I’m going to homeschool my kids this fall.
Sometimes you get to the point in life where you’re just not willing to do things you don’t feel good about anymore. That was me this past summer and so I quit my job.
And you know what? The world didn’t end. It’s been hard work, the emotional and mental work of switching to an entrepreneurial mindset, and especially of getting rid of limiting beliefs has been intense. But I’ve found I was able to do it, and I did. And it was nothing compared to the prospect of staying where I was.
And guess what I’ve found? When you start listening to your gut, and following your heart, and rejecting the notion that you have to listen to all the external ‘coulds’ and ‘shoulds’ and fears that keep you miserable and stuck – when you’re just not willing anymore, and then you start carving your own path? That’s addictive. I’m discovering my own power. And when you realize you can make decisions and design the life you want, that is a positive addiction of the best kind.
When you chart a path upstream, at first you only see the current that is set against you, but as you gain momentum you find your own strength, as you gain traction and make progress you realize the current carries downriver those who do not exert their own will, but that when you do apply your strength and will, the whole river opens up. It is equally willing to take you anywhere that you determine to go.
You have a unique path. There is destiny inside of you. Do you hear the voice telling you to head upstream? I believe we all have one.
I’m here to tell you to follow that voice. Use your muscles, exert your will, discover your own internal power.
Too many of us are asleep, and do not realize the control we do have, the choices we could make. We are in a box of our own construction, using a handbook that was not written with our best interests in mind. And we have a learned helplessness that tells us we are stuck, when we are not.
This was the year I decided to rewrite my story, chart my own path, follow my heart, pick a new handbook.
And so I quit my job, started my own business, made new friends, hired a coach, took courses, went to a conference on the other side of the country, found clients, journaled a ton (ie. listened to my heart), let my business model morph until I found the right thing for me, started coaching, found new clients, replaced my income in 3 months, got a massage, hired a housecleaner, bought way fewer presents for Christmas, started networking with local businesses, found more potential clients. Next I’m going to get my business stabilized with a good foundation, keep listening to my heart, and prepare to homeschool in the fall. Because now I realize that I can, and my heart is telling me that’s the path for me and my boys.
It’s a process, starting to listen to your heart. You can’t change everything at once.
I have had to choose my priorities. I’ve known for awhile that the first two would be quitting my job and preparing to homeschool.
As far as decisions go, those two have been easy, they’ve been on my heart for awhile. But quitting itself was a clearly defined action I could take and mark down as successful. Creating my own business has been tricker because there are so many options and decisions to make. As I’ve attempted to set professional goals for this year it’s been really hard, I think simply because it’s taking time to be honest with myself. I’m so used to shutting down my hopes and dreams, I’ve got them all locked up deep inside.
You know what brings them out the fastest? Working with clients.
Working with amazing men and women who are ready to do the work, to chart their path in the world, and just need some support.
They are on the same path that I am, and I’ve found that working with them illuminates things in my own heart. Ministering to them ministers to my own soul.
One of my clients is launching a membership on autoimmune disease, to provide her tribe with good information and a supportive community, while giving her financial freedom in the process. Helping her is awakening a desire to start my own affordable membership as a way to start teaching and sharing more content on a topic that is difficult to monetize.
Another client established an online marketing presence, and then when took the time to slow down and listen to her heart, and realized she wanted to spend less time online and on social, and more time networking locally. So we adjusted and created a new marketing plan for this quarter that uses that foundation, but aims her toward her goal of connecting locally and starting a locally based business.
Over the past few months my single biggest privilege has been when I hear my clients get to the point of voicing their big dreams. For the one with the membership, it was quitting her job that’s affecting her health, for a second it was opening her own boutique fitness studio, for a third it is finding marketing clients who are special needs moms with businesses, who are also actively supporting the special needs community. In marketing it can be so hard to niche down, but there is so much power in identifying a group that aligns with your personal mission and serving it with focused effort. For two other clients who are marriage and family therapists, one is a bestselling author who is working toward shifting from a time-intensive personal practice to a career more focused on speaking and teacher. The other is younger and single, is currently leaving her job, and has so many big dreams I’m not sure which one will be first. One is an idea for a podcast that I can’t share because it is her idea to pursue when the time is right. But it’s a big idea that represents a big dream and has a lot of passion behind it.
And working with those two clients have stirred so many big dreams in my heart around speaking and writing, and helping people with emotional and mental aspects of life not far removed from the topic of relationships.
I want to teach my kids to follow their dreams. To be ready to be creative, develop character, serve people, work hard – and then to follow their heart and pursue a big dream. I want them to know that money is neither good nor bad, but simply a very useful, strategic tool to be used to help them live the life they want to create. And that with commitment and dedication, they can make money doing whatever they choose to pursue.
My oldest is 8 ½ and he’s decided he wants to design video games. He’s already using Scratch to learn basic programming skills and create basic video games. He and I have recently started reading Hardy Boys books together, and soon we’re going to also read Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked, by Adam Alter. This is a book I read last year that explains the different aspects of video games and how the way they are designed affects our experience. I want my son to understand more fully the effects his games have on him, and to start thinking about how he would craft a game to create the experience he thinks players should have.
Looking back at my formative years, I see that school was not designed to foster my dreams but to prepare me to sit in a box and dutifully float downriver.
I don’t intend to be harsh, I am so incredibly grateful for everything I’ve learned in the past almost 36 years of life. But I have come to realize that there is a whole other way to live life that I have only just started to explore, and that on that path lies my destiny.
This blog this year will be an invitation for you to join me as I head upstream. Although it is uncharted territory, I am going to be learning from those who have trod that path, and sharing my thoughts here with you.
To a glorious, magnificent 2019 that blows all of our current dreams away…
For more on my personal journey and thoughts about homeschooling, check out this blog post from earlier this year: Life is not a Classroom