Plans. Dreams. We all had them growing up. When we are younger we’re taught to believe that if we plan properly, our dreams will come true. I went to college with the intent of being a plastic surgeon. I majored in neurobiology and physiology, but in my junior year decided to throw it all away and go into fashion. Fashion was not part of the plan. Fashion was never the goal. So much for plans.
In my book, Leave Your Mark, I speak about the idea of career journey. Our journeys have twists and turns, but there is not one right path. There are many.
Last December I left my 17-career at DKNY behind me, and decided to go out on my own. Feeling bold and confident, I even wrote a post about it for Forbes called “Seven Steps to Entrepreneurship.” Being on my own was exciting. The possibilities seemed endless. It was a blank canvas, ready for any color paint I wanted to use. It was also scary. How do you know what to say yes to, how do you know what to pass on? The thing was it didn’t matter. Everything was a gut decision. I decided to pursue some creative avenues and some more traditional ones. Write a treatment for a show?Check. Start a consulting business? Check. Pick my kids up from school?Check. Go the gym at least three times a week? Yeah, not so much. But I could have. My time was my own. Entrepreneurship was amazing. Why on earth would anyone ever work for a company when they could be their own boss and build something?
Being your own boss is empowering and empowerment is a really interesting concept. What defines power anyway? Well, in my humble opinion, it’s the ability to choose what you want and make it happen when you want to. I had a dream career, but I was more than willing to let it all go to gain back my own personal power.
During my time consulting, I would keep track of all my business leads and my networking activities. I was busy, like really busy. I raced around the city and I met with new people daily. I was building my business and my new world.
But then a month ago I decided to reflect on the past 10 months. I always think it’s important to take stock, see how you’re doing, and analyze how far you have progressed. The truth was, I wasn’t impressed. Sure if I looked at my calendar, it looked good. Meetings were happening and connections were being made, but it wasn’t moving the needle. I didn’t want “it” enough. That hustle, that passion that makes people strive as entrepreneurs was totally nonexistent from my headspace. I said no to consulting jobs that any normal person who wanted a legit consulting business would have said yes to. I didn’t pitch anyone. I relied totally on people coming to me. You can’t do that and be successful. So I had to ask myself why? Why wasn’t I trying harder? Why didn’t I care? Did I want to fail?