There are dozens of things to love about being joyfully jobless, but at the top of my list are the fascinating people that I would never have met had I stayed put in my old life.
For many years, relationships were something ordained by blood or geography. Even as I became an adult and expanded my world a bit, I mostly knew people who worked with me or attended the same church. Of course, I liked some more than others, but I had no idea that there were so many fantastic people in the world and that knowing them would enrich my life.
That discovery didn’t happen until I became self-employed.
I thought about this blessing of people on a recent morning when I sat down to check my messages. Besides all sorts of intriguing posts from my Twitter friends (many of whom I’ve never met in person), there were several lovely e-mails from new readers of Making a Living Without a Job.
Then there was a message that said, “Hi Babs! Where are *your videos?* I miss seeing you speak. You’re smart and you’re fun.” That nudge came from Barbara Sher and it made me giggle. Then there was a delightfully excited message from Valerie Young who was about to spend the day with Sir Richard Branson. I was almost as excited for her as she was.
These pleasant encounters got me thinking about an important-—but seldom talked about—aspect of moving ahead in life.: the cast of characters in our life is going to change when we do. And that can be terrifying.
Consider what Steven Pressfield says about that very thing in The War of Art. “We know that if we embrace our ideals we must prove worthy of them. And that scares the hell out of us. What will become of us? We will lose our family and friends who will no longer recognize us. We will wind up alone, in the cold void of starry space, with nothing and no one to hold onto.
“Of course, this is exactly what happens. But here’s the trick. We wind up in space, but not alone. Instead we are tapped into an unquenchable, undepletable, inexhaustible source of wisdom, consciousness, companionship. Yeah, we lose friends, but we find friends, too, in places we never thought to look. And they’re better friends, truer friends. And we’re better and truer to them.”
Last year, Seth Godin shone a spotlight on our need for connection when he wrote Tribes and set up a Website to foster connections between kindred spirits. He explains, “Human beings can’t help it: we need to belong. One of the most powerful of our survival mechanisms is to be part of a tribe, to contribute to (and take from) a group of like-minded people…Tribes make our lives better.”
Several years ago, I began to notice that when I led a two or three day event, people would start saying, “I finally found my tribe.” There always sounded a bit giddy at having made this discovery because they knew it was going to make their own life better.
If you aren’t actively looking for your tribe, you’re missing one of the great bonuses of the joyfully jobless life—rich relationships that are the result of choice, not chance.
You can connect with the Joyfully Jobless tribe at our upcoming Follow Through Camp on November 6 & 7 in Chaska, MN. Even though that’s coming up fast, we still have a spot left. Is it yours?