I was speaking with a 30-something the other day. She was telling me her story; maybe you’ve heard one similar to hers:
I went to college because I didn’t know what else to do. My parents pushed me towards teaching, they said it would be good for when I started a family. So I got a teaching degree.
Then it took me three years to find full time employment. I worked as a substitute for those three years, and struggled to get by. I finally ended up in an okay school system, but every year they have layoffs and cutbacks, and being one of the last hired, I know I’m always at risk. I completed my masters program last year, hoping it would give me an advantage.
I got married five years ago and we have a beautiful 3 year old girl. I cry harder then she does when I leave her at preschool. If I liked my job it would be one thing. But all I have is stress – who wants a life like that?
I’d love to start my own business; I’ve had an idea for several years. But we just bought a new house and I would like to have another baby someday. My husband’s job is no safer than mine, so he keeps telling me to stay with it. Every year gives me more seniority, and right now we need both paychecks to survive. And that’s only paycheck to paycheck, really nothing more.
I want more to my life. I want this business I’ve been dreaming about. But I just don’t know how to make it all work, or even if it’s possible.
Unfortunately, that’s an all-too-common story. In fact, it may even be your story (just change out the nitty-gritty details a bit.)
I know for me, that was the case too.
I had no idea what to do out of high school, but my mom wanted me to be an independent woman, so college wasn’t just an option, it was mandatory. So off to college I went with no idea of what to major in. When I asked my parents about majors, my dad pushed me into business. “That’s always needed,” he said, so business it was. “Accounting, that’s great for a woman,” so accounting became my focus.
I hated it. But with so much business behind me, I couldn’t change, so I flipped to finance and graduated with a degree in Real Estate Finance. Then came the jobs in banking, real estate lending and auditing.
And I hated it.
But I did something different than most. I vowed not to continue down the same path, and I started up my own business instead.
It wasn’t easy. I can’t say I didn’t cry, sweat and scream from time to time. But I also knew there was no way I was going to accept the risk associated with a boring job I didn’t enjoy. So I jumped into making my Big Idea into a successful business model, and I’ve never looked back.
It’s Easy To Listen, Harder To Act
From the time we’re babies, people tell us what to do. They teach us how to act, what to do, how to think. This isn’t bad, its how we move forward as a society. Its what gives us our culture and binds the threads of community and family.
Which is why we take advice from all those around us. We want our parents to think we’re successful; we want our spouses, friends and family to be proud of us.
Bucking the system isn’t easy. It isn’t easy to listen to other’s advice, and go in the completely opposite direction. Yet for a short while, that’s exactly what you need to do.
Because your story does matter. How you view your life, your story, is what sets you apart from the norm. What if the greatest names in history never blazed their own trails? What if women didn’t take the risk and move forward with their dreams? We wouldn’t have Harry Potter, or Liquid Paper, or The Body Shop, or one of the million other ideas that women have brought to market.
Ultimately, it all starts with a story. You have to have a beginning, a middle and an end. The beginning is already prewritten – its what you’ve done up until this point. Its what built you into who you are today. Its what gives you your story, the thing people will grasp onto when your business becomes successful and they learn why you do what you do.
It’s the middle and the end that are up for grabs.
So what are you going to do from this point forward?
You can continue down the same old path.
Or you can take a chance and move forward to become who you were truly meant to be.
If that’s the path you choose to take, I welcome you join me in Visioneering You, a course I have coming up here at the end of September, designed to help push you towards your true potential. We’ll take that Big Idea and put direction behind it. We’ll help you develop it into something you can see and act on immediately.
Because once you can see it, you’ll be more likely to achieve it.
And imagine how exciting it will be to discover the true potential your Big Idea really has! Join me today! I’m excited to start helping you, and learning what you truly can bring into this world.