“All I wanna do with my life is start my own business and, sometime thereafter, run for political office.”
This is what I said during a very stimulating conversation with a close friend about a week or so ago during a nice brunch session. As I have posted previously on this blog, I have not had the easiest time with the Pittsburgh job market recently (that blog post can be found here). I’ve found temporary positions here and there, & I’ve found a decent amount of promotional modeling positions to sustain me in the meantime. However, nothing consistent has stuck yet. This has led me to do a lot of deep self-reflection on what direction that I want my life to head in next. And reflect, I have done.
I will be 25 years old in July, so I am panicking a bit because I’m halfway to 30 and haven’t begun to pave a clear path forward. That is, until now. I’ve always wanted my end goal to be politics, so that’s pretty stable. But, my friend asked me a question that made complete sense: “You’re not running for office in the next year or so, are you?” I didn’t have a response for it. If that is indeed the case, and if I only want to run for office & start a business….. then what option do I have left to pursue right now?
Starting a business. And it’s a TERRIFYING prospect. Terrifying in a good way. Terrifying in a “This is what I want to do anyway, but now that it has become a serious goal of mine (instead of simply a dream), I’m a tad frightened” kind of way. Terrifying in a “This is what I was made to do, and I am excited that I will now be counting the days until I officially become my own boss” kind of way. Here’s my tentative plan:
1. Renew my resolve to locate a traditional job. This time, however, I will absolutely settle for a part-time job since I get decent pay from my promotional modeling jobs already. In fact, if my promo work were more consistent, I would simply stick with that. So, full/part time job + increasing number of promotional model gigs = money that I can actually survive on (and then some).
2. Begin knocking out my list of “25 Goals For 2015”. Note, I did NOT say “resolutions” because the enthusiastic spirit of setting New Year’s Resolutions seems so fleeting. Many of my goals involve cutting down my current financial obligations so that I may begin building personal stability/wealth for myself. I will share a few of these goals in a later post.
3. Start laying the groundwork so that I can get my proposed business up and running. This will involve many tasks, a couple of which include buying inventory (i.e. clothing, etc.) and creating a website. My business idea comes from a semester-long project that I had to do in my Business 101 college class (in which I created a business plan that is ready to be used). My instructor liked it, as did my SCORE counselor, so I know that it is a viable idea destined to succeed.
4. Begin running my business while still employed. This is so that I will be able to build a sizable amount of revenue before I walk away from my employer and into the world of full entrepreneurship. I intend to make my next employer my last employer. Being a business owner is something that I’ve dreamed of since high school when I took web design, entrepreneurship classes (where I had to build my own business plan & do proper market research, etc.), accounting classes, etc…. And as I’ve mentioned, during my college courses that I’ve taken thus far. I did a couple of interviews last week, & I have a second interview this week with one employer. I am all but certain that this job is the one where I will finally be hired. Once this job begins, I can start putting my plan into action.
What prompted this inspired planning of mine? Yes, it was the conversation that I mentioned at the beginning of this post. There’s more to it, though. I realized that if I’m going to tell people something, then I’ve got to stick to my word. Sure, there won’t be any physical ramifications for being “all talk & no action”, but one can quickly lose credibility if (s)he constantly engages in this insidious practice. Also, many people that I know are making positive changes in their lives – whether that be with their health, career, relationships, of what have you; I want to have more positive experiences to bring to the table instead of just saying, “I still haven’t yet landed a job.”
My social circle/network is well aware of what my ultimate plans are, but I need to do something in the meantime to sustain myself. In the beginning of my conversation with my friend, I said to him, “I’m just not passionate about going to work everyday for the rest of my life in order to build up someone else’s dream.” While this is an absolutely valid way of thinking, it requires that you begin to build your own dream. If you don’t want to build someone else’s dream, but you aren’t taking the necessary steps to build yours either, then you’re stuck. You’re stagnant. You’re doing nothing. You’re either really ambitious with no clear direction – or you’re lazy. I’m neither, so I’m choosing to recommit to achieving my goals, beginning right now.
This is what happens when you are able to share your life with people that you really care about, trust, and (most importantly) respect. If I were to give everyone a piece of professional advice, it would be this: don’t go it alone. Sounds simple, but people actually believe that they can succeed this way. I guarantee that you will fail every time if you do this. You need others to be successful, whether it’s for networking, moral support, advice, or (in my case) someone that’s not afraid to question the direction in which you’re headed.
Oh, and that dream that you’ve been putting off for God knows what reason? Get to work on it 🙂