AltPath is a newsletter about life, business and entrepreneurship. I explore the latest trends, opportunities and career paths in the creator economy. 🎨
I'm trying to spark better conversations around life, fulfillment and careers. I'm trying to put a beacon out for anyone that's interested in having these conversations, too.
Some backstory. 📖
For the first 8 years of my career I worked in tech & marketing. I didn't know anything else. During that time, I always questioned my career and the path that I was headed down. I remember thinking to myself that my two major career paths were either joining a big company (like Facebook) or joining a smaller startup (like what Unbounce used to be). I could see the pros and cons of each, but I couldn't see any other options.
I was about to turn 30 after all; too late to be contemplating career changes. 🙄
Then something happened three years ago that I didn't expect - I was laid off from my job at a marketing agency. In that moment I had a stark realization: I was either going to pursue one of the two paths mentioned above, or I was going to try to find my own path.
Up until 2019, none of the friends or colleagues were self-employed. It was completely foreign territory. Some of my friends even advised me against making the leap because they'd never seen someone do it successfully. It felt like everything was against me.
But miraculously, I made it out alive. Better than alive, actually. In my first few months of being full-time self-employed, I somehow made double what I made the months prior working at the agency. Even better, I did it by working less hours. I did it by working on creative projects that I loved.
I don't want to say it was easy, because it wasn't. Entrepreneurship is a difficult road of up's and down's with all sorts of challenges along the way. Nobody tells you what to expect or how to do basic things in your business. Taxes, business licenses, corporations, contracts.... there's no guide for this stuff.
But what I didn't anticipate is that it wasn't any more difficult than working for someone else. The challenges were different and the learning curve was steeper, but overall it wasn't any more complex than the work I was doing previously.
The only difference is that now I'm reaping all the benefits of that hard work.
I got to see what life was like outside of the rat race (I hate that term by the way) and I'm happy to report that self-employment is not only an option, but a really fucking good one at that.
I get to wake up every day and do work that I love. I don't have a boss. I don't have set hours I have to be in the office. Nobody has to approve my vacations. I get to decide where and how much I work.
I'd even go so far as to say that depending on your personality, entrepreneurship might actually be a better fit than you realize. It could be the thing that makes you feel alive, inspired and in complete control of your future.
My only real regret is that it took me way too long to figure all this out.
This leads me to some tough questions. 🤔
- Why didn't I know this path existed before?
- Why didn't I start my own business sooner?
- Why did some friends/family try to warn me against starting a business?
- Why do some people think that self-employment is a scam?
- Why aren't more people working for themselves? Wouldn't they be happier?
- Why do I feel awkward having these conversations with my friends?
Look, I don't want to be that guy. I don't want to be the person that tells you to "chase your wildest dreams" or "hustle until your eyes bleed". I don't want to post stories of me working on my laptop on the beach with hashtag #entrepreneur. I don't want to sell you an unrealistic dream and get your hopes up.
But I do want to have these conversations because I think they're important. I want my friends and family to know that they have options. I want them to know there's an alternative path (aka, an AltPath) with their name on it. And I want them to know that it's not going to be as hard as they think to find it.
Why I'm building this now 👨💻
- I want my friends to find the perfect path for them.
Nothing excites me more than watching someone find the path they were essentially built for. There's so many options out there, it's borderline ridiculous. There's new career paths being forged every single day. You just need to find one that aligns with your passions, skills and goals. We only have one life - why spend it doing work that you don't absolutely love?
- I wish this was around when I took the leap.
Taking the leap to "do your own thing" is terrifying. There's no Glassdoor for creators. There's no hiring managers or predetermined career paths. I wish there was a resource like this when I took the leap into self-employment, so I'm dedicating my time to make one.
- It's necessary.
The world is changing faster than most people realize. The corporate landscape is shifting. Debt and homelessness are on the rise, causing the income inequality gap to get wider. If I had to guess, I'd wager that half of us will be forced into some form of self-employment in the near future.
Your path will look different than mine. 🗺
Everyone is unique, so your path should be too. I've met people that get to draw cartoons for a living and get featured by Oprah. I know people that get paid to travel the world and interview people who live in Tiny Homes. I've met people that work 2-3 hours/week and spend the rest of their time golfing.
I want to be clear - there is no secret system, hack or opportunity that's going to make you oodles of money. There's no golden ticket. Nothing is guaranteed.
There are high-paying career paths, but I won't be telling you to do something unrelated to your interests. I won't tell you to be photographer, designer or YouTuber. In fact, depending on your goals, I might tell you not to do those things.
What I will share share are fundamental concepts, ideas and resources that made my life/business successful. I'll aim to cite all my sources and provide tangible backup for my theories. I'll also be talking to other creators to learn what's worked for them.
Don't take everything we say as gospel. We're not experts by any means. We're all still figuring it out as we go. Try to take the pertinent information that resonates with you and your situation and scrap the rest. Critical thinking applies.
There's no right or wrong answers. Only right or wrong for you.
Your highest ROI email each week. 📫
The goal is to give you real, actionable advice that you can apply directly to your own initiatives, whether that's a hobby, a side-hustle or a full-time career.
Here's what you can expect to see:
- 🎓 Stories & anecdotes about life & business
- 🎙 Interviews & insights from full-time creators
- 🎨 Breakdowns of new and exciting career paths in the creator economy
- 💰 Real-talk about money (pricing, clients and pay)
- 📝 Guides, shortcuts, tutorials & micro-courses
- ⚡ Templates, downloads and presets
Eventually AltPath will be a library of resources that you can pull from to chart your own path forward and overcome challenges along the way. If this helps even one person find the path that's right for them, then I will consider this a success.
If you're looking for an alternative path in your life, I'll be your biggest supporter. I'll cheer you on and help you in any way that I can. Don't be afraid to let me know what type of content you want to see more of, or if you have any specific questions or ideas. Now if you're up for it, hit this link to subscribe. 🤙