restrictions post

Have you ever thought that it would be easier to start doing work you love if only you didn’t have so many things holding you back? Maybe you’ve thought it would be easier to unsettle if you didn’t have kids. You could afford to unsettle if you didn’t have a mortgage. If only you could break free from your full-time job so you could have more time to work on your project. I get it. It’s hard to Unsettle when you have responsibilities. A mortgage to pay, a full-time job to go to, kids to attend to. These things that monopolize our time, our money, and our resources.  Wouldn’t it be easier to build your dream and Unsettle if you could squeeze more minutes from your day, more money from your paycheck, more focus from your brain? But I have some news. 

This is Reality. 

Restrictions?  Like time, children, full-time jobs, focus, money, energy that seems to be zapped out of you in five minutes? Those are things that we all deal with.  If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be human. I have restrictions. Richard Branson has restrictions. The most successful person you can possibly think of has restrictions.  Not only are restrictions normal, they are commonplace. The difference between people who act and people who don’t isn’t a lack of restrictions. It’s how they treat them.

Real Restrictions vs. False Restrictions

Life is hard. And restrictions can certainly make going after your dream a little more challenging. But most of our restrictions – most of the things we think are holding us back from achieving our dream – are false restrictions. They are self-imposed limitations that we’re using as anchors to mediocrity.

  • We think we can’t build a business because we have no money, yet there are so many businesses that cost less than $100 to start
  • We say we can’t travel because we have children, yet so many people travel the world with their kids. Kids benefit from travel
  • We think we don’t have enough time to act on our ideas because of our full-time jobs, yet the full-time job is actually a blessing in disguise.

Real restrictions do exist. In the Art of Work, the author, Jeff Goins describes a young boy named Garret. At five years old, Garret had a tumor the size of a golf-ball removed from the back of his head, which left him blind, mute and paralyzed. Now those are real restrictions. (But not even those real restrictions held the little boy back. A year of cancer treatments later, when Garret was six, he completed his first triathlon).

Using the Limited Resources You Do Have

As I was doing research for Unsettle, I came across Chris Guillebeau for the very first time. I was reading an article or guide he had written back in 2009, and he mentioned that (back then) he projected he would make about $42,000 that year. That is an average salary. A salary that many people would consider a limitation. Chris undoubtedly makes far more than that nowadays, but back then he had started a journey of visiting 100 countries. In his guide, A Brief Guide to World Domination, he writes:

I figured out that the cost of visiting 100 countries would be roughly equal to that of buying a new S.U.V. When I saw how relatively little that was, I felt encouraged. I gave up the hypothetical large vehicle and received the world in return.

Chris realized he had limited resources, but chose to use those resources in a way that helped him achieve his dream. And you’re making choices, too. Every time you go for dinner, every time you buy a coffee out, you’re making a decision. You’re deciding that $40 dinner now is worth more than living your dream sooner, later. And hey – I’m not saying that you’re making the wrong call when you look at it like this. Maybe it’s absolutely the right decision. Though I suspect that if you’re reading this, you have a dream. A goal. And you, like the rest of us, have limited resources. So think about it. Would you rather spend $3.50 on a coffee, $40 on a night out, or even $600 each month driving your car, or would you rather cut back on those things and achieve time, work, and lifestyle freedom?

So Make the Choice.

We all have restrictions. I have a mortgage. I’m newly married. I started all of my businesses while I was working full-time. Are you going to let your restrictions stand in the way of your dream? Or are you going to build your dream in spite of the restrictions? You can be either person. You get to choose what matters to you. And if what matters to you is time wasted on social media, money wasted on coffees out and potential wasted on fear and self-doubt, then that’s completely fine. That’s your choice, and those are completely fine choices. Those are the conscious decisions you’re making. But if you’re reading this – if you’re part of my tribe? Then chances are, that’s not what matters to you. So cut that crap out. Remove it from your life. Not all at once – slowly – (and don’t beat yourself up if you fall victim to them sometimes) and stop blaming restrictions for not building your dream. We all have ’em. You get to choose what you do with them. And hey, do me a favor? If you know somebody who wants to LOVE their work and unsettle their life but has a full-time job or some other responsibility, email this post to them. I think it can inspire them to fight past those restrictions.

11 thoughts on “One Thing You Need to Know If You Have Limited Time or Money to Build Your Dream

  1. Colleen says:

    Well said, Sarah.
    We all have restrictions, for sure. Some real and some self-imposed. Thankfully, for most of us, the real ones are also temporary (unlike those of the boy with the tumor).
    I think a big part of the epidemic of imaginary restrictions is that a lot of us have lost the hard work ethic.
    Just because it’s more exciting/rewarding/flexible than our ‘real job’ doesn’t mean creating our dream business is going to be a cake walk. It’s going to take elbow grease and hours.
    Like anything worth having.
    Thanks for the great reminders and succinct communication of ‘Get to work!’ LOL.

  2. Anthony Metivier says:

    Love this, Sarah.
    And the timing for your post is unbelievable. Today on the way to rehearsal, I had to take a taxi. I had forgotten that the train operators are on strike.
    It was a great ride because the guy thought I looked like a biker (which I do). So we got to talking about Harley Davidsons and he was telling me about how his real dream is to work on bikes and sell them and ride them in his free time.
    I asked him what’s stopping him.
    He said that he’s married and has two kids and must support them.
    Then we passed a scooter repair shop.
    My best answer for him was in that chance encounter. I suggest that perhaps he make a small experiment.
    One afternoon, he should go to that shop or any shop for motors on two wheels and see if he actually likes repairing the motorcycles of strangers. Just to dip his toes in the water.
    He said, (in German, of course), “maybe … maybe.”
    I think he instantly forgot my suggestion, but I sure hope that he didn’t and makes at least one tiny step in that direction.
    As John Milton said, ‘The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven..’
    In the meantime, I think I’m going to finally upgrade my German driver’s license so I can ride a bike and then get a Harley of my own. That will help me see the difference between my real and false restrictions.
    A new bike of the highest calibre is stunningly cheap, after all. It’s just the hoops that you’ve got to jump through in Germany to upgrade your license that hold me back.
    Thanks again for the great and inspiring post!

  3. Jessica says:

    This is just what I needed to read. I’ve been telling myself I don’t have time/energy/focus work on things because my FT job takes up so much of those things. Those are false restrictions and I need to get real with myself and get to work. Thanks!

    • Sarah says:

      Hey Jessica – I think we all struggle with telling ourselves things like that sometimes. As long as we recognize it.

  4. Pingback: More Freelance Work & Being Away from Home | My Alternate Life

  5. Kashif says:

    Agree that some restrictions are blessings in disguise, but there aren’t – and shouldn’t be, any restrictions to dream.

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