–The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
I’m constantly evaluating my life to make sure that it is going as well as possible (as far as the areas that I have influence over). I was talking with one of my creative, right-brained friends at a baby shower on Saturday and we were laughing about how different we are. She is more of a spontaneous, free spirit who acts based on how she feels…and that totally works for her. While life has taught me to be more flexible with plans, I am definitely still a planner by nature. She jokingly cringed as I mentioned how I plan – yearly, monthly, weekly and then daily. Although life rarely goes perfectly according to plan, it helps me to have a visual “map” of where I am currently at and where I’m trying to go.
It’s a good thing that I didn’t mention my 6-month life check-up to my friend :-). Every 6 months or so, I evaluate how things are going and what adjustments I need to make in order to move forward. It was one of those times for me at the end of May. Oh yes, birthdays are another great time for reflection!
Let me share my favorite “adjustment”…I finally (you can’t rush inspiration!) decided what I’m going to do full-time when both kids are in school in September. I’m going to continue to work for myself as long as financially possible. (Yay!) Ultimately, I picked my next career “chapter” the same way that I chose my Columbia College major. To pick my college major, I simply went through Columbia’s blue book of course offerings and put a check next to everything that piqued my interest. At the end, I merged the two majors that had the most checks and I became a History-Sociology major…which I loved. To choose work-wise, I listed all of the jobs, internships and volunteer positions that I have ever held. Then, I wrote down the things that I enjoyed about each position…and looked for commonalities. The top 4 things ended up being: interacting with a variety of people in a hostessing/welcoming position; leading/coaching groups; research and informational writing.
Well, my hostessing days are over, so that was quickly crossed off. Leading/coaching a group was crossed off next. (While my husband Reggie thought that I should train to become a life coach and my mom thought that Reggie and I both should train together to become marriage counselors, I prefer to do those things for free with the various church groups that I help out.) That left research and informational writing. Ding ding ding. That is what I will continue to do and expand on. Why is it usually the most obvious things that are the hardest to grasp?!
I’m just happy to have made a choice. I am also excited that Reggie has agreed to be my business consultant. I have been asking (okay, bothering) Reggie to be my business consultant for a while… since he does have a MBA in addition to his teaching degree. “Use that MBA for your wife so that I can work from home,” I would say. He would respond, “I can’t coach you until you choose what you want to do!” I’ll admit it…he did have a point. Well, now that I have chosen, he is going to be my coach…oh, yeah! I’ll be sharing what I learn (business-wise) with you as I go along. I’ll start with Tips #1 and #2.
#1 Choose. It’s your life and your choice regarding what business you start. Definitely listen to the input of trusted advisors, but the final choice is yours.
#2 Be disciplined. It takes a lot of work to build a consistently profitable business. That means that we have to say “no” to a lot of things that are great, but just not the most beneficial. For instance, I have enjoyed writing for the Harlem News Group (offline) and She Posts (online), but I will no longer be consistently contributing to either of them any more. There just aren’t enough hours in the day…and that’s totally fine.
In any event, I hope that you are consistently having fun breakthroughs and adjustments in your life too!