If you’re reading this, and if you’re an entrepreneur, at some point you had to make a choice.
Maybe you felt like you had no choices left.
Maybe you just decided you needed something more.
Maybe you knew you weren’t doing what made you excited to get out of bed in the morning, the type of work that doesn’t just feel like a job but is an extension of yourself.
Or maybe, like me, you found yourself in a life or career that was draining you of everything you once thought you were.
Something made you decide to take that leap and whatever it was, never forget it. There will be days when you think—I’m crazy!—and days when you think that regular nine to five and working for someone else is what you really want. And maybe you do want that, but let it NOT be because you were afraid to follow your dream.
Being an entrepreneur is hard, it’s scary, but it’s also wonderful. Remembering the path that led you to this place you now live is part of what’s going to keep you feeling alive.
For me the journey was a circuitous one, as I imagine yours was. I was reading by the time I was three years old, I was writing my own stories soon after that, and I knew—knew in the depths of my being—that I was meant to be a writer. But as the years piled on, I also came to learn that many writers starved, many writers never made it, and the world already had enough books anyway.
So I put that dream on the shelf. I didn’t throw it out exactly, I just told myself it could stay there, out of sight most of the time, but available, ready, and waiting for when I decided to pull it down, dust it off, and give it another look. Most likely, I thought, I wouldn’t be a writer. Instead, I’d be something else, a social worker perhaps, who wrote not for the world but for herself (when she could at last find the time!).
Many twists and turns later, I decided I wasn’t going to be a social worker or many of the other careers I’d considered. If I couldn’t live my dream, I decided I would study my dream and maybe one day teach it.
To make a long story short, although I’ve spent time teaching, I’m not a teacher. I’m also not a professor, or a project manager, or a journalist, or a full time Communications specialist. I’ve been all of those things in one form or another and still work at aspects of all of them, but they’re not who I am. I am a writer. The thing I labour at, not because anyone is telling me to, not for the money (although of course we all need the money!), is creating stories. That’s my job. I share with people the secrets of my soul—hoping they line up with the secrets of theirs—and through that, I live my dream.
Who are you?
If today is a day you’re feeling charged up and inspired by this journey you’re on, seeing it not just as a career, but a life—yea!
If it’s one of those other days, when you wonder what you’re doing or how you got here, take a moment and travel back over the route you took. Find that moment when something inside you said, ‘Yes!’ and then determine to continue on, because you’re not done yet.
Follow your passion. Do what you love, even if it means sometimes doing what you don’t. Accept that, just as the road map you first started out with probably looks entirely different than you once thought it would, in five years it could look completely different again—in a way that makes you smile.
Focus on today, on doing what your gut tells you matters. The road may take you exactly where you intend to go or it may not, but if you’re travelling with the right mindset it will be a place you are meant to be.
Originally posted February 18, 2015 on Around and About with NLOWE