When I first started in the financial services industry a friend told me “this is not your talent”. Those words have stuck with me ever since but at the time when he told me this, the title of “Financial Advisor” filled me my ego with pride to the extent that I paid no attention to those words and have suppressed it ever since. At least until now. Those words have come back into my awareness and I am paying a lot more attention to them now. I have come to the conclusion that he was, in fact, right 10 years ago when he told me this. It is not my talent.
I could start a journey of regretting the fact that I have wasted ten years of my life trying to suppress this fact but realise that this will do me no good whatsoever. I have learned a lot in this time (mostly the hard way) and I have finally begun to accept myself for who I am without a fancy job title to validate my own worth in this world. Whilst the need for approval still rears its ugly head from time to time, it is losing its power. I still very much shy away from conflict which I suspect is because conflict poses a potential risk of disapproval which means I still have more work to do.
As for work, I have made the decision that it’s time for a complete change from the dog eat dog world I am in now. I don’t have that attitude of being hungry for the business (a typical management phrase) nor do I want to develop that attitude in the corporate context. The job title means nothing to me anymore and I want a job in which the reward evenly matches the level of responsibility which is not the case at the moment. I want a job where I can switch off when I go home with enough energy left over to focus on finding a way to support myself through writing, art and web design (and whatever else I can add to this list). I know this will take time and this is fine. I have woken up to the fact that there are no “get rich quick” schemes around, unless of course you win the lottery. It is not even riches I am chasing. I just want enough to support myself without having to face the slavery of 9-5.
I know I have a lot to learn which is fine too. I like learning and now that I have let go of the urgency of getting to the finishing line, I can take my time with it while enjoying the process.
I often day dream of a life in which I am supporting myself through working from home doing something that feels joyful and worthwhile and at the same time provides value to others.
I dream of a nice little house by the sea where I can write away while looking at the ocean. I suspect that this kind of view could easily serve as a distraction but I am willing to take that risk.
I have noticed how my views on life have changed, specifically in recent years. I remember a time when material possessions (the big house, flashy cars, all the latest gadgets etc) and social status were goals I dreamed of achieving, hoping that one day it would all become a reality. Now I am more interested in a life where I have the freedom to work on my terms and according to my values and beliefs. I realise that this level of freedom has a price tag that at this point I don’t have the financial resources to acquire. However, this doesn’t stop my desire to work towards it. I also realise that I am still very much depending on employed work and i am sure that once I find a job without the level of pressure I am currently experiencing, I will have more energy left over to be able to work towards this dream.
I am also starting to see the benefits of a more frugal lifestyle where less is more. I have stopped accumulating stuff since I moved back to Oxford and now and again I still feel the need to have a clear out after which I always feel more relaxed and at peace with my surroundings.
It’s funny just how quickly I have grown to love the act of writing. Or has this love for writing always been there? Did I suppress it in my quest to fit in with society? I remember when I was around 6 or 7. I would spend hours in my room pretending I was writing my own newspaper. This was before computers became part of our everyday lives, so I was hacking away on an old typewriter I had borrowed from my Gran. I loved the sound of it and loved watching the words appearing on the paper. It didn’t matter if I was copying the words from an actual newspaper or if I was making it up myself. It was the process and the act of doing it that brought me joy and this is very much the case today. Now I am writing on a laptop but I still enjoy the sound of the keys on the keyboard and seeing the words appear on the screen. Whether or not I suppressed the love for writing for so long is of no importance anymore. I have reconnected with it and it makes me feel good.
Had someone told me 5 or 6 years ago that I would spend the majority of my spare time writing I would not have believed it. That said I did spend a great deal of time creating music which gave me a huge sense of enjoyment and I could happily spend hours doing it regardless of the end result. I gave up on the dream of becoming a musician when I realised that I would never have the courage to actually perform in front of anybody and in truth, I never had the desire to perform anyway. It is the creative process that I really enjoy and it’s the same with writing. It is the actual act of doing it that provides the enjoyment.
There’s still a practical/logical part of me that keeps telling me not to waste my time thinking and dreaming that some day it may lead to more than just a re-discovered passion or hobby. I try my best not to pay attention to this voice and I know he is the part of me that fears change. I am also beginning to understand that he is the one often causing self doubt with the question of how.
I have not got the answers to all of the “hows” but I do know some of the basics required to at least make a start.
- Conceptually I know how affiliate stuff works and whilst I have yet to fully grasp this, I think this may have a big part to play, at least to begin with.
- I know I have the ability to write in a way people can relate to, at least to some extent
- I am good at coming up with ideas but need to learn to follow through on these and not give up at the first hurdle
- I can design a website from scratch and make it look good. (Well! At least I think so.)
I still have a lot to learn in term of turning a website/blog into a format from which I can generate enough to support myself and I know this will be a journey of work and effort on my part. However, I am beginning to question whether or not I am using a tunnel vision approach in that income can come from a multitude of avenues and does not have to be restricted to just a blog or site. Maybe this is the kind of mindset one develops after too much time in employed work!
I am not expecting anything to happen overnight and I am going to take it slowly.
The point is that writing really is something that, in a lot of ways, have saved me from complete insanity. Even as I am writing this now do I feel more peaceful and grounded than before I started. My shoulders and my neck is aching a bit from having sat in the same position for the past hour as I have been writing this and yet I am still going. Also, I have not noticed the passing of the last hour nor have I felt distracted. To be so engrossed in something that time and space is of no importance, to me, is just pure joy. This is why I want to escape from the prison of 9-5. This is what makes me smile and what makes my heart sing. This is my why.
If you are still with me…Thank you for listening