I first started taking New Years resolutions seriously in December of 2015. That time in my life is when I felt my personal “rock bottom.” I was working as a temp. It was my job to take a big stack of paper checks, and type how much each one was written for into an Excel spreadsheet. I was a glorified, human scanner. I worked my ass off in college to graduate in the top 5% of my class. How did I end up here?
The answer is that I was desperate to be an entrepreneur. I majored in Entrepreneurship and all I wanted was for someone with a big idea and a lot of passion to pick me as their business partner. I didn’t have a passion. My thought was, if my partner supplied the passion I’d supply the business prowess and together we’d be unstoppable. Two failed startups later and here I was, getting paper cuts. It was December 31st, that New Year’s Eve that I vowed to make a change. New Years Resolution: By December 31st 2016, have a well-paying, dependable job.
In 2016 I accomplished my goal. By New Years I was working for a San Francisco tech startup. It felt like a solid upgrade. Still entrepreneurial per se, but with venture capital backing the operation I could depend on my weekly paychecks clearing.
The problem now was that I wanted to feel the passion too. I didn’t just want to work behind the scenes to help make someone else’s vision happen. I wanted to give a damn about the impact that my work was having. Cool tech interface aside, the impact my work in San Francisco was having was making it easier for the wealthy to get hair appointments or sold-out sneakers. In December 2016, my new years resolution was to find work that I loved.
In 2017 I accomplished my goal. By New Years I’d quit my startup job, moved to Australia, and was working for Maze Backpackers. It felt like a solid upgrade. I had a regular paycheck and each day at work I helped people make the most of their time in Australia, while also helping my hostel succeed. Win win win! The problem now was that it was too transient. My job at Maze was set up to be a temporary position, and I didn’t want to permanently live in Australia anyway. It was my goal in December of 2017, that in 2018 I would settle down, commit to something, and start to build the foundation for a long and prosperous life.
In 2018, I ~kinda~ accomplished my goal. By New Years, I’d left Australia, come back to the United States, and settled into an apartment in my chosen city, San Diego, California. The only thing missing was that I’d lost my chosen life partner along the way. Erin was meant to be starting this new chapter with me. Now she’s gone.
So, now it’s time to talk about 2019. What is the goal this year?
I know that I want to have a career in the hostel industry. I love hostels, I believe they’re beneficial to society, and the industry is only poised to grow in the future. Mix these things together and I feel like I’ve found my purpose. The only problem is, I still have to get paid, and the hostel industry, at least today, is still niche. There aren’t a variety of hostel jobs to be found everywhere you look. As a result, I’m worried that I might get stuck in a trade-off between building a life for myself in San Diego OR building a career in the hostel industry.
If I have to choose between having a potential career in the hostel business OR staying in San Diego, I choose the hostel business. It took me a long time to find out this sweet spot of a sector that I care about, that interests me, that is growing, etc. and I’m not going to sacrifice that for sunsets and tacos.
So, my goal for Q1 of 2019 is that by the end of it, I want to be in a job that:
- Supports my livelihood
- Puts me in a position to help the hostel industry succeed
- Gives me a challenge that I find mentally stimulating
- Allows me to continue my work on American Hostels
Ideally that job will be in San Diego. I’ve realized that it doesn’t necessarily have to be directly working for a hostel. There are companies that work with hostels (Online travel agencies, tour organizers, technology providers) and it’d be beneficial to learn about their business models too. By not limiting the search strictly to the half dozen decent hostels in San Diego I definitely increase the chances of me sticking around. However, if things don’t pan out here in America’s Finest City, then I’ll pack Ruby Tuesday up and leave again by the time Spring comes. I love it here but I’m not going to settle again and do a job I don’t care about just because it’s what’s available.
There are lots of other fun goals I’d like to set for myself. I’d like to spend more time riding my motorcycle, more time working out, more time practicing my Spanish, but these are side-goals, and until I get my house in order, I’m sidelining them and focusing on doing whatever it takes to find my place in the sun. Good thing there aren’t any hostels because I ain’t going back to Connecticut!