Getting Punched In the Gut and Ten Things I Did About It.

Posted Friday, February 19, 2010

The job of your dreams. Hmmm. I don’t think you would find a single person in the world that would turn down an opportunity to take the job of their dreams if it was offered to them today.

The thing is…the offer is there…the universe is offering you the opportunity. Just Do It. I know, I know…it’s not that easy. Not even close. We could all come up with a list of 10 things that are keeping us from pursuing what we love. These are real things that are important including having a place to rest your head, supporting your family, and the risk of losing your job, or even losing your spouse.

So how do we do it?

One of the moments that pushed me over the edge happened when I read an essay that my son wrote. He was a senior in high school at the time and he was writing essays for college admissions. He had used my laptop to write the essay and left it on my desktop. It was an essay about the age old question: What are you going to be when you grow up? I read it.

His essay was like a punch to the gut. He described what he absolutely didn’t want to do. He didn’t want to turn into me. The essay was a description of my career in corporate America. He didn’t want to be spending his life on things that don’t yield joy. He didn’t want to work in a cubicle or even in an office. He didn’t want to have to deal with petty politics. He wanted his life to make a difference and he wanted his career to reflect that.

As I read his essay and realized that he was describing me, I started to feel angry and defensive. (Whose career pays for all that education anyway? Or, better yet, whose career paid for all those video games?) I then hit a little pause button in my head and realized that he was absolutely right. I didn’t want any of those things either. I definitely want a career with purpose and I’m not sure the cubicle world does it for anyone.

So, I vowed that day that I would stop talking about my dreams...and do something about it. My dream job had always been to do my own thing—to help people with coaching and consulting. So here is a list of 10 things that I did that helped me get started—I hope they help you too.

  • Talk about it with people. Saying it out loud makes it real.
  • Go to lunch with someone that does what you want to do. Ask a million questions.
  • Exercise—use the time to think about your dream—and get in shape too.
  • Buy a book. I bought Pam Slim’s Escape From Cubicle Nation and I could not recommend it more for those of you that want to leave the cube farm and do your own thing.
  • Take a personality test—Meyers Briggs is a good one. This will help you find your dreams.
  • Write down your dream and goals associated with it. Tell someone what you wrote…better yet, post it.
  • Moonlight in the new area. I wanted to coach people so I took on pro-bono clients to practice my trade and develop a system.
  • If you are doing your own thing, come up with a name for your business and register it—this is massively empowering. If you know where you want to work—make a list of the companies or job titles and post them.
  • Schedule time to focus on your dream. My wife and I decided that one night a week and two weekend days per month—I would focus on my future.
  • Get coached. My business made amazing progress during the three months that I was being coached and I know it’s a direct reflection of the accountability and feedback that coaching provides.

Check out our last 6 eNewsletters:

November 4, 2016--Crossing the Continental Divide (Both Literally and Metaphorically)

May 13, 2016-Are You Embracing Your Goo?

April 6, 2016--Micromanagement is Good Management

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