You are a lot more than your name and your heritage and your body. You are a spiritual being, living in a body that is unlike anyone else’s on earth. You are a unique one-of-a-kind person and you have a valuable place here on earth. But before you can decide what you want to do or become or have, you have to get in touch with yourself and know who you are.
If you are going to stretch out and become the best that you can be and give the most of yourself that you have to offer the world, then decide what that is. What do you like to do? What are you good at? What are your strengths? If you are unsure, try asking those close to you. They will probably start suggesting character traits and capabilities that you didn’t even know that you had. Now, write them all down and see which ones stand out and which ones complement each other or can be grouped together. I think the one universal quality is that everyone wants to be of help to someone or something else, so don’t be vague and just list ‘helping people’. Be specific in the area that you would like to help. Now align this with something that you are good at. Be creative here. List more than just one or two ideas. I found that by using my artistic talents and love of old architecture, along with some common sense marketing strengths, I was able to start a print collection of the history of the city that I live in. I discovered that my memories were everyone else’s memories. I was doing something that I loved; something that made a lot of people happy; and that I made a good living at, while being able to work from home, have a lot of leisure time and spend most of my days with my dog. All of these things were very important to me and on my list. So don’t think it sounds stupid writing down “spending a lot of time with my dog”. If it is important to you, jot it down. And don’t let anyone else write or edit your list. It is yours alone.
So, like I said, when you have written everything down that you love and are good at, start grouping them together; sort of like a puzzle, and see what fits. After you have grouped some of your strengths and favourite activities, start listing some ways that you would be able to make money at them. For example: maybe you have a good vocabulary and can therefore write. Is there something that would make an interesting book or guide? Do you just love being a stay-at-home mom? Add that to some skills, like organizing or a special approach and see what comes out of it. Many women have started successful businesses out of a need for a special item that didn’t really exist until they made one for themselves. Did you write ‘watching TV’ as one of the things that you love doing? That’s OK too. Start watching some shows like “Shark Tank” or “Dragon’s Den” and see what others are doing. You just might get a spark of inspiration.
Sometimes you may find that there are things that you love, but don’t really go together. That’s OK. Sometimes there will be something that you can’t see how it will ever fit into a career path or how you could ever make money at it, only to find that out of nowhere and no-how that you suddenly got a brilliant spark of an idea. Many men and women have become multi-millionaires this way. Remember, Andrew Carnegie was just a worker in a steel mill and went on to become one of the wealthiest men in America. He often admitted that he did not know nearly as much about the steel industry as the men who worked for him.
Don’t let any old ideas stand in you way, such as:
- you are too old to start over. Colonel Saunders was 65 and living on old age security when he started going door to door, trying to sell his recipe for fried chicken.
- you don’t have the education. Diana Spencer was not a Kindergarten teacher when she met Prince Charles. That was just a story that sounded better than the truth. She was actually a high school drop-out whose marks were never that good. She was in fact, an assistant to a Kindergarten teacher. Initiative, creativity, endurance, and an unwavering belief in yourself are so much more important than years spent memorizing mostly useless data in our school system. Just look at the accomplishments of academic drop-outs such as Richard Branson, Steve Jobs and Thomas Edison.
- you don’t have the money. Well, neither did I, so I talked my printer into trusting me and giving me 30 days to pay back the thousands of dollars for my first print. Many people downsize their dreams to fit their bank account. Instead, you should trust that you will find a way and that opportunities will open up to you. What small step can you take right now that will start you in the right direction?
- you don’t have the time. Life can be full of pressure, but if you have a dream, you have to create a space for yourself. We may not all have the same house, car or money, but we all get exactly the same amount of time. We all get 24 hours in a day. So, make sure you are not just getting caught up in the daily trivia of life. What can you delegate or pay someone else to do that would create a space of time for yourself?
So, now that you are out of excuses, who are you and why are you here?