I’m so freakin’ proud of myself! It took me three months, but I’ve created my first e-book!! It’s called “Finding Fun: The Play Book to move from “Woe is me” to “WOW is me” – in 10 liberating steps”. (As you read on, a “pop up” will show up on my site promoting this!!)
The Entrepreneur Adventure
I remember my dad warning me when I was first married to be
careful about having kids unless you like looking in a mirror. I never quite agreed with this philosophy, as kids may be reflections of parts of you, they are unique people not mirror images. However, this advice may be more suitable to warning you about becoming an entrepreneur. You do have to like what you see in the mirror, because – in my opinion – your success depends on it. You being you!
Most of my life I’ve had corporate jobs, working for other people (and making good money for them too!). I never wanted to own my own business. That would mean doing all the things – including the boring things like book keeping, finding & keeping clients, insurance, legal stuff and whatever government paperwork needing filing. Have you ever had a passion you felt good enough to want to turn into a business? At the time, I sure did not!
Owning a business felt like more work than I could handle. I wanted to focus on just the one aspect that I liked doing and let the corporate people handle all the rest. Having young kids, I was also learning how to handle the work/life balance. The balance being where I could mostly shut off the job part when I went home to my family. My then-husband was self-employed, and I didn’t enjoy the unsteadiness of his work flow, and the client-centric issues that cost us money. (Classic case of clients not paying as promised…will this issue never end? Even billionaires do this shady non-payment stuff!) My sense of finding fun was not in working for myself!
As life would have it, or as I like to say The Universe, gave me a strong message to change my life. My corporate career came to a halt when I was downsized with 110 other people. At that point, I had started my blog (this one!) as a way to record and share my adventures. Then, when my health issues flared up, I realized I could no longer handle the stress of my past corporate lifestyle. I pivoted and went for starting my own business! I decided that helping others find fun and adventure was my passion big enough to make into my next career.
Looking in the mirror
Have you ever heard of “The Imposter Syndrome”? Basically, you think you are a fraud despite being a smart, successful person. It’s life’s insecurities coming up at you, hard. It’s all those criticisms you heard over your life piled on top of you, no matter how old or inaccurate they are. When you are starting out, adventuring into an area you have some relevant experience but are by yourself, it’s easy to think you should give up and go back to your old career. My lucky mom, she was the one I would call the most when I was feeling this fear and expressing it as sadness. Good thing she’s excellent at making people laugh!
During one such bout of wondering “Who The HELL Am I To Do This?” my chiropractor (whom I’ve known for years and has a wonderful, calm and guiding spirit) said to me “Who the HELL are you NOT TO?” Sure, it is common advice in the self-employed business world…but something in the way he expressed it, it suddenly made me aware he was right. My life experiences and wisdom are greater than any piece of paper that says I’ve learned XYZ. I started Adventure Wednesdays to learn more about myself, what I find fun. What I didn’t expect was that by turning it into a business, I’d be looking deeper into that mirror and seeing who I am and what my authentic self must offer the world.
Shiny Object Syndrome
Here’s another obstacle to being successful as an entrepreneur. There are so many moving parts to a business to not only learn about, but to take action and implement well. There are also 100X as many solutions to any tiny part of a new business, and 100X people teaching these solutions. Over the many years I have chased many shiny objects and explored many rabbit holes. Like many other challenges in life, we often want the magic pill, the easy way out. I’m not going into many of them here, but what I’ve learned is that I have to find my own path.
The path to Finding Fun
A few years ago, I was inspired to create a “cheat sheet” that were my top ten life lessons boiled down into 10 tips. I knew these to be solid, and psychologically and scientifically sound principals (and not just my gut instincts making things up). Recently, I’ve realized, it’s become time to level up, to share more with the world and help others take action on these core principles that guide me to my adventure outlook. I hired a business coach to help me focus on my next steps. With her help I overcame the fears that make imposter syndrome pop up again and again. An unexpected benefit was that she helped me avoid shiny object syndrome.
A goal became to re-imagine my 10 tips into a format that makes sense for other people to follow and take action to start their own adventures for discovering what they find fun. I had to do this while…selling my house/moving, living temporarily at my mothers, downsizing what I had left into a 7’X7’X8’ shipping container and a ten-year-old Honda Fit, driving across country with stops to see family, friends and the occasional odd roadside attraction. (I just put 4 months into one paragraph! Phew!)
I had all sorts of business adventures. From finding a good photographer (see Hannah’s contact info in photo above!). Reaching inside myself to create the format and content for the new tip sheet. To writing it out and bouncing ideas off different, reliable colleagues. Including writing it on paper while my partner drove the long highways and mountains crossing long stretches where there was no WiFI. Plus making sure I posted weekly blogs and regular social media. Once the content flowed out of me and I discovered I had so much info of value, my freebie became the size of an e-book! And bless my mom and my friend Link for their graphic design talents to turn my copy into something that looks fun to use! A PLAY Book!
TA-DA! Here’s “Finding Fun”!
Finally, another thing I learned to do is to create a landing page. This is where you can sign up to get your very own copy of this amazing digital book. If you subscribe already, don’t worry, you won’t start receiving two emails from me. If you want to subscribe – make sure to check the little box after you put in your contact info.