A sigh of recognition

If you have read my latest posts here, you’ll know that I’m enrolled in B-School, an entrepreneurship program by Marie Forleo. We’re just finishing up the first week. Believe it or not, each week of the 8-week program Marie hosts 4 “live” office hours, where people can talk to her and ask their questions.

Yesterday, I attended all four hours. Although I didn’t ask a question, I learned a lot by listening to everyone else’s. And I might add, Marie has amazing stamina. She did two hours of solid questions, took a one-hour break, and then did two more hours. I was impressed.

One young woman’s question really hit home for me. She said, “As I was working on the exercises where we write down all the things we like to do, I realized that I don’t know myself very well. I don’t really know what I like to do. This has me worried, because I feel like I can’t start a business if I don’t know myself. It scares me, actually. What do I do?”

As soon as she asked that question, I literally heard myself let out a big sigh. All the years I spent locked inside the after-effects of trauma prevented me from learning what I really like to do.

I know what my skills are, basically. And I know that I have some hobbies, like photography and knitting. But I had the same problem when I did that exercise: What do I really like to do for my work?

I ended up answering it in the best way I could, which is that I mostly like teaching. I know I’m a good writer, especially when it comes to marketing copywriting. Do I like doing it? Yes, but only for clients who really value and appreciate what I can do for them.

Where does this leave me? During the past 3 weeks, I have spent 100+ hours working through the B-School materials and trying to come up with the best entrepreneurial endeavor for myself that I possibly can. As Marie said on the phone yesterday to someone else, “At some point, you just have to choose.” That’s where I’m finding myself right now.

What she said to that young caller was really good, too. She explained to her that this whole B-School venture is a process of self-discovery, and that the more uncomfortable you feel, the more likely you are to grow and learn something about yourself. And what you choose now may not be what you end up doing forever, so as you grow and change, your business can grow and change with you.

At my age, 51, I don’t have the luxury of time to try things that won’t work. I suppose that’s why I feel so much pressure to make the right choices, and it’s why I’m in this program instead of floundering around on my own any longer. All I can do is try, try, try to listen to that inner voice that still, too often, seems so far away.

There’s that sigh again.

 

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