**Today’s post is one that I originally sent to my email list only. It got such a positive response that I decided to share on the blog. To get more content like this, sign up for my email list below this post or by using this link. Now onward with the post!**
“Unemployment is the best thing that ever happened to me.”
I’ve heard of (or read about) many successful entrepreneurs saying something like this. If you look around and think about the people who are doing well at being self-employed, I’m sure you’ll find someone who was laid off or fired before they embarked on their venture. They may have felt frustrated or discouraged at first. But something happened that changed everything. Maybe it was the desperateness that sets in when they have a family to support. Maybe it’s the thought of being put out on the street or traveling from couch to couch with no place to call their own. Maybe it’s that realization that they no longer wanna put their security in someone else’s hand…or on someone else’s payroll. Whatever the case, they became the ambitious entrepreneur that’s now loving life despite the hard work.
I should note that the “the moment” doesn’t always have to be loss of employment or income. Thinking more generally, it could be the loss of freedom. You don’t always realize that until it’s been compromised. I had a moment like this a few days ago.
A friend recently asked me if I’d like to be on their panel at an upcoming conference. Coincidentally, it was a conference I hadn’t planned on attending because I wasn’t gonna be on a panel. Why is this significant? Well, if I’m not on a panel, I have to pay for a pass….a $1,000 pass. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a G laying around, or stuffed in a shoe box under some old papers. On top of that, I’d have had to pay for travel and lodging. If all was said and done, it’d be a $2,000 – $2,500 trip. Couldn’t swing that. Can’t swing that. Though I’d love to have been able to. I went to this conference before and had an awesomely enriching time.
But the friend offering me a spot on the panel, which meant I could knock off 1K.
I took some time to think about the goals I’ve set for 2014 — most of which require money. I’m not talking stuff like traveling the world. I’m talking about reinvestment in self. Stuff like production equipment, attending another major event later this year, building my savings and paying off some debts. Going to this conference — even with admission taken care of — would set me back on just about all my goals. If I had hair on my head, I’d have pulled it out while thinking about this.
It took me a couple days to tell my friend I wouldn’t be able to make it. I knew from the moment she extended the invite that it wouldn’t work, but I tried (hard!) to find a way. It just wasn’t gonna happen. Not without sacrificing something else and betting against money I haven’t made.
You might call this sound decision-making, and I’d agree. But the truth is, I’ve been frustrated since sending her the “thanks, but I can’t” email. There’s something about money stopping me from pursuing one of my passions that lingers in my stomach. It’s a terrible feeling and “there’s always next year” doesn’t cut it. And though it’s been a few days, this feels like one of those moments.
I’ve decided I’m gonna do whatever I can to take the money issue off the table. I hate the idea of finances restricting my freedom and blocking my happiness. I’m certainly not at rock bottom, but I feel a change stirring. I feel like this could be a major turning point. In fact, I can see my tipping point down the road and I can’t wait to get there.
I’m not sharing this so I can rant about finances. I’m sharing because I want you to know you don’t have to wait for that moment. You don’t have to feel something you never wanna feel again to get started. Whether your goal is to be an entrepreneur, move up in the company, or get into a company, there are things you can do today. Setting goals and cutting out stuff that doesn’t move you toward them is a good starting point. If you do that, honestly, you’ll be a step ahead of me.