Last night was the first night I slept like a baby and I’m up, refreshed, renewed, and alive in my own skin. Several posts ago, I shared my trailblazing jump from day gig back to self-employment and creativity. Yet, something happened along the way. I was covering all the bases, moving forward with promoting my businesses, while throwing in the occasional application for a ‘real’ job. I found myself in an interview, dressed in my best pin-striped superstar suit, looking like a million bucks, when I started sweating profusely as though a faucet went off on my head. As I responded to the usual mundane questions, I was simultaneously having an internal dialogue in my head, like, “What the hell am I doing here? Look at this way, it’s good practice. I’m not nervous, so why the hell am I sweating like crazy? It must be hormonal. I’m the best dressed person here. That’s pathetic. I have run organizations bigger than this. I know, but you need the dough in this economy, so shut up and put up, and act enthused. I can do this gig with my eyes closed. How long can I keep myself excited about this job? It could be fun. Who am I kidding, I’ll be screaming into my purse in the bathroom in about three weeks. But, I need this job. I hope they like me. What? etc.” On and on, the battle went on in my head. Part of me wanted it, as the steady pay and benefits would allow me to catch my breath for a minute. The other part of me was deflated at the thought of selling out, seeing all my dreams and plans flushing down the toilet again. In the end, I didn’t get a call back to the second round of interviews, which initially bummed me out–my ego was bruised.
So, when I got the call for a part-time contract gig with a non-profit, providing treatment recommendations, I immediately jumped at it. Part time would give me the best of both worlds, I rationalized. It took me a day and a half to complete all the paperwork necessary to formally apply for this gig. It took less time to get my top secret, compartmentalized information clearance with Department of Defense years ago. I called to reactivate my drug and alcohol license and found out the Board had changed some rules, and I was supposed to have been ‘renewing’ while I had been on inactive status, so my drug and alcohol license is expired. WTF? My heart sank again, but I finally took a minute to stop and be still.
What the hell was I doing? I was acting desperate. I was applying for jobs at places that I should be running. I was wasting a day and a half applying for some bullshit job I could have done out of college 18 years ago and didn’t even know what the pay would be. I was buying in to the fear and hysteria of the ‘economy,’ and I was making myself miserable.
Back on track. Bring it!
I took a step back and called my friend Sammie in Los Angeles. He’s a longtime real estate investor, who hasn’t had a ‘real job’ in probably 15 years. Sometimes, I call him to bitch-slap me back into reality. So, I’m whining around about my panic that my money will be running out in a couple of months, and how I need a real job to get me through, and, if only I can get a contract gig that will cover my mortgage and sky-high health insurance, I could be okay, and what am I going to do, and on and on. I’m really getting myself worked up here, and I’m hearing Sammie laughing on the other end of the phone. WTF? I call for your support in my meltdown and you’re laughing? He tells me in his usual, no-nonsense tone, “Maria, you could fart and make $20,000. What are you talking about?” And, you know what? After I practically pee’d myself laughing, I realized that he’s absolutely right. Just 6 big talks each year would more than replace my old salary. Just one real estate deal each month will cover my expenses. These things are not difficult to do, at least not for me. And yet, I had allowed myself to buy in to other people’s ideas and plans once again and paralyze myself with fear. Fear is the dream-killer, my friends. Any decision made out of fear is the WRONG decision.
So, thanks for the bitch-slap, Sammie. I sure as hell needed it. This week, I got busy getting organized, finally filed my taxes hanging over from 2009, got everything set for 2010, outlined a business plan for my speaking and real estate business, and rewarded myself with a good nap yesterday afternoon. I slept like a baby last night and I’m up and ready to work it this morning.
You’ll be seeing more timely updates and great content coming up. I’ll be doing video Skype interviews with some amazing ‘jumpers’ that will motivate and inspire you and give you practical tips for going the distance when the well-meaning outside observers try to sidetrack you.
The tip of the day: Continually re-evaluate your true goals, where you’re heading, whether you need to adjust the course or adjust your techniques. By all means, keep moving, keep making decisions and keep correcting course.
Ride the wave and keep moving...
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Maria M. Marinakis, Ed.M.