Make a Living Living

Image of Make a Living Living
Release Date: 
March 24, 2020
Laurence King Publishing
Reviewed by: 

Are you stuck at home dreaming of creating a new life for yourself? Nina Karnikowski’s book, Make a Living Living, is a guide for those who want to live at a slower pace and get paid to do whatever it is they love doing.

How do people make a living doing what they love most? They start a business that allows them to earn money creating what they are passionate about and live in a way that makes that work possible.

Karnikowski, a travel writer who has been to more than 60 countries for her work, interviews 26 others who make a living doing what they love. From their stories, the reader learns what it really takes to be “successful doing what you love.”

There are many uncomfortable truths.

Making a “living living” requires sacrifice. Several of those interviewed, including the author, discuss the process of downsizing. This might mean giving up luxuries like owning a car, eating out, or buying new clothes. Those who successfully build businesses around their passions often have to let go of anything that stands in the way of their dreams.

It’s also a process that involves risk. Those who blaze this path toward self-fulfillment can find themselves ridiculed or not taken seriously. Not everyone who starts the path with you will stay till the end.

Following your dreams takes a great deal of financial planning. The ability to work and live the way we want doesn’t happen by accident. Many of the jobs we dream of pay far less than we hope. This book is about creating a desired lifestyle. However, if you’re down for the challenge, those who have walked this path share how to do the math to decide how to make following your dreams economically feasible.

While truthful about the hardships of living and working in unconventional ways, the stories in the book are uplifting. The reader learns how people committed to living with authenticity and passion are able to do so. What does it take to be a chocolatier, natural winemaker or woodworker? Those who make a living following their heart provide insight into the steps required to live an alternative type of life.

Those steps are clearly defined.

A surf retreat leader suggests starting the week with a “meeting with yourself” to determine what’s working and what isn’t, and to set goals accordingly.

The founder of a tea company underscores the importance of maintaining integrity. Compromising for short-term gain creates a lack of trust from others.

A stylist and author proposes writing a business plan.

The author includes exercises to help you manifest what it is you want. These activities focus on the business aspects of following your passion. Whether that’s learning more about what you enjoy, finding mentors, or writing an elevator pitch, the book has tools to help the reader turn dreams into realities.

The biggest drawback of the book is its format. The font for the stories is small and in a medium gray color that makes it difficult to read. Meanwhile, a pull quote takes up nearly a whole page at the beginning of each story. The use of space is odd.

Despite the small font, Make a Living Living is an encouraging and uplifting book. Without a doubt, there are opportunities for each of us to pursue a lifestyle that we are passionate about. We can be successful too, if we meet opportunity with perseverance and planning.

If you’re thinking about a change in lifestyle or know someone who is, get a copy of Make a Living Living: Be Successful Doing What You Love by Nina Karnikowski. The time to take a risk and invest in yourself may be at hand. Use this book to learn from others, and you, too, might be able to live with the freedom that comes from pursuing your dreams.