If I had a dollar for every time I was asked what I was doing before I started CopingwithJane, I could buy a small island! Well not really, but I do get asked the question a lot.
My answer is usually along the lines of “I had a senior management job in business development”…. zzzzz… *yawn*. My response is so boring that it almost puts me to sleep when I hear myself saying it.
I should really work on my answer to this question, because the answer I give doesn’t tell the truth at all, which is that I’ve actually had a varied career that has involved a lot of trying different things to work out what my gifts are, and how to best use them.
The reality is that in the space of twenty years, I’ve worked in roles as diverse as a fashion stylist, to event organiser to investment banker. And you know what? I use every single bit of my past experience in my current business.
I had no idea that this would be the case. And I can tell you that whatever YOU might be doing now – whatever it is, it is not a waste either. Nuh-uh…
I could write more about this – like how the cold calling experience I received while I was a real estate agent, helped me to have the courage to approach big names to be contributors on my blog when I first started out. Or, how my styling experience helps me with brand development. Or even how some of my biggest clients were referred by my former corporate clients.
Like I said, I’ve brought every single bit of my experience to what I do now, which is why I can tell you that when you find your thing, your sweet spot, you can really hit your stride and thrive relatively quickly because of your past experience. Nothing is wasted…ever.
Of course if you’re anything like me you want success yesterday. You see other people doing what you want to do and you get a bad case of “comparisionitise”.
Women tend to do this often and I speak from my own experience. The thing is though, you might see the glory and not the story. And you might be comparing your beginning or middle with someone’s end. It’s easy not to see the truth or forget the journey that they may have been on.
You know what business I almost had? A dating website! That’s right and it wasn’t just an ordinary dating site either…
At the time I was dating a younger man – not because I intentionally sort him out, but because it just happened. So I thought it would be a great idea to start a dating website for men who wanted to date classy and sophisticated older women.
I even went as far as to fly to Europe to do a photoshoot for my dating website, and to attend a dating industry conference in Paris. For a laugh, here are some of the photos from the shoot which was done on the rooftop of a hotel in Barcelona.
A week after doing the photoshoot I found out I was three months pregnant (yes I was pregnant in those photos!). Then shortly after that I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.
Consequently the dating website idea was canned and the rest they say is history.
There are many different roads to success and often there are dead ends along the way. Things change or sometimes don’t work out. This is normal for everyone. It’s how you deal with it that matters.
You might have set a course you were sure was the right one, but now you’re lost or maybe you’ve found yourself in stormy waters. The good news is you can just set your sails in a different direction and be off on your merry way. It really is as simple as that.
So no more feeling inadequate Jane.
And a lot more of feeling like the obstacle is only temporary.
Did you have a “starter” business?
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