Living an Unconventional Life at Any Age All Generations Welcome
One of my favorite interviews last week’s LifeHack Summit 2017 was Jules Schroeder. Jules is the founder of Unconventional Life, an online content, community, and international live events company seeking to “…empower millennials to create, embody and live an unconventional life.”
Although Jules’ message targets millennials, here’s a big secret…you don’t have to be a millennial to live an unconventional life! You can design, or re-design, your life at any age. Over the next six months, this GenXer will show you how it’s done.
“Live in commitment to your own evolution.”
Jules isn’t the stereotype millennial. She didn’t build an audience on YouTube, sell a startup to Google or win money on Shark Tank. She’s helping thousands of people follow their own North Star by embracing character traits I admire — authenticity, humility and service.
“Struggle is gold. By allowing adversity to humble you, you can make an exponential impact.”
I think Jules is the bomb. Not because she’s a young, “digital nomad” making six-figures while traveling the world, but because she’s real. Jules is in the arena — reference to Theodore Roosevelt’s Man in the Arena speech in 1910 — showing up raw, vulnerable and human.
“Success is equal amounts of love and pain.”
I’ve heard Jules speak before, listen to her Podcast and we’ve had a few email and phone exchanges, but in this interview, she offered fresh ideas and new inspiration.
Remember when girls started wearing feathers in their hair? I started that trend. My father kept asking me, “So, you just got your college degree and you’re going to sell feathers online, from a fly fishing store?”
10 Lessons on Living an Unconventional Life.
- Reject safe choices.
When you start, everyone will think you’re crazy — they get used to it. Use resistance as a compass, it never goes away, but your relationship to it changes.
- Follow your highest excitement.
Success, money and validation won’t make you happy. Give yourself permission to pursue a heart-centered goal. “If I stay committed to transforming myself, the ‘hows’ rearrange themselves.”
- Practice radical acceptance.
To experience profound success, you must be willing to experience equally profound failure — accept it. Practice accepting each moment as it unfolds, it’s like flexing a muscle.
- Rest, vacation and play more.
Jules frames down time as resource optimization. “Self-care is the secret to my success — it allows me to rely on myself as the clearest channel.” The resourcing analogy made me think of horse racing — maybe because thoroughbreds are known for their agility, speed, and spirit. Not coincidently, as purses get bigger, owners are racing horses less frequently to protect their investment. Rest is an investment in yourself. “With balance, you can upgrade your cellular DNA.”
- Say hell no!
Lots of people focus on productivity and workflow, but doing more of the old work won’t get you to a new destination. “If it’s not a Hell Yes, then it’s a Hell No!”
- Just do it.
The hardest part is first couple steps. Have conversations with the people who you think you can serve — allow them to guide the way. Those conversations distill the overwhelm of what to do next.
- Get support. Once you awaken something in yourself, get a bench. Cultivate a support network to help you stay focused and positive. At first, you won’t have external validation, or data to encourage you. Even with success, at times you won’t feel worthy. Before her first live event Jules thought, “Who am I to cause transformation…to change people’s lives?” Her sister reminded her, and that was that.
- Stop to reflect. Reflection allows you to make empowered decisions. If you find yourself banging your head against the wall, that’s a message. Pick a regular timeframe to reflect on how you felt each step of the way, then, synch the next action with the knowing. “Bear witness to your own transformation.”
- Embrace failure. “Self-compassion allows you to engage in the failure conversation.” You will fail. Trust it’s part of the process, stay connected to your mission and be unattached to outcomes. “If you fall in love with problems, not solutions, you can’t fail.”
- Practice humility. We’re all struggling with something — allow it to humble you. Keep showing up, be raw, real and vulnerable.
“The degree to which I’m able to hold transformation for others, is the degree to which I can hold transformation for myself.”
Jules invited me to her last event — 50 select entrepreneurs doing a carefully orchestrated mind meld at a castle in Italy. I couldn’t go because my daughter had a vocal concert. Millennials don’t miss A-List entrepreneurial boondoggles for concerts…but they will!
The event was a huge success. In Demir Gjodkai’s words “Entrepreneurs often go to conferences for what they think they need, connections. What we really need is to stop, think and re-energize. We meet high-caliber people, exchanged meaningful ideas and felt more energized than ever when we left.”