When I left my day job 5 years ago I had huge dreams, goals and plans. Do you know what? I nailed all of them, and more. So I've been wondering why I've spent the summer feeling foggy. I realised I've been going through one of those re-evaluating periods. It's something everyone should do from time to time.
Despite maintaining my freedom to travel, my health, independence as a wheelchair user, social life and business; I'd gone into a comfort zone. Without any new dreams and goals, I was treading water a little. Of course, I was busy with my projects (client work, Disability Horizons lifestyle magazine, Disability United campaigning website, and elearning site Disability Academy). But busy isn't always good.
Whenever I feel a little lost, I reach out to family and friends. Everyone said the same thing. I needed to meditate on what was unsettling me. Change the cyclical stressful thought processes. In doing so I realised I didn't need new ideas or projects. I needed to remember my most basic likes, strengths and values. The rest would work itself out.
In trying to be everything to everyone, I was being less effective. When you start a business it's natural to try everything. But now is the time to trim the fat and concentrate on cooking the meat. This is to start saying no when something isn't not for me, and focus on my true mission.
I've realised I really like writing. So I'm doing it every day. It's always been a strength of mine. By practicing it I'll get even better. The value of my writing is simply the fulfilment of expressing myself.
The one area I'm still not sure of is around the value to others, in a business sense. My client work varies from writing, speaking, coaching and advising on multiple accessibility and inclusion topics. The 3 flagship websites I run (mentioned above) are kicking ass creatively with huge social impact. However social funding is rare, and digital advertising is tough to sell. It's something I will crack!
All of this is to say we're on a journey. Everything I've done -- sometimes failing and sometimes succeeding -- got me here to today.
I now have unique experiences, knowledge and skills. I also have failures that made me (hopefully) wiser and more resilient. How I'll be helping others and earning enough money to live from is always a moving target. But something I somehow keep on hitting. Even despite those inevitable tired and worrying moments that come and go.
The biggest take away from my support networks advice, and now for you, is this. As long as you do things that you like, are good at, and has value (sometimes for money, sometimes just to help); I promise you will always survive and thrive. Just trust your intuition and enjoy the ride.