I have been working on manifesting my Dream Career for 17 years now, since I was 28 years old and read: "Do What You Love The Money Will Follow" and "Creating Money" and "Think and Grow Rich". My biggest challenge is patience and knowing when its time to give up and get another dream or keep waiting. An equal challenge, having a desire for more than one dream. So let's look at my timeline and dream seeking and see if you can help me out as to what to do. I will do the same for you if you post here or email me your story.
1. 1993-1996: after soul searching and reading the above books, and asking the question over and over again: "If I could have anything I wanted, do anything, live anywhere, be successful what would it be?" I decided I wanted to teach and travel. So I applied to Ph.D. programs (had always wanted to get my Ph.D. and become a professor, my Masters in Psychology was just a pit stop.) Very quickly I got accepted at California Institute of Integral Studies in SF in Women Spirituality: WSD/Ph.D. Perfect.
I began the external degree program (I went to SF once a month for a weekend class) and loved it initially. But I was also supporting myself with my contract work as a Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant for Worker Compensation Claimants and Insurance Companies (this was what I was doing before and really had grown to dislike the work). I also moved to KC from Wichita. Within a year, I realized I couldn't manage everything: the study load was enormous because I was deficient in lots of areas, costly to fly back and forth and pay for it all and having a hard time keeping enough business coming in to support myself. Something had to go. It was the Ph.D. program. Very sad but didn't know what else to do.
2. 1996-1998: I still knew I wanted to teach and help people and wanted to help with others with Following Their Dreams so I started my business Knight Vision Career Counseling and Follow Your Dream Workshops. I still was supporting myself with the Voc. Rehab Contract Work. I then moved back to Wichita for personal reasons. After trying to do Knight Vision and work part time jobs (Kinkos, Harry's Bar & Grill), I had to make a change I just wasn't making enough money to support myself. I was crushed! It is so hard to believe in "Do What You Love the Money Will Follow" and be teaching it, but not be able to make it happen in your own life...yawzaa! So I got a full time job at New Horizon's Computer Learning Center as an Account Executive (paid the most $ with the most interesting service for company and a job).
3. 1998-2000: I thought I was going to do the New Horizons job and keep doing my Follow Your Dreams workshops and counseling, but I found I was too tired from the day job to keep that going, plus I felt like a fraud in the Follow Your Dreams genre. After a year or so, even though I was doing very well at New Horizons, I couldn't stand working in a cubicle and making calls all day and a friend of mine wanted to move to KC and so did I. Not knowing what I was going to do to support myself next, I took a leap quit the NH job and moved to KC and started looking for work. I got brought on with National Seminars as a Contract Trainer and Professional Speaker.
4. 2000-2008: I was an immediate success and a natural at this position. I was delivering programs on Creativity: Creative Leadership, Creative Marketing, Creative Training, Business Speaking Skills, Layout and Design Skills (while I was at Kinkos and New Horizons, I learned all the Adobe Graphics Programs) I loved the training and entertaining and the traveling. I got to go everywhere in the US. I have been to every state in the US at least once. I was also encouraged at that time by friends and colleagues to market and book my own speaking & training business - Shenanigans: Conform to Creativity: Play at Work was born. I was getting booked once a month which was great, but not good enough to just do that. Even though I loved training and traveling with National Seminars, I didn't like the high pressure selling of books/audio at the back of the room (we had to sell a certain amount or we would not be booked) and the travel after 5 years, a different city and hotel room every night, got tiring - I was wearing down. I spent a lot of money and time trying to market Shenanigans then Franny Knight, Inc. so I could travel less and not do the pressure book sales, but I just couldn't get it off the ground (I hear this a lot from other speaker-trainer colleagues of mine).
5. 2008-2010: I got married to my husband in 2009, was burned out on the travel and not sure how to make my own business go and I wanted to get a dog and be at home with my husband, maybe grow a garden, reduce my carbon footprint. My husband suggested I become a Realtor - he was doing this part-time as a retirement vehicle for himself and thought it was a perfect career for me with my personality, sales skills, desire for freedom and flexibility and to make good money. At first I was resistant (I had never ever thought about being a Realtor. Not on my radar at all!) I became interested in it when I learned about Eco Realtors - Green & Sustainability Homes. Now, that, I could sink my teeth into, but still not the same passion and dream of being a Teacher, Trainer, Speaker, Counselor. But I just was too burned out on the travel, and the trying to market my speaking-training business so I took the leap and got my Realtor license.
For two years I have been slowly building as a Realtor specializing in Eco Realtor activities, but am no where near being able to support myself and realize some of the physical things I would like as well as the travel I would like to go on. And its not feeding my soul, passion, purpose, dream. But two years of quite a bit of $ spent and time is hard to let go of, so I just keep plugging away. I do enjoy helping people find homes they love and purchase them. I love looking at cool houses and learning about Kansas City neighborhoods. But I don't enjoy having to list homes for sale that the sellers have to have a certain amount and the market won't support it. Its a tough market for sellers. The way to grow business more quickly in Real Estate is to go after expired listings and for sale by owner listings. These are typically homes and people that cannot sell at market price because of their mortgage or need for enough money for down payment on next house or something else.
Present Day: so I continued to ask myself, "if I could do anything I wanted and be successful at it, what would I do?" And I keep coming back to teaching, counseling, consulting, speaking - I love to do these activities. I also would still love to get my Ph.D. So 2 weeks ago, I made a commitment and an posted an Event on Facebook: 30 Days to Follow My Dream Commitment so I could have a public commitment and support. My commitment was to state every day and do something everyday towards my Dream - programming my subconscious mind for 30 days, consistently. My Dream Right Now: I am a successful Human Potential & Capital Consultant, Trainer, Speaker, Counselor for Organizations, Leaders and Individuals. As soon as I made that public commitment, a friend of mine from Wichita arrived in KC and over a night of catching up and discussing my past training and her past management experience and a week later, we decided that she could really help me re-launch this consulting and training business - that was quite synchronistic.
I was going along fine with my new goal-commitment, until my husband said that he didn't think I could do both things successfully: Realtor & Consulting-Training Business. That both would suffer and that I needed to make a decision. So that is where I am at today - trying to make this decision. And not sure that I need to make the decision. I would love to take a leap and go full 100% into my Consulting Training Business, but am fearful that it won't work, again. That I don't know how to market and get business. That I don't have the ability to do good follow up and manage the business side of it. I know my friend is there to help, but I have fears that she may not stick with it. And then I am alone doing it and am not sure I can do it alone. I am also having a hard time letting go of the parts of being a Realtor I love - helping people find their Dream Homes and Green-Sustainability Home Education.
So what do you think? What's your opinion? Intuition? I would love to hear from others.
What is your story, dilemma, challenge, dream commitment, patience?