Scale My Life  

Buttoning up a bus

I am now the proud owner of a bus.

But, as most of you know, I did not come to this ownership in any normal way.

This is how, with no money, extremely limited resources and a lot of will, I managed to trade my way from a button to what is essentially a full-scale mobile home.

Creating something from nothing

There will never be a perfect storm of money, time and tools, so if you want to ever make your dreams come true, you need to do it with whatever resources you have.

With my dream to travel across Canada, I faced this very issue. I had no money (still don`t, but I`m working on that) and I had no vehicle to get me where I wanted to go — across Canada.

I had a choice. I could either sit. wait and hope to eventually save enough to get out on the road or I could start hustling with what I had. 

Well, unlike other times in my life, I knew waiting wasn't an option. 

I announced to the world my crazy dreams and, with nothing but a $2 button in my hand, I set out to trade my way up to a bus.

And then, six weeks, five trades and a whirlwind roller-coaster of ups and downs, I did it.

I had converted an otherwise insignificant button into a fully livable, 40-foot bus that I could now take across Canada in pursuit of my dreams.

This experience has taught me so much about the barriers we create for ourselves. 

Instead of worrying about what we don't have, it's absolutely amazing what we can accomplish when we focus on what we do, and we simply put that into action.

Don't love the rewards, love the game

Whether you're trying to breathe life into an entrepreneurial dream, or you're attempting to conquer your greatest physical ambitions, the simple fact is, if you don't absolutely love what you are doing, then you will inevitably fail at it. 

But it's not just the results that you need to be in love with...

As I learned over the rollercoaster of my last six-week challenge, it's the journey you must be equally addicted to.

It's so easy to get so wrapped up in the end results. They're shiny and luxurious and bring with it all the fruits of your labours.

Unfortunately, it's this mindset that can distract you from the work that has to go into your day to day. 

If you truly hinge everything on achieving your goals, then what are you left with when faced with setbacks or failures?

But if you can shift your focus to falling in love with the process, then the work becomes your fulfillment. 

Love the hard work, love the adventure, and love the challenges and you'll win no matter how your journey unfolds.

It takes a community to raise a dream

Often, it's when we are at our worst that we end up becoming most alone. 

We become embarrassed and upset, frustrated and deflated, and we hide from everyone to try to save ourselves some pain.

At multiple points in my trades, I experienced this very problem. 

I faced barriers of abandoned trades, busted tires, dead batteries, and broken starters on everything from a tea set to a Seadoo. 

But, rather than fall prey to the trap of reclusion, I did something I had rarely done before. I swallowed my pride, turned on the camera and shared my difficulties with the world. 

Then a funny thing happened. Instead of facing ridicule and criticism, I was met with a wave of support. And each time I struggled, there seemed to be somebody there to rescue me.

In the end, I have to admit, I may have started the challenge, but it was my community that got me to my goal. 

It was friends, family, and people I don't even know who helped me, supported me, and pushed me to keep edging forward. 

This is perhaps the biggest lesson I will take away from any of this

That when times get tough, we are not alone. There is a whole group of people that believe in you and will help you if you only give them that chance. 

This realization gives me great confidence in what I will undertake moving forward, and I hope that it does for you too.

Follow me on my next big challenge as I attempt to overhaul my bus, fund my dream and get out on the road to explore, experience and adventure across this amazing country we all call home. 


Sacrificing for your dreams

Sacrificing your life to strive for your dream

For all my accomplishments, I am now facing the reality that I have not balanced my life very well. 

Like a child with tunnel vision, I have become so focused on only this one aspect of my life, I've completely ignored almost all others.

It's evident to me now the impact this has been having on my life and I can now see the sad truth that I must now face because of it.

Sacrificing my relationship

My relationship has taken the hardest part of my pursuit, which has put a large and unfair burden on our day-to-day basis. 

Free time has all but been eliminated, so finding (or making) the time to invest into romance or carefree fun has all but disappeared as well.

We still spend time together, of course, but often I am distracted by the things I have left undone or by the constant updates of pending notifications.

This imbalance of priorities has sadly caused us to argue more and for her to love my passions less and less.

Sacrificing my business

My business has also taken a toll because of my lack of balance. 

They say a good business should be 30 per cent sales and 70 per cent execution. Well, when you focus 100 per cent of your time on execution and zero on sales, it's not long before your business has a problem.

I have let my business, my primary source of financial stability run dry.

Even though the clients I'd had have been happy with my work, their contracts have since ended and I now face the long and difficult endeavour of trying to rebuild my business from scratch.

Sacrificing my community

Finally, I am sad to say that my personal relationships and community commitments have also struggled as of late. 

I am painfully aware that any relationship not fostered is a relationship that can be quickly lost and this, I'm afraid, is what has happened to me. 

Most nights I now stay at home, or at the office, I pass on socials, events, and adventures and I rarely pick up the phone unless I am in need of a favour. 

This behaviour, although optimum for productivity, only serves to cause divides among friends and eventually those divides become too great to try to mend.

This has all weighed heavily on my mind and I am realizing very quickly that if something is not done soon, I could potentially lose a lot more than my dreams.

Reprioritizing, rebalancing, and recommitting

It is not hard to see that some things needed to change, but the question is how could I still pursue my crazy dreams while trying to maintain my life?

Well, the reality is there's no simple solution for this problem, so if I want to salvage my life I am going to have to make some hard changes. 

I will need to reprioritize how I treat all the aspects of my life

This doesn't mean I have to sacrifice the commitment I have made to my dreams; it just means I need to work harder to dedicate the time each of them deserves.

It's so easy to get wrapped up in doing little things that don't really deliver a high value, that time can be shifted into better use if I just take the initiative to do so.

By proactively taking the initiative to work on all areas in my life instead of assuming they will take care of themselves, I hope to recapture balance in my life.  

This may take more work, and it may force me to be more organized and active than I ever have before but I believe this is the only true way to reach my goals.

Without a strong foundation to launch from, there is no journey and my rocket won't even be able to get off the ground.

So I ask you, how are you prioritizing your life? Are you putting your goals above all else or are you building your dreams with a greater prospective in mind?

Follow me on my journey as I attempt to fight for my dreams, travel across Canada and Scale My Life.

Dreams demand hustle

“It’s easy to dream about it, but much harder to execute it” – Gary Vaynerchuk

Everyone has a dream, but very few people are out there living their dream. Why is that?

Well, the hard truth is that dreams are nothing without the dedication, hard work and sacrifice it takes to get them off the ground.

I am currently attempting to fulfill my own dream to live a life of purpose, passion, and exploration.

At this moment, I’m attempting to orchestrate a journey to travel across Canada in a bus while challenging myself to tackle new and exciting goals and attempting to connect with amazing Canadians along the way.

This is no small venture and it is already pushing me to my limits.

At the end of the day though, I know there is only one way to make my dreams come true: hustle.

Hustle to make sacrifices

Nothing worth accomplishing ever comes without some sort of sacrifice, so you need to be willing to give up everything if you hope to ever get everything you are looking for.

The question is, do you want it bad enough?

Are you willing sacrifice enough fun now to be able to achieve great things later? Are you willing to forgo your freedom and comfort if it'll bring you success and happiness?

For most people, that answer (despite what they may tell you) is no.

“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you'll be successful.” ― Eric Thomas

So far along my own journey, I have had to say no to friends, forgo fun weekends, challenge my relationship with my girlfriend (love you, Britt) and basically minimize everything that doesn't directly impact making my dream come true.

This is easily the most difficult part of hustling for your dreams, but it's also the most important. It's these daily distractions that will serve to delay and deter you most from reaching your goals.

Hustle to get uncomfortable

If you're not uncomfortable, then you're simply not hustling hard enough.

If what you are doing isn't scary, challenging or exhausting, then most likely it's either far too easy or you're drastically underachieving your goals.

It's only when you get to the edge of your comfort zone and push (throw) yourself over that edge that you can discover true success.

I've learned the hard way that this is where dreams live; not wrapped up in a pretty package with a bow, but on the other side of the hundredth phone call you don't want to make, or the extra push-up you’re too tired to try.

Hustle the hard work

"Be comfortable being uncomfortable. It may get tough, but it's a small price to pay for living a dream." - Peter McWilliams

It's not always the most talented or the smartest person that is able to achieve their dreams, often it's simply the person who is willing to work the hardest to get there.

Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard." - Tim Notke

I've always struggled with execution. What takes some people an hour, almost always takes me three or four, but I learned a long time ago that my work ethic could be my difference maker.

I realized that if you can wake up every day and dedicate everything you have to your goals then you can accomplish almost anything.

It's this dedication to do what the other guy (or girl) won't and to do that work consistently every single day, that will get you to your goals.

At this point, I have no doubt in my mind that I will get to the bus that I am seeking and the life that I desire.

My dreams may be big but I know my dedication to hustle won't let me fail.

So now I'd like to ask you, are you hustling for your dreams?

Are you content to just be a dreamer, or you are you committed to be what you need to be to make your dreams become a reality?


Seeking a better way to live

What makes life worth living?

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” — Oscar Wilde

Life should be a roller-coaster, not a merry-go-round.

Life should be about taking risks and exploring the unknown, not hiding inside bubbles or behind walls of safety and security.

Life should be about pushing boundaries, experiencing new things and pursuing your passions.

It should be about seeking knowledge and striving for growth, about building community, connecting with others and making a difference.

It should be about balance and commitment, failure and solutions, and a never-ending pursuit of true happiness.

This is the life that I want to lead and this year and I am out to prove that if you work hard enough and want it bad enough, you can make your life worth living.

This is how I plan to do it.

Seeking a life outside the bubble

We live in one of the most amazing places in the entire world.

From Canada’s dynamic landscapes to its diverse cultures and heritage, it’s easy to say it’s one of the greatest places on earth.

I am so proud to be a Canadian, but at the same time I feel as though I am not truly Canadian...

After 30-plus years of living in this country, I have barely explored any of the land that I call home.

Sadly, I have to admit that I know very little about our indigenous culture or heritage and I have only the slightest understanding of what makes up all of the unique cultures from each of the cities and territories that stretch across this great land.

I have never ridden the Maid of the Mist through Niagara Falls.

I’ve never hiked the bluffs of Gros Morne national park and I’ve never seen the Northern Lights above the Prairies.

I have lived my life inside a bubble, rarely venturing too far from the safety of home.

So I ask you, how can I possibly call myself a Canadian if I’ve never really experienced Canada?

This year, I have decided to commit to a journey across the country which I hope will not only take me far outside of my bubble, but will connect me to the greatest people and landscapes my country has to offer.

Seeking to minimize in order to maximize

“Some of y’all are not where you want to be in life, yet you party every weekend. What is it that you’re celebrating?” — T.I.

It’s no surprise to anyone to say that we live in a society of excess

The typical Canadian owed $21,348 in consumer debt at the start of 2016 and I myself have somewhere just over $31,000.

That’s insane.

And, yet, for some reason I keep living a lifestyle that is far beyond my means.

Year after year I find myself further in the hole and more limited to do the things I enjoy most in my life.

Well enough is enough; this year I’m pulling a Mr. Money Mustache and overhauling my life so that I can live more and pay less.

Last year I lived on $250 for an entire month and it shifted my mental state toward the conservative, so what can I do to make that perspective more sustainable?

Well, starting at the end of my current challenge to trade up a Button to a Bus I plan to eliminate all excess from my life.

I will sell my car, my stereo and anything I have that is not nailed down (or that my girlfriend won’t kill me to sell) and I will move into my bus.

It’s my hope by making such a massive shift to my physical life that I’ll finally focus more on enjoying the simple things instead of always reaching for the finer things.

Seeking to challenge my limits

“It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.” — Tom Hanks (A League Of Their Own)

It’s so easy to fall into a rut.

Whether you’re falling off at the gym or coasting at work, life makes it easy to get comfortable and complacent.

But if we want to live a full life we need to be able to take on challenges that kick us in the asses and push us off the couch.

It’s only then that we can find a true purpose to our lives, or discover more about ourselves, or feel like we’re truly alive.

Unfortunately, if you can’t commit yourself to your own S.M.A.R.T. challenge you will quickly find life has provided one for you (and, spoiler alert, it won’t be as fun).

This is why I’ve decided to commit my entire life to the pursuit of projects.

Whether it’s attempting to sail the Haida Gwaii islands or doing a daily vlog every day for a year, I want my life to be about fun, adventurous and interesting projects that add value to my life.

This year, as I travel across Canada, I hope to pursue as many of these projects as I can so that my ambition and potential for accomplishment never end.

So in the end, I will ask you, what are you doing to live life to the fullest?

Are you pursuing passion projects? Are you making the sacrifices you need to live a fuller life? Are you stuck in a bubble, or are you breaking free to discover more of your life?

It doesn’t take a lot to create a lot of change, just some small steps and a lot of big dreams.

More Scale My Life articles

About the Author

Ryan Lancaster is a pretty average guy with some pretty big dreams. When he's not writing his blog, scalemylife.com, and attempting his current lofty life challenge, he spends his time working with different community groups including The Kelowna Jaycee's and Enactus Okanagan College.

Ryan is transitioning careers to open up his own local entrepreneurial venture but in his down time he enjoys spending time with friends and family taking in the many outdoor activities throughout our beautiful Okanagan Valley.

E-mail Ryan at: [email protected]

To learn more about what he's up to follow him @ scalemylife.com, facebook.com/scalemylife, twitter.com/scalemylife and instagram.com/scalemylife

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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