This post DOES NOT provide you with ten tips tips to achieve peace and clarity in your life. I AM NOT a Zen Master or Buddhist Guru, nor am I qualified in any way-shape-or-form to advise on tranquility. However, I do have a story to share that may inspire and offer hope in your hectic and confusing life.
I’m not completely free from stress, but life is clearer than it once was. I‘ve Wandered Through the Startup Wilderness and discovered what I love and How I Can Help. I’m still learning and have a great deal to achieve, but my days are easier because I’ve rid myself of confusion and angst.
Let me tell you a tale, young padiwan…
Once Upon A Time In 2012…
I setup Turndog Millionaire in the summer of 2012 with hope and glee. I would tackle the world with my bare hands, and stand atop a lofty mountain singing, “I am A Champion, my frienddddsssssss.” (in a particular croaky and unsavory tone).
How naive and pitifull I was, although bless my cotton socks because I took a risk and started something – not just any old something either, but arguably the biggest something in my working life… EVER. People often talk about doing, but it usually never happens. It’s easier to dream and pretend than to do – I was very much like this.
When starting-up, I was proud of actually DOING something, but the hard work had yet to begin, and before long I become lost in the Startup Wilderness. It was a scary, stressful, and confusing time. I was a writer and a marketer and wanted to work on my own but also with people, and my head span and span and span.
By the time my birthday came in Septemeber 2012, I didn’t know whether I was coming or going. So I asked myself:
Are you doing what you want to do?
This is an important question to ask, because if I wasn’t, what’s the point? I may as well find a regular job and at least receive a monthly wage. I would be giving up, sure, but it’d be easier. I realised I was and wasn’t doing what I love: writing (love), meeting great people (love), living a life of freedom (love)… but nothing aligned (hate), which left a scruffy brand (super hate), and work hard to find (stressful).
I was doing, but not really. I was loving, but not at all. I felt like I was nearly there, but not enough to make working for myself viable, so I decided something had to change, and therefore I took a step back and considered the first few months of working for myself.
Each Day Is A Great Lesson
I’ve always been an observer, and it’s through DOING that my observation skills come forward in abundance. I was desperate to find a pattern, because I knew if I could align my writing and marketing, everything would make sense. Life would become easier. I would become a champion.
It was during a meeting with a client about social media when the first specks of epiphany clicked together. I could tell he wanted a quick solution and a campaign full of ROI. Whereas I wanted to go to the beginning and discover his businesses’ inner workings – thus create a bespoke campaign epitomizing exactly who they are.
He wanted generic success – I wanted unique awesomeness.
I compared what I was doing to how I approached fiction. You don’t simply start in the middle of a novel (which creating a social media campaign is), you develop the characters and backstory and set the scene. I was approaching EVERYTHING I did like a Story. I was Storytelling all of the time. I was a Storyteller, and would you like to know what I did? I jumped for joy because I fricking loved it!
My Passion Is:
STORYTELLING! But I don’t only approach it in the form of Fiction, I like to write Non-Fiction, too, and Blog and write Articles and Interview people via Skype. It doesn’t reside in text, either, but through Video and Images and anything at all. That’s when the inception of Nomadic Storytelling came about. I realised my Storytelling had no home, only the right home for that particular Story.
Again, I fricking fell in love
I knew I could combine my passion (Storytelling) with my Background and Education (an MA in Marketing & Advertising and several years as a Marketing Manager). I could also seamlessly integrate my writing (Fiction & Non-Fiction) and begin Speaking (something to develop), and continue Consulting (working with inspiring minds) all under the same umbrella.
I’d found alignment in my world, and peace rumbled forward like the huge rolling rock in India Jones. ‘Oh relaxing shoulders, how I missed you,’ I said, rubbing my neck and not feeling a bundle of knots for the first time in forever.
Synergy… Glorious, sunny, energetic synergy surrounded me, and all I had to do was connect the dots and realign my positioning, which, was a task in itself, but the promised land sat neatly in front of me, tickling and playing with the edges of my fingertips.
You Can Do This Too
You may be wandering in the startup wilderness right now, or if you’re thinking about setting-up on your own, you’ll no doubt be lost in its maze soon enough. It’s a scary time, but it also provides many lessons – hidden lessons and obvious lessons – if you take a step back and ask yourself:
Am I doing what I want to do?
There’s always alignment and synergy in waiting, but you have to get lost a little first. I did, and so can you.
Turndog – @turndog_million