Eight years ago, when my husband and I made the decision to build a life of our choosing instead of continuing to live a life of of happenstance, we had no idea where the journey would take us.
In the spring of 2005, my husband was laid off from a job he truly despised. He had become depressed, and a shadow of himself. We recognized immediately that it was time for a change, but it was scary. He could look for another job doing what he hated, but made decent money. We were finally comfortable financially at this point. Not well off, but comfortable. We could go to dinner, or a concert, or the movies when we chose, take our annual trip to Atlanta. Comfortable.
Instead, we decided this was our shot, his shot. With severance and unemployment, at 45 years of age, this was the opportunity for him to pursue his childhood dream. To become a pilot. The next few years were uncomfortable. He had some training from when he was younger and from college, but we needed to invest about $75K in the additional training, certificates and flight hours he needed, knowing he wouldn't be bringing in any income. Uncomfortable.
But we saw a different life for ourselves than what we had. A life that was shaped by our choices, not a life that just transpired.
In January of 2006, I started a direct sales business. I had lots of people in my life who were in direct sales, and I loved the product, had been using it nearly all my life, so, I figured it was a good way to temporarily bridge the gap in our income. It got us part way. We ran up some debt, but we managed to get the bills paid each month, and we both started to change. I earned the company incentive trip in my first 3 months in the business, but declined to take it because instead we attended the wedding of a dear friend that weekend. As we drove to Alabama and back, he studied and I drove.
And then he became a flight instructor. Now a tiny bit of income was coming in, and he was starting to have an impact on others lives. We're still very good friends with some of his students. I saw that my direct sales business could be something significant for myself as well. We were making changes internal and external and it was kind of exciting, but still uncomfortable.
We spent an amazing summer with our own twin engine plane while he and a friend, one of his students built hours. We flew everywhere including to our annual trip to Atlanta. It was amazing! Then he got hired by our first choice of airlines. We had done it! He was a commercial pilot! Now we learned about being on reserve and major lifestyle changes. Uncomfortable but SO worth it!
Next, I get laid off by the same company that had let him off. Spend 18 months working full time at my direct sales business, but not quite earning enough income to meet the budget with Mike still in the very early earning stages as a regional pilot.
So, I'm back to work full time, then switch to a company closer to home and things are getting comfortable again. And I'm losing my zest for my direct sales business. Luckily, I'm making enough to keep us financially stable, but now I'm uncomfortable being comfortable. I've become someone else. I've learned the need to be uncomfortable.
Thank goodness for amazing coaches who push you to do things you would never consider, things you don't quite believe you are capable of. Through working with Christine Gallagher, I found the courage and ambition to start the Chicago Chapter of Over 40 Females. Rolling along for just 8 months so far, we are really creating an impact in the Chicago networking community.
As we were wrapping our final coaching session, Christine told me that she sees something even bigger for me right now. Becoming a real self care coach. Really helping women in more ways than just helping them pick some candles to create a space in their home. More ways than even creating events where they can come to be pampered, make connections and network. SO uncomfortable!
I didn't know then that my journey would lead me to Ines Kinchen. My dear friend and one of the most amazing women I've ever known. What started as me inviting her to one of my Over 40 Females events to support her has led to an amazing new journey of connecting with and helping people on a level I never dreamed of before. Being surrounded by love and making an impact every day.
I'm still not quite ready to call myself a coach, but I am fully committed to follow this journey wherever it takes me and keep being uncomfortable.
Where are you on your journey?