“Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” – Julia Child
If you could have a peek at my CV, dear Lord, you would find that this writer has done just about everything. Literally. Somehow a real career, as some would like to refer to, was not amongst the titles. No lawyer, doctor, astrophysicist or marine biologist lurking. Why?
Married young. Helped my husband set up his practice. Teaching locums. Raising children. Full diary of swimming galas, pottery classes, teachers meetings and dinner parties – and I regret not a moment of those years. The experience was like pages of a recipe book: I could do something from every little part of life, if not an expert at one particular thing.
Memo lost. What to do when the children leave home? Floated, feared and fell into an abject conviction that if I was not the perfect mother or consummate wife, I was fit for nothing, out there in the real world. What was I to do? And I know there are so many of us in the same situation.
Having walked through a million one hit wonders, this Jill was a skater of many trades but a master of nothing hugely employable. The Platinum card and Business class sector was not something I ever aspired too (did the nose grow a little?) though the past few years have seen a major shift in the pattern of my life, and forced to confront not only my demons, but my place in a work environment was going to be up to me.
Doodled the months away. What shall I do? Who shall I be? One day I would imagine myself this … and the next day that. Bake some cheese scones and think about opening up a coffee shop or arrange some flowers and fancy myself beyond gifted. The truth is that being able to do these things, may be fair and well, but the realistic aspect of actually setting up a business was so daunting, the day would end, and the only true activity indulged, was procrastinating. Absolutely no-one to blame but myself, and that lethargic, numbing, depressing lack of conviction, was depressing.
We have all been there, no matter what the age. Some say, procrastinating is good. I disagree. I don’t have the time, or willpower. In a matter of years I will see my life controlled by those who think they know best. Not today. Today is a lesson to self. Procrastinating is a passion killer.
No doubt, the pile of self guide, self help, self determination books lie like volcanoes on my desk. You read them too, don’t you?
Honing in. Not too late, we are not too old. Honing into what is truly passionate in your life, and if you should want to turn it into a profit making business, hesitating for even a second is not an option. Love doing lots of things, but what am I really passionate about – what drives me with curiosity and wonder? Does not matter what it is, could be a passion for removing barnacles, but if it floats your boat – than everyday, every working hour, everything you plan, should drive you to resolve, to develop, create, establish and know that the hard work, which will be there for sure, will give you a single focus, oblivious of critics and fear mongers.
Have you ever walked past the many small businesses you see? Florists, artisan bakeries, florists, wine merchants for example and think about how much courage is required to put your dagger to the sticking place and commit to a business plan, a loan, signing of contracts and all the expenses involved before you even begin to break even? The passion is the straight arrow. During the pandemic, many have lost their incomes and opportunities but have they lost their passion? I doubt it.
Take courage from so many wonderful entrepreneurs who have accomplished so much.
Without too much analysis, the pandemic has made me realise how much I miss travel, engaging with others. Doing the walking tours in London, planning trips that I stopped doing for a while. Doing research on history, new restaurants, different kinds of tourism and how much I want to do it again. That is my passion, my family and the sharing my experience and knowledge with others. Seeing people take that trip of a lifetime, light up at new knowledge, feel the pulse of the place.
Perhaps the lull in the lockdown has rightly led to procrastinating. Not anymore. Life is opening up.
We work with suppliers, friends and colleagues, all equally passionate. Sometimes I will bring the cheese scones.
We are, each and everyone of us, great at so many things, passionate too, but finding the path that will bring you absolute joy, and an income, is waiting to happen.
Anything. And I repeat, anything if possible. Driven by passion, the shadowed gremlins of ye god of procrastination, will disappear.