I love it when you guys send me email. I squeal like I’m 4 years old and just got a treat from my granddad. Here’s a reader’s question, posted with her permission. I’d like you guys to chime in with your perspective and any tips that will help our fellow Motivated Boss Lady with her situation.
From the Motivated Sista Mail Bag:
A Motivated CEO writes: I hope all is well with you this morning or afternoon… I have been a reader of your blog for a little over 7 months now and I enjoy reading your posts they are very powerful and most of all inspirational to me…
I’ m a 26 year old Black woman who is single. I haven’t been in a relationship for 4 years, majority of my friends are in relationships and sometimes its hard to be the only single person in the group. For some reason I can’t find love nor anyone who interest me. I’ve had alot of guys approach me but once I start talking to them I can tell we are on two different pages. I’m just in a place in my life that I just don’t want to keep dating just to date I actually want to date and hopefully find my husband and the father of my kids. People say I’m crazy because I’m only 26 and already looking for a husband but I say I’m not getting any younger I’m getting older….
I’m also struggling with my career I just finished school for event/ wedding planning but am currently working at an insurance company. I know my dream is to be a wedding planner but right now am kind of content working at the insurance company. It’s a great company but I know this is not what I want my career to be. I get sidetracked alot and that’s a major issue for me and something I’m trying to work on… my goal is by the time am 30 I want to be successful and comfortable where I am financially. That’s my goal and only have 4 years to reach it and at the pace I’m going I’m not sure if its possible. But like you said in your post (we are the only people that’s standing in our way) I’m the only person who can stop my dream from happening but its so much easier said than done… can you give me any advice on my confusion????
Girlfriend, I have two words for you: Specificity and Planning.
Adding Specificity To Your Goal
Our society has been bombarded with clever marketing, so much so that we’ve adopted the practice of absorbing words that don’t actually mean anything.
What does ‘comfortable’ actually mean?
When you close your eyes and visualize yourself in your dream life – what is the exact picture that comes to mind? Now, pull out the details from that picture and define specifically what it is that you want. I wrote two posts about using visualizations to set your goals: check out Take Your Vision Farther and How To Anchor Your Vision.
The problem with vague descriptions like ‘being comfortable’, ‘toning up’, ‘getting healthy’, or ‘living right’, is that you don’t have an actual point that you’re working toward. If you don’t know exactly where the end of the road is for your goal, you’ll be reluctant to actually start working toward it. For example, what is the salary threshold you need to ‘be comfortable’? How much cardio do you need to do, and calories you need to shave from your diet, in order to ‘tone up’? See where I’m going with that?
So when you set your goals, add numbers to them so that you have a finish line to cross. If your goal is to earn $80,000 between your job and your business, then you’ll know how far or how close you are to meeting your definition of comfortable.
And let me just say, if you’re just striving to be comfortable, you’re already there. That’s why you’re not inspired right now to start your wedding planning business. You’re already comfortable. Comfort doesn’t motivate people to achieve their dreams – so you must go outside your comfort zone and strive for another level in order to inspire yourself to achieve.
Plan Your Next Move
I’m single too and it is hard to be the only one in the group. In those situations, I don’t put myself in that group. I’m being serious here. I don’t need the mental beating and I can better spend my time being in places where I’m likely to meet eligible men.
I don’t think you’re too young at all to set yourself up for marriage and a family. The only people I’ve ever heard say “you have time, you’re still young” are black people. My girlfriends of other races make dating a serious goal in their lives and they’re not apologetic about their desires. We shouldn’t be either. No one else has to live your life but you, and you know what you want. Don’t listen to the naysayers who don’t have your same goals, passion in life and drive to make it happen.
My advice to you regarding finding men you’re interested in, is to put yourself in the social circles where men you find interesting will meet you. What hobbies do you enjoy? What type of activities and events would men you find interesting attend? Add those to your schedule and plan to attend. Even if you have to go alone, because your girlfriends aren’t interested (which I’ve done myself and highly recommend it, as long as you’re safe).
Where To Go From Here
Maybe what you really want is to keep your position at the insurance company and run your wedding planning business on the side. Or maybe you truly want to be your own boss, but haven’t moved the dream from in your head to paper. Like you said, you are the only one who can hold you back, and one of the best ways to get started is to stop waiting for perfection and just start.
Once you have the experience of working with your first client under your belt, it’ll be much easier to map out how you’ll reach independence within the next four years. Depending on the things you’d like to do before you’re fully self-employed (such as pay off debts, buy big ticket items, etc), it might not take 4 years to get there. The key to what you said was at the current rate you’re going. So at least you already know that you need to ramp up your efforts.
If you haven’t already, talk to other wedding planners about how they got started and any advice on launching your business. It may seem daunting if you try to do it all alone, but you definitely don’t have to. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but you do need to map out where you’re headed before you get that wheel spinning.