Is following the tried and true paths of other people’s careers sucking the life out of you? Matt Kohn’s story will inspire you to stop chasing after the traditional American Dream to create your own American Dream.
He graduated from college a couple of years ago. He taught himself how to design and build websites while he was in school.
Last spring he spent several months living Medellín, Colombia, to stretch his dollar a little further as he built his business, as well as to explore his passion for travel.
His web design business is really funding his larger dream, DifferentHunger. It’s a collection of resources, a community and soon courses, to inspire others to find their own unique path in life.
Few lessons to listen for in our conversation include:
- Why you need to avoid the comparison trap.
- The importance of celebrating small wins.
- How to build thought leadership when you aren’t an established authority.
By the way, I was included in Matt’s amazing roundup blog post from last spring about what 75+ entrepreneurs, leaders and doers would advise their twenty-something selves.
Life Skills That Matter In This Episode
- Self-direct learning.
- Telling your story.
- Create your own American dream.
How Matt Works and Thinks
- Wake up time: Between 6:30am to 7:30am.
- Ideal work environment: Likes to vary his workspaces.
- Definition of success: When you can tap into your unique talents and skill set.
- Regains focus by: Recognizing that there will be peaks and valleys in his motivation.
- Favorite productivity tool: Trello
- 90-day goal: Launching his podcast.
“I’m not just working for myself. I’m working for a much bigger vision and purpose.”
If you want to make money in the short term on your own, you need to focus on selling your most marketable skill. Matt shares suggestions on how to hone one of your skills or develop a new one:
1) What type of work do you enjoy doing most? Find a way to further develop the core skill related to that work. Then look for problems your skill can solve that people are willing to pay you for it.
2) Take small, consistent action to develop your skills. Make a habit of developing your most marketable skill. As you acquire more and more experience your value will increase and people will pay you more for your experience.