I’m not a kid anymore. I’m not a 20 something recent college grad with a nice tidy little degree in my hot little hand, ready to take on the world.
I’ve passed through my 20s, my 30s, my 40s, and now even my 50s. Yikes!
And I wonder….
Is it too late for me to strike out and finally do what I’ve always wanted to do?
I’ve struggled with this question quite a lot of late, a constant inner turmoil raging in my head.
Can I make it as a freelance writer? An entrepreneur?
What Makes An Entrepreneur?
Well, I’ve been an entrepreneur for over 20 years so that question is rather moot. I’ve already proven I can.
But this time it’s different. This time, it’s not a fitness business centered around an existing company for whom I’m an independent contractor.
It’s also not the boring, but functional, legal transcription I once did, after completing a home study course.
This time, I’m venturing into unknown waters. I have no guide. There’s no study course to follow. I’m not part of a larger organization.
It’s just me and my love of writing, with a desire to make a difference and to do something fulfilling. It’s about finding something to fill a hole in my life.
It’s Not About Unhappiness in Your Current Job
I enjoy fitness. I want to be healthy, and I like helping others get and stay healthy. I’ll still focus on that. I just don’t think I want it to be my primary calling anymore. At least not in the same way.
But venturing into a freelance writing business is, well, scary, at this stage of my life. I wonder if I have what it takes. Am I up to the task? Do I know what the hell I’m doing?
Not everyone is cut out for entrepreneurship. And there’s no reason to feel sorry about that.
I think we — okay, I — tend to worry too much about failure in the eyes of others. If I do this, and I fail, what will __________ think?
But it doesn’t matter one iota what ___________ thinks. They don’t live my life or dream my dreams.
Still, the fears set up shop, refusing to leave.
Treat It Like An Adventure
Then I heard a podcast recently that finally helped me realize that there is a way to approach something new, to start a new business venture, and avoid, somewhat, the associated concerns and worries. Or at least lessen them.
We’ve all heard the expression It’s not the destination, it’s the journey, that counts.
And that was the underlying message in the podcast, only this time it didn’t sound like a tired catchphrase.
Treat your new business as an adventure.
And isn’t that exactly what it is? You don’t have to know everything right out of the gate. It can evolve and change direction in ways you wouldn’t possibly anticipate.
You start out with an idea, a dream, and you feel like you have to know exactly where it’s going before you take your first step.
If that were true, you’d never take that first step. You’d just stand there, frozen.
Sadly, that quick freeze is what happens to most people. They can’t envision where it will go, they fear the unknown and forget that that’s half the fun.
Scary. But fun. If you allow it to be.
But when you start out with a sense of adventure, willing, even anxious, to see where it will lead, you’ll not only be more likely to take that first step.
In fact, you’ll hardly be able to wait to take it.
You can always take a crossroads or even backtrack, if necessary.
Never Too Late
I may not be that recent college grad in my 20s. But I already know I’m capable of running my own business. What I don’t know is if I’m capable of succeeding in a writing business.
But being an entrepreneur? No question. I already am.
How do you know if you’re ready to be an entrepreneur? Well, I’m not the absolute authority here, but here are a few ideas that helped me decide:
- Desire. You have a talent or skill that you love that you want to turn into a business. Something that has been calling to you all your life and feels like what you should be doing. You owe it to yourself to at least find out, don’t you? Start small, test the waters, see where it leads. You just never know what’s possible until you try.
- Self-Starter. You’re a self-starter. You’re curious and can initiate things without permission or constant support. You’re willing to take calculated risks to find out what you can do, and how. Entrepreneurs don’t rely on constant supervision and guidance. They take action, even when they aren’t sure where it will lead.
- Willingness to Meet Challenges. Entrepreneurs know that there will be obstacles and challenges; that they’re inevitable. But when the desire to succeed is strong enough, they’re willing to meet them head on and find ways around them. Nothing worth having ever comes easy, and there may not be someone there to guide you. You have to be able to figure out what you need to do, and have the tenaciousness to do it if you want to succeed. It won’t always be easy, but it will be worth it if you’re willing to work for it.
- It Won’t Destroy Your Family Dynamic. Now, I’m sure many have succeeded who have had to do battle with spouses and family members, but it can be a miserable way to go. If you can involve your loved ones in your decision, gain their vote of confidence and be willing to have some give and take, you’ll find it much easier to move forward. When family members know what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it, they’re much more likely to support you.
What Is Your Definition of Wealth and Happiness?
There are many ways to be happy. To be wealthy. Your definition of wealth and happiness are what matter.
For me, I don’t want to give up down time. I need to be able to recharge and disengage. I’m not a workaholic. I enjoy relaxing with my family and friends.
Being a millionaire is not my definition of wealth. For me, wealth is measured by the level of happiness and contentment in my life.
A happy factory worker or boutique employee is far richer than a millionaire entrepreneur who eats antacids like candy and doesn’t remember what his kids look like. That, to me, is poverty.
Look at your life and ask yourself: Are you happy? Do you enjoy how you spend your days? What would make you happier, more content?
And if the answer is nothing, then lucky you! Don’t let anyone else’s definition of happiness cause you to doubt yours.
But if there’s something nagging at you, something you’ve been pushing aside out of fear or a sense of obligation, perhaps you need to stop and think about what you can change.
Just because you look doesn’t mean you have to change anything. But at least look.
I’m pursuing my desire to start a freelance writing business, on my terms. I don’t want to work long hours. I don’t wish to sacrifice time with my family or give up everything I enjoy.
I want to be content. I want to be at peace.
I’m not exactly sure how this will play out. I’m still figuring it out as I go, and what I think today may turn out to be entirely different tomorrow.
That’s all part of the adventure.
Is there an adventure waiting for you? Are you ready to find out?
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