door 212 by aunt owwee
last week, i challenged you to write your story of kicking down a door to success in your own life. when did you make the decision to kick ass, break down barriers, and start making dreams come true? you’ve shared some phenomenal stories, which i’ll be compiling into a free digital zine to inspire women, girls, and indie biz owners of all ilks. there’s still time to contribute, just leave your link in the mister linky at the end of the post!
before i became a mom & full-time blogger, i was a retail slave. well, more like an indentured servant. the kind that gets paid less than what they need to live on their own, told they can leave when their debt is paid, and end up drowning in a pool of self-loathing.
as you may know, my degree is in religion, not an in-demand field. i had dreams of becoming a professor – i bowed out of grad school at the last minute – or managing a non-profit. i wanted to learn, educate, and change the world. instead, i served coffee and sold books. it was a great job, as retail jobs go, but it was far from lucrative and completely draining. i actually managed the store where i worked and when my general manager left his position, i assumed i’d be filling his job as i had been groomed and trained to do.
nevermind that i was 8 months pregnant.
by the time i was interviewed, i was 4 days from my last day before maternity leave. the interview went exceptionally well and i thought things were moving along appropriately. about a week later, i found out from a coworker that they were doing 2nd interviews (i had not been called) and that later they gave the position to a woman with less experience. first i was crushed – that lasted about 10 minutes – then i was angry – that lasted about 3 days.
then i got the hell over it and decided it was a blessing.
why was i putting so much personal energy in to a job that would pay me less than i was worth, force me to work long hours away from my new baby, and ultimately get me no further on the path to where i really wanted to be in life?
i sat at the dining room table and wrote down all my skills. wrote down my passions. wrote down who i’d like to work for and who might hire me. but ultimately, i knew i could do this for myself.
that was the first door.
the second door
the second door came later, after i had been working at blogging and building a business for 6 months. jan offered me the opportunity to acquire scoutie girl and i took it. success was by no means a sure thing on paper, but i looked at the rickety door in front of me and gave it a roundhouse style kick. i don’t let a little uncertainty stand in my way.
approaching a year later, i’m more successful than i could have imagined. this blog has grown by leaps and bounds (thank you!) and i have the opportunity to do more with this online life (and offline!) than i could have dreamed of. each day, i try to make new opportunities for myself, keeping reinvention at the top of my business plan. i’m blessed to have found a place where i can do what i love and find more about what i love every day. thank you for helping me do that.
and thank you for being on the other side of my door, welcoming me with open arms!
what to do when you can’t find the door
in my story, i decided to leave the corporate world behind but i did so without knowing where the next door was to kick down. while the mother in me knew it was best, the go-getter over-achiever virgo in me was not at all happy with this decision. goshdarnnit – why would i want to start over again when i had propelled myself so quickly at my old job? where can i focus my energy that it will result in real growth again?
instead of using the door metaphor, paul overton – dudecraft – recently wrote about “rebooting” on make & meaning. rebooting (or getting up off the comfy couch to close an open door) comes when something deep inside you has changed or is imbalanced. this is a phenomenal way to identify where the barriers are in your life that are holding you back from awesome. he says:
Rebooting is different than quitting. Quitting may be involved, but the impetus to reboot comes from somewhere deeper than fear or resentment or boredom. It comes from the center of who I am, from the little voice that sometimes quietly guides me and sometimes screams directions at me like a drill sergeant in boot camp
even though my spirit had been broken by my old job long before i quit, had i not been forced to close that door behind me, it would have taken me much longer to find the other door. i am often faced with this scenario, i leave a door open to let in the breeze waaaaaay past spring and summer, til the leaves change colors and the first flurries of late fall begin. closing a door is often as difficult as finding the next one to kick down.
for me, finding the door can be as simple as identifying an area of my life that just isn’t working anymore. an area which holds no passion – only determination. it also often focuses on what other people want and not what i want. maybe for you it’s dropping some of the i-have-tos and creating more i-want-tos, i myself am not very good with i-have-tos. kicking down my next door will probably involve examining & reevaluating parts of my business or my biz/life balance that have started working against me instead of working for me.
i’ll let you know when i find that door. trust me, it won’t be around long.