by Now What?® Coaching Founder, Laura Berman Fortgang
Speaking at a session of “Lives in Transition” a networking and support group north of New York City, I was inspired by the resourcefulness of the participants. Many had started businesses or were charging for services to make money knowing that waiting for their respective industries to get back to hiring was not the smartest strategy.
It’s time to tell you about my “Little House on the Prairie Theory”. You see, for about a dozen years, I have not been able to shake the occasional vision of the aerial view of the town where the famous TV series took place. A long camera shot centered on the white church/schoolhouse in a dirt clearing that included the general store, the doctor’s office and a few other sundry buildings and businesses.
It was only a few years ago that I began to understand why I was seeing this image in my mind’s eye. I interpret its meaning to be a symbol for how we are somewhat moving backwards in time in the evolution of work. It’s coming around full circle. As more and more people are forced to reinvent, there seems to be a homecoming to varied skills, talents, gifts and strengths that are leading people back to selling their wares and focusing on their skill set the way an artisan would.
Does this mean that the best option in the slow recovery is to be in your own business? Not necessarily, but it does mean thinking like an artist when it comes to finding what is marketable about you. It may not be the same skill set that you’ve been making the theme of your resume. It may very well be something you loved in the past or that you do as a hobby or that is the sweet spot about whatever you did for employment in the past.
The key is leveraging that thing to make money. It may not be the same money you were used to, but it will put you on the path to recovery and only time will tell what else.
Martin B. did all the right things lining up his life as a young man to complete school and qualify for a corporate employee’s life. Having done so well compared to his family, he questioned his sanity when a job layoff had him considering other options for his future other than landing another corporate job. He thought he was nuts when he was fantasizing about making a career out of his love for the great outdoors. As luck would have it, someone he knew was selling a small resort in a mountainous area near by. He was not ready to invest so heavily but he also could not ignore the depth of the calling in his heart.
As I’ve seen with many people before, coincidences like the one above can scare the bejeezus out of people. Granted, there are many real considerations to making such a huge leap, but I cannot discount the timing of admitting to something you would love to do and having a possible opportunity suddenly pop up.
Martin started making more trips into nature and accepting invitations to travel that would keep him outdoors. The time in open space did a lot for reaching greater clarity and gaining resolve. No definite changes have happened yet, but I predict it’s just a matter of time.
I see more and more people being willing to make big changes to their lifestyles to live life doing something that is meaningful to them. Even if that’s not you, follow the clues to your next steps set out by those things that are truly unique to you. They are not in your life for no good reason. The reason is huge. It’s up to you if it’s compelling enough to take action on it.
Me and my wagon— we’ll be out in the Prairie waiting for you. After all, my name isn’t Laura for no reason.