It was my first day at a new job. I had been hired at an “up and coming” telecommunications company as a software developer. They had offered me a generous salary. And a pager (back then that was the bomb.com) and a little security card that I had to swipe to get into my department. I felt semi-important with my new hardware and my new salary and my cool cubicle.
And I wanted to be thrilled about my new job. I really tried to be, but I knew in my knower that I was faking it. I was NOT in the right job. Heck, I wasn’t even in the right industry. I had just worked for 5 years at night school to graduate Magma Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in a field that I could have cared less about…..Computer Based Info Systems.
My heart totally wasn’t in it. I had sold out on my passion (Interior Design) for a career where the $$$ was…. or so I thought. I even went so far as to tell my college counselor that I couldn’t make enough money at design work, so I had her put me in the computer field. What on earth was I thinking?
So, it’s my first day at this new job. And I found myself at lunch time watching the St. Patrick’s Day parade out the window of our high-rise building in downtown Kansas City. I will never, ever, ever forget how I felt that day. Everyone in my department had went out to lunch and because they were sweet….they had asked me to go. But I didn’t want to. These were all real life techie people who spoke a language that I just couldn’t even fake very well. I didn’t want to do lunch. I felt like I should have been happy, but I was miserable. I just watched the parade out the window and wondered what on earth had I gotten myself in to? I literally watched and cried and called my husband in tears. I thought perhaps I was just having “a moment”. But the truth was, I was 29 years old with a “great career” ahead of me and “a bright future” and I just could not convince my soul of it. I was in the wrong career and I knew it.
Fast forward about a year and that “up and coming” company had massive layoffs that eliminated my position.
And thank God.
Because my passion had never been in a cubicle with a Nextel. I wanted a paint brush and a business card. And I don’t know that I would have ever had the guts to quit and do what I loved had my hand not been forced. That layoff allowed me to start my dream full-time. And although I was scared out of my mind, that was my opportunity to see if I could make this “painting thing” work and make a living at it.
And that was almost 17 years ago. And what a career it has been. Before I shut down my painting business, I had a whole team of ladies who worked with me. We were on ABC’s “Extreme Makeover” 3 times. We traveled out-of-town to work in beautiful homes with more bathrooms than anyone will ever need. I was on television and radio talking about painting and decorating. My heart was so happy. I moved my business online too. I released a line of DIY e-videos training other people how to paint furniture, cabinets, walls and ceilings and began a monthly painting club teaching finishes. I started encouraging and coaching other women on how to follow their hearts and run a business too. I’ve worked with HUGE decorating brands and presented at Home Shows and business conferences.
It terrifies me now to think of how my soul would have just wasted away in that cubicle. I am so, so grateful for people who love their office jobs, but it just was never for me.
And so I pray for you. We all know when we are “faking it” for the sake of security and making the mortgage payment and trying to fulfill the expectations from others. And it’s a miserable place to be.
Many of us know what it feels like to sit on the sidelines and to watch “our own parade” go by. It’s just so miserable. And I never, ever, ever want you to get to the end of your life and wonder if you could have ever made it at a different career…. one that you daydreamed about and obsessed over and were meant to be in. Regret is a horrible thing my friends.
Just watch Gale’s story here. She had health scare. A wake up call and decided to change her life. Do something she loves and makes her happy — and just look at her God-given talent! It’s amazing to see her using her talent and doing her dream job.
And so I pray that this week you will allow yourself to DREAM. Really DREEEEEEEAM about your future. I don’t care if you are 29 or 59…..you are gonna be that age anyway. You may as well grow older doing something you love.
I encourage you this week to make little changes….. just itty bitty changes to walk in the direction of your TRUE calling in life. Maybe tell a friend your dream. Maybe pick a business name. Maybe draw up a business plan. Maybe just begin to google things. Maybe pray God would open some doors and be open to Him closing some others one.
Just do SOMETHING to stir your soul!
For there is no better parade than the one where you are right where you are supposed to be….. walking in your calling…..living out your dreams….. and blessing others in the process.
I wish you the luck of the Irish and God’s very best!!!
If you’re thinking about quitting your 9-to-5, I do have some tips to help you reach that decision and to know WHAT to have in place before you do resign! Listen to my podcast here.
Also, I have learn a TON in my business journey. I would love to share everything I know with you and get you on the fast track to making money with your creative talent and growing your business online. Sign up for my free workshop video series here.