Why I can’t do what I’m passionate about

by Jun Loayza on October 2, 2009

chase your dreams
Photo by Cynthia Lou

My friends are living their passions.  They’re living location independently in Thailand, New Zealand, and Italy, they’ve quit their full-time and become life coaches, and many have decided to pursue a startup company and try to build an empire.

I feel it’s great that we’re encouraging people to pursue their passions.  It would be great to simplify my life, own less material possessions, and live on a modest income in a remote country enjoying the simple things in life.  But I feel like I just can’t do it. What about the responsibilities that I have because I come from a single-parent, middle-income home that depends on me for its financial future?

[showmyads]

My Mom, Dad, and Brother are all depending on me to succeed.  My Mom was hit hard with this economic recession and has lost a majority of her retirement, meaning I will need to support her retirement so that she can live comfortably after 65.  My Dad has his own construction company but has never saved more than $1,000 in his life.  He won’t be able to do the intensive work required for his construction company for much longer, so I will need to make enough money so that my Dad can retire comfortably.  My Brother is going to school and I feel he will do well in life, but the level of income he aspires for will not cover our family responsibilities.  I will be the sole provider for my family.

Are you in this boat?  We talk about sacrificing our full-time jobs and taking a risk to build a startup, but we neglect to talk about the other things we sacrifice.  If you quit your full-time and move back home, that’s a strain on your family’s income.

Lets explore these “passion myths” to find out if they will lead to happiness or stress in your life…

The Myth: Quit your full-time and start your company

I did this exact thing.  I chased my “passion” by quitting my full-time job, moving back home to save money, and working non-stop to build a successful company.

For two years I did pretty decently:  I worked on something I love and I paid my bills on time, what could be better?

It wasn’t until the middle of this year that I realized I have absolutely nothing in my savings account.  Even worse, I had nothing in a 401K or a Roth IRA.  How could I?  I barely made enough money to pay off my student loans and phone bill.

I realized that I fell into a trap.  I was blinded by my passion and ignored the fact that I was living paycheck to paycheck.

The Reality: Be prepared for emotional strain, for financial stress, and to risk a stable retirement.  Hey, I’m the biggest proponent of starting your own company and I still think you should do it, but you need to be aware that you’re not just sacrificing your current stability, you’re sacrificing your future stability as well.

The Myth: Location Independence

It would be a dream to move to Spain or Japan, blog about my experiences, and pick up a job that would sustain my girlfriend and me.  To be honest, I think it would be quit easy to do it because I’ve seen so many of my friends online do it.

After all, two people in a one bedroom apartment can easily make enough to pay rent, eat good food, and enjoy the cultural experiences of the country.  So why haven’t I done it already?

The Reality: If I left for another country, I would feel like I’m turning my back on my family.  Who will take care of my Dad once he can’t do his job?  Who will take care of my Mom once she retires?  As the eldest, it is my responsibility to make sure that every member of my family will be well off.

Furthermore, what about saving for a wedding or for my kids’ college tuition?  I know I’m weird because I think about these things but if I don’t start saving now, my kids will have to struggle just like how I had to struggle to pay for my college education.

My family is not wealthy.  Sometimes I look at my friends with wealthy families and envy them NOT because they got everything they wanted while growing up, but because they won’t need to financially take care of their parents or siblings.

If you’re in the same situation, how can we position ourselves to do what we love to do AND take care of our families?  What are our best next steps?

This is a very important post for me and I plan to have an answer to it within a couple of days

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
  • http://www.alifeintranslation.com Jamie Varon

    Oooook, Jun. I heart you to death and I think you’re amazing, but I think ya also need some perspective here. What I’m doing IS a sacrifice. Sure, it may seem like the dream job and dream life, but it’s not. I deal with the daily toughness that everyone else does; I’m just in a different environment. I mean, I’m alone here, I have to work WHILE IN ROME (ever get distracted AT HOME? Yeah, try to not get distracted in Rome), no one wants to date me either in the states or here (my life is way too transient and unstable), and I’m away from all my family and friends. I have to keep clients happy with a 9 hour time difference and juggle my crazy schedule all the while enjoying Rome because I don’t want to look back and wish I didn’t work as hard (but knowing full well I HAVE to work or I can’t stay here). Um, the first night I went out alone, I got stalked and followed home and the guy grabbed me and tried to kiss me. I had to go home alone to my apartment and was freaked out of my mind.

    Not saying all of this to vent out my frustrations, but more to give you some perspective on what you are deeming as a better life than the one you’re leading. You have a fantastic girlfriend who can provide security and love to you at all times. A great family that you WANT to support (lots of people have families they’d love to run away from). And you have the opportunity to find a passion that will enable you to support your family, heed your responsibilities, AND can be something you love.

    Don’t equate responsibility with the end to your passion. It didn’t work out for the best with your first startup, but doesn’t mean it has to go that way again. It was a great learning experience and not all startups or dream jobs mean you struggle, make no money, and work long hours. You can find something that works for you, as long as you don’t pigeonhole yourself by saying that BECAUSE you have these responsibilities, it means you MUST take that pretty good paying, stable job even if you hate it.

    You’re different than that. That’s an old, tired way of looking at the workplace and life. You don’t HAVE to struggle and you CAN do what you’re passionate about. You just need to rearrange your idea of how that will work, gain some perspective, and then set out to find that.

    Dude, sometimes I wish I didn’t have wanderlust so I can go back to the States and be happy with a stable relationship, being close to my family, and finding a way to settle down. Adventure always SEEMS like a more exciting life, but it’s not always the case. I truly love what I’m doing, but you have to understand there is sacrifice in what I’m doing as well.

    And, this completes my entirely too lengthy comment. Just, please, Jun, with all your talent and charisma and amazingness, don’t give yourself an excuse to settle. You can have a passion AND keep your responsibilities. Don’t listen to the masses who say you can’t, that you need a boring, stable 9-5. You can find an awesome, passionate 9-5 that will pay your bills and work for you… just believing that you CAN will make it happen. I’m 100% sure on that.

    • http://junloayza.com JunLoayza

      I think you set up my new post Jamie :)

      When I think of you, Cody, and Adam, I think of people who are living lavishly in another country. I think at times we forget that people struggle just as much in another country and that there is still WORK to be done.

      I guess, “The grass is always greener on the other side.”

      A lot of people want to live abroad and work there, but do they really know what it’s like? It’s not like a 24 hour vacation; people still need to bust their ass and support themselves. What makes it harder is that you don’t have your family or friends over there to support you when you travel abroad.

      Thank you for punching me in the face with some perspective.

      Be safe over there!

      Oh, and Violet went over there to visit right? How was that?

      • http://www.thrillingheroics.com Cody McKibben

        Great post Jun and I can appreciate the challenges you face. Each of us comes from a different background and approaches the whole lifestyle thing with different values, and I understand for some it can be hard to scamper off and leave family behind.

        I totally second what Jamie says though. Same challenges, just overseas. I have seen all the same financial hard times as you have shared here since starting my own business and trying to go it alone. Some days I wonder why I do it, if it’s all a waste of my time. Should I just give up and get a job? And I go weeks without speaking to my family sometimes, which can be rough. The grass is always greener I suppose.

        But, if you want to make it happen, I know you’ll find ways to get around the challenges. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to spend a little bit of your life living abroad, if you can make it work. Life’s a challenge no matter where you live, but there is something to be said for finding a place that you truly love.

        I wish you all the best with the whole location independent thing brother!

    • http://girlstrektoo.com/blog Cara Lopez Lee

      Jamie, I appreciated your answer! Life is a constant balancing act between what we need and what we want. Those of us who strive for both work just as hard as those who strive only to meet needs. I’ve heard it said, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” I think that’s BS. As a writer, I absolutely do what I love, and I work my tail off for few tangible rewards. But I’m deeply satisfied with my life. Happiness 24/7 is not my goal. My goal is to become the best possible version of myself. That means I may not always get what I want to have, but I will become who I want to become, and that means so much more.

  • http://www.megsmumbo.blogspot.com Meg

    I have the same background as you – single parent home, neither parent has any sufficient savings and two brothers who are pursuing their passion despite low pay. I also dealt with a large amount of guilt (hello Irish-Catholic family). But the thing is – my parents never want me to sacrifice my future and passions for them. They would never let me not do something because I was worried about them (believe me, I’ve tried!). They actively encourage me to move to another country and start my own company. While family obligations are important, you can’t live your life for anyone other then yourself. Your parents are adults – they’re not helpless children. As much as they’ve been screwed over by the economy or lack of savings (at the risk of sounding cold) that’s THEIR problem to deal with in the future. If you do need to chip in, wouldn’t you resent the situation less if you were able to do what you wanted to do now? Even if you only live overseas for a year or two?

    Additionally, I agree with Jamie “Don’t equate responsibility with the end to your passion.” I believe that it’s possible to follow your passions in an intelligent, well planned way – not an impulsive, irresponsible way. And just because the first time didn’t work out for you doesn’t mean that the second or third time can’t.

    Anyway, I know I don’t know you personally but I think that anyone can do anything they put their mind to. And I wish you all the best with what you’re given and make the rest up as you go along!

    • http://junloayza.com JunLoayza

      Hey Meg,

      I’ve tried to think about it that way before. “It’s my family’s problem to deal with.” I just can’t go through with it.

      Good call on following my passions in a well thought out way. I can be very impulsive and need to ground myself before I make any large decisions.

      I think next year I’ll live abroad for a period of 3 months with my gf. I’ll breath in the life and if I love it, I think I’ll commit. If not, I’ll move back to the states and rethink my life.

  • http://valeriemondesir.com/ Valerie M

    I’m probably the least qualified person to say what I’m going to say, since I haven’t even quit my day job and I’m definitely not walking in your shoes. But I’m going to say it anyway since you’ve done so much to encourage me and many others to go for our dreams.

    I think you’re treading on dangerous ground with this kind of thinking. I’ve heard it time and time again from so many older grown ups, who had dreams, but had to give them up for whatever challenge. None of these people are happy and wistfully think back to what they should have done. A prime example is my father. He’s an engineer and he gets paid well (if you believe the statistics, anyway). But his dream was always to go to medical school and he’s seriously regretting it now. His thing is, he can’t go because of all his responsibilities (even though I know people his age who are in medical school). He’s the reason why I know I can’t give up everything I dreamed of, even if I have to put it off for a little while. If you ignore your dreams they will keep coming back to you, whether it’s practical or not.

    I get what you’re saying about responsibility and caution and security. It’s why I’m reluctant to quit my own job at the moment. I just hope that you don’t think this is the end and I hope you realize that you are not as limited as you think you are, even when it comes to providing for your family. It’s just a temporary setback… In the words of The Black Knight: ‘Tis but a scratch.’

    I strongly believe that good things come to those who believe in themselves and believe that they will find a way. Stay open-minded, Jun. I am rooting for you!

    • http://junloayza.com JunLoayza

      Very good points Valerie.

      My questions is: When does putting off your passions become burying your passions? I know so many people that have gotten comfortable with the paycheck that they now cannot leave the job to start their own company. They have a family and a mortgage to pay and too many responsibilities.

      I am of the school that believes you should throw caution to the wind and just go for it. We’re young enough to bounce back from anything.

      This post is an expression of my inner emotions. I feel like I can’t throw caution away because I need to support my family, but ultimately, I’m beginning to realize more and more that I cannot sacrifice my ambitions for anyone, even my family.

      Thanks Valerie for your very personal story

      • http://www.paigeworthy Paige

        The thing is…most people who “put off” their passions in the passion-pursuing prime of their lives never get back to them.
        Once you’ve told yourself they can wait, they stay on that back burner until they’re stone cold. I hope that doesn’t happen to you.

      • http://valeriemondesir.com/ Valerie M

        That’s the thing. There’s a very thin line between burying your passions and putting them off. I just know that I hesitate and talk myself out of things when I allow myself to overthink something or blow something up to be much worse than it really is. Next thing I know, years have passed and I am in the same exact place I was.

        Here’s how I see it. If you sacrifice everything for your family, then in the long run, you’re doing your family am even greater disservice because the financial support might be there, but you won’t be fully yourself. It works in the converse too. If you sacrifice everything for your dreams, then you’ll find yourself estranged from your family and the people you love in the long run. So yea, it’s a delicate balance.

    • Chris

      Valerie, this is well said and spoken with someone that has experience. Some day will result in taking many regrets to the grave. People don’t necessarily regret making mistakes they regret not taking chances and missing out on things.

  • Sabrina

    It’s good that you have friends in your life who can challenge your perspective and what you think is possible. And a statement kinda like the one Jamie posted You just need to rearrange your idea of how that will work, gain some perspective, and then set out to find that. set me from thinking from what you convey in this post to what I’m currently working toward.

    I quit my job to start a company. My first week doing my own thing my father got diagnosed with cancer, I got dumped and my life in general terms pretty much imploded. I now had to run my business AND the family business (two completely different fields). And for awhile, I thought I was worse off for it. But I (thank God) got some perspective amd realized that yes, I have the freedom to spend AS MUCH TIME AS I WANT with my family during this time, take care of them, work on projects I care about and learn, learn, learn how to run 2 companies in a way that doesn’t swallow my world.

    You and your family have your HEALTH and most importantly, love for each other. You have no idea how much those two facts place you in a better position. So yeah, I know how you feel. Responsibility and obligation can be a bitch. But don’t use that as a reason not to try new things that might make you happier in the process. For example, I realized recently that hey– I might not be able to move abroad for a YEAR but I can probably hack 2 months working remotely then come back, rinse repeat. And I realized that after being gone for 3 weeks and seeing how nothing really crumbled in my absence.

    Think of life as an experiment, try things, test, explore. Don’t think of your responsibility at home as a barrier to pursuing your passions.

    • http://junloayza.com JunLoayza

      I am so sorry to hear that Sabrina. You are awesome for pulling threw and supporting your family in their time of need.

      A lot of the times our ambition and frustration makes us forget about the good things we have in life. Like I said in a previous comment, the grass is always greener on the other side.

      I need to take some time to myself and think about all the good things in my life. I need to appreciate what I have now.

      Even though I don’t aspire for material possessions, I need to appreciate all of the immaterial gifts that I have

  • http://www.ianselvarajah.com Ian Selvarajah

    Hey Jun,

    Thoughtful post, as usual! While I don’t come from a single-parent home, my parents are certainly far from wealthy and that gives us a different perspective on the value of money. I watched them make sacrifices for us while growing up and I hope I can do something great for them when I “grow up”.

    I assume we’re both looking at financial freedom: not necessarily living lavishly, but to be comfortable and not concerned about finances as our parents were.

    Here’s what I’ve done in my case: I took a corporate job (for now). While it’s not horrible, it’s certainly far from fulfilling and it frustrates me daily that my organization bills me out at ~6x my salary. However- it’s given me the ability to purchase a rental property, which is now a source of passive income. I don’t have to pay rent (the tenants are paying the mortgage), so there’s one major expense gone.

    I’m close to the point where I can even take a menial job (worst case) to cover my fixed expenses and then explore entrepreneurship during the day. I’m very close to doing this, but I may just take a job that gives me a little more flexibility.

    All this to say that- I (and many others) believe you have the ability to create a very successful enterprise, but if you’re concerned about finances in the short term, line up a couple of things that are a little more stable while you pursue your ventures!

    @Jamie – I guess you figured out pretty fast that Europe is definitely not like North America when it comes to safety and women!! Travel safe!! :)

    • http://junloayza.com JunLoayza

      Ian, I look forward to the day when you make the big leap. It’s great that you have been able to find a source stable income! That’s something that I’m still working on.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003406074454 Rajveer

        I am really lvnoig the theme/design of your blog. Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility issues? A small number of my blog visitors have complained about my website not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Safari. Do you have any advice to help fix this problem?

  • http://twitter.com/nQuo nik

    Great post as usual Jun. Honest, relatable content is always the best content.

    I’ve been worried about the same “financial support/stability for the family vs. going for what you like to do” situation – and almost went into accounting because of that.

    You’re already pursuing one of your passions by being an entrepreneur and running a startup – something risky that many do not have the guts/capability to do. I think if you want to go further and experience living in another country – go for it – but don’t go the whole nine yards just yet. Try going for 12-18 months to see how it is (if it’s really for you, and whether you can generate a reasonable amount of income there). If you do like it there, then consider moving there. As for taking care of your family, you can still financially support them from afar, and for taking care of their well-being, you could visit them often, and/or your brother can help you.

    Improving the financial strain of being an entrapreneur seems like a tough problem to solve, without having to resort back to a 9-5 job. Besides working hard for your startup and hoping it’ll be a hit, the only suggestion I can think of would be working a few side gigs (marketing, life coaching).

    PS. Start saving for your retirement fund – even $20/month will make a huge difference in the end compared to nothing, as compound interest goes a long way if you start at 25 rather than say, 35.

    • http://junloayza.com JunLoayza

      Thanks Nik. I have recently started a Roth IRA and am putting money in the bank every month. Gotta think about my future.

      I will think about testing out the life abroad next year. Maybe for 6 months. I think I can still work on my startup from over there :)

  • http://andrecharoo.com Andre Charoo

    Giving up on your passions at this stage in your life is not what any supportive parent(s) wishes upon their children.

    I think people need to think about these sorts of life decisions in perspective.

    I’m a firm believer in realizing that there are certain stages in life where you should pursue the things you want to pursue… and I believe those days are in your 20s. A mentor once said this to me: Put yourself in uncomfortable situations (while in your 20s), and you will undoubtedly grow as a person. There is a time to be comfortable and a time to be uncomfortable. Not to discount that you have a fair amount of responsibility right now, but, relative to an average person in their 30s, it’s probably less. Hence, these are the times to be uncomfortable. Run away from being comfortable. (Side note: even if you do take a corporate job again one day, choose one that’s uncomfortable. having done investment banking, it was great financially, but i didn’t see my family, couldn’t have a girlfriend, it was brutal… but the perfect job to have in your 20s).

    I understand the feeling of turning your back on your family. I should be supporting my mother more than I do right now, and I feel a ton of guilt because of it. On the flip side, it only pushes me to work smarter and harder on what I’m pursuing so that things do work out in the end.

    In the grand scheme of things, it’s really only a few years that it’ll be like this. Think of that and compare it to the multiple of years you will be with your family. You’re a smart guy. You’ll have plenty of time to make it up on the downside. And, on the upside, things will be fine.

    Hope this helps.

    All the best.

    Cheers,
    Andre

    • http://Viralogy.com Jun Loayza

      I’m not afraid of the risk. I welcome it.

      I’m not afraid of the challenge. I actually enjoy it.

      What worries me is that no one will be there to support my Dad. What do I do when I’m in the middle of a startup w/ no income, and my Dad can’t work anymore?

      I’ll tell you what I’ll have to do. Get a job as quickly as possible (most likely hate my job) and support my Dad.

      I’ve already taken the chances and the leaps of faith. I need something, I’ll call it the “X” factor, to allow me to live out my dreams.

      More to come

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.com Grace Boyle

    Such a good post Jun. I also like what Jamie had to say.

    Recently, I’ve seen and felt the same. My best friend is going to Cambodia for a work program and then going to South American with Kiva. Another friend is running a spa in Thailand. I feel bad ass, working at a startup, learning and being part of something I’m stoked about but what about the wanderlusting?

    I have a hard time balancing responsibility. Right now, I have a 401K, I have benefits and a salary. Although my savings account isn’t as large as I would like, at least I have one, right? Is it okay to abandon responsibility? I haven’t even thought far ahead about taking care of my parents or even considered my family (my own personal family for the future that I will create).

    I think that you’re charismatic and don’t have to abandon passion. Everyone’s passion is a bit different. Jamie is following a passion, but also struggling while abroad and going at it alone. You’re struggling, following the entrepreneurship route but you have friends and family around, and a loving girlfriend. I appreciate the transparency and hearing your story. Maybe it’s a the grass is greener on the other side scenario…I’m not sure, because I feel a pull from both sides of the grass.

    • http://Viralogy.com Jun Loayza

      I’m starting to see that it’s definitely one of those things.

      People want what someone else has, but they never stop to think about what they truly want. I think I need to take a step back and think about what is it that I truly want out of my life.

      Is it to see every country in the world?

      Is it to raise a happy family?

      I need to do some heavy meditating…

  • Jeff Kuo

    Good post Jun. I’ve always felt that “follow your passion,” while a worthy goal, is too simplistic advice for anyone but privileged, free and often angst-y young people.

    “I’m in debt, single with 2 kids and I lost my job. What do I do??”
    “Just follow your passions!”
    “Man, fuck you.”

    Also, I wouldn’t listen to people who say that your family shouldn’t get in the way of your dreams. Family, and really relationships in general, are worth sacrificing for. It’s not always all about what you want.

    • http://Viralogy.com Jun Loayza

      I really like your perspective Jeff.

      People do always say that you should sacrifice relationships and family for the goals in your life.

      Perhaps it should be the other way around…

  • http://www.owlsparks.com/ Carlos Miceli

    First of all, I don’t really know what’s your situation. You tell us the general aspects of it, but for example, I don’t have a good relationship with my dad, so I’d probably act differently. What I’m trying to say is that my advice may not be useful, since you may “feel” differently about some things.

    I believe that everyone can choose what to do at some point in their life. I believe that my mom, my dad and everyone older than me has made a choice and they are now either enjoying or regreting the outcomes of those decisions. However it may be, now it’s our time. I’m not saying that I wouldn’t help my family if they were in trouble, but until that happens, I won’t feel responsible of them. I refuse to believe that other people should pay for our mistakes, for our choices.

    I think that you and me are given the opportunity to live our own lives, not theirs. Your context, the place you’re born in, the school you go to, your family, it’s all been decided for you. That’s enough limits. It’s your time to choose now.

    Don’t do anything that you’ll regret in the future, like ignore your family in trouble. but don’t hold yourself from doing anything that you want because you put extra responsibility on your shoulders.

    Good luck bro, your journey is just starting, things will be ok.

    • http://Viralogy.com Jun Loayza

      Thanks for your thoughts Carlos. Truly means a lot to me.

      I have a very close relationship with my family and I do feel responsible for their fate. I am pretty much the “hope” of the family.

      It’s a lot of weight on my shoulders, but perhaps if I’m strong enough, emotionally and financially, I can have everything that I want in life…

  • http://jetsetcitizen.com John Bardos – JetSetCitizen

    Another great post Jun! Thanks for sharing your personal story. It is awesome and refreshing to hear such honesty.

    The grass really is greener on the other side. It is easy to look at the surface of what others are doing and envy their exotic and exciting lives. The reality is that there are positive and negative sides to everything regardless of where you are.

    Work is work regardless of whether you are doing it in Bangkok, Kuta, San Francisco or Calgary. You may have a more exotic lifestyle and cheaper living costs in some locations but then again you have to deal with lousy internet connections, excessive pollution, corrupt officials, etc. Nothing ever is completely perfect. It is just different.

    Most people searching for a nomadic or expatriate lifestyle are really just looking for a change. Usually that change is for a short time, because it won’t take too long to realize that their life back home really wasn’t that bad.

    I have some issues with that word “passion” because it implies that their is some perfect, blissful existence for everyone. I believe in doing things you love, but it is important to recognize that even things you are passionate about have boring parts. Even rock stars get sick of being cooped up in a studio or going on the road to yet another city and another hotel room. From the outside, it looks like the perfect lifestyle. The grass truly is greener on the other side.

    You are living your passions. You are working on a cool business. You have a cool job. You are meeting cool people. You are making a name for yourself. Plus, you are taking care of your family. I would love to be on your side of the fence. You are living my dream life. Do you want to trade? :-)

    • http://Viralogy.com Jun Loayza

      Wow… thanks for punching me in the face with some perspective.

      How many people want to be in my situation? How many people would give up their job for my job?

      I do have a good life, and I need to learn to appreciate it.

      … or would that be settling…

      I need to do some serious thinking bro

  • http://www.mineyourresources.com Cath Duncan

    I really enjoy these posts where you share your own journey with all its dilemmas. I totally identify with your conflict, and I think that in a world with abundant choices and access to information about what everyone else is doing, a big challenge is the whole “grass is greener on the other side” thing. Previous generations weren’t aware of so many opportunities and options and I think in some ways that made their lives easier.

    I think it’s Dan Gilmore who did a great TED talk about happiness, where he talks about research that showed that people with limited choices were happier than those who were given unlimited choices, and I think this is because when we feel that there are other choices available to us, we can get into always second-guessing the choice we’ve made. This problem is also coming from believing the idea that things and circumstances create our feelings, so we need to find the things and circumstances that create the feelings we want to have – this leads to a perpetual restlessness and need to keep changing your things and circumstances in pursuit of happiness (there’s a lot of this in the lifestyle design arena!)

    When we have internal conflicts like this, we’re fighting ourselves, and when you fight yourself, someone’s gonna lose… and it’s gonna be YOU, right? Here’s a way to dissolve the internal conflict: So you have these two parts – the part that wants to stay home and care for your family, and the part that wants to travel. My guess is that ultimately, both those parts want the same thing and have a positive intention for you – they just have different ideas/ strategies as to how to get what they want. So ask yourself of each part, “What’s it’s positive intention? What will staying home and caring for my family/ traveling get me?” And whatever answer you get, keep asking, “and what will that get me?” until you feel you’ve reached the highest purpose (hint: it’s usually a feeling. Nobody wants things – we all want feelings. You want to stay home and care for your family or travel because of how you think that’ll make you feel.) Once you know what the experience or feeling is that you’re wanting, notice that both parts are ultimately wanting that same experience or feeling for you.

    And then brainstorm all the different ways you can think of, that would enable you to create the sort of experiences and feelings you want to have. You’ve set this up as a choice between two options, but actually there are many, many (probably infinite) ways you can create the feelings and experiences you want right now.

    And then, whatever choice you make going forward realize that deciding is a process, not a destination, and you can change what you’re deciding at any time. Also, notice your language and choose more powerful language. Whenever you say, “I *have* to do…” you’re setting yourself up as a victim, making yourself feel frustrated and powerless and cutting off the reality that there is always a choice and you’re in charge of making that choice. Can you feel the difference when you say, “I choose to stay home and care for my family” as opposed to “I have to stay home and care for my family.”? Right now you’ve made the choice to stay home and care for your family, and there’s something that’s important to you that’s motivating you to choose that. And if you choose to travel, it will be because you found something else that was more important to you. Either way, get conscious of what it is that’s important to you and own your decisions, because this will allow you to feel your natural powerfulness, which is essential in feeling fulfilled in life.

    All the best in your ventures and adventures,
    Cath

    • http://Viralogy.com Jun Loayza

      Wow Cath, you’re good.

      Thank you so much for this well thought out comment. I will go through each one of the steps that you have outlined for me and I will write a blog post about it.

      Thank you again Cath and I look forward to chatting with you soon.

  • http://www.nunomad.com/blog Carmen

    Hey Jun,
    You’re getting a lot of great advice here. I was in a similar boat to you – only child of a single mom and single grandmother living together on a meager income with little retirement. My family had worked their butts off for years to provide me with a very privileged education. Now I have a husband and 3 of our own children to think about. No lack of responsibilities!

    What I would add to the wonderful advice perhaps comes from having a few more years under my belt than most folks here. That is – life is long. You will have opportunities to go through many phases. Most likely, your parents still have some good years left to work and live their lives. It is much easier to chase your dreams and see what comes of them before you have settled into a 9-5 or have children in addition to elderly parents to worry about. This is a great time for you – a window of opportunity that may not last forever. You’re off to a great start and if you want to see some other part of the world go for it now!

    As they say – “for everything there is a season”. Make the most of this season when all is well in your family. Maybe your brother won’t bring in a big income but he may be helpful in everyday care of your parents when the time comes. By then you may have had the time of your life and already be settled back home. We can’t predict the future.

    I coach many people who are now in their late fifties to mid sixties. They are now trying to make new businesses happen or live dreams of travel. Unfortunately, it becomes even harder since they are often burdened with bills that have mounted over the years, dying parents or ill health of their own.

    Don’t settle yet!

    • http://Viralogy.com Jun Loayza

      Carmen, thanks so much for the comment. I truly am starting to understand that life is long.

      Everyone always says that life is short. I always feel like the world is flying past me and that I’m not doing enough. I’m 24, and I need to settle down and remind myself that I’m ONLY 24.

      I can see your point. Perhaps right now is the window of opportunity for me to travel the world. Well a year make a huge difference in my life? We’ll see…

  • http://under30ceo.com Matt Wilson

    Hey Jun, fascinating article. If you remember our discussion “to do what you love you must do what you hate” it was all about sacrifice. I really admire the sacrifices you are making right now and I want to remind you the one thing you seem to be incredibly passionate about is helping your family.

    People fall into the myth that the Four Hour Work Week happens overnight. The fact of the matter is that it takes incredible toughness and hard work to make your dreams happen. I encourage you not to give up on doing what you love–I have no doubt that you’ll figure out a plan to support your family and do what you love for the rest of your life. Keep putting in the time but keep dreaming big–there are so many people out there who came from far worse situations than you and now have everything they want and more.

    • http://Viralogy.com Jun Loayza

      Thanks Matt, and for reminding me about the quote.

      I will take that with me everywhere

  • http://www.nerdynomad.com Kirsty

    That’s a really interesting post, Jun.

    Something I often thank my lucky stars for is that my family has their shit together. I have loving and supportive parents and that’s something that a lot of people might take for granted at times. A good friend of mine is pretty much on her own and can’t count on a family to back her up so instead of travelling around the world, she has built up a successful career because, if she doesn’t take care of herself, nobody else will. I have the luxery of of being able to fall back on my parents if everything goes tits up on my travels. I haven’t been in that situtation but just knowing that mom and dad have the ability and interest in saving my ass should I run out of money or get into trouble is a huge deal.

    My parent’s retirement took a hit as well but as far as I know they’re still all good. If they weren’t, I would love to be able to take care of them in their retirement but it’s not something I stress out about today. I feel like now is the best time to do my own thing because my parents will be retired in five years and they’re not getting any younger. I think it’s really admirable to want to look after both of your parents in their retirement but how far off is it? Can’t you enjoy yourself a bit now and deal with all that responsibility stuff later on?

    Great post with lots of thought-provoking points.

    • http://Viralogy.com Jun Loayza

      Thanks Kirsty,

      Like I said, I envy the position you’re in. It’s not that I’m NOT enjoying myself right now, it’s just that I’m stuck in this vortex of not knowing what will bring me full happiness.

      I need to answer that question first and then decide what I will do with my life.

  • http://www.gobackpacking.com Dave

    Hi, this is my first visit to your blog and boy was that post a doozy.

    I just returned from 20 months of personal travel around the world, and in lieu of looking for work, I’ve been spending my days figuring out how I too, can become location independent so I can scamper back down to South America.

    You raise so many valid points about my thinking though, some of which apply to me, and others that do not. For example, even if I could subsist in a third world country on the money from websites, it’s unlikely that will be enough to cover $150,000 in college tuition, assuming I’d send one kid to a private college in 20 years. Scary! Let alone retirement.

    I think about this stuff too, and it was a big part of the reason my parents didn’t want me to quit my insurance job to travel, but I had to pursue my passion. And at the least, it has given me the courage to pursue a career change at 33, which I might not have otherwise done. Oh, and the courage to know I could live anywhere in the world and make friends, and build a life and be happy. At the moment, I have my sights set on NYC. :)

    • http://Viralogy.com Jun Loayza

      Congrats on that trip Dave. You inspire me to take a trip like that on my own. I would love to take my girlfriend around the world and experience every culture with her. That would make me truly happy.

      How do I get there and take care of my family? If I can answer that question, then I will be truly happy.

      Thank you for visiting my blog and I hope to chat with you soon.

  • Elisa

    Umm, I don’t think I’ve appreciated a business/marketing/entrepreneur post more than this very one. I come from a very similar background as you. I’ve been doing what you’ve been doing since I was 21 years old. Eight years of putting other people first. Eight years of putting off my own passions in favor of making sure I was safe/stable/secure. Eight years of listing out the can’ts instead of the cans.

    It has also been eight years of seeing the smile on my parents’ faces knowing that food is on the table and bills were paid. Eight years of making some amazing business connections at a “horrible” 9-5 job as I climbed up the ladder of my company to a position that has afforded me growth, opportunity and allowed me to realize the depths of my potential. Eight years that included the night I gave my baby sister a sterling silver and diamond watch for her college graduation present and bought her and her friends rounds and rounds of drinks the night before their graduation (sorry hungover marchers!)

    You know, I’ve never traveled the world or written my novel or lived in a cabin on a mountain somewhere or any of my many other dreams and passions. But the truth is I would never ever EVER dream of trading in the past eight years for any of those moments. I made my decision, and I stuck by it and haven’t regretted it.

    I started this past spring making plans to finally start living those dreams and passions. Our 20’s are a great time to grab the reigns and run with them, but it isn’t like life ends when we are 30. There’s still time. I know that life has made me a thinker and a planner and I’m going after my passions now with very careful decisions. I’ve got to tell you….I feel like I’ve gotten the best of both worlds.

    Don’t give up your dreams EVER! But don’t let anyone tell you that they know what your decisions should be. They are not in the same situation/life/realities as you. Do what feels right…you’ll know what it is.

    • http://Viralogy.com Jun Loayza

      Elisa, thanks so much for giving us your perspective. Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that life doesn’t end when we turn 30. After all, 30 is the new 21, right?

      I’m so happy that you would never trade the past 8 years for anything. It brings me confidence to make the upcoming decision that I have to make.

      Should I stay with my company and give my family security? Or should I travel the world and find what I’m looking for.

      I’ll make my decision by 2010

  • http://www.lifewithoutpants.com Matt Cheuvront

    One of the great things about social media and the online world is the support that develops, even when we don’t ask for it or don’t expect it. I can relate to exactly how you’re feeling here. I admire the heck out of people who have moved overseas, or who have started their own business by age twenty-five. Then I stop and ask myself, “why can’t I be doing that?”

    The truth of the matter is that we can – maybe not today – but we can and will. If the desire is there, you’ll find a way to work your ass off and make things happen. Why haven’t I started my own business? Not because I don’t want to – but my desire and passion isn’t ALL there. I actually like the job I’m in and I’m learning a lot of valuable information – I’m learning how to work with more traditional “offline” companies and how to bring them online – something there is still a HUGE demand for from a consulting standpoint.

    Eventually, I know everything will tie together – that the desire and financial backing will be there – that my ideas will be more than just ideas, they’ll be concrete actionable goals. Everything doesn’t have to happen today – just don’t let you’re whole life pass by as you say “I SHOULD HAVE done ________”

    Thanks for the inspiration and “reality check” Jun. Well done.

    • http://Viralogy.com Jun Loayza

      Thanks brother.

      I got to get that through my head: I don’t need to accomplish everything immediately.

      I’m so impatient and I want results NOW. I need to learn to wait for the good things to happen and let it all happen naturally.

      If we stick together, I know we can all do amazing things much quicker than if we did it alone.

  • http://www.CycloneMarketing.info Catherine Lockey

    Hi Jun,

    Your concerns about your family are beautiful because you love them so. As long as you’re pulling in some extra money each month, there is no reason why you can’t follow your dreams too. Here are four suggestions to help put your mind at ease while you follow your dreams.

    1. Buy your parents long term care insurance. This insurance pays for in-house assistance when they need it. It’s relatively inexpensive and I know there are some good policies out there.

    2. Invest in real estate. Do you own a home yet? If not, save to get your first home. When you get it, make sure you have an extra bedroom on the first floor so your parents can move in – just in case.

    3. Save for your own retirement. If you don’t expect a relative to send you a chunk of money in your thirties, then save $50 a month now in a ROTH or a SEP and keep a close eye on it. Whenever it stops making money, re-evaluate how it’s invested. I made my ROTH a cash investment for over a year during the recession. I couldn’t stand to watch it lose money.

    4. You don’t have any kids yet, but once you do, save for them – a little at a time – from the day they’re born. Once again, keep a close eye on it. If it isn’t making money, make changes to it.

    Since you don’t have kids yet, this suggestion doesn’t count – yet…(5. Raise your kids with a strong emphasis on their education and if you can, invest in their early education – pre-school and elementary school. This is the time when giftedness is cultivated. Most parents spend more time choosing a car than choosing their child’s pre-school. The money I invested in my daughter’s early education is now saving me thousands and thousands of dollars in college tuition.)

    • http://Viralogy.com Jun Loayza

      Concrete steps! Yes, this is what I was looking for!

      Thanks so much Catherine. I will do these steps immediately :)

  • http://www.wasabiburger.com Ken Kurosawa

    Jun,
    I totally feel you.
    I don’t come from a wealthy family, my parents never had health insurance, and to this day don’t have the means to afford it.
    When I started attending UCLA, I always felt slightly off when my peers would take for granted the money from their parents. I didn’t ask for a cent to go to college, and worked at night when everyone partied to get school paid for.
    But like you, I want to be able to care for my parents, I want to tell them ‘Go to the doctors for a check up, I got you covered,’ I want to buy them a car, etc. Maybe we strongly believe in the importance of filial piety?
    Anyway, let’s go out for some beers I’m in the LA area.

    • http://Viralogy.com Jun Loayza

      Ken, great to meet you on here. Lets definitely meet up and get some drinks.

      I’ll be back in SoCal in about a week. Hit me up through email

  • http://www.anthonyliang.com Anthony Liang

    Great post Jun, I also feel the obligation to take care of my family, but I believe you just have to analyze your current situation and make a decision. You don’t just walk in one direction mindlessly, you have to stop and assess your surroundings occasionally. If you can take the time to travel and do what you want right now, then I think you should do it. Everyone’s situation is different, it’s just how you have your priorities set. There will always be sacrifice in the choices we make, but it’s what we get out of it in the end that makes it worth it.

  • http://lifeisbutastage.wordpress.com Robert

    I’m glad to hear Jamie give us some insight into her life. After watching movies like “Taken” and “Hostel”, I was concerned about her being alone overseas like that.

    “If you’re in the same situation, how can we position ourselves to do what we love to do AND take care of our families? What are our best next steps?”

    I think the biggest issue here is time. At least for me it is. Sure, after graduating you could have gotten that great-paying 9 to 5 job and taken care of your family, and that may have been enough for some people but would it have been for you?

    When I look at this question, I know it’s possible, but my biggest concern is time. I see my mom stressing day to day, and I wonder how much time she’s got left. She’s operates a single parent household consisting of my 3 bad-ass brothers and sisters and works graveyard shift living paycheck to paycheck with no retirement. Doesn’t have much of a life, and is always talking about how tired she is. I probably make as much as her and I’m only earning $9.75 an hour. Being her oldest son, it’s always been a dream to see the day when I can retire her and provide for my mom. I want to be able to see this day so badly, but I only get concerned when I think about the time it may take in relation to how much time she might have left.

    I see it as my responsibility as well, but it’s not an obligation. I’m not obliged to do it. But I want to if I can, and I can. She started dating again and I’m worried about her boyfriend becoming abusive (not that he is) because as her son I feel it’s my responsibility to protect her, but once again it’s not an obligation. I tell her my concerns and she tells me “I’m grown” and she is.

    I feel a responsibility because I feel that I am willing and able to provide that support that she might need or want, the ability to provide that response. I feel so strongly about it because it’s mom of course, and as a man, that’s what we do.It’s still not an obligation.

    Since I have my own place (and room with my sister), and my mom and I make about the same amount of money, I figure the worst case scenario, she can stay with me and we’ll work it out. But since my major concern is time I think about it in a one day scenario: If I never live to see that day, or if my mom never lives long enough for me to provide for her, what can I do in this one day that will help me to achieve that which I am looking for? Ultimately, I want to make/see my mom happy. Sure, I’d like to take her around the world, out to dinner, retire her, and etc. but the one thing underlying everything I want to do is to provide for her. I want to provide for her because I want to let her know how appreciative I am of everything she’s done. I want to provide for her because that’s the woman that’s been with me from the start and I don’t her to work herself dead and soulless, I want to see her alive and have her living the life I feel she deserves.

    Another thing about this question is defining how you want to provide for your family. You can provide for them frugally or living lavish, depending on what your goal is. As I pursue this journey to become an actor, I am barely surviving, but I am, with a car, nice apartment, healthy food, and my wii. If I had to take care of my family right now, it would be a struggle, but then again, is that so different from the situation I’m already in?

    I guess what I’m trying to say is, it’s possible to have it all, but we’ve can’t project too much into the future. We’ve got to remember that all we’ve got is the present. All those things have never happened yet. Our parents retiring, our success, never happened, and may never happen, so all of those things, the values, the feelings( at least for me) that we feel that our success will bring us in the future, how can we achieve them in the present and if we had one day to live?

  • http://lifeisbutastage.wordpress.com Robert

    Lol, I wrote so much I forgot to say great post, I love how you write so openly and vulnerably about things so dear to you. I think it makes your writing resonate with a much larger audience.

  • Anita

    Hi Jun

    Great post and discussions here! Your story & the choice you’re making strongly resonates with me, as I’m in the same place now.

    I have two children below 10. And I have a business idea that meets all the parameters I want to achieve.

    I decided to hold on to the dream till I could work out:

    – How to keep a stable income level & continue to provide for my family.

    I am making this transition needs to be made step-by-step – throwing it all away, to chase a dream, isn’t an option for many of us!

    – And gather a vast group of experience/ networks/ learning’s I would need for my business.

    This is where it gets interesting, because when you know what you’re after, its almost like sending out an unspoken signal that brings those experiences to you. Its been an amazing experience.

    You may find similar experiences coming at you.

    Of course we can’t predict & prepare for everything. Life has an interesting way of throwing surprises!

    But we can do everything in our power to live up to our responsibilities and get to a state of readiness.

    Cheers,
    Anita

  • http://www.twitter.com/ronbronson Ron

    You’re not alone in this at all. For one reason or another, there are lots of us out there with similar circumstances or stories to tell about our own lives. I’m not sure there’s any sort of magic answer, but…I do think knowing where you are, what the barriers are and where you want to be, is the path to the right place for you.

  • Diana Wei

    Wow! I love your blog posts!! And the many helpful readers participating in answering your situation with their own life experience. I feel I can understand to some extent. I want to be able to take care of my mom one day as the eldest but I also grew up as an ABC ‘joy luck girl’.

    With the support of my past therapist/counselor, friends and my wise boyfriend, I’ve learned I can’t live my life for my mom/parent (which is the traditional way of an asian kid). I’ve learned if I keep worrying about how to support/take care of my mom when she gets older, nothing will get done but worrying.

    Today’s generations like to take the time to explore themselves, find their passion and live life bettering their community. If you’ve found your passion, you should got for it! If you love it enough to keep it, you’ll make a living off it. If its not enough, find how you can equip yourself (education, conferences etc) enough to be the best at it. I think life is full of good and bad judgments.

    Compare to the rest of my friends, I’m seriously thinking I’m today’s modern hippy after quitting my analyst position in the corporate life last year. I’ve moved away from LA, took a couple part-time jobs and finally found the perfect part-time job I enjoy doing on the side. The part-time gig allows me to enjoy a new industry I’ve never worked in, and flexible time to explore my options, take some interesting classes and figure out what career I want to purse if it means living an unstable lifestyle for the time being. Heck, even life in Taiwan or another country for 2 years within the next 6 years or so because you know our parents aren’t getting any younger. So am I being selfish? Well, I am to an extent. I feel like I’m living my life for me finally but of course I dont’ plan to make it a vacation. I plan to make a business trip, experience the products and resources another country can offer and start an ecommerce business one day? No matter what, I expect to gain a new perspective and share it with the community in a way I can earn and save for my family.

    I’ve experienced life with no freedom to the extent that all my options were closed. Now that I have that freedom to explore, the possibilities are endless! I’m not talking about financial freedom, because we all know we have to give up a part of ourselves to society to have that. But since you seem to understand freedom very well as an Entrepreneur, not even the sky is your limit! Look at everyone in this post….you have plenty of support! Make your company international, then you can travel for work too! =)

    Thanks for all the wonderful blog post! It keeps me thinking in life, as well as receive the life answers/support I’m looking for from your fans. Sorry I blab alot. ;)

  • Diana Wei

    http://answers.onstartups.com/
    Interesting on going questions from and for entrepreneurs. Thought you would enjoy this. Wait do you have a twitteR? List it in your contact info! =)

  • Pingback: True happiness or Settling for less? | Become a young successful entrepreneur and live the startup life()

  • Pingback: Nerdy Nomad » Is it Selfish to Follow Your Passion?()

  • http://www.hotmail.com soultravelers3

    Interesting and heart touching post! As someone who has been traveling the world as a family into our 4th year now (and in my mid 50’s) I can tell you that there will never be a perfect time to follow a dream or passion! Responsibilities, children, parents, siblings, loved ones etc will ALWAYS need to be taken into account.

    There rarely is a perfect time. One can make it happen or end up like the Jimmy Stewart character in It’s a Wonderful Life (and have something different to be proud about.) He did have a great life, but wasn’t it a little sad he never fulfilled his travel dreams? Life is a paradox, it is short & it is long, the world is small & it is large.

    Today the dollar in your wallet is worth 18 cents (compared to 1970) and is headed lower and losing it’s reserve currency status, so pay attention to future trends & currencies, gold, commodities. I wouldn’t buy a house now as they are still headed down (despite media hype) & commercial real estate is as well, so with many banks closing, FDIC at risk etc, this recession is chronic and creating a new paradigm on how we all live, work & retire.

    The US has been living an unsustainable lifestyle and that must & will change. Read about demographics & try to think generations ahead with your family. I would agree with investing heavily in your child/ren …from before conception, but instead of preschool, I say teach/spend time with your own!

    If you are saving in dollars you are throwing money away. So first be smart in how you save and invest. Tell your parents to save smartly too as you shouldn’t have to do ALL the work yourself. Are you responsible because your father never saved?

    Have you read Maya Frosts book about skipping SAT’s & debt for education? Or the brilliant young man who wrote the book on skipping high school and going to top Universities? Education is also in a huge shift now, so perhaps your brother can benefit from that or new way of thinking. We are living in exponential times and the status quo is getting turned upside down & old, traditional ways may not work (although the basics of old fashion tradition might! ;)

    Also realize that perhaps your parents might actually benefit greatly from your travel and LI life. You might actually be able to save them better in another location, you might be able to give them a better life with less money. You might learn so much about flexibility and where are the best places, that you will add tremendously to your parents, brother and future children!

    Keep reading, researching,dreaming and keeping your mind open to ALL the possibilities! We are living in very interesting times!

  • Pingback: Living By the Rules versus Living on Purpose | Thrilling Heroics()

  • http://www.financialsamurai.com Financial Samurai

    Tough one Jun. I think b/c of the dependence your parents have on you, you’ve got to take the less risky path.

    Have you asked them straight up whether they can take care of themselves without you? Maybe they can?

    I don’t think they’d want you to limit yourself just take take care of them financially..

  • http://www.travelingontheoutskirts.com/ Jessica

    I don’t know how I got to your website but I read your post and it spoke to me.

    You see, a while back we quit our well-paying jobs in the middle of a recession and sold all our belongings so we could buy an RV and go traveling full-time. I’m 27 and my husband is 29 we both went to college and we’ve been in the advertising field for 7 years. We tried REALLY REALLY hard to do what we were “supposed” to do but we couldn’t stand it – we weren’t doing things that we were proud of (car commercials) and our wanderlust had taken over our brains. It sounds SOOOOOO romantic but when it comes down to it it was the hardest thing we’ve ever done. I was horribly in debt (from previous entrepreneurial endeavors) and all my Credit cards had recently upped my APRs to 29.99% even though I had NEVER missed a payment and always payed on time and over the minimum amount. I couldn’t keep up and still save so I left it behind. My car was repo’ed because I couldn’t sell it for what I owed and we couldn’t trade it in on an RV because we couldn’t afford a payment since our economic future was so uncertain. All I know is that I wasn’t happy and this is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a little girl so why not try and see?

    But what’s better? Saying “we should have” or “we did this”? I don’t know how long it’ll last, but I’m very I gave it a go – just like starting a business. We clean toilets to pay for our rv site, but we get to travel all over the country seeing amazing things I would have NEVER seen if I had stayed at my high-paying advertising gig.

    What it comes down to is we do what we have to do. If you’re worried about your father, do what you have to do to end that worry – I know if I were in your situation I’d drop what I was doing to help out as much as possible. Perhaps even starting him a savings account and putting 10$ here and there would be better than nothing.

    Really great comments on this post – I’m glad there’s other people out there that are fighting the good fight. :D

    • http://girlstrektoo.com/blog Cara Lopez Lee

      Jessica, You and your husband are now in my small Pantheon of American heroes. I’ll be following your progress around the country! Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Pingback: Follow your passion | Daniel Smith()

  • Anne

    Great post filled with self-less introspection and reflection! You ask this question in many instances: “How do I get there and take care of my family? If I can answer that question, then I will be truly happy.”

    Call it filial piety or first-gen Asian responsibility, what you are feeling is rooted from Eastern conscience that separates us from those with non-immigrant families. I am Indonesian (26 yo), expat-child or TCK (third culture kid) who was fortunate enough to have grown up in multiple countries because of my father’s corporate expatriate assignments overseas (he is a geologist) and married to a first generation Vietnamese (27 yo) from a low-income family (MIL does nails, FIL is on disability checks). We have accepted the fact that we will have to support both of his parents in retirement. We are both engineers, love to travel, he is very artistically inclined and has dreams to be an artist/musician. However, we are both grounded enough to realize our responsibility and duty as children to take care of our parents. The old saying goes, “we are all children until our parents leave us”.

    To return to your question and a possible answer would be: EARLY RETIREMENT. My husband and I have decided to live off 1 salary for 20 years (living off the less salary, saving the greater) perform well enough so we can both achieve corporate expat jobs in the same country, SAVE and retire early at 45 such that THEN we can quit our jobs, live comfortably off market gains, raise our children overseas and pursue our dreams. At the same time, taking advantage of our young age to learn about investing in the markets early as time is the second-to most precious commodity, next to health. While it may not be available in all industries, the corporate expatriate position is the holy grail of living a balanced life of traveling, comfort, career success and financial stability. The company will fund your living expenses abroad (rent is paid) and provide generous pay packages as an “inconvenience” bonus for moving while your children can go to international schools and pick up a new language on the way.

    I know I have given an unpopular option, since it will involve going back to that steady job or career, but with sound investing skills and a desire to not keep up with the Joneses, you can definitely achieve both: help your parents by the time they reach retirement age AND pursue your dreams at your early retirement age. And while you are at it, wisdom will grow and your future blog-readers and children will thank you for it.

  • Eugene

    Great post Jun! I do have a question for you, though.

    Here you say that it may be better for someone to stay at their corporate job for stability while getting their startup off the ground.

    But in another post you refer to the entrepreneurial black hole, how many people decide to work for a few years and then start a business, and that many people never get out of it.

    So if you’re in your early to mid twenties, what in your opinion is the best way? Getting an interesting corporate job for stability while you spend time building other things or risking it all early while you’re young?

    • http://Viralogy.com Jun Loayza

      Work on your startup part time until you have something tangible. You don’t want to just abandon ship without anything there.

      Work nights and weekends tirelessly. You won’t get any sleep and you’ll hardly see your friends, but that is the life of an entrepreneur

  • maria

    Hi Jun,

    thanks for your post. Maybe you could talk to your parents about your concerns, I’m sure they appreciate your concern and care for them. Sometimes just knowing that someone is out there willing to help is nice, and you can find solutions together.

  • Vincent

    Jun, I want to share something in my life.

    According to my experience, my ex-colleagues have two reasons for staying at their positions. First, as you said, they have to support their families. Second, they don’t know what to do. I mean, they don’t like their jobs because they envy rich people, so they complain but take no action to change their situations.

    My situation maybe better than you. My parents have retirement pension, not much, but enough for their living,(I guess China is more suitable for old man?) and my younger brother have a job. So I don’t have to worry about my family.

    Can you imagine that something inside just keep telling you “You are running out of your time, this is just a wrong way.” This is the main reason I choose to startup. I will try my best to make it happen unless something have prove that I am in the wrong way.

    IMO, you can trade your time for salary, but don’t trade your dream for anything.

    • Diana Wei

      Vincent! I love that saying, can i quote you? I wanna put in my twitter today:

      “You can trade your time for salary, but don’t trade your dream for anything” via Vincent on @JunLoayza’s Blog

      – @DianaWei

      • Vincent

        Of course, Diana. I’m glad you like that.

  • Vincent

    Jun, don’t get me wrong, I just can’t help to share my personal experience. What I want to say is that persistence is very important, sooner or later you would be successful to make your dream come true.

  • Pingback: A necessary empty feeling | Young successful entrepreneur()

  • Alex

    Hi Jun,

    I’ve learned that one should never think that taking care of their parents is a responsibility. It’s all about Love.

    Take some quite time. And try to remember how your parents had raised you since you were a child until you were a teenager. Try to remember everything, how they raised you, how they taught you the way to live, how they treated you when you were sick, how they sacrificed their life to raise you.

    If at the end you still feel nothing. no Love whatsoever. Then by all means, please don’t ever think of taking care of your parents. Go pursue your dreams. Whatever they are. Don’t do it because you feel that you’re responsible for it.

    Last but not least, there is no wrong answer. Everything that happens in the world, there is no absolute good or bad. Sometimes good things turned out to be bad things eventually, while bad things become a gain. If one can understand this, he or she will find life much easier.

  • Jay

    We share similar backgrounds and I have the same concerns and struggles on choosing between chasing passion and supporting family.

    It’s been some time since you wrote this, have you found the answer?

    • http://www.junloayza.com Jun Loayza

      The answer right now is to work hard, make a lot of money, and utilize success to bring my family success.

      Then I’ll have the time to be free and do what I want.

  • http://www.hcierd.com Dalareich

    I’m like you Jun.. i thought i’m so weird thinking on those things especially for my family and my future.. I thought i’m different with my other friends. :)

  • http://mobifreeware.com/cell-phones/android-central-editors039-app-picks-for-sept-24-2011.htm Cell Phones

    Tremendous issues here. I am very glad to peer your post. Thanks so much and I am having a look ahead to contact you. Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

  • http://seriouslyseriousblog.blogspot.com/ Indra

    Jun
    all I can say is that I’m loving the highly positive vibe the post generated. I didn’t read through all the comments, but those that I read are definitely inspiring and has reminded me to go on

    thanks!

    • Jun Loayza

      Hey Indra, I just use Thesis Theme so I don’t have to worry about browser compatibility

  • http://www.dallasfinestmovers.com Dave,z.

    I think that the friends that you are talking about are just a small amount of people, maybe a 1%? The most of us live the normal life because we been programmed buy society to do so, so don’t feel bad because not everyone will reach the sky, just live your life and enjoy them because time is not slowing down for us.

Previous post:

Next post: