Key Takeaway: Instead of the traditional one big channel supplemented by several tiny ones, consider looking at a system of multiple medium channels that work together to achieve a vibrant, cohesive bigger picture. This applies not just to your income streams but also in living purposefully in general.
It’s Friday again, and it’s time for our weekly column on musing over the philosophies that drive The Daily You. First, though, our column now has a name: The Who Goat, and the Who Goat himself says hello.
The name is a play on the word hugot, which in Tagalog literally means “to pull out”. Its modern meaning can be attributed to Vice Ganda, the popular Filipino comedian, who made it to still mean “to pull out” – “to pull out a deep insight stemming from a personal experience”, usually a breakup or something similar. Its homophonic incarnation as “WhoGoat”, however, was coined by our TDY partner, Lalissa Singson, during our lengthy philosophical discussions on life (which led me to get her for TDY in the first place), and for us, “WhoGoat” refers to our insights on life in general.
A quick clip-art search plus Photoshop led me to create The Who Goat – which is the Chinese zodiac sign of three of us in TDY, including myself. There are a few other Who Goats out there, and this is our own version of him.
But anyway, to philosophy. Or to Who Goat.
The above photo is that of the branches of a tree. Why, you ask, would I show the photo of a branch?
It’s symbolic of a new philosophy I’ve been mulling over and entertaining for the past two years. Specifically, that it doesn’t have to be one huge channel and many small ones, but many medium channels all working together in synergy to create an impressive sum.
The idea evolved from an income perspective I was forming while still at BCYF. Many people today engage in work that they are not necessarily very happy with, primarily because of two things: experience and money. A corporate job may not be everyone’s cup of tea in terms of purposeful work, but it does bring in good money more often than not, and this is appealing especially to someone who is living independently or is the breadwinner of their household. The usual setup is this, plus a sideline or two that really taps into one’s passions. Then, depending on their personal preferences and when the sideline takes off, they may or may not choose to resign from the job.
If this setup works for you in terms of your purpose, then it is a good one, maybe the best one for you. But if not, and you want to do something more entrepreneurial (literally or figuratively), then a change in mindset may be necessary: Why not entertain a personal system where you have multiple medium-sized sources of revenue – and, what’s more, sources that all work together or synergize in such a way that instead of competing for your time, they collaborate on it?
That’s certainly what I’m doing – or trying to do – right now. By taking on several more flexible things to do rather than a set-up similar to a traditional full-time job with a couple of sidelines, I get to actually involve myself in my interests in everything I do, some of which are entrepreneurial. Granted, it’s still very, very raw at this point (except for my flexible full-time management job at Habi Footwear, which is now a partner of TDY anyway), but the foundations are there and it excites me every day. Again, only because I find social enterprise to be my own purpose.
(Read more: The first You, not the next Someone)
But I eventually realized that this philosophy need not apply just to your personal income streams. It should, can, and does apply to living in general, especially when it comes to purposeful living.
Consider this week’s theme, organizing. Taken by itself, it’s a noble endeavor, but in itself may not be much. Add it with multiple medium “channels” of purposeful living, and the result is a vibrant mosaic of truly good living.
In my case, I try to add organizing, natural eating, personal care, a no-disposables policy, and an overall Christian moral framework into how I live – among others. The resulting picture is (I hope) a life I am trying to live with purpose, for purpose (emphasis on “trying”). The Benita & Catalino Yap Foundation promulgates a similar philosophy: doing ordinary things extraordinarily.
In terms of entrepreneurship, this is what my mentor Noreen calls the “slash generation”: you engage yourself in multiple lines of work all at once. But none are so big that they take up all of your time: and, in fact, in some cases, they work together or complement each other.
Again, it’s a change in mindset that’s the trick. Perhaps we may be concerned with having a “title” that we want people to know us as. Perhaps we want, or are looking for, a single explanation of what we are doing for a living or for a lifestyle. It may be time to look beyond this and at the bigger picture – how its various elements can mesh together.
If you may be feeling that push to do something more substantial in your life, titles or accolades aside, now may be the best time to do so. Take a step back, evaluate the many “avenues” of your life, and see what you can close, what you can open, or what you can balance out.
Have a purposeful weekend!