Have you ever wondered how people get cool jobs? I have and I decided to spend some time talking to folks whose cool jobs in the hot sun sounded really interesting. While visiting a Florida resort, I chatted with some of the people working there to see how they got started. What I found was really interesting. In most cases, it was a combination of wanting to earn a living doing something they really enjoyed and being willing to take a risk to get started.
The magician, for example, who put on a show for the kids several evenings a week, started out performing for free. He became interested in magic while employed elsewhere and tried to convince someone to mentor him. The prospective mentor wouldn't teach him. He told him that magic was an art that had been passed down for hundreds of years. Then he told him to go practice and come back when he had learned some tricks. When he came back, the mentor told him that he had become a better magician in two years than the mentor was in forty. So, he got some help, began doing some shows, as I said, for free, and then got some clients who were willing to pay to watch.
This lead to a part-time business, a full-time business, and, now, a corporation with a full schedule of magic shows. On top of that, the magician loves his job, loves being his own boss, and loves making a living doing what he enjoys the most.
It wasn't easy though. It took hard work, persistence and a willingness to give away, for a while, something that he should have probably should have been paid for to achieve success.
On the Sea
Another person that made my list of top fun jobs was the sailboat captain who took us for a dolphin and manatee watching cruise. The captain told us that he was thrilled to make a decent living doing a fun job without ever having to leave the community he grew up in. The boat had traveled the seas, including several Transatlantic crossings, but, he had stayed where he was born and raised. He has a flexible schedule, doesn't have to wear shoes (or a suit) and enjoys chatting with visitors from around the world who cruise the bay.
There were two young women who make their living braiding hair on the resort patio next to the beach. They had given up steady jobs in a salon to work outside in the sun and to meet new and different people every day. Despite the heat (you get used to it, they said) they both loved their jobs and couldn't imagine doing anything else.
This last job might not sound really cool or even a little bit cool. What was interesting though was what the waitress we made friends with told me about dreams. She was an older woman who had left her life behind in Chicago (and her family though she visits regularly). She decided that the windy city was just that, too cold and windy, and life on the beach was much easier - with the sun, the sand and the sea. Bonnie's advice to follow your dreams before it's too late and you can't, makes really good sense for all us who have a dream or even an inkling of a dream in the back of our brain.
It's also important to consider how people who are successfully doing a job that might be a little out of the mainstream got there. They were willing to work a day job and a night job, to make that second career path a success. They were sometimes willing to give away their talents and skills to build a following, and again, achieve success. They were also willing to take a chance and gamble that the time and energy they had invested would pay off.