HERE’S A HINT….IT’S NOT SOMEONE ELSE
This year as never before we will be challenged by uncertainty and restrictive behaviour as the frugalness that tight monetary constraints incur continues. Accept it, the Eighties are gone and greed has turned out not to be good (who in their right mind ever thought it would be) and we are fighting the battle of a negative perspective in the press.
So it is easy to fall into the trap of despondency and buy into the hopelessness, in fact as a species we actually like this place best. But for an ever increasing number of us we are having to learn how to support ourselves. Gone are the lifetime work places, gone are the moving from one business to the next without hesitation and in its place is the realisation that we are now the authors of our own destiny. So what does “Author of your own Destiny” actually mean, why should you care and more importantly how do you achieve it.
Well as in all things you have many options but they all start at the same place, with a resolution to change. Often this is around a personal endeavour (you know this time I really will stick to going to the gym, go for a walk, play with the kids) you might even have the new membership to prove it. But then life gets in the way and excuses allow us to slide till it is off the radar and becomes next years resolution. So lets back up the wagons and look at the point where it……
STARTS TO SLIDE
We all find it easy to do things we love and often avoid things we don’t, so isn’t this the obvious place to start. In order to shape your future you need to fill it with things you love, the old say saying “Make your business something you love doing and you will never work a day in your life” is so true.
Oh sure I hear you say “that’ might be fine for you, but I have bills to pay” well a lot of those bills are going to be there whether you like your job or not. And this was the first excuse I gave myself when I tried to leave the industry I had spent fifteen years in. My first mistake was not…
I tried to break into a new Industry with the very real belief that my previous experience was totally transferable and valuable (it has proven to be) but in order to reach this position I had to prove myself to the new Industry and this takes time (way more than I had expected) years in fact.
So to keep afloat financially I kept going back to my old Industry whenever a Job was available. This is of course totally logical behaviour but it was also one of the reasons it took so long to cross over. What it did was ease my short term financial worry but also it made me take my eye off the ball as it would take me off my quest for weeks and sometimes months at a time. This is a common place for people who are involved in start up ventures to sit, often these people have a passion and an idea + a job. I meet a lot of consultants who sit here, they are “just earning enough to get their venture up and running”, but this is a trap as they seldom manage the cross over.
All to often we believe that our security sits with other people and organisations when actually actually it resides in our head. Having a permanent job appears to give us a security for our future but robs us of choice, where as having no job seems like it robs us of a secure future but of course gives us unlimited choice (only limited by your belief in yourself).
SHAPING YOUR FUTURE REQUIRES FOCUS
In order to be focused on the future we have to change the present, this is rightly a terrifying place for most of us to stand and is the first great barrier to overcome.
One of the questions that I ask people is “if you didn’t need the money would you stay in your current job” I guess you know already know the common response to this. So why do we remain trapped in jobs we hate, well because we were never taught to trust ourselves. In fact to the contrary we are educated to believe there are wrong ways to do things and right ways and formal education is there to teach us the right way.
This of course is nonsense, my whole life I have taken on things I was not qualified for and succeeded. There is no “right way”, just options and with options come outcomes some work, others don’t …. big deal, who in the world do you think gets it right first time.
Shaping your future requires the thing that frightens us most SELF BELIEF you must be from another planet if you haven’t realised by now that “nothing worth anything comes without a struggle” and when this is about you then the buck stops with you.
A job often allows people to hide in a niche, when Shaping your Future there is nowhere to hide and hidden within that most frightening of places resides the most REWARDING experiences.
SO WHAT DO I NEED
Ask yourself how long you think you will live for remembering you future will only go till the day you die. Now ask yourself how would you like to divide those years you have left up, you know, want to create a world changing business, slow down a bit, like to retire…. (fill in your own here).
Most people I meet who are Shaping their Future never talk about retirement, they are always looking where they go next, also they are POSITIVE that no matter what comes up they will be able to solve it (either by themselves or by reaching out) which brings met to my next point.
You will need SUPPORT in this endeavour as when times get really tough having a friend, lover, parent, mentor, anyone who believes in you is crucial. We are not designed to work alone we are a pack animal and packs work by supporting each other. SELF BELIEF is most important but a “supporting ear” is not far behind. Without my partner sticking by me as I turned down opportunities because they would not take me in my new direction things would have been way harder. Even when we really needed the money she believed that I would eventually succeed, which of course motivated me more to succeed.
Just a word of caution supporting people is fantastic but sometimes supporting them means the ability to say “this is a crap idea” but have decent reasons why and not because you fear the journey. Empathy is more important than logic.
And oh I forgot RESILIENCE lots and lots of it.
SO WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME TO MOVE
There is NO right time or wrong time, it doesn’t mater what the share market is doing or how good the job market is, as the moment you do it your life has changed. The reason most people get round to the realisation that they are in charge of their lives is usually just when they understand how little control they had of it previously….your fired, you have have a life threatening decease etc. If you have just been laid off the decision is easy if you are having a mid life crisis that may be enough of a motivator, but the hardest time to do it is when you don’t have to (or do you).
After fifteen years in the film industry it began to dawn on me that I was not going to be able to continue working 15 hours a day 7 days a week until I was 70. It had started to become a chore rather than the adventure it had started out as, so I decided to once again Shape my Future.
The first prejudice to rear its ugly head was my age (over 50) no one wanted to know me (recruitment companies are run by sales people not business people ) experience isn’t important when moving from one industry to another (so they said). This is course where I came in, so in order to become relevant I decided to…
Now this is where the FUN starts…… no I really mean it, make yourself a blank canvas wrapped around your experiences, your abilities and your new found realisation that you can be what ever you want.
This is not a fairy tale you can change your sights to achieve anything, what is non negotiable is the will to achieve it.
So the first place to start is…. what are you hoping this new person ( you) will achieve / behave like / do differently. For some the realisation that their slavery to their job had robbed them of time with Family and Friends so a work life balance is crucial to their next position, other people get sick and need to slow down, others have it forced upon them (your fired), it doesn’t really matter.
If you want people to believe in the new you first you have to believe it yourself, so make no apologies, look people in the eye and tell them what you are ( even if you are not quite there yet) and get a business card with that title on it, and remember the brain doesn’t know the difference between real and imaginary, the more times you tell it the more real it becomes.
Re-inventing yourself requires you to SELF EVALUATE and this is probably a good place for me to leave you for now, I will pick up from here in my next blog.
As usual anyone who disagrees with this post or has more to add please say so.