What do you think if I ask you to picture the average snowboard bum?
I’d imagine a large majority of people imagine the stereotypical snowboard bum. Beanie over head, lives at a ski resort and kills it on the ski slopes.
This much is usually true for most snowboard bums. However, if you live at a ski resort long enough, you’ll find that there are two very different types of people living the snowboard bum lifestyle.
Let’s look at this closer.
Snowboard bum #1:
Snowboard bum 1 is the guy the general public thinks of when they picture a ski bum.
He’s living at the ski resort, pretty fun and relaxed guy, works an entry level job in town and snowboards on days off or when he’s got a late shift.
He (or she) is enjoying snowboarding and doing what it takes to keep snowboarding as much as he can.
Snowboard bum #2:
This is the guy who on the outside looks exactly the same as snowboard bum 1, in fact, he probably was snowboard bum 1 at some point in time.
However, there’s one big difference.
He doesn’t work an entry level job. In fact, he’s probably earning the same as your average office worker. He still lives in a ski resort, still snowboards when he can and is still a pretty fun and relaxed guy… he just earns a little more money.
How to win at life as a snowboard bum (aka – how to become snowboard bum 2)
Now don’t get me wrong, being snowboard bum #1 is a great lifestyle. Sure you don’t make much money, but you don’t need much money either.
Low stress, fun times and you get to snowboard a lot. What’s not to love?
Well what’s not to love is making minimum wage and having nothing prepared for the future or for emergencies.
What happens when you get older and start having health issues? What do you do if you get a major snowboard injury? How do you pay for hospital bills? What if you want to start a family?
Basically, there’s no safety for your future because you have no money to put away while earning minimum wage.
So here’s what you need to do if you want to become snowboard bum #2.
Method 1) Climb the ranks and have a plan beyond entry level work at $8 an hour.
There’s plenty of jobs beyond entry level positions at ski resorts, you just have to be willing to work for it and have a plan of how you’ll get there.
What I’m saying is even if you want to have an average job, there’s still tons of everyday positions that pay more than minimum wage in a ski resort.
There’s management positions, massage therapists, physiotherapists, chiropractors, surveyors, accountants, dentists, head chefs and the list go on.
Most snowboard resorts are mini versions of every other city. You still need dentists. You still need cooks. You still need someone to run the local bars and clubs.
There’s still jobs, but there’s just less of them and it’s more competitive. You just need a plan and the willingness to work hard to get there.
A quick example:
So I had a friend who loves the snowboard life. He wasn’t interested in earning 6 figures, but he wanted more income and security then he was getting while cleaning tables and serving drinks for minimum wage in a small Whistler pub.
His plan was simple. He wanted to be one of the better bartenders that got paid more and received a higher cut of the tips at a local pub. This isn’t some 150k per year job, but it’s actually a quite a decent income if you get one of these positions.
So he started at the bottom. He served drinks and cleaned tables. He did this well, worked hard and kept pestering them every month to let him move up to a higher position.
He had a plan and he climbed the ranks until he eventually ended up with the position he wanted. It didn’t happen overnight and it took him about 1 and a half seasons to get there, but he did get there.
His income is now similar to the average blue collar office worker and he still gets to continue his snowboard bum lifestyle.
Method 2) Work for yourself.
Working for yourself can mean high income and lots of free time to snowboard.
It’s basically nirvana for the average snowboard bum, but it’s not easy to get there and I know not every person even wants to work for themselves, which is why method 1 is the most common way of increasing the average snowboard bum’s income.
However, if you can pull it off (see my friend Nev Lapwood in How To Make A Good Living Selling Snowboard Trick Tips), you’ll basically get to live one of the most awesome lifestyles possible and you’ll have the money to put aside for your future.
There’s plenty of people who do it, it’s just less common because it takes balls and you have to be able to work hard with the right gameplan to get there.
At the end of the day, this method is much like method 1. It comes down to your plan. You can’t wake up one morning and expect to suddenly be able to make a good income working for yourself.
Make a plan to get there. Is it freelance work like graphic design or web development or bookkeeper? Or is it starting your own business?
Then learn how to do it well and get working.
It’s the year 2012 and there this new thing called the internet that is an amazing resource for learning almost anything as long as you have little determination and the willingness to learn, fail and try again until they get it right.
I warn you, method 2 takes balls, a lot of failing and you have to be willing to adapt and fix things while working hard, but if you make it work you get to do things like spend a month surfing in Nicaragua like a certain friend of mine.
Whatever path you choose, make a plan and work at it because if you want to keep the snowboard lifestyle going into your 40s, 50s and beyond, you better have a plan beyond working that entry level job.
ps – While amusing, you probably don’t want to become Charlie Sheen either. I heard his teeth are falling out from too much drugs… don’t do drugs mmkay.