Inspire You

I’d promised to write about how passion alone is not enough to create an empire.

Among the things you may also need: knowledge, experience, guidance, guts, a determination to do what you love and enough humour to want to have fun in life and make serious cash doing it… hehehehehe- c’mon laugh – don’t take life too seriously 🙂

Ok let’s get serious now-

I’ve been writing a lot about passion, courage, a change in how we think and an overall shift in how we do things.

For the past two weeks I’ve been faced with a tremendous challenge: Articulating my dream and writing the vision down.

Dreaming is great but it’s so important, SO important, to write the vision down.

When I went on maternity leave last year, on the very first day of being at home preparing for my son’s arrival – I knew my life was forever changed. I knew that I’d stepped into a new way of being and nothing would ever be the same.

I was excited by what lay ahead but I couldn’t articulate it.

I knew in my heart I didn’t want to go back to my then current job – but the thought terrified me.

What terrified me even more was that I’d decided that I would not be looking for another job. I was done building empires for other people.

The animal instinct in me was growing into more than just the desire to protect my son who was cuddled deep within me. It was ballooning into a ferocious appetite to create a world for him I hadn’t had the pleasure to enjoy.

I wanted his life to be different.

I wanted him to have financial freedom so he wouldn’t have to choose a career for financial security the way I had done.

I wanted him to pursue meaning and joy in his life rather than plough precious time in projects he felt compelled to so he could pay the bills.

I decided that life for my son would be different.

I wanted him to travel the world- if he wanted to.

I wanted him to revel in adversity and learn that fear was an emotion he could overcome.

I wanted him to have the opportunity to explore and adventure.

I wanted him to be bold enough to have the courage, from a young age, to dare to do something spectacular. Or not. But to have the freedom of that choice – what bliss!

I had lived from a shell of fear for most of my life- my son’s path had to be different.

I don’t mean sheltering him from life – but rather allowing him the freedom to enjoy life in ways so many people don’t because we’re far too busy making a living to truly live!

My son’s life within me strengthened me. I had a new resolve in life. I didn’t know how to articulate what I was going through and at times I was scared to verbalise what my mind and spirit were conjuring up.

As the time drew closer for my son to move from my womb to my hands – the anxiety grew. My world had changed. He had changed it. What would life be like on the other side of my pregnancy?

Since we’d been together my husband and I had always lived on two incomes. We both had family that depended on us – how would we manage on one salary?

At first this was a difficult conversation to have and I was terrified of even raising the issue with my husband.

Slowly as my bump grew bigger and our son’s arrival drew ever closer I began to hint at my desire to stay at home and raise our son.

When our little guy was finally in my arms – nothing mattered.

My mind continued to be anxious but in my heart I knew that the path was clear. I could see it in my spirit.

Every moment I held my son, smelt his beautiful scent, caught him look at me as though he knew every ounce of who I was and still loved me – oh! I knew that the miracle of his presence in my life meant that anything was possible.

Everything since then and now is a story too long to jot down here. But what a journey!

For all my life I will be grateful for how my son’s presence changed me and thus my life.

Your life cannot change until you do.

I started a freelance gig last month. It was a tough month. For six months, prior to that, I’d carried my son with me everywhere I went. And then that gut-wrenching-moment I had guarded against came – and I got into my car and left my son- to go to work. Aaaaaaaah!!!!!

For every mom and dad who’s gone through this- is it not just one of the worst feelings?!

Mid-way through Feb I knew I couldn’t do it anymore. Even though I was gone for only a few hours each day I felt I was missing far too many precious moments with my little mogul. Added to that there wasn’t enough time to pursue my empire building plans.

And then came the time to make the decision. And here’s what helped: I asked myself what my life’s goal was. What did I really, really and I mean really, want from my life? Where did I want the path I was on to lead?

I knew it was truly crunch time to come up with an honest, truthful and uninhibited answer.

And finally I was able to articulate my dreams and write my life’s vision down.

What I discovered resolved the anxiety and raging conflict within me.

I will share with you what I found:

  1. Time with my son was of the utmost priority
  2. Being happy by doing what I loved and truly believed in was more important than money
  3. Money was not as important to me as my joy and time with my family (especially time spent helping my son develop).
  4. I was not willing to compromise time with my family nor my joy and peace for money.
  5. The purpose behind my utter resolve and desire to create an empire was this: So I could have the freedom to, above all, educate my son in the way I believed would prepare him to fulfill his purpose in the world- but even more than that educate him so he could discover himself and savour the joy that is his life. This would require tons of time on my part. Added to that I wanted enough free time and money to travel the world and show him the splendour of our planet – what God had given us and what man’s ingenuity had created.

As I think of how far I’ve come in the past few months – I think of how far I’ve come since I was a child.

For the most part my brothers and I grew up really tough.

In those times when it seemed everything was stacked against me and I’d come to a dead end – what kept me going was the vision.

It sustained me through the times I couldn’t go to school because we didn’t have the money, the times I worked odd jobs to make ends meet, the times I ploughed through unpleasant experiences to get to where I wanted to…

The vision empowered me to ignore my current circumstances and see me in the future. Me in a place where things were as I’d dreamed all my life. And that empowered me to get through whatever I was going through with confidence that things would change.

Inspire you with your vision. Hold onto it. Protect it. Nurture it.

I’ve decided to build an empire. For my son. For my legacy. I hope you will too.

But like I said in the beginning it takes more than just passion to build an empire. You have to know how to build.

To learn how I read almost every single day. I search for guidance and strategies that have empowered empire builders before me. Every single day I make a conscious move to broaden my horizons by broadening my mind.

I’ve failed many times. And really successful people I look to tell me so have they. It’s only in failing that we learn.

I’ve lost many times and almost given up. And those same people tell me that so have they.

And we go on. Because the alternative is soul-destroying.

It takes more than passion to create an empire.

You will have to invest in your mind and in your skills.

You will have to look at fear in the face and choose to overcome it.

You will have to have the kind of courage and guts that scare even you.

You will have to learn how to overcome the sometimes destructive nature of hampering emotions.

You will have to dare to do what everyone else seems too scared to.

You will have to take a whole lot more action that you’re doing now.

You will have to persevere.

You may have to change company.

You will have to change.

As Wisdom would have it, as I was writing this post, a facebook friend shared something quite special I thought might be valuable here:

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
– Michael Jordan

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