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Comments

what a nice and inspiring post !
i was just thinking about these things, cause i've recently set up a whole new major project which is very much related to my planning job, but quite different from it (i'm not sure i'm making any sense). on one hand, i'm driven by passion and enthusiasm and the challenge, and on the other hand, i'm scared to death cause i'm walking on a totally new ground.

that's why it felt so great to read your post :)

Hi Diana,

Thanks so much for your kind words. It feels like a bit of a free fall from an airplane doesn't it, to start something completely new? :-)

I think the beginning stage of a new project or business is one of the most daring, admirable and heroic stages of a person's life.

It sort of feels like being a kid again, where your creativity is at its peak, and you know in your heart that anything is possible, that you can create something and that it can actually take off.

I'm looking forward to reading about your new venture on your blog!

Cheers,
Sharon

Thanks for posting this Sharon! Just the kind of inspiration I need as I start the launch of my VA practice. I am so worried about not being an expert and not knowing all the skills that I think I need to know, that it's preventing me from focusing my time and effort on just taking my time to learn and absorb. Well, not anymore! This article is going up on the wall above my office space for motivation and inspiration. Thanks Sharon!

*****

Hi Davida,

I'm so glad this story gave you a boost of encouragement. I remember when I was going through training to be a VA. I wanted to know everything all at once (like that's even possible!) and Stacy Brice told me, "You've got to crawl before you can walk and walk before you can run."

Being in the crawling or walking stage of development when you're in a new field feels awkward and clumsy, but after a while of struggling I told myself, "What if this is just the way I'm supposed to feel at this stage of my life? What if what I'm going through is just normal and necessary?"

Once I had that realization, I was able to relax and focus on learning rather than on winning right out of the gate. Magically, my comfort level increased, and I think that helped me transition into being a VA.

Enjoy this stage of your development--if you stay on the path you're on, you WILL reach expert status.

Cheers,

Sharon

I found this post very inspiring as well, particularly because in my mid-30s, I'm still searching for my passion. It sometimes seems like everyone expects you to have yourself all figured out and your life plan all locked up by the time you graduate college, but that's just not the case. I think about this story and others like it (for instance, Julia Child did not start cooking until she was in her late 30s), when people try something completely unexpected and it turns out to be their life love, and it motivates me to keep trying new things.

Hi Shannon,

Yes, I know what you mean. One of my favorite writers, Henry Miller, didn't start writing until he was in his 40's. The actress Geena Davis, at the age of 40 took up archery and nearly qualified for the US Olympic Archery team after focusing on that sport for less than 3 years.

And my mother, at the age of 50, decided she wanted to become a dietician. She went back to college, a grandmother surrounded by teenagers and 20 year olds, and she graduated at the top of her class. She has now been working as a dietician for the past 15 years and loves it.

It seems like, although we need to dedicate adequate amount of time to learning a new skill, that what matters most is the intensity of our focus. Perhaps our focus as adults is more fine tuned than a child. As adults, we also have the mental maturity to help us deal with setbacks.

For myself, I'm not sure what I'm going to be when I grow up ;-). I imagine that by the end of my life, I will have been an artist, writer, yoga teacher, black belt, problogger, architect, designer, librarian, photographer... the list goes on and on. I just haven't gotten around to doing most of those things yet, but each will get it's turn in due time.

You have a wonderful attitude--your openness for new passions will keep your life interesting!

Sharon

This post, as others have mentioned, was very inspiring!

I couldn't help wonder as I was reading it however, what if there is nothing you have at the moment that you wish to become an expert in? Is it possible to be content with your current status and not want to achieve expert status in something?

I suppose owning a business means that I have ample opportunity to become an expert in one of the many available subjects there but what about outside of work? I have no real interest at becoming an expert at anything. I am a very passionate, driven, inspired woman but yet I seek no expert status except, I suppose, where work is concerned.

Do you think this is normal or should I perhaps be finding something I have passion and drive for outside of work?

Hi Erin,

For myself, I find it very easy to get tunnel vision where work is concerned (probably all small biz owners have this problem), but I know for a fact that I'm much more well-balanced and happy if I limit the time I spend working so that I can focus on outside interests.

If I have a number of interests in a number of different areas, then if something goes wrong in any one area, then my life doesn't suffer a major impact. I have the other areas where I've invested energy to soften the blow.

But, if I put all my attention into work (and it's so tempting to do that!) if something goes wrong with work, then my world is in a shambles.

Life is like an investment portfolio--it's more stable if you diversify. :-) Plus learning new things keeps our brain cells growing and it helps bring new people into our lives.

I've noticed that if I don't consciously make an effort to restrict the amount of time I spend on work stuff, that it quickly sucks up all of my time.

That's why I often implement the 4-hour workday thing--it helps me bring my life back into balance and remind me that there is life outside of work.

It also lets me enjoy work more--it's hard to look forward to something if you're doing it all the time! :-)

Cheers,
Sharon

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What's eSoup?

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