1) Graduate high school with high marks
2) Earn a challenging degree (or 2) from a respected university
3) Enter the workforce taking a solid salary with a successful company
4) Earn a Masters and work your way up the ladder
This is what we are “supposed” to do. The cookie cutter way to success and happiness. No doubt this has historically been the standard for creating a career and building that retirement nest egg. But what about your calling? What truly satisfies you and brings about intrinsic happiness? If it just so happens the pathway above captures what you must have then you’ve found that highly sought after ground where career and calling overlap. However, most of us have passions or visions that would require us to take a large risk and steer off the prescribed route, taking the road less traveled and pursue what we must have. Thus requiring us to follow our passion with all desires associated with it.
THE DECISION: SHOULD = TEXTBOOK, HOW OTHERS WANT US TO APPEAR IN THE WORLD VS MUST = OUR TRUE IDENTITY, WHAT IS DONE WHEN WE ARE OUR MOST AUTHENTIC SELF.
The challenge? How to avoid abandonment, failure, and humiliation. How to make this calling/career pairing sustainable when nothing is guaranteed and anything is possible.
The solution? Work, work harder, and then outwork everyone in your sight. Start Ups are risky and often require overwhelming amounts of time and effort. Don’t get caught up playing “what if” games and having tunnel vision. Stay part of the process and be present in all of the work that you do. When you hit a bump in the road, revise and rework. If you’re still stuck, don’t be afraid to throw out ideas. Once you’ve narrowed things down, pitch ideas to those you respect, particularly the most honest people in your circles. Always seek feedback, good or bad, and apply that criticism where it makes sense to you. Soon you’ll start to realize what’s working well and where you need to switch things up. Put yourself back into flow or a creative environment where you’re intrinsically motivated. A place where budgets, opinions, and restrictions go out the window, allowing you to think outside the box.
After starting you’ll realize quickly that you must become your own accountant, lawyer, secretary, and social media strategist because you can’t hire the pros. When wearing all these hats be mindful that failure is inevitable. It’s how you respond to this failure that will determine your ultimate success and sustainability. People that consistently pursue what they love versus what they’re supposed to do usually find a way to make it work and often find it’s easier to make money following their passions than they originally believed. The road is less traveled, but how much more rewarding if we can make who we are and what we do become one and the same.
My name is Alec Fetterer, founder of a recent start-up (Transform Tutoring). I blog to share the knowledge I’m accumulating throughout the start-up process. If you like what you see add me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter @AlecFetterer, or connect with me via LinkedIn. For more about what I do, check out my website: www.transformtutoring.wix.com/transform.