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The Ultimate Answer

That's a trick. There is no answer to how exactly you become successful.

The Passion = Success delusion.

Have you ever had a great idea that you knew was going to make you happy? You could even make a living do it!?

Did you do it?

Are you still doing it?

Yeah, me neither.

But,  you can consider where you’re at a success anyway – as long as you’re moving forward.

That’s where the follow your passion model falls short. What really makes us happy is moving towards a goal. For those of us that don’t know our be-all, end-all life’s passion, simply going and trying stuff makes way more sense than sitting around trying to think it out… constantly circling around the idea that we don’t know our passion.

Trying out whatever seems to be a good idea is an OK life’s goal.

Digital Nomad Path cuts through the fluffy “quit your job”, “follow your passion”, “be an Internet millionaire” lip-service and tackles questions about:

Success as an entrepreneur

Finding + sustaining happiness

Creating a business you continue to love

Discovering what makes you tick + creating a life that lets you do it

What sets this site apart is that there is no absolute answer. There is no tried-and-true, step-by-step way to find your passion, build a business, or enjoy your life.

Things will change. You will change. Though there are steps we all go through, this journey is little test after little test.

The journey is an evolution. “THE” dream evolves along with you.

A bit about DNP

When this site started in 2009, Digital Nomad Path set out to document the nuts and bolts of going from no-name author to famous blogger. So, with a plan, I quit my cushy IT career and set out to be a writer.

At this point, I need to be very clear about something:

I am not a successful writer.

But, what does successful mean?

Technically, I have written a book. Sixty days after quitting my job, I had a book for sale. On launch day, it earned $37.74. By the end of the month, it had earned… $37.74.

At this point, it may be helpful to note that Dad’s Last Opus – the blog I started in 2009 to conquer Internet stardom as a Digital Nomad – is completely defunk… after 10 posts. It turns out, the single parent blog-o-sphere wasn’t somewhere I really enjoyed spending time. I just thought I would. After beginning to write as a “job,” writing became a little (OK, a lot) less interesting.

Did you catch that? You think something is going to make you happy. You think something is going to be enjoyable, but the fact is, you never know what you’re going to love doing until you actually do it.


So, failed book launch and a defunk blog. How is that “successful?”

Easy. I’m not a professional writer. Well, I’m not a full-time professional writer.

What you start out doing may not be what you wind up doing. Particularly if, like me, you’re not really sure what your “passion” is – or, again like me, don’t necessarily think there’s one all-encompassing passion that drives your world.

The reality is most of us just crave the freedom to do with our time what we want to. When you define “success” as control of your time, then it doesn’t really matter what you do to create an income.

Remember, we don’t know what’s going to make us happy until we actually do it. If you can let go of the idea that you know how it’s all going to turn out, that you know exactly what you’re business is going to look like, then you’ve got a leg up on all the people that will wind up giving up. Keep trying things to see if you enjoy them. When you find one, you don’t have to stop looking for more, either.

2’s a couple; 3’s one more

You’re not a failure if you don’t have that one thing that will make you happy. You’re not a failure even if you have no idea where to start. You are a failure if you can’t stand where you are and you try nothing.

You are getting paid to do something. One job. One paycheck. That’s a corporate mentality that will hinder you. In the beginning, you will likely generate income from multiple sources.

You don’t HAVE to focus on your one true passion! You can actually do three things that each bring in a third of your income and focus on the one you enjoy most after you’ve tried them all. You can take a part-time job to bring in some income until your business brings in a sustainable income. You can open an online store for little crafts, start selling stuff on Craigslist, coach a client or two, and repair RC helicopters – all bringing in a portion of your income.

The key is that you’re testing things that are bringing in your income. It doesn’t matter what percentage of your income comes from where. What matters is that at the end of most months you’re in the black.

It doesn’t have to be from the same work month after month. It doesn’t have to be from the same clients month after month. It doesn’t have to come from one thing month after month.

It just has to come in.

Overnight Sensation

…isn’t going to happen for most of us. Though, there are those cases. It took me three years until I was in the black every month. But, that doesn’t mean I wasn’t earning anything those three years. I’m traveling full time now, which was a goal three years ago, but didn’t come to fruition until recently.

You will go through a few stages in your journey. I’m not at the end of mine, so I don’t think this is everything, but if you were completely happy with where you are, this page wouldn’t be very interesting for you.

Being able to recognize what stage you’re in will help you feel like your making progress rather than feeling like you’re “not there, yet.”

Time Control

Taking control of your time by restructuring your life, so you can focus on creating a better life. Often, this is the quitting your job phase or the period where your kids go to college. Life tends to “force” us into these ruts. What we really crave is being free to make our own choices. You don’t feel that freedom. You need to. You need to change. More importantly, you have to be comfortable and ready for the change.


Once your time is your time, you’ll begin to panick. That’s OK. Just focus on enough income to sustain your life. It may not be extravagant, but the goal in the sustaining phase is to build relationships, business(es), and skills that will ultimately generate an income. You can completely guess at what you might like to do and try it. Bring in some income and change if you want. You can even focus on something you’re good at, that others are willing to pay for, and let that be your starting point to “buy your freedom.”

Love Your Work

Once you’ve got your money covered, you actually relax enough to focus on what you like to do. You’ll let go of some of your clients here. It’s very difficult since you’ll have emotional ties to the sustaining phase and be afraid to drop a nightmare client because of the income loss. However, you will ultimately see that your networking and skill building in the sustaining phase has given you a large enough pool of clients to be picky, dropping projects you don’t want to do as well as people you don’t want to work with.

Find Meaning

You’re probably feeling pretty successful. Your life has changed, but you’re still surviving. You’re confident with your workload and the work you’re doing. You even like the people you work with or for. But, something feels missing. It’s purpose. Just like when we learned facts in High School and College just so we could get a job when we’re done, we’ve focused on building a business just to sustain our lives. Through the Love Your Work phase, you have tweaked what you do and who you do it with to the point where you’re happy in your changed life, but work isn’t everything. There’s a balance. “THE” dream becomes about balance.

Somewhere in the balance of these things comes success.

Round up

You have a dream! It’s going to be a journey getting there and that journey is really the dream… despite what you think this second. Just keep these things in mind:

  • Success is about a balance between multiple facets of your life.
  • Be open to opportunities as they come even if it’s not exactly what you’re thinking.
  • Your income doesn’t have to come in from any particular place – or a single place.
  • Don’t panic! If something isn’t perfect now, you can tweak it as you go.

What is your success going to look like? If you answered, “I don’t know until I try things,” then you should definitely stick around.



And I'm still making a living.

Now, I'm just trying to figure out what to do next... by traveling around.

Interested in what being an entreprneur is really like?
... or how to get yourself to that point?
... or just want to follow along with my journey - as the first step to yours?

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