The only way to figure out what you want to do

It was at least a year ago when you had the inkling to quit your day job and try something different. Whether you’re doing the same job, except as a freelancer, or switching careers completely, you’re getting close to quitting time.

I first got that little itch to start my own business in 2009 (eight years ago from this writing). My son was a year old, and I had just been laid off for the first time (turned out it would happen twice more). Except I had no ideas, so I got another job.

Again in 2011, while pregnant with my daughter, I came across a book on my lunch hour, called the Firestarter Sessions. It was all about finding work that you love. The kind of work you were meant to do.

Oh—this is a thing? I don’t need to have a job? I can create work that’s perfect for me? I had no idea. I have bills to pay, kids, and a mortgage. Do you really mean I can get off this corporate ladder and build my own thing?

I dug into those worksheets like my life depended on it. I wasn’t sure what to do. I started a food and lifestyle blog. 

Five years later, still brainstorming, still pouring over the worksheets, taking online courses, building my own mastermind groups, bouncing from idea to idea, wondering what that work was that I was supposed to do, it finally hit me—I want to write. I want to write more for myself and others. I had written a book a few years prior; I wanted to write more. And I wanted to write for other people. I was writing for people in a corporate setting, but I needed more control over my time and the work I took on.

My point—keep trying different ideas. There’s insight inside every action.

Here’s a list of all the things I tried over eight years to turn into a business (some were more successful than others):

  • Food blogging
  • Cookbook writing
  • Cooking classes
  • Private cooking lessons
  • Customized meal plans based on people’s taste buds
  • Minimalism coaching
  • Accountability coaching

If I didn’t try all these things, I might not have landed on what I’m doing today. The side hustle that turned into a profitable business and replaced my corporate income might have never happened, and I’d still be commuting three hours a day and rushing around like a frazzled mom trying to keep everything together.

If you’re sitting there reading this and are thinking that you want to do something “else,” and you just don’t know what that something else is just yet, just keep looking.

Reading some self-help books and doing some workbooks can help, but there are only so many online courses and experts you can listen to.

You need to listen to the most important expert—you.

Try one thing. Do it until it doesn’t work anymore, or make tweaks and keep plugging on. Keep doing that until you find work that feels good.

Get out of your head and off the couch, and out from behind the laptop. The only way you’ll know is if you take action and give things a try. Hey, you might land on something that really lights your fire right away, or maybe it will take 30 tries. Maybe you’ll never land on one thing; you’ll land on doing a few things.

Just. Keep. Trying. 


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