I’m very fortunate. I know exactly what my purpose and passion in life is, and I have many lofty, yet attainable, dreams that I’m working toward. I want to write books and create various forms of art that impact others, while making a decent income from it and paying it forward.
Many people are less fortunate. They haven’t figured out what they are meant to do, and even worse, they have never truly dreamed.
Dreaming and figuring out your purpose and passion is one thing, and it’s often difficult enough. But then actually fulfilling all three seems insurmountable to most. It scares people. So many dreams, passions, and purposes are abandoned because of fear. Another major reason is that “life” gets in the way.
These are just excuses.
Now, I know. It’s been drilled into my head: the economy is tough, you need money, you should take whatever job you can get, you need a roof over your head, food on your plate, and health insurance. Besides, people in other parts of the world have it worse off. So forget about “passion, purpose, dreams,” and all that self-help crap.
I acknowledge this, but I can’t accept it. I cannot settle for that and be content. If I did accept this, from morning until night, and even in my sleep, my head would be filled with regret and thoughts of “what if?” and “shoulda, coulda, woulda.”
I can’t live like that. There’s no freedom.
I’m also aware that others will compromise and say, “Well, you can get a day job and pursue your passion/purpose/dreams at night and on weekends or later in life.”
If I’ve learned anything from my late grandfather and his unfulfilled literary dreams, it is that time is precious.
With such a compromise, you will get some things accomplished, but then you let a night or weekend go here and there without getting much done. And before you know it, weeks, months, years, decades slip away (or you may not even be given decades to let slip away).
This happens to generation after generation. Some break free, but it is rare.
I am determined to break free and pursue the life I want, and do it NOW.
I see the regret, frustration, and plain tiredness of family members and friends who have had dreams delayed, given up, or destroyed.
I refuse to grow older and feel the same way.
Think of this as my written and published declaration to never end up like that.
So, I know what direction I want and need to go. But it’s a long journey to there, and I’m here. I’m 25, with years of student loan debt ahead, bills to pay, and a bleak economy to contend with. How do I get from here to there?
With hope, perseverance, and a leap of faith.
As a young entrepreneur, growing up poor, fatherless, and with a learning disability, I have dealt with plenty of adversities and failures before. Through it all, my hope and perseverance have only grown stronger.
With this hope and perseverance, opportunities always appear.
One such opportunity is a website called Upstart.
Upstart is a network for young adults who want to blaze their own trails rather than take a safe job in order to pay off debt and to settle down. Upstart is for young people who want to leap into the unknown, and for those who want to support them.
For a small percentage of their future income, young programmers, social entrepreneurs, tech entrepreneurs, artists, and all sorts of other creators and doers receive funding and mentorship from people who have pursued their dreams, passions, and purposes, and succeeded.
With the funding, Upstarts can pay off student loan debt, pay for more education, launch or grow a business, pursue their art, or pay for just about anything that allows them to achieve a better life. Think of it like Kickstarter, the well-known crowdfunding platform that I have used. However, it is crowdfunding with deeper significance and reach.
Sharing a percentage of your income (1% to a maximum of 7% on Upstart) is a major turnoff to many. Most artists would consider it selling out.
I have the unique privilege of being a part of the Upstart network. With the funding that I’m determined to raise in the next 60-something days, I will use it to grow my writing, artistic, and entrepreneurial career, while paying down my student loan debt and possibly other living expenses.
Does that sound like selling out? Fine. Think that. To me, Upstart is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will provide me with the ability and faith to pursue the life I desire, liberty, and the happiness that comes with that.
Upstart is assistance but it is not a handout. There is no pity on the site. Upstart is about empowerment. Upstart is about working even harder by taking the path less traveled.
What if everyone could pursue their passions, purpose, and fulfill their dreams? Wouldn’t this country and the world be a better place? Upstart is trying to tackle these big questions. They may very well be the leap of faith into the right direction to make this a reality for more people. This is something special that I need to be a part of.
Please come check out Upstart.com and see some of the amazing things that ambitious young adults are attempting to accomplish. Please also check out my profile here: https://www.upstart.com/upstarts/andrew-galasetti
Thank you for reading,