growing & kicking :: my own story

kick the door down project

door 212
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!

my story

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.

find more posts on growth right here on scoutie girl and on crafting an mba.

8 thoughts on “growing & kicking :: my own story

  1. It’s like Scoutie Girl has been tapped into my soul, lately, posting things I need to be reading. “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” Talk about encouraging, and validating!

  2. This was such a cool post, and I can definitely understand what you mean. I too had to figure out how to move on from what people told me I *could* do, to what I knew I *wanted* to do. And it was actually really hard.

    I can totally understand where you are coming from, and it is really cool to read your story. A huge congratulations for pushing beyond… and i hope you keep on doing it! : )

  3. you are awesome! and we should be friends! me: virgo. also: minored in religion. and: writer. not to mention: maker of things. plus: like to help others find success with their passions.

    I just found your little piece of the internet and am very intrigued ~ I like your style!

  4. love your story Tara! sometimes all we have is an undeniable instinct, which, when paired with brains & creativity, can get you where you need to go. and when you get there and look back over your shoulder, you can see it was there all along. thank goodness our paths intersected…it was the very best for both of us! still fricks me out!!!

  5. I can relate completely. I left my job teaching, you know the job everyone says is safe even in a bad economy. Well teachers haven’t received raises in 3 years they were also forced to teach an extra class period each day to reduce cutting pay. Under paid and now they work harder for less pay. I found the door at the end of last school year and slammed it shut. Where one door shuts another one opens.

    Congratulations on finding a new door.

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