What do you want to do every day for the rest of your life? Is it your current job, or what you spend a large amount of your time on? If not, it’s time to make a change, no excuses!
That’s easy to say, but speaking from personal experience, I am frustrated that I didn’t make a change earlier. Sure, I don’t really know what I’m going to do next but I have formulated some ideas so far. My main approach is to include flow experiences in my day as much as possible. I’m going to make sure that my next job contains one or more of them. Yes, I know that I won’t be teaching piano or sketching but those things are fun to explore and I enjoy the creative outlet.
It is hard to make a change. There may be some of you thinking that I was spoilt to inherit a business that I didn’t have to create. But living someone else’s dream is not fulfilling. I built the business more (on purpose) than the previous management ever did. I’ve sacrificed millions in earnings over the past years than if I’d stayed in a corporate job. But it’s not money that I’m after, it’s really living and relishing my work.
Being a business owner sounds like such freedom but it’s actually very hard to exit a business when you’re the owner. It sounds fun in that you can make all the decisions. But you often don’t have anyone to lean on or to bounce ideas off. It’s also really hard to restructure or sell when you realise that it just won’t work, no matter how hard you try.
Personally I always like to put in measures to prevent mistakes from happening again. That’s one of my strengths. I’ve been thinking a lot about how I could have prevented myself from getting a life-long health condition. Why didn’t I spot the signs? The short answer is that I could not have done anything. The long answer includes the fact that I would always have doubted my decision to restructure and change direction if I had not taken myself so far. I had to push myself over the edge into being incapacitated, in order to be convinced that I’ve given it my all. No-one can tell me that I didn’t try hard enough. No-one can call me a quitter. I will never say that the business took from me because I gave it willingly, and also, of course, a business is inanimate! The point is, I gave it my best shot and it didn’t work. Now, I need take the lessons and make sure my future is structured differently.
I really enjoyed the TED talk by Gary Vaynerchuk in that he’s just so comfortable in himself. He doesn’t look like he’s doubting whether he’s doing the right thing. That confidence is enviable. And he has such a good point – don’t ever spend valuable years of your life doing something you don’t enjoy!
The variety of careers and jobs is more varied today than ever before. Options are what give us freedom, the freedom to pick the work we love. I don’t want to go back to being the stressed, grumpy, unhappy person I was last year. Even after a hard day, I want to be able to giggle with my kids and have the knowledge that in my heart I know I’m following my passion. I owe that to my family, my friends, to God, and mostly to myself.