Note: In the post following this one (“What’s in a Name?“), I explain a big ol’ epiphany I had about the Man, and how talking about sticking it to him is a pretty disempowered way to think about work (and life). I’m leaving this post as is (well, except for this note), because one year ago “sticking it to the Man” was where I was at. However, as you’ll see in the epiphany post, I *did* rename the offer mentioned in this post to the “Unlock Your Freedom Special.”
It’s hard for me to believe, but this Saturday will mark one year since I quit my job.
If I had to sum the year up in a word, it would be “unexpected.”
When I officially launched my business in August 2009, it became clear pretty quickly that, even working only four days a week at my job, I didn’t have enough energy left over to help my business grow.
Faced with the decision to stay financially secure (and stay at a plateau in my business) or to take the very scary risk of quitting, it was a No-Brainer to quit. I knew I had to do it.
Expectations are sneaky little things, aren’t they? You think you don’t have them, until things don’t go as planned.
When I quit last October, I really expected my business to grow at a consistent rate. I knew there would be challenges, but I apparently I thought they would all be very manageable.
I thought the energy I had around my launch in August would be like a wave that would carry me through my first year straight into a business that supports me financially.
I guess the only expectation that was spot on was that it would be challenging.
For the last couple months, I was even dreading the arrival of this anniversary. Because I had all these ideas about where I’d be by now, and how this anniversary should feel. Not to mention my ideas about how it should be celebrated.
Time for a reality check
I was talking to my business about the lack of rah-rah, and I asked it to show me what this year was really about.
What I saw was a tiny sprout coming out from the ground, but I could also see what was underneath the surface of the soil.
There were roots – so many roots – that were strong and deep and full of life.
This year was about putting roots in the ground. All the inner work I was doing, and every business and health challenge I experienced, was exactly what I needed so I could grow “outwardly” – above the soil’s surface – without being blown away by the first windy day.
I realized that had this year gone the way I fantasized, all my growth would have been top heavy. I wouldn’t have learned the things I needed to sustain this business (or myself) for the long haul.
Here’s some of what I learned:
- If I wait for perfect information, I’ll never move forward. With anything.
- I can only make decisions based on what I know about myself, what’s in my heart and the limited information available at the time.
- But I don’t control the outcome, so what happens after that can feel like a bit of a crapshoot.
- Learning to trust myself (and that the Universe is on my side) is hugely important if I want to enjoy the ride. Every painful situation has given me something important, eventually. Remembering that helps the crapshoot feel less crappy.
- Bringing my creations into the world is easier when I treat the process as a relationship between the creation and me.
- The most important part of growing this business has been to learn what I really want and need. And to make choices in alignment with those things.
In some ways, a big part of what I’ve been learning is who I am as a coach and what my work is about. (You might say I’ve been cleaning the lint off my Essence Piece and my Work Piece.)
I’m here to help you see that you have the power to create work that nourishes your soul. My role is to support you and guide you in that process of transformation and creation.
Now that I’ve gotten past my expectations of what this year should have looked like, rather than feeling disappointed, I feel incredibly excited. This year was a beautiful gift of learning how to connect with myself and working on some old patterns.
Well, that’s what I’ll be figuring out between now and the end of the year. One thing’s for sure: I’ll be pushing myself more than I did for the first 10 months of 2010. Permission to go slowly can be good, but only if it doesn’t feed one’s patterns, and well, I’ve got some patterns that I’d like to stop feeding.
There will probably be some kind of No-Brainer Scenario ebook – I continue to be wowed by the power of that technique.
I’m also envisioning a class that goes deeper with some of the ideas in my Shmorian Project Prescription ecourse. (Are you signed up for my free ecourse, yet? No? You can still get it here.)
Mostly I’m trying to stay open. And connected to myself and my business.
There is one thing that’s definitely happening before the end of the year…because all of this learning and growing (even if the word “growth” makes me roll my eyes) is a lot to celebrate, don’t you think?
Let’s celebrate together! Presenting the Sticking-It-to-the-Man Special:
In honor of completing my first year of self-employment, I’m offering a limited number of discounted coaching sessions.
There are so many people who are unhappy in their work, and I don’t believe it has to be that way. So if you’re ready to move toward doing the work that’s in your heart, I hope you’ll check out the details. (By the way, it’s not just for people with day jobs!)
I want to say thank you. Thank you for all of your encouragement and support as I shared the challenges I faced this year. Knowing you were reading made it easier to keep coming back.
I’m so glad you’re here. And I can’t wait to see what Year Two brings.