This month I’m sharing postcards from the field. Hearing these stories is one of my favorite parts of my business. This one may sound familiar.
I have been in a terrible slump for seven months since I was unceremoniously shown the door at my corporate workplace. At the same time, I knew this was my chance to escape a career that sucked the life out of me anyway.
However, with no positive feedback for my entrepreneurial ideas, I kept going back to the same old well which had long since dried up. After all, my long resume showed years of accomplishment in my field.
After months of interviewing for jobs I didn’t want and countless hours scouring the Internet, I was still unemployed and more confused than every. So I’ve been on a quest to discover a new way of living, a better way, that makes me feel alive again.
But I had no guidance, only naysayers.
Ever hopeful that enough research would unearth the path to my new life, last Friday night I threw on some jeans and a sweatshirt and headed to the bookstore. I went straight for the business section and gathered as many books as I could carry over to the threadbare couch, thinking how well that tired, beat-up thing matched my outfit and spirit.
Carefully, I searched through each book for some glimmer of inspiration but they all seemed written for someone else until I picked up Making a Living Without a Job. It struck a chord immediately and I couldn’t wait to get it home and devour it.
I wrote down the ideas that seemed to be pouring out of my head faster than I could capture them.
Here’s the thing: I had these ideas before, but whenever I looked back at them, they seemed foolish and impossible. I was listening to all the naysayers in my life, a tape I play over and over whenever I try to do something that is not mainstream.
I simply need to throw that tape away, but I guess I hung onto it as the voice of reason that kept me from investigating my wild ideas and crazy dreams. It really is not my own fear, however, that has held me back. It is the fear of others.
I can’t throw away the people who care about me, but I will not share my dreams anymore. The advice I receive paralyzes me from seeking what I really want and pushes me to search for a job that meets with their approval.
Their ideas and mine are so completely at opposite ends of the spectrum, I have been doomed to a merry-go-round of indecision.
Barbara, your voice is now the one in my head. I look at you and what you have created and I am profoundly inspired. I am encouraged to take the leap and do what I was put on this earth to do.
I am an artist and I was withering in the corporate world. I was drowning in a sea of confusion and you have told me that my ideas aren’t crazy, that it can be done. For that I am deeply grateful.
I will let you know how my new life unfolds now that the straight jacket has been removed from my creative spirit.
Kate Taylor, Minneapolis, MN