I’m sitting by the window, the sounds of street traffic humming ten floors below, my mind pensive, so many thoughts running around all at once. The radio is playing romantic latin songs to my right, and as I type, I think back on the three-hour long conversation I just had with Jane.
We talked about a lot of things.
It was a brainstorming session in a literary cafe called Eterna Cadencia in Palermo, and with our laptops on and notebooks open in front of us, we verbalized our dreams to be digital nomads, what it would take, what our motivations behind starting our own businesses were.
Over medialunas, pastafrola and cafe con leche, Jane told me about her desire to help people live fulfilled, happy lives in which they feel accepted and loved – through the medium of coaching. I told her about my dream to inspire and impact others, to help them live better and healthier lives – through my writing and recipes.
I’m still very new to this whole entrepreneurship thing – it’s been barely a month since I’ve officially become my own boss – and there are ups and downs that come with any risk worth taking.
Some days I feel incredibly in control of my own destiny and feel crazy positive about working for myself; yet other days, I feel like I’m on a rollercoaster heading downhill, unable to control anything that’s happening.
For someone who craves a high level of stability and loves to plan, being an entrepreneur sure is scary as hell. There’s no fixed salary being deposited in your bank account at the end of the month; and while you don’t have a boss to report to, the business does depend on clients and you can’t always predict the demand they have for your services.
Coming from an Asian culture where financial security is fundamentally important, and where people naturally value your worth based on your paycheck, I’ve been struggling to balance the freedom that comes from being an entrepreneur with the instability in income. I’ve had a hard time trying to come to terms with the fact that being your own boss means potentially earning a lot less than before, even if I get to do what I truly love.
Yet Jane brought my attention to one thing – that we should stop viewing our situation from a place of lack and start looking at things that we do have.
She said in plain, simple words, “we simply don’t celebrate enough.”
You see, I grew up feeling that I always had to strive harder for something better because what I had wasn’t enough. That if I allowed myself to be happy about what I had achieved, I wouldn’t push myself to greater heights. I was always comparing my present self to what could be done better, and putting myself down. I never let myself celebrate what I actually did manage to achieve.
Celebrating every single success, no matter how small or insignificant it may be, doesn’t equate complacency. I’ve got to get that in my stubborn head.
Being an entrepreneur is a journey; one riddled with successes and failures, filled with lessons to learn from and teachings along the way. No one ever said it was an easy route to travel, but I believe it’s definitely a journey worth taking – especially if I get to impact people worldwide with my words and recipes!
There are a few things I have to remember as I walk this path – each success is worth celebrating; each failure is a way of eliminating what doesn’t work; and each obstacle is a challenge that can be overcome.
I’ve barely started this journey, but seeing so many digital nomads crafting their own lives and living their dreams from the most beautiful places in the world, I know that this is possible. Reading stories about how people have taking the plunge from being unhappy employees to happy entrepreneurs, I feel incredibly and undeniably inspired. Best of all, I’ve got Jane to motivate me along the way, as both of us being our separate journeys as entrepreneurs.
This is a brand new phase in my life; one that requires plenty of positive energy, motivation and determination. And I’m sharing a recipe that will provide a lot of comfort and energy to push me through.
I made this gluten-free macaroni and beef recipe back when we were still in DC and my body demanded rich, comfort food to combat the cold. It’s filling, warm and full of taste. I’m betting you’ll love it too!
- 1 pound of ground beef
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cups of gluten-free tomato sauce
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 12 oz of gluten-free elbow macaroni
- ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- ¼ cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese
- In a large skillet, sauté diced onions until onions are translucent
- Add in ground beef and stir until just cooked
- Add in diced tomatoes and tomato sauce, add salt and pepper to taste, allow to simmer over long heat
- As sauce simmers, cook elbow macaroni according to package instructions
- Once macaroni is cooked, mix macaroni into the simmering sauce until evenly spread out
- Serve hot garnished with fresh parsley and grated parmesan