Haley Badenhop: Creating A Life Of Passion And Optimisim

Updated: Nov 4, 2018

Entrepreneur / Artist / Illustrator / Podcaster

Home Base: Jackson Hole, Wyoming

"I found myself sitting on the edge of a sparkling pool, teaching my boyfriend how to watercolor, as the wildlife chirped around us in the Sri Lankan oasis - aka best Airbnb find ever - we were spending the week in. I'd just untangled his wheelchair from inside the Tuk Tuk we'd squeezed it into so we could go drink a fresh coconut by the ocean. I got him hooked on coconut water a few years back when I was visiting him in New York; he became a coco-snob and now only drinks the expensive stuff, but luckily, he now seems to also be okay quenching his thirst with the ones pulled right off the tree, too:)

I'm no stranger to hydration. I live in the mountains, which is already too much altitude, but also, this year I've been in the air almost more than on land.

To be precise, in the last year I finished up visiting all 50 states (a goal I'd set for my 30th birthday!), skied in Japan & Canada, painted in Morocco, completed a business course in London, took my parents for their first trip to Europe, conducted podcast interviews in Thailand, dropped by Singapore for my third time, had my first TransAtlantic First Class flight experience for a quick weekend trip to Amsterdam, and of course, there was that week in Sri Lanka I just mentioned.

People look on with confusion and wonder at how I figure this lifestyle out. And so I figure it might be most intriguing for you (and me) to describe how I designed my life this way. And by 'this way' I mean, as an artist & podcaster that can travel the world, plus live in the town...with the most billionaires in America! Really, I'm passionate about showing people they are able to design the EXACT life they want. Right now you're probably making a mental list of why this wouldn't work for you. Hey! Stick with me.

I've always been a huge fan of hacks, or maybe a better way of putting it is finding shortcuts.

Growing up and hearing that you had to "climb the ladder" to get where you wanted to be always seemed crazy to me. I climbed a lot of ladders in my barn growing up (especially when there were baby kitties in the haymow) and I got really good at skipping steps to get up there faster. I decided there had to be more than one way, and more efficient ways, to do most things.

Now, the literal way of thinking about this is to think at age 20, "you're right, I think I'm smarter than my boss; I should be the one in charge already or it's not worth it." Not quite. Listen to GaryVee for a sec and he will quickly remind you to work your butt off and be patient. What I'm talking about when I resist climbing the ladder is looking at alternate ways of doing things, which I think is my specialty.

Before I go on about life hacks, let me get the magic formula out of the way. Though you're most likely told there are no magic formulas to getting what you want, I think there is. And it's called your Mindset. Yup, it's not elusive/unattainable things I do to get what I want; it all revolves around a mindset that is developed and shaped daily. I didn't invent this; read any biz book from the last 10 years (especially 5) and they'll probably talk about the power of an uber-positive, forward-looking, bigger-thinking mindset. It sounds so ridiculous. Which is probably why I resisted it for so long.

I would say I am a very optimistic and pretty confident person, but to go as far as saying "I will make boat-loads of $$$" or "people are dying to get their hands on my art," let's be real, I'm still working on it.

That's why for me, I have to read something/listen to a podcast about having a positive mindset daily. It's just too easy to fall into the trap of negativity.

And we all know what happens when you choose a negative or meh attitude over a thinking-big mindset, right? You get what you think about. You think about how things can't happen, how it hasn't been done in your family before, that it's not what you learned, or that you'll never get out of debt, insert-your-own, etc.

That's why, if my story is going to make sense at all, I need you, yes you, to get on the same mindset-page as me. The anything-is-possible page.

So, what does one do when they realize anything is possible?

For me, it started in during college Fashion Design internships (I had to do 6 of them!). While the majority of my classmates were taking well-paid corporate positions that gave housing, pay, and probably a position after graduation, I went about finding jobs in the coolest places I could find in the USA.

I did a couple internships in Orange County, Cali (because who didn't love the show, The OC?!), then I wanted to pick up snowsports so I took internships in Vail and then Aspen (that boyfriend I mentioned early, he found me on top of the mountain in Aspen). I took an internship doing bridal in Kentucky (I know, so random), and it led to creating a wedding dress for a national competition and I went live on Good Morning America to show it off! I then created a personal entrepreneurship internship and traveled around the world to India to team up with a fabric manufacturer.

Maybe this sounds like I was cheating work for play, but I think it was just me opening my eyes. Often people get so focused on getting "that perfect job" or "doing things right" that they miss so many opportunities that could happen in the meantime. Or they get focused on developing comfort that they lose out on the amazingness that happens once you leave your comfort zone.

Most likely I was not the most well-paid, but I got a boyfriend, an appearance on National TV, learned to longboard, ski, and snowboard, experienced fashion industry of Eastern culture, and met people from all over the world, which further expanded my mindset and resume.

Saying all of this isn't to put down a traditional path, but to open up the idea that more is always available for your taking. If you want more money, you can get it, more friends, you can get them, live in a different spot, you can totally do that.

Tim Ferriss has an excerpt in his book where, in short, he talks about a man who wanted to save up his whole life so that one day he could ride a motorcycle across China. Traditional thinking would say this is a smart plan. Me and Tim's thinking would say this can be done in a few months easily by saving a bit and just doing it.

Yes, it's mindset, but it's also simply disrupting what everyone tells you is true.

(While I'm mentioning following others, something that blew my mind this past year was actually realizing how much we take from our parents...that they got from their parents...that they got.... In other words, things are changing and things that were true generations ago aren't the same today, so it isn't necessary to do the same exact things anymore. Maybe you think you're totally different than your parents, but take account of the little ways you operate. Ask yourself why you are washing dishes that way...which brands do you use...what kind of car is deemed practical for you? It's always good to check yourself and figure out what kind of operating system you are working on.)

Since my days of eternal internships, I've moved onto jobs and freelance work, continuing to make sure everything was stuff I really wanted to do. I moved to the mountains to live for good. I got a job ski instructing for people with disabilities. I'm obsessed with food and baking and cooking and coffee, haha, so I worked at a cafe/bakery, I basically ran a fashion design company where we worked with Bali artisans, and then I branched off on my own to become the Artist/Podcaster I am today.

Transitions aren't easy and to be honest, there have been no shortage of hard days, upsetting glances at my bank account, and irritation that I hadn't completely changed the world yet!! Because everyone in their 20's is supposed to do that, right??

Listening to GaryVee this year gave me one of the best pieces of advice I wish I'd gotten when I turned 20 and I sum it up into "Patiently Grinding." As long as you are taking bold and brave action every single day, there's no way you can't win. The losses come when you compare, think things aren't happening fast enough, and give up.

Continuing on, you'll see me following that advice, painting, podcasting, and the plan is to illustrate more murals around the world. And for you, I hope to see you designing a life around what you are most passionate about and being grateful for each amazing day."

HaleyBadenhop.com PassionDesignProject.com Instagram: @haleybhop

#Artist #Illustrator #Podcaster #Entrepreneur #UnitedStatesOfAmerica