I’m not a planner by nature. I’ve gone through almost my entire life just seeing what happens, feeling my way, trusting my gut and trying not to hurt myself or die in the process. I often joke that I “accidentally” became a paramedic (an endless source of amusement to my friend, Carla!). And then I “accidentally” became a wedding photographer and set up a photography business. I use those air quotes for your comfort rather than mine. Those things really did happen by accident. They were completely unintentional.
Look, living my life this way worked for me. I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up – other than a writer, actually. But back when I was a kid that was not a career that could sustain you. Or, at least, that’s what I was led to believe. So I’ve never been a planner. I’ve never set myself goals. And I often heard the tumbleweed blowing through whenever I got asked the question: ‘Where do you see yourself a year/five years/ten years from now?’. The honest answer has always been I have no fucking idea.
And then I got off my butt, left the day job, set up working as a freelancer and moved 4000+ miles across the planet. And something changed. It was like those moments where you’re looking out at the cloud and fog and a break in the cloud appears. That shaft of warm sunlight beams down and shines through your window, flushes your face and makes everything feel pretty amazing. You know that feeling, don’t you?
All of a sudden I knew what I wanted to be, what I wanted to do. After almost 40 years (yes folks, that’s how old I am) of meandering, I had my awakening and knew what it was I wanted to do. Or at least, I had more of an idea than I ever had in my entire life.
So, towards the end of 2019, I knuckled down. I started making plans. I signed up for some training and I got my house in order. And I mean REALLY in order. I’ve never made a business plan or a forecast or set goals in my life before. I’ve never even dared to dream of making plans. Especially ones to make my business grow and become something I would consider “successful”.
As 2020 dawned, I rocked in with my confident swagger. I was ON IT. I knew what I was going to do over the next 12 months. I had a plan. I had goals. I had targets. And I was ready to tackle them all.
It seems like several lifetimes ago that all that planning was done. Yet, in mere moments, I found myself having to scrunch that sheet of paper up into a ball and leave it rolling around on the floor for the cats to play with. And I know for a fact I’m not the only one.
The last couple of weeks have been a shock to the system. I’ve heard people use the grief analogy and that’s not far off. But, if there’s one thing I’ve learned, grief might leave an indelible scar, but it does fade. It does soften and ease over time. And life does still go on, despite it.
My point is, I realise that all those plans I made, those goals, those lists, those dreams I finally allowed myself to dream for a moment… they’re all still there. I’m not letting go of them. It’s just that now how I get there will look a little different than I thought it would. And that may be the same for you.
Adapt and overcome. Isn’t that what they say? So perhaps now is the time to take a step back and have a look at what you have in front of you. Figure out what it is you can do with what you have and what you need to do to get there. I know that’s what I’m starting to do and I’m excited about what I’m starting to see. There may even be another little business stream appearing in the not too distant future. So, watch this space.
But that’s enough about me… how are you all doing? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear how you’re getting on.