Over 20 years ago while sitting at my corporate desk, I had this crazy idea that if I was going to work this hard for them, I might as well work that hard for myself. I kept thinking, “Julie, how can you even think of this? You must be off your rocker to consider leaving the reliability of a paycheck and benefits.” But it was like a lightning bolt from the sky – an intense thought that grabbed hold of this young woman at the exuberant age of 28, and it never let go.
From that day to this, I feel compelled to share with everyone reading these words, that if I had a chance to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. It was the right decision, and honestly comes with zero regret. However, it was not an easy road. In fact, there was no road at all in my chosen field. Therefore, I found myself at an instant crossroad before I even took my first step. Do I move forward into the abyss, not knowing what I am doing, and make a road for others to follow one day? Or should I turn around and stay in a job that I didn’t care for, with a steady paycheck? As it turned out, I discovered I am an excellent bulldozer and I paved my way through.
To fulfill your purpose, your calling, it takes great strength and stamina. More than that, it takes tenacity of the spirit, a positive mindset when you feel like crumbling and crying (yes, it will happen), and the ability to get back up when you were just knocked down.
As a mother, when my daughter was learning to walk and she stumbled and fell, I would encourage her to get right back up immediately, brush herself off, and go on to her next adventure. Such is life. Get right back up and no matter what, keep moving forward. Throughout the years, there have been many times I related myself to the hamster that jumped on the wheel with lots of vigor, but never really ended up anywhere. Looking back, I actually was going somewhere, but I couldn’t see it at the time.
Here, in a nutshell, I share with you the most important lessons I have learned as a woman, and in building my dream:
- Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. You can and will find a way. People who normally say things like that can be a bit envious of your spirit, or perhaps live with regret themselves. It’s also possible that they just don’t understand it.
- If you don’t try, you will always wonder what “could have been.” Avoid living with regret and guilt by trying your best. Nothing bad can ever come from trying.
- When you come to a crossroad in your life, always go with your gut instinct. Our heads often get in the way of what our gut already knows. My gut has never lied to me. Tune into it, listen attentively, and keep moving. Look how many times it took Thomas Edison to get it right!
- Stay the course. So you have stumbled and what you had planned isn’t working. Assess what went wrong, temporarily step back and ask, ask, and ask again until the answers come. Sometimes the answers come from an unexpected source.
- Figure out what makes you different. What are your special gifts? Are you using them? If not, get to it and watch happiness seep in.
- To thine own self, be true. Thank you, Mr. Shakespeare. Speak your mind, communicate openly, and never, ever sell your soul to the dark side.
- Identify what it is you want to do with your life. I am an estate professional who specializes in personal property. Do I just sell people’s stuff? No, I sell a solution. Solve their problem, lighten their load, and I can guarantee you a successful outcome. What you want to do is make a difference and make it count.
- Follow through with passion and tenacity. If you have an idea, run with it. Don’t flop over on the sofa because you don’t know how to get started. Just take the first step.
- Be the best at what you do. If you are going to do something like start a business, or volunteer, or take a new job … do your best. Mom always said, “If you’re going to plant a tree, plant it straight.”
- Always look forward and never look back. Ever notice how some people live in the past and seem to get stuck there? It’s ok to visit the past and learn from what went wrong, but then turn it into a positive, so it works to your benefit.
- For every problem you encounter, there is a solution.
- Always be kind, courteous, and compassionate. Kindness gets noticed because so few people actually practice it.
© 2012 Julie Hall