Are You Ready to Work from Home?

Wendy over at eMoms at Home has a wonderful post entitled 10 Signs that You are Ready to Start a Home Based Business. She highlights one of the many joys of being a work at home parent:

It’s days like today that I am MOST happy, thrilled and excited about the fact that I decided to run my own home-based business again. It’s been years since I was able to go to my kids’ Halloween parade at school. And I’m so excited for the rest of the holidays throughout the end of the year – I haven’t been able to bake cookies, do early Christmas shopping, or host Thanksgiving in years as well.

info-guyShe goes on to outline the 10 signs, including “You have a dream that has become an obsession,” and one of my favorites “You are getting little hints from the universe that it is time to put up or shut up.”

There comes a point where you just can’t deny it anymore. You’ve reached a stage where you are willing to do what it takes to make a go at living your dream. When you get there, it’s amazing how things seem to fall into place. You’ll know at a gut level if what you’re doing, or about to do, is in line with your dreams and values. You’ll also start noticing how opportunities start to flood in.

Though following your passion is hard work, it’s not hard. That may seem like a paradox, but it really isn’t. Going to bed exhausted at the end of the day, but wonderfully fulfilled and proud of what you’re accomplishing, is entirely different then just going to bed exhausted.

Are you ready…?

Why Settle for Just One Path?

work-wheelA common struggle for some folks, when it comes to discovering their passion, is their seemingly lack of focus. There have been so many people who I have talked with, that struggle to define a single passion to pursue. Or they have an interest in one area, and suddenly lose that interest and want to take up something else. There can be a kind of jealousy of people who have a singular mission, something they’ve wanted to pursue their entire lives.

Chris Cree over at SuccessCREEations brought up this really great point in his comment on Friday’s post, and in his follow-up post on his site:

The part that I’m struggling with is the whole part about where my passion really lies. That may sound pretty dumb to most of you. But the truth is I am good at a bunch of different things. I enjoy a variety of stuff. And I tend to get passionate about things for relatively short bursts of time before I move onto the next thing.

You might begin to question whether you’ll ever find that “passion,” that one single “thing” that you want to do with your life. Chances are, if you have this type of personality that you won’t. That may seem a little harsh or disconcerting, but it’s actually quite liberating. I know, because I’m that type.

For the Love of Scanning – The Serial Enthusiast

Called Scanners, Renaissance Souls, or Serial Enthusiasts – among other fancy labels – it beats being called scattered, flaky, unfocused, or hyperactive. When someone thinks differently, people like to slap a nice label on them, and maybe even medicate them :). But some of the most successful entrepreneurs have this type of personality. It used to drive me crazy that I couldn’t just pick one thing and run with it. Now, I’m glad I didn’t.

Barbara Sher defines a Scanner in her book Refuse to Choose! as “Someone fascinated by so many areas they can’t settle for just one.” Margaret Lobenstine’s book The Renaissance Soul and related Website provides a wealth of information on the subject. In addition to her book, she offers quizzes, workshops, and articles that cover “…ways to understand and design your life that don’t require you to choose one part of yourself, one interest, one passion over all others.

Les Orchard calls himself a Serial Enthusiast and Anne Zelenka concurs:

I, too, am a serial enthusiast

Serial enthusiasts, also known as foxes, aren’t fully appreciated in our culture. We like hedgehogs, a.k.a. experts, better; in fact, we want to be them. No one has ever written a blog post titled “How to Be a Dilettante” (I checked). And yet, what would the world do without us? Some of the most interesting thinkers today – Malcom Gladwell, Steven Levitt, and Virginia Postrel, for example – are more fox than hedgehog. They draw on broad knowledge of many subjects to get at underlying patterns of meaning.

I can’t think of a more interesting and exciting group of people to be similar to.

How to Be a Dilettante – Embracing Your Enthusiasm

So where do you go from here? First, stop beating yourself up and embrace the fact that you have the amazing talent and intelligence to be able to tackle a bunch of subjects. How boring would it be if we all just did one thing our entire lives? Instead of struggling, use the resources available to capitalize on your talent (yes, talent, not liability) for learning and mastering a variety of things. Maybe move from serial enthusiast to serial entrepreneur. Or be known as the writer that can provide in-depth coverage on any subject needed. Choose multiple niches that interest you, and provide something of value that you feel is missing from what’s currently available.

The world is your oyster – why settle for just one pearl?

What Are You Working For?

Rosa Say has a wonderful post over at lifehack.org entitled Why Work?:

Imagine something with me for a moment. You are unbelievably wealthy and debt-free. You don’t have to work for the income it brings you, but still, you do work. Because you aren’t concerned with the amount of your paycheck, you are able to choose the work you want to do for the pure joy and pleasure of it. What would you choose? What would you do?

reader-guyThis type of exercise is a great way to get a handle on where you are, what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and what you’d like to be doing. So many of us wait for some future time and circumstance to choose to do our ideal work. Unfortunately for most of those waiting for the perfect time to take the plunge, that time never comes.

We all have a choice, whether we believe it or not. There are no wrong answers, and no one to answer to but yourself.

Take some time over the weekend and ponder Rosa’s questions. Think about the type of work you’d choose to do if there were no other concerns. If you didn’t have to work, how would you spend your time and contribute to the world. The answers to those questions, will tell you a lot about yourself, and what you might be missing.

Looking for Signs in All the Right Places

If that is OK, please give me absolutely no sign. OK, deal. In gratitude, I present you this offering of cookies and milk. If you want me to eat them for you, give me no sign. Thy will be done.” – Homer Simpson

pondering-guyI am always in awe at how the universe works. If you are looking for a sign, you’ll find it. That’s just the way things work. Call it coincidence, happy accidents, synchronicity, or whatever – it doesn’t really matter. The point is that when you are focused on finding an answer, things will start pointing the way.

I have consistently seen the power of synchronicity. You don’t have to be spiritual or even spiritual-leaning to grasp it. Whether you view it as a sign from God, the Universe, your Higher Self, or a psychological connecting of patterns to manifest your subconscious desires, it just works.

I’m not big on the “how,” in most things I do. Some things I want to know all the answers about, but on most, not so much. When you are looking to start a business, or follow your dream, there are much more important questions than how. What, when, and why, come to mind. Wasting time on the how just breeds indecision. The how will come, once you know the answers to the other questions.

Which Brings Us Back To Synchronicity…

I know, this may sound all weird and New-Agey to you. That’s fine, I’ll give you that. I don’t expect you to take my word for it – actually I severely hope you don’t. You should never take anyone’s word for anything. Try it yourself and see if it works for you.

Get some clarity on what it is you want to know, such as:

  • What do I want to do with my life?
  • How can I make a living from something I love to do?
  • How can I best be of service to others?
  • How can I connect with my kids?
  • Arrested Development was canceled and The Simple Life was renewed? Come on! (Okay that’s not really a question.)

The goal is to have a very clear idea of what you are looking for (and I really would like to know about that last one). Then just ask. Ask it out loud, to yourself, or write it down.

Then watch for the answer. Listen for an inner voice or wait for a gut feeling. It may be an obvious thing, or it may be subtle. The key is to be consciously aware of looking for your answer, and being open to accept it. It works. I’ve seen it happen consistently in my own life and in the lives of lots of others.

Ultimately it’s about getting clear on what you want, and looking for input and pointers that help gain that clarity. You don’t have to have any lofty beliefs in order to gain direction.

You believe in you don’t you? Isn’t that enough…?

Are You Living for the Weekend?

Weekends are a bit like rainbows; they look good from a distance but disappear when you get up close to them.” – John Shirley

rainbowThis week, I saw one of the coolest things while out walking the dog. There was a light fog all around, and the sun shining through created a small, full rainbow. It looked so close, like it was sitting in the open field near where we were walking. I decided to get closer, and as I did, it began to fade. As I reached the point were it appeared to be located, it was completely gone. It was one of those weird, but fun, existential experiences that happen sometimes.

Things always look better from far away, and sometimes may not even exist once we reach them. John Shirley’s quote about the weekend is about the most accurate description I’ve ever heard. I know so many people whose number one goal is to make it through the week of a crappy job, just to get to the weekend. “Everybody’s working for the weekend,” so says Loverboy. That song is still played to death on Fridays.

Now you owe it to yourself. You’ve worked hard all week at a job you hate, and now you plan to go out and celebrate 2 days of freedom. One of the all time masters of comedy – Bill Cosby – captured this ritual better than anyone:

Cosby: Now you’ve got to go. So you come into the bathroom, close the door; now, don’t forget: you owe this to yourself. You’ve worked hard all week. It’s come to this:

[Kneels beside the chair and pretends to lift the lid on the john, then starts moaning]

Cosby: “Ahh, Jesus… Oh, God… If You get me out of this, I’ll never drink again as long as I live…”

[groans again]

Cosby: Now you are ready to put your face in a place that was never built for your face.

How about taking a different approach to the weekend? How about using it to plan and implement your liberation? Take your free time to create a venture that will guarantee your freedom and success. Use the weekend to build a business, and then, you will have real freedom.

The goal is to make it so the weekend isn’t something you struggle all week to get to, but just another couple of days along the journey of success – a time to be savored and enjoyed. Because eventually we will all get to our rainbow’s end, and the question to ask yourself is – what will you find when you get there?

Have a great weekend, everyone…