We individually, and collectively, love a good adventure!
Whether this involves travel, getting out in nature or simply doing something out of our comfort zone – we both crave variety, spontaneity and the ability to make ordinary experiences extraordinary in our everyday lives.
Without consciously realizing it, we found how much our business was rooted in adventure.
In our photography, our collaborations, our social channels, our philosophy and our branding.
We believe having this essence weaved throughout your life + business boosts creativity, brings other creative and inspiring people into your life and changes your perspective.
Our lives today are vastly different than they were a few years ago. Aaron worked in a corporate job for ten years, which was awesome, but required so much of his time and energy. Which left little to no time for us to explore or travel besides a few weeks each year during his vacation leave. And while Elana pursued her degree in marketing in college + during the first few years of her career, she knew she didn’t want a restricting office or to climb the corporate ladder. We both craved a non-traditional life that didn’t revolve around our work schedule, paid time off and federal holidays. We wanted adventure, travel, creativity + the outdoors to be something that was part of our life on a weekly basis.
In these past few years, we have expanded our business, put in a lot of hard work + are truly thrilled to have a more spontaneous, adventurous lifestyle. We want to give our insight to you if you are eager for these same attributes to be present in your life!
Here are five tips for building adventure into your business plan:
➀ PIN POINT THE THINGS THAT YOU LOVE MOST
We realize that people in all different paths and stages of their career will be reading this.
Whether you’re just starting out, are changing your career path or are looking to shift your existing business – we think it’s really important to reflect on what tasks, experiences, aspects of life and creative endeavors you love.
Ask yourself . . .
Can you earn an income from things that you love?
Can any of these things be built into your business?
For example, Elana was a portrait photographer for years and found that it wasn’t exactly her niche.
She reflected on what parts of her photography career that she loved:
• connecting with people
• the art of photography
• different kinds of photography like travel + product photography
She then made a conscious shift in her career – choosing to have her business reflect these services that brought joy into her life. She started working with more brands to photograph their product and started incorporating travel photography into her work so that she was inspired by what she was capturing + able to travel while she worked.
➁ CREATE A CAREER YOU LOVE
The saying goes “If you do what you love, you‘ll never work another day in your life.”
Cliche sounding, right? Well, sort of. We honestly believe doing something that you do, in fact, LOVE does bring more joy into your everyday life and opens opportunity for adventure. Yes, there are parts of every career that are tiring, frustrating and down right hard BUT by building a career doing something you truly appreciate and something that allows you freedom and flexibility, it is much easier to build adventure into your business plan.
Having a career that you enjoy also doesn’t make work and adventure so black and white – but more like an ebb and flow between experiences you enjoy. One day you’re coaching clients, or working on designs for your brand or editing your last shoot – and the next you’re going on a midweek scuba adventure, out hiking to a new location for a shoot or traveling to a new destination (for work or play).
Pursuing a career that excites you creates adventures everyday – in your office (wherever that may be) and out of the office. It allows the 40 hours a week you spend working (aka 33% of your waking hours) to be more enjoyable and also gives you the flexibility to get out experience the things you enjoy more frequently.
➂ DEFINE FREEDOM IN YOUR BUSINESS
Ask yourself. . .
What does freedom look like for me?
What things do I want to make more room for?
If you crave flexibility + freedom, visualize how you can achieve this. Are there pieces of your business that you can eliminate to give you more freedom? What aspects are not allowing you flexibility – can you restructure?
If you crave more time, build your schedule to reflect that. For some, that may look like working long days earlier in the week + freeing up your Thursdays + Fridays for play. Or, working six days a week but only minimal hours in the morning – leaving all of your afternoons and evenings free. There are many different combinations that can free up the time you’re craving.
Define what building ‘adventure’ into your business looks like for YOU. Does that mean that you want to travel more?Be able to get out and paddle board, surf or hike more? Does that mean you want to be able to pick your child up from the bus stop + ride your bikes everyday? Or maybe that means allowing spontaneity to be present in your everyday life?
It’s different for all of us. For Aaron, freedom meant being able to have more time to be active and the ability to spend summers near his family in Maine. For Elana, freedom meant being able to get out + shoot photos on a daily or weekly basis and the ability to go to the beach on a weekday to calm her mind by reading a great book.
By defining exactly what you seek more of in your life, you’re able to structure your business around what brings you joy. You’re able to free up time in your life for your type of adventure.
➃ SCHEDULE OUT TIME FOR BREAKS + ENJOYMENT
Owning your own business can be stressful, point blank. Yes, it is extremely rewarding but it can also consume your time 24/7, 365 days of the year if you let it. Instead of being a slave to your business, schedule out time for coffee dates, relaxation, surf mornings, vacations! Even if you are already creating a flexible schedule for yourself, we find that if you don’t schedule in these important times for self-care + adventure, you can still be overworking yourself.
Take time to step away, recharge + fill your life with experiences that bring you joy!
➄ MULTIPLE STREAMS OF INCOME
Learning this tip was a big game changer. Almost every successful entrepreneur that we have talked to in our lives has given this advice either by example or by flat out telling us – make sure all of your money doesn’t come from one place! Having multiple sources of income allows you to stress less about each stream of income, make more income, and also gives you the option to switch between each source of income to excite creativity!
For example: we have our consulting (in-depth consulting + strategy sessions), our photography and our book. On top of that, Elana blogs over on elanaloo.com and we are constantly working on new ways to give more, teach more and help more. This keeps us on our toes + keeps us excited without putting too much stress on any one of those facets. If one of the revenue avenues is slow – the others pick up the slack.
Another example: one of our clients is a personal trainer. Upon starting her business, she only offered group courses and quickly realized they weren’t the perfect solution for all of her clients. So she opened up one-on-one training. This was quite the success – and with all of the questions she was receiving about her nutrition strategy, she then opened up one-on-one consulting about nutrition. Fast forward to now – she is fully equipped with group courses (she loves the community), one-on-one consulting + also offers an online course for nutritional strategy. Each of her facets are rooted in the same goal (note: not every example is like this) but there are separate revenue earning entities that allow for more creativity, more time for adventure, and less stress about the money that’s coming in.
Seeking a life of enjoyment, contentment + excitement isn’t easy. It takes time, effort and patience.
But as this delightfully odd almost-neighbor of ours once said, “Life isn’t a dress rehearsal.”
To have adventure built into your business, and therefore everyday life, YOU have to be the one to place it there.
Pursue a life that brings you joy – you won’t regret it.