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Challenge: Finding Your Village

Building A Dream While Finding Your Village

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I cut ties with my old life a long time ago.

I was toiling away as a newspaper reporter a little more than 5 years ago. It was my first job out of college, which coincided with the 2008 financial crisis.

So the journalism industry was in flux and the economy was in the toilet -- which made every day of work feel like I was clinging to a sinking ship.

That aside, I knew that my heart was tied to another dream -- to write for TV shows and tell stories that didn't involve news reporting.

So my wife and I packed our bags and drove out to sunny California, where we're building our dream and our tribe at the same time.

We're still young in this journey and envision ourselves having a house full of children when it's all said and done. But since we're breaking into the entertainment business, our journey is going to look a lot different than the typical young married couple.

Little by little, our village has been coming together and I know that this upbringing is going to be different for my little ones when it's all said and done.

I'm a firm believer that it takes a village, so here are a few things I'm keeping in mind as I allow my life to unfold.

1. I Made Peace With The Fact That My Path Is Different

When you look around at what everyone else is doing, it's easy to second guess yourself.

No matter how much I enjoyed my upbringing, I have to recognize that my family life will be much different. If I don't accept that fact, I'll drive myself crazy trying to keep up.

My family was tight knit growing up. Virtually everyone lived in the same city. A few households of cousins and grandparents live right down the street or in the same neighborhood.

This bond allowed the family to grow, and we always had cousins to play with.

Now that I chose to move more than 2,000 miles away, I had to make peace with the fact that rekindling those bonds means a flight -- not a simple drive around the corner. It also means that if I'm hitting the road doing comedy or working hours writing for a TV show, there are flat out some things I'm going to miss.

All I can do is my best, and I can only do my best when I work with my situation and not someone else's.

2. I'm Going To Need Professional Assistance To Balance My Personal Life

I'm like 69% of business owners, in that their business started in their household.

While I'm chasing my dream, my day job is to freelance write and sell things on sites like Amazon and eBay.

My wife and I tag team the Amazon and eBay business and have the potential to grow. The thing I realized is that if I'm going to balance my work and family life as it grows, I can't do it all myself.

Hiring a web designer helps me stay on top of my business without having to sacrifice time with my wife. That will allow me to get my marketing to new levels without sacrificing time with kids.

Bringing in a tax professional allows me to avoid pitfalls and keeps my finances in order.

This also means staying on top of my deductions, such as the home office tax credit, which will become increasingly important.

Making a smart business decision will spill over into my professional life, since they go hand in hand. Since these professionals are so helpful to my personal life, it's imperative that I build my village in a way that all parts are contributing to the way I'm designing my life.

3. It Will Take A Village To Raise Children

Mom and dad are central to a kid's life, but I need daily reminders that I'm going to need help in that regard as well.

My schedule is and will continue to be unconventional, so I'm going to need to continuously find family members and others who can impart safety, compassion and knowledge to my kids.

This means when I'm traveling for gigs, my wife might travel with me and bring the kids, so we can make a family trip out of it. When my wife is traveling for work, and we both have engagements, it might mean having the help of an aunt, cousin or trusted friend who becomes a part of the child's life as well.

It might mean finding a very dependable daycare, which means I'll need to continuously grow my income. Daycare can cost upwards of about $19,000 per year, an expensive that is money well spent if your kids are helped by it.

As long as I have access to people who are willing to share some love with my family, I know we'll work it out. In my travels I've built some beautiful relationships with people I now consider my family. It's not family in the conventional sense, but they'll be around for the journey every step of the way.

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