Have you ever wondered where your life would be if you followed your heart instead of your head? I have friends who “fly by the seat of their pants” and make decisions without thinking things through logically, but I have always been one to do a complete analysis on major decisions. I usually take a sheet paper and do a “Ben Franklin close”, writing down the pros and cons. I make my decision based upon the outcome of that exercise. It’s clear, concise and methodical. I try to leave no stone unturned and I usually never have a regret about my decision. I was that way about my career choice. I knew I wanted to work in the medical field. It was safe. It was financially rewarding, to a point. I loved my patients. Suddenly, the fall I turned 50, I found myself working way too many hours in a job I really no longer loved, with a great review, a pretty good raise (compared to what some of the others in my department received), and on a Wednesday afternoon, 5 days before Christmas, unemployed. I was devastated.
“Surround yourself with the dreams and the doers, the believers, and the thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see the greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself.” Edmunds Lee
My husband and I took a leap of faith when we decided to start a promotional products business. I had never sold a thing. Well, that’s not exactly true. I sold cookies for the girl scouts when I was young, earning a silver necklace I still have to this day. I also sold candy bars in high school. I sold so many of them that it paid for my trip to Germany, a trip my parents said we couldn’t afford. But, to go out and be a saleswoman…..I didn’t know if I could do it.
In the early days of our company, I can honestly say that I was horrible at every aspect of owning a business. I didn’t enjoy networking, my public speaking skills were sub-par, and I would sit and talk myself out of going out to prospect new clients. We had some regular accounts and I would make sure they were happy with their products, but I wasn’t actively growing my business.
Something “clicked” a few years ago when a referral I had been given 7 months earlier suddenly hired me to do their national convention. I loved making sure that every detail was perfect, all items were shipped to their hotel on time and knowing that if I failed to do my job, their convention would be a disaster. As I sat in their office a few weeks after their event, I loved hearing the review they gave me. I honestly think that it was that order that made me truly fall in love with what I do. I no longer had a patient relying on me to do my job properly, but I had clients who were just as passionate and my passion to succeed was on fire.
“The question isn’t who is going to let me, it’s who is going to stop me.” Ayn Rand
When you look at your life, are you doing what you love or are you simply going through the motions? I honestly believe that you have to love what you do. Maybe it’s time for you to step out of your comfort zone and find your passion. It’s never too late for a new career.
I have really come a long way. I am no longer a person who sits on the sidelines. I have surrounded myself with like-minded business owners who want to succeed. I sit on two boards, TSPPA (Tri-state promotional professionals association) and the Lord’s Pantry at Anna’s House. This past week was my first (but not last) Business Marketing Workshop. I’ve joined Toast Masters to work on my public speaking skills. For the past 32 months, I have published a Monday blog without missing a week. There are weeks that I don’t have a minute to sit and breathe. My life is full. And, I am grateful.
Have a blessed week!
I own a promotional products company, Gardner Promotional Solutions, where I offer over 1 million different products to meet your promotional needs. In addition, I also have a complete wedding line that includes ‘save the dates’, invitations, napkins, imprinted stemware and attendants gifts. I’d love to schedule an appointment or a phone call with you to see how I can help you with your promotional items! www.gardnerpromos.com