After The Storm

I Have A Plan (Really)

“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 🙂

Talk soon,
Liberty ❤

You Know Nothing

Being Controlling….Can Actually Be Good?

“I don’t have all the answers.”

That one saying is what I am starting this new year off with. Previously, believing that I had all the answers to everything in life went hand-in-hand with my compulsive need to control the outcome of every situation in which I was/am involved.

See, the main issue with people that have a desire to control everything is that this tendency can lead one to believe that others can also be controlled. Any situation where other people are clearly in charge is a situation where you need to concentrate on one thing (yes, JUST one): controlling your individual approach. Let’s use the very simple example of applying for jobs as an illustration:

Let’s say that Jan has applied to countless jobs and had a few interviews during this process. Her job search began about three months ago, but she still has not landed a job. Now, Jan has a few options that she can take right now:

1) work herself into a frenzy worrying about her future due to employers not hiring her;

2) give up, because apparently she is not good enough to be hired by a reputable employer anyway; OR

3) figure out that if she has applied to this many positions, and no one has hired her, then she is doing something wrong – and adjust accordingly.

What should Jan do? Well, if she went with Option #1, it would be of little benefit because worrying isn’t going to bring her a job any quicker than if she found a way to relax.If she chose Option #2, well, she just won’t have a job and she won’t be able to meet her basic needs; let’s hope that she doesn’t choose that one.Option #3……well, I prefer this one. Here’s why:

Option #3 keeps Jan in the driver’s seat of her life. It allows her to not become depressed from over-indulgence in a pity-party of one. It allows her to see that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. If one does nothing, then they will get no response. Similarly, if one takes the “wrong” action, then one will receive the “wrong” response. Jan can apply to as many jobs as she can, but if she is going about it in the wrong way, then she will not receive the desired result – securing employment.

Maybe it’s Jan’s resume that needs to be tweaked. Maybe Jan needs to network more (or, utilize her existing network more effectively). It could also be this: Jan has a stellar resume and great professional contacts, but she’s applying for positions that really aren’t a good fit for her talents. She could be applying for the correct types of positions, but in the wrong locations. Jan might even need to become a business owner and run her own business…….

Get the picture? If one continues to run up against obstacles in achieving one’s goal, then maybe it’s not “them”: maybe it’s you. I don’t mean to sound so harsh, but it’s absolutely true. And you may not even be doing something that would be considered to be “wrong”. You’re simply taking the wrong approach to achieving what it is that you desire to accomplish. In fact, I would venture to say that anything that we do not accomplish in life is due to us taking the wrong approach throughout the process. If you want a commitment from a love interest, but it’s not forthcoming, you’re doing something wrong (note: this does NOT mean to change the core of who you are in order to please someone else, but you do need to change the method by which you are operating). If you don’t have as much money as you need in order to live your desired lifestyle, then you’re doing something wrong – no one is oppressing you in any way; there is an action that you simply aren’t taking, and you need to figure out what that action is. If you aren’t satisfied with yourself in any way (either physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, etc.), then you’re doing something wrong. It’s as simple as that.

Getting down on yourself for failing isn’t very productive because that will only result in getting more of what you don’t want. In the well-known book The Magic Of Thinking Big, there is a chapter that speaks on the topic of turning defeat into victory. The general gist is that one should not accept defeat because there is always a way to get what you want out of a situation – if you’re open-minded enough to change how you’re going about getting things done. If you’re willing to practice self-accountability for both your successes and your failures, that is an astronomical step in the direction of becoming a more fulfilled, accomplished, and successful being.

Life isn’t about having control over everything – it’s about controlling only that which is within your individual scope. The only thing within your scope is your individual approach.

Talk soon,
Liberty ❤