I had a conversation with a friend the other day about all the travel I’ve been doing lately, and she made the comment she wished she could afford it. Honestly, it got me a little fired up.
First of all, I don’t want to give the wrong impression here — despite the travel, I am certainly not bringing in the big bucks over here. It took a year before I felt like I didn’t have to worry about being able to pay my rent, and I’m just now making more than what I did at my desk job — and not by much. I lived with family for a bit while building my business, and there are just some days where I stay at my computer all day and don’t leave my apartment at all. I rarely buy clothes or things for my apartment, and I feel like I’m pushing my budget when I travel (and I spend hours checking flights for the best pricing, and subscribe to numerous alerts to study pricing trends even when I’m not buying).
With blogging, it’s so easy to think that someone has it all, and I’m guilty of that, too — I see creative entrepreneurs spending all kinds of money on travel, clothes, and items for their home and wonder how they afford it all. But you know what? No one tells the whole story, and we wouldn’t want them to — I mean, every time someone buys something new, do you want to hear that it’s because their husband has a well-paying job, or they worked 14 hour days all month running their 3 businesses? Or do you just want to enjoy the inspiration they provide for your own life, and escape from the negative or mundane? Sure, a bit more transparency in blogging would be nice, but I think it’s partly our responsibility as readers to realize that it’s just not possible to tell the whole story, and we can’t assume anything about someone else’s life.
What I can tell you is that there is never a right time to invest in your business or yourself, and sometimes sacrifices must be made, and I feel certain anyone out there that you see spending money on travel, clothes, or their home would say the same thing. It’s all about priorities. It makes me nervous to put money into traveling, and I often feel like I should grow my business more first. But things work out as they should, and I know the money I’ve invested in travel has been worth it, even if it means my apartment isn’t home-tour-worthy (my workspace/living area is really the only interesting area in my apartment, and that’s because I spend most of my time there), my wardrobe is limited, or I need to cook at home rather than eating out.
It’s up to you to determine what’s most important to you and what sacrifices you’re willing to make to get there, and keep in mind that everyone else you see is just trying to do the same thing.