This last venture into unemployment, although not even a week old, has coughed up some significant personal epiphanies. Because I’m a writer and believe in laying down the roses and the shit, here’s what I’ve learned.
First – I’ve long been clinging to this notion that if I just make the right choices, I’ll somehow have a normal, conventional life. I’ll write more on that later but the end result is that I’ve never had a normal, conventional life and I likely never will. I’ve been accidentally unconventional most of my adult life and I wouldn’t change even if I could.
The second epiphany is that I know far less about myself than I thought. What I’d like to believe about myself and the person I truly am aren’t exactly in alignment. The best I can say is that I don’t speak or act on my wartier thoughts and urges, which is probably a reasonable success.
Third – I want to own my own business, take charge of my career and financial security, and have what I choose to work on reflect my talents, skills, and interests. I gave self-employment a try a few years back, but not because I thought it was the right choice. This time, it’s different, I have a vision for myself, my business, services, projects, and brand. I’ve resisted even considering this path because it often feels like an incredible cliche, and there are many, many barriers to success.
Frankly, I’m terrified. I’m considering opening a service business in a city that is physically awash with service-focused solopreneurs. I want to offer professional development, personal growth, and leadership skills in an environment where even the clerk at the 7-11 is offering a web-based course that will help you realize your true potential. It’s like Hollywood, only “the industry” is personal development and everyone wants a piece of the services action. We’re so over-preneured that even the yoga instructors and massage therapists are starting to complain, and yet….and yet….
I am an extraordinary coach and educator. I excel in working with women, building educational communities, increasing circles of influence, and supporting people in their creative endeavors. I have a clear vision of building a leadership incubator that focuses on developing everyday servant leaders, everyday bodhisattvas. I see those people, in turn, extending compassionate influence in all areas of their lives. Our world is sorely lacking in people who are willing to own the influence they have, and use it for the betterment of others. I believe that needs to change, and that I am a person who can help others make that change.
But I’m still really, really scared. My safety net doesn’t feel very safe, and all I ever thought I wanted was a secure, comfortable, normal life. I can’t pinpoint when that path disappeared, but it’s obvious now that it has, and the path in front of me is far from certain.