Upon further reflection

I need to hire someone to write my headlines. Really, it’s not my strength and it’s painful every time I have to put something in that box.

But that wasn’t really what I wanted to reflect upon. After my little guffaw from last week with Not on the High Street, I found myself thinking about it a lot this weekend. How many times do we make assumptions that are so terribly wrong? Or, more specifically, how do I make conclusions based on what I think is fact, but is actually just a thought in my head. I’ve even been trained to know that almost everything we believe to be true is in fact a made up story. And I still made that error. I’m not exaggerating. I had a story that I couldn’t draw. It was fact and not to be argued with. Turns out I can actually draw and that people can teach you to draw. Every day, we are confronted by things we think are truth and that limit us from actually taking a chance or trying something different or just being open minded. So as much as this is a concept to ponder and consider, it is just as much so an actionable item to test out. What if I thought of myself as a night person instead of a morning person? That is just a story. And believe me, that is a strong story for me. What if I didn’t judge the person with the tatoos at the grocery store today as being a certain way? What if I changed the story about people I know well? For instance, I think of my brother as being unreliable and hard to get ahold of (Krev – call me). That is my story. That is not everyone’s experience of him. Not by a long shot. So how does my story affect our relationship? I guarantee you it does.

This weekend was a lot of sitting outside at the park in the heat, so there was a lot of time for thinking. I have also been reading “Think and Grow Rich.” I’d highly recommend it. Phil and I had bought it before we left for London and had a plan to go through the book together and see what we came up with. I finally picked it up and started reading it because of my lack of employment, but realized there was a bigger picture in what the book talks about. What is it that I’m taking a stand for above and beyond anything else? In my mind, the reason for employment is to create the life you want. For me, I want to create a life where Phil and I have flexibility. That is the ultimate luxury to me. To be able to travel when you want to travel. To be able to take on a client or a job, because it calls at your heart strings. To be able to have a family and actually spend time with them. There, I said it – have a family. Many of you are gasping in shock. Some of you may already be coming up against your story of what having a family or the life you really want looks like or should look like. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that story. And I urge you to explore what your life would look like if you really gave yourself the freedom to dream and gave up those preconceived notions just for a short while. Would you have a coffee shop on Saltspring Island? Would you spend all day fishing? Would you become a CEO of a not-for-profit? Or do you actually want to be a stay at home dad?

Phil and I have been considering the prospect of creating our dream life. And, by the way, Phil’s stand is not the same as my stand. His is to create online content and information that has meaning and that allows people to live healthy lives. And I started to think about how all of this time spent looking for a job could also be used. I have worked for myself a large part of my adult life and feel pretty confident doing so. With my skills and abilities in developing businesses and Phil’s amazing technological wizardry, we make a pretty complimentary team. What if these employment set backs are really just an opportunity lurking? What if this is our chance to start something on our own? What if we generated enough income through online businesses that we could create that flexibility? Done – dream fulfilled.

So we started doing what we find to be fun – brainstorming. Yes – we sat at the park and brainstormed. Then we created a Business Model Canvas, which my dad swears by for creating a quick and dirty plan for a business. And then I created a sort of mind map for what this business would be all about. There, in the matter of a day, we had the inkling of a business. Now, for the action. Since Phil does have a day job, this falls largely on my shoulders. That is what a team does though. We give and take and support each other. It’s always shocking to me how often Phil and I are on the same page and how often we have similar thoughts at similar times. In my entrepreneurial mind, that should translate to gold bricks. And at the same time, I am still exploring the story I have about having potentially two self-employed people somewhere down the line and the insecurity of that. And the story that if you work for yourself, you have no time for anything else and you work like a dog.

And after all that letting go of the way things “should” be this weekend, I got an email today for an interview tomorrow. Isn’t life interesting?

Our Business Model Canvas at the park.

Our Business Model Canvas at the park.

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5 thoughts on “Upon further reflection

  1. Tara and Phil – you continuously and constantly exhibit (and share thank goodness) the rarest form of leadership and relationship. Honest to God authenticity. You are the rare kind of leaders who I would follow or walk beside anywhere. So would/will anyone. You model such amaxing integrity! I have a lot more to share, and I would like to do that in a Skype call with both of you. Love, Dad

  2. i would love to be your headline writer… and i can’t stop laughing because at the paper, we always critique the headlines as they sometimes get it wrong (in our opinion). We have contests on whose headline would be better. It’s not easy, as you have found to be true, yet i’m sure it’s important to you that it reflects your mood, content and compliments your storey. And talk about letting go of control, imagine not knowing what the header is until you see it resting atop your article. Yikes!

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