyway, I'm getting side tracked-I know this all so well because I was on my way to living this exact life. I didn't know any better, which is why I'm sharing this story with you in the hopes that I can give you a new perspective and demonstrate that there are other ways.
Spring of 2018 I had been accepted to graduate school to study to become a Naturopathic Doctor (N.D.). I was so excited, it's what I thought I wanted to do with my life. I had changed my career path before and so when I made my decision to become a Naturopath I was determined to stick with it-and if you know me, you know I am a very determined person. Well, becoming a Naturopath would take another 4 years and I would have to get into $200,000+ of debt but I was so determined that I didn't care. During this time, I was praying about my decision, even before I got accepted I was praying. I got accepted, so obviously God wanted me to go to N.D. school right? I kept praying about my choice because I know in the end God gives us free will and it is our choice to make.
I got a call in June from my brother Sebastian, the voice of reason in our family. I knew immediately I wouldn't like what he was going to say. It went something like this: "Hey Andrea, what if you took a year off after graduating to figure out if becoming an N.D. is really what you want to do with your life?"
Really what I want to do with my life?? Of course it was! I was committed at this point. I was 24 and only getting older it's not like I have a year to spare! Somehow I have to fit in kids in there somewhere among all my goals and dreams, I don't have a year to take off! These are the thoughts that were racing through my head, that I eventually managed to spit out.
At this time, my husband Feliks (known as @colorbyfeliks on Instagram) had about 100K followers, we had just started his YouTube and were barely making any money. He had started his art page in 2017 all by himself because he loved art and couldn't image doing anything other than that, but would do construction every once and a while just to pay the bills. Want to know something crazy? We were on food stamps 1 year ago. Yep, told you I'd be real!
After I managed to say all my insecurities about taking a year off, Sebastian said something that I think about often. He said "Andrea you are living with a mindset of scarcity instead of a mindset of abundance."
Woah, he was right. I was thinking of all the things that could go wrong instead of all the things that I could possibly do with this year off! After thinking it through some more, I made my mind up to defer for a year.
So what have I done with this year "off"?
Worked my butt off and learned a LOT about life and myself personally
Have helped create multiple products for ColorByFeliks from scratch (learned how to source and manufacture products)
Have learned the ins and outs of social media marketing
Discovered my passion for business and owning my own business
Got to travel to Mexico & Florida
Felt like I knew nothing many times, and am crazy for having our own business and simultaneously felt like the most thrilling experience in the world!!!
Wanted to give up many times
Had many, many ideas that we tried that didn't work, but also had some that worked out amazing.
Got our 100K subscriber plaque from YouTube where Feliks has been able to help others by sharing his painting techniques and lessons
Went from 100K to over 800K people in the #colorbyfeliks community on Instagram!
Created a full time position for myself at my husband's business & have now hired multiple freelancers to help us
Read a lot of amazing books
Decided to start a blog!
If the above list doesn't already give you an answer, I am SO incredibly thankful for this last year off. I believe it was the best decision I could've ever made. I think my brother's advice really helped me to realize a few things:
1. There is absolutely no timeline for your life!!!
2. The limitations that are on your life are only there because you have allowed them to be, you and only you have the ability to set yourself free & give yourself PERMISSION to try something new despite the outcome.
So what will I do now? Definitely not go back to school! That is my decision based on the life that I want for myself. I have decided and experienced firsthand that there are so many ways to make a living online these days: freelancing on sites like (Upwork & Fiverr), making a YouTube channel, dropshipping, selling on Ebay, working as a personal assistant, having a blog, and MORE! All of these have the potential to be $100,000+ incomes per year.
More than anything though, I have realized that what is more important than my yearly salary is waking up each morning so excited, grateful and genuinely content for a new day and a new opportunity to grow my business, my life and to see what it will become! I never thought this life was possible, to forget what day of the week it is or be able to make my own schedule.
I am sharing this with you because if I can do it, I promise you can too! The question is just how bad do you want it and what are you willing to sacrifice?
When I was in school and Feliks was just starting his Instagram, there was a solid 2+ year period where we couldn't travel, we couldn't buy new clothes, couldn't go camping or have a nice car. I remember saying no to so many things during those 2 years just because we simply didn't have the finances.
Looking back, I am so thankful for those times because had we not sacrificed then for those 2 years we wouldn't be where we are today and we wouldn't appreciate what we have as much. It isn't easy, I remember those days feeling like we were drowning and not even sure what the result would be. I thank God for where he has brought us and for this opportunity to share our story with you guys.
My hope is that this post will encourage you that your dreams are worth it and open up your eyes to the possibilities that are abundantly available during this internet generation.
I'd love to hear your story and what dreams you are working toward! Let me know in the comments ♥