I have to give a little bit of my back story where my career choices are concerned. It’s important to take a look at what drives us to make the decisions that we make in our career paths. My background is in the restaurant industry. I spent 15 years waiting, tending, and managing restaurants. It was a marriage of convenience; it fit my life very well.
There came a time that I decided I wanted a career and I knew I wanted to help people, so I followed my heart. I went to school and studied to become a Counselor.
I was at the top of my class; my advisor consistently praised my style and the depth of the clinical issues that I would bring to the classroom. It was as if I was meant to do this work. I got a job while I was finishing my degree. I worked in a dual diagnosis, residential program and I loved it. The biggest issue with this job was that I couldn’t make ends meet on the salary. I never considered money when I chose this line of work. Thankfully, I had a lot of grants and scholarships, so I left school with very little debt; I just couldn’t pay the bills. I got a second job doing overnights on the weekends just to stay afloat. Consequently, my Saturday and Sunday mornings were spent sleeping with my children sitting with me in the bed watching movies. I tried not to let it affect them too much, but they certainly remember those days.
This wasn’t working. I was so tired all of the time, my children were paying the price too, and I needed to make a change. I came up with a plan to move out of my apartment, and with some support, I was able to quit my job and go back to school. I had a child with some medical issues, so I took a leave of absence to deal with her health, and I used the opportunity to go to school. I decided to go into the medical field. I learned that medical coders can and usually do work from home and that the money was better than what I had coming in previously. Working in this area of the medical field would allow me to stay home with my daughter and care for her while earning a reasonable living. It seemed like a win-win. I followed my heart before and that left me broke and exhausted.
Now I was following the money.
I went to school, did very well, and graduated at the top of my class. I went to a somewhat questionable school to study and I left there with debt and they didn’t find me a job as they had promised. I began applying for jobs and all of the companies were looking for experience. It didn’t occur to me that in order to work at home, you had to know what you’re doing. I applied for so many jobs and nothing happened. I was disappointed to say the least. I had a plan and the universe wasn’t exactly playing according to my ideas. I decided to go to a temp agency. I had nothing to lose, I was out of my mind, and I needed to work. I was really upset about my current situation. I felt that I was working hard, trying to do the right thing, and I couldn’t make any headway.
I went to the agency, submitted my resume, and I got a position with a company that handled disability claims. It was a two month position and my job was to receive medical records and attach them to the cases. It was easy; mindless, actually. I liked the company. They had Panera breakfast every Friday, and sometimes during the week, they would wheel a cart around with candy for everyone. It was nice. After 4 weeks, they ended the project. We had done such a good job that the job ended early. I was devastated. I tried to get a permanent position, but I wasn’t hired. The money that I was making there was a high wage, but it was a high pressure position, and although I didn’t want to be unemployed, I also didn’t feel that I was right for a high pressure job. They had weekly performance huddles where management would tell you where you need to improve. I was all set with that but disappointed nonetheless.
I got a job at a hospice and I worked there for six years. For the past two years I have worked at a hospital. All of the above mentioned positions were obtained with my ego and my will firmly in place. I consistently made plans, had to adjust my plans when the world didn’t agree or submit to my ideas about the way things should go. I never consulted with God when I made any of the above plans. I never prayed or meditated and asked for guidance. I struggled and fought every step of the way, and the end results of all of my ideas and plans showed it. I accrued debt and nothing ever came into fruition according to my vision.
Over the last few years, I have been actively working on improving my spiritual condition. After another failed marriage I realized, finally, that my ideas aren’t all that bright. When I try to do anything in this life without the guidance of God, my Higher Power, the Great Spirit, the Universe, or whatever you want to call it, I fail miserably. I can’t make a good decision to save my life. But when I ask for guidance or simply just remain open to the ideas that I am given, my results are exactly the opposite. God opens doors that I don’t even see.
Now, I didn’t mention before that my dream has always been to be a writer. I was briefly a communications major but once again, I came up with other ideas. So about a year ago, I kept having the idea to make YouTube videos. I kept having these thoughts about making these videos. The thoughts would come, I would think for a second about it and what I would possibly make these videos about, and then after entertaining a fantasy for a half of a second, I would push it out of my head and say to myself, “Forget that, who am I? Who would watch? What would I talk about?”
So, essentially, I would rule myself out almost immediately after the thought came to me. The thing is, the thoughts kept coming. I continued to work on my spiritual condition through meditation and through truly looking at myself and my defects and issues and actively changing. I was getting better, I was gaining more clarity, and the creativity was flowing like never before.
I kept thinking about YouTube and one day I decided, no I didn’t decide, I was driven. I mean, there was a force inside of me that seemed to propel me forward to do this. I made my first video while sitting on my bed with an iPhone. The video was about my low self-esteem; it was in the propulsion of the force inside that it was decided what the topic would be. What I did was just hit the record button. I didn’t really have a plan about what to talk about, I just started talking. It was raw and vulnerable, unfiltered and completely amateur. It was very well received. My first video got 194 views. I shared it on Facebook and Instagram, I created a channel on YouTube, and with hashtags and reposts, I began to advertise my product. 194 views. So many comments. I put it all out there, so to speak, and the people loved it. I was pleasantly surprised and I thought, maybe I could really do this. It’s so creative and open and I wanted to expose the negative voice that lives inside me to fight it and also to help others to realize and understand that the voice and the thoughts are complete lies. For many years, I didn’t know; now that I know, I want to help others to separate themselves from the negativity of the mind. I knew that I had to keep going.
My Instagram following was weak, so I started to work on it. I started to follow relevant profiles, people that were putting positivity out there in the world and I started to engage with them too. I never used Instagram very much. I had about 200 followers and I hardly ever posted anything there. I was more often on Facebook but I didn’t understand anything about how it all worked. So I started to study social media and how to make it work in my favor to get people to watch my videos. I began posting content that was less family oriented (my family) and more exposing the lies in my head. I was giving my lessons to the world on several different platforms. I continued to make videos and I started a blog. I got myself a free website and began writing. Now I had another platform and another form of media to share.
While all of this is going on, Instagram and Facebook know what I’m up to and begin directing content toward me that is all about how to grow on social media, all sorts of free master classes, everyone giving away freebies for your email address. I was learning so much at no cost to myself. I began taking all of the free master classes that I thought could be helpful to me in my pursuit of growing my business. I would spend 45 minutes or an hour listening and taking notes. If I came away from a class with even one idea that I could use, I called it a successful hour on the journey to monetizing my gifts. I have downloaded many freebies. Others use these as a means to gather email addresses, but most of the time they also contain some helpful tidbit that I can use. I am nothing but an opportunist these days. I am looking for opportunities to learn and grow. I am working on having an extremely open mind so that I don’t automatically discount any ideas just because on the surface they might appear to be unsound.
Needless to say, my business is growing. I have not made the transition from creating content to getting paid for my content, but it’s coming. I have grown from the ideas that I was immediately discounting, to making that first video, and now I have a YouTube channel, TikTok with videos that have been viewed nearly 400 times, to Instagram where one of my reels has hit nearly 2500 views. My website is getting more hits now than ever before and this is my first attempt at a guest blog. Last night I entered a metatag on my website for Google verification. I had never heard of this before, but the more that I keep working at this, the more I learn, and whenever something new is put in my path such as the metatag, I am diving in. I am no longer letting the voice dictate my life before I even attempt anything. I have finally found it within myself to step out of my own way and follow the guidance that has been inside all along but was drowned out by my negative mind. It’s working.
Meditation should be a daily practice for everyone but especially anyone coming up in today’s world as an entrepreneur or in any capacity in business. Do not give everything to your intellect but also follow that small voice inside, the one that sometimes tells you to do things that you may believe are absolutely impossible because that is the voice of reason, that is the voice of a beautiful future, that is the voice of your dreams. Don’t let your fear of failure get in your way and remember, dreams do come true.