Ok it is time to get real honest. I spent my 30’s in a cycle of hotmessness. I semi listened to my soul’s yearning, I did what I thought other’s wanted or needed from me and I contracted myself for relationships. That is crazy making. In college I knew that my path was not traditional but I did not know how to live outside the norm. I felt I needed a tangible path, role model or a mentor because I was way too scared to take a leap of faith into the unknown. The things that called to me I treated like fantasies. Instead I sought advice from so many people and most of that advice was based in a traditional mindset. If I am going to honest with you and me, I knew that I should have been seeking guidance from within and I should have been pursuing my heart’s desire.
Like so many times the money was not flowing in so I did what I always do I ran for cover in any job or contract I could get. I stepped back into the distracting vicious cycle that was comfortable. Picture this, you are an entrepreneur and your business is at the beginning stages. You don’t have savings and you have a lot of debt from student loans and your business. You know that one of your biggest business problems is a lack of consistency with marketing. You also know that the cheapest way to market and acquire new customers is via social media. Instead of embracing social media you opt not to participate and you chose not to do any form of marketing. Instead, you get a job and a contact to help make ends met. Because getting a good job is the acceptable way to live. Never mind that the job market is rubbish and the act of getting a job, is a job all unto itself that you are not skilled. But get a good starter job, paying low, and few contracts. That in itself is not bad, remember you like several projects at one time but let’s acknowledge you are split three ways. The split energy feels comfortable but because you are at the bottom of the totem pole you are marginalized into a doer and not a thinker or contributor even though you have an MBA. Now life feels like a series of bad decisions, at work you feel oppressed and your contracts are not paying (cash flow problems). Anger and depression set in. You get feed up. You quit the job and the contract. Your business is still hanging in AND it is still at the start-up phase a year and a half later. You know you need needing consistent marketing to attack new customers. Remember you are broke and social media is the most inexpensive marketing tool available. So you give it a try but quit soon thereafter because you feel it is not working.
Now I am enrolled into the same life class. For some reason I just can’t pass the class. What am I missing?! Its October 2013 and I got another job. I moved out of my brick and motor location for my business. The job gave me a consistent income but I hated working. I felt trapped. This time in my quest to better myself I started looking at different or off the beaten path careers and found folks doing some cool and crazy stuff. I began to think that in college I wasn’t fully exposed to career options for each major. It is like I got into the wrong line in life.
At that job, I decided that living in a way that speaks to my soul was the most important. I did not know what career I wanted but I was sure that all the things I had ever dreamed of doing I was going to try them out. I mean it could not be any worse than working at a job I hate while still financially struggling. What if one of those others jobs or ideas turned out to make me happy and it paid poorly. At least I would be happy and broke instead of mad and broke.
One job that seemed to keep peaking my interest was teaching at a community college. It took some networking but I was hired as an Adjunct Professor. I decided to quit the job I hated and to fully focus my efforts on teaching. I wanted to know if I really enjoyed the job. After a couple of weeks of teaching, I wondered what took me so long to teach. I should have been teaching years ago. I loved it and it seemed that teaching could be my base camp if you will. I could teach and pursue my other interests.
Allowing “shoulds” to rule your life is not healthy and it stifles thriving. Focusing on the “shoulds” is noisy and distracts you from your life’s purpose. I took a risk and listened to my inner voice. What resulted is a new job that I truly enjoy. And just like that I passed this life class and ended the deja vu loop. It took me years to learn this life lesson. Here is sign post on the road less traveled, listen to your voice and act on your intuition.
Share with me a life lesson it took you years to master. I know it will help others on their journey.