New Year, New You! Might that be one of your goals? Whether you’re 22 or 72, each new year (yet alone, I feel, a new decade) brings such a perfect time to evaluate your personal, professional and family goals. What’s important? What deserves your time? What drives you? And for most, a career is a very large central focus of this…whether your career is working a 9-5 corporate job, being a PT teacher, running your own startup or being a stay at home parent, a ‘career’ is more than just a job, it’s a calling and it’s up to you to turn your calling into a passion.
Being an entrepreneur since literally I can remember, my first ‘career’ was “Free water” on the sidewalk corner of our house. Bless the sweet people that stopped to take my ‘free water poured into a paper cup’…but guess what, there were a bunch of them that left me a tip! Like a whole quarter or dime tip! I was living the high life! (Mind you, I’m sure they probably watered the grass the second they turned the corner instead of drinking the water from my plastic pitcher…but I was 5 and couldn’t be more excited!) I had started my ‘career’…being an entrepreneur (and to this day, that’s still my burning passion!) It sparked a fire that I wanted to be the one leading people, helping people, coming up with new ideas, ways to solve problems and being willing to try things no matter what!
Quickly I learned my “Free Water” stand wasn’t going to help me raise the money I was trying to save for my first pair of rollerblades (that mind you, every other kid in our neighborhood had, but they were expensive, so my parents said if I earned half the money-including taxes, they would pay the other half.) Done: challenge accepted…I wanted those rollerblades SOO bad! But water tips weren’t going to get me there. So, I got creative in my entrepreneurial career path and I started a Homemade Cookie Stand selling individually wrapped cookies for 25cents each. My mom made ME purchase my ingredients (first I had to ‘borrow’ money from her and we wrote out how much the flour cost, and the butter cost and the chocolate chips cost…and WOW, I was a bit scared at how much it cost to make my cookies (and not yet even earn a dime back)…back then it was ten times my weekly allowance! But, I set out to do it (rollerblades in mind.)
I made marketing signs by hand by going to the grocery store and asking for their old cardboard boxes. So I next had my dad cut them into circles to look like cookies. I used my markers to put chocolate chip looking ‘dots’ on the circles, and then put “COOKIES 25cents” and the street corner of our house. I hung about a dozen of these signs around our neighborhood the morning of my first cookie stand…and within hours, SOLD OUT! AND people were leaving me a tip on top of it. So guess what I did that afternoon, I went to the store to buy more cookie stuff.
I had neighbors that would come and ‘buy out’ my trays every time I’d open my cookie stand. Up the signs would go early Saturday morning and by noon most times, they were all gone. I learned that my rollerblade goal was now going to be mine and then some to put in savings. People wanted to know when my next cookie stand would be, I’d let them know and eventually got to the point where I was able to increase the price (EVEN BETTER!)
So why do I tell you this long story about free water and a cookie stand as it pertains to finding your passion in your career? Because it’s a CHOICE. What makes your heart happy? Mine: being an entrepreneur and helping others—I hate sitting still; I always have a new business idea; I’m always the first one to say YES, let’s figure this out! But you get the CHOICE to make what you have wonderful.
You’re a stay at home mom—amazing (and exhausting) but on the rough days, your choice is a career to serve and raise your children..find the best in the most difficult parenting moments. You’re working a 9-5 job that maybe isn’t your ‘dream job’ but then choose to find the best in it and thrive on that: maybe they offer an amazing benefits program that your family is thankful for; or maybe a flexible understanding when you need to be with your family…live and breathe off the good.
How will you in 2020 find the passion in your career? It’s simple: CHOOSE TO. Make a list of the things you’re currently thankful for in your ‘career’ and then make a side-by-side goal list of things that are apart of your ‘dreams’ and figure out how to mesh the two together. Making the conscious decision that you’re in control of your destiny (as cheesy as that may sound) is simply it…it’s in between your ears…set your mind to what is good and only great things will follow! Keep on keeping on my friends…hard work ALWAYS pays off!