Part-Time Dreamer

Every Monday, this blonde-haired kid from New Jersey walks into some company building, sits down at his desk, and does boring accounting stuff for eight hours. Then, he does it again on Tuesday. And on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

But when he goes home to his parents’ house, where he has lived well into his 20s, CoolTrainerRyan can walk down the stairs into his mom’s basement, turn on the lights, and look at a Pokémon card collection worth millions of dollars.

During daylight hours, he is Ryan from accounting. But every night, he opens a few hundred dollars worth of Pokémon boosters for his almost 100,000 subscribers. He curses a lot. He only cares about chase cards. And he never artificially hypes up bad pulls. Ryan is 100% himself, and whether it’s on his channel, in interviews, or as a guest in another, much more famous Youtuber’s video, he never apologizes for it.

Ryan has earned that freedom day by day, income statement by income statement, spreadsheet by spreadsheet. He worked, earned money, and reinvested it into something he understood and believed in. He did it without fanfare. Without the hype of, “Look at me, I’m quitting my job to be an entrepreneur!” Just a young kid, working a regular job, with a hobby he pursued relentlessly until, eventually, it kinda worked out.

I chose a different path, but I still remember the magic of leaving the office without a care in the world. “What gives? All our problems will still be here tomorrow. Now, let me do whatever the hell I want.” Often, this little bit of freedom on the side is all the magic you need, and sometimes, it can even be a faster way to the career balance you seek than grinding your teeth into the same problem 24/7.

Don’t underestimate the power of being a part-time dreamer. We can’t all have million-dollar collections, but we can all be as authentically cool as trainer Ryan — and perhaps, regardless of what schedule we do it on, that is enough.