I was a girl scout. I was a girl scout for many years. I started as a Brownie and went all the way through to become a Cadet and then a Senior. That was in high school. The Girl Scout motto is “Be prepared”. And I have been. For many years. The thing is, I seem to make the correct decisions in the moment and then months later they turn out to be the wrong decisions. Actually, there was nothing wrong with the decisions. The problem was, when I was preparing for the correct path, my life then proceeded to go down the wrong path. Let me explain.
Decision #1: I refinanced my massively underwater mortgage (due to the financial meltdown) under the HARP 2 program. I had a good job, made a good living, and since I had already paid 5 years of my 30 year mortgage, I thought “hey, why not get a 20 year mortgage and pay this puppy off quicker”. Good decision, right? Wrong. Because 6 months later I was laid off. I would have had a lower “easier to make with no income” payment had I opted for another 30 year loan.
Decision #2: Last year I attended Podcast Movement in Chicago. I was a first timer. This was a great opportunity to network with other podcasters and get the word out about my show. Good decision, right? Ah yeah, until I realized that I forgot to bring business cards. Seriously? I forget them. DOH! I had a couple of my logo pens that I put on the business card table. And a couple of people were able to grab those really nice pens. I’m packing my business cards, my pens, and the sticky notes with my logo on it for the conference this year. And just to make sure that I remember to take them, I’ve used one of the pens and written myself a reminder on one of the sticky notes, and stuck it to my forehead. It’s hard to read it backwards in the mirror, but the note being stuck to my forehead is reminder enough. But since it’s summer here in Arizona, which means I’m sweating a little more than normal, I have to keep replacing the sticky note. It’s a good thing I had a thousand sticky pads made with my logo a couple of years back.
Decision #3: I applied for and auditioned to be a speaker with my local TEDx organization. Awesome. I’ve been trying to get speaking gigs and even though this was only an audition, it gave me the opportunity to get in front of an audience and “work my craft”. Good decision, right? Yeah, except I forgot to bring a camera to record the speech to put on my website as proof that I can speak. Eloquently. And I also forgot to ask someone, anyone, in the audience if they would hold my iPhone up and record me. Argh!!!
What does all of this mean? That I’m absent minded, that I’m not prepared, that I’m making bad decisions? Maybe. Or maybe it means that I’m human. It means that life happens and even the best of intentions, things don’t always work out. We don’t all have accountability partners, or spouses, or adult children that live nearby, to remind us of the things we may be forgetting to do.
That’s the theme I hear each week when I interview guests for my podcast which you can listen to at http://socialsidekickpodcast.com/ (shameless plug). Every guest has a story to share about why they wanted to become an entrepreneur or, as in some cases, how being an entrepreneur actually chose them. They may have been prepared, made decisions that turned out badly, or just faked it until they made it. Spoiler alert – cliché coming up: it’s the journey; it’s a marathon, not a sprint. The desire to succeed is in all of us.
As kids, teenagers or young adults, we have an idea of what we want out of life and how we plan to achieve it. I know very few people whose lives have taken an absolute straight path. Many were living their life and they had a job loss, or a health crisis, or a financial predicament. And no matter how well all of us try to “be prepared”, it doesn’t always work out in our favor.
I once saw this phrase on a calendar: “If you don’t ride the waves of change you’ll find yourself beneath them”. At times, many of us are barely treading water due to life’s tsunamis. I’m sure I’ll have more challenges before that final day when my daughter spreads my ashes in the places I’ve asked her to (but I’m not divulging where because there’s probably a law against it due to biohazard). Regardless, I’m choosing to ride those waves. I may get some water up my nose, but that’s ok because, I’m wearing my floaties.
So bring your floaties, and come join me on my journey with others in a Mastermind group so that we can brainstorm decisions together, keep everyone accountable by reminding each other of the tasks we’ve agreed to do, and celebrate all of our successes together. It’s much more fulfilling than having a sticky note stuck to your forehead.
If you’d like to know more about the Pro Mastermind groups, email me at Laurie@socialsidekickpodcast.com