I grew up as the fourth generation member of a family business, but my family hoped I would do … anything different.
I had no idea what I wanted to do. Many of my peers were the same way; not sure what we would become.
Why? I think perhaps one element is that we, or at least, I can speak for myself and say that I was afraid of the fact that I could do anything I wanted to.
I could have trained to become a buddhist monk or a professional ballplayer. Instead, I went into the family business.
I Was Afraid To Make Up My Mind.
I was afraid of my freedom. Does that sound weird, being afraid of possibilities?
It meant that I might actually have to do something … excellent. Something that I felt I could do, but it would be risky.
I’m learning to dance with the fear now, though.
I really do love the business, and, I get quite a bit of meaning out of it today. This post isn’t a knock – it’s just an honest discussion about fear.
I’ve learned how to make it meaningful – after twelve years. But if you want the truth, the truth is that twelve years ago, it wasn’t what I wanted to do.
The List Of Choices Is Scary.
They tell you that you have to go to school and get a job. They show you a list of all the possible schools and jobs.
The list was long when I was a kid, but it’s unfathomable today. Today, we can all create our own jobs. Jobs that never existed before. So the possibilities of what we can be are … almost infinite.
The problem is that ‘what we want to be’ doesn’t always conform with what everyone else thinks is normal. In fact, it often sounds downright weird and crazy. It usually means taking a bold risk.
“You can’t make a living doing charity work.” “You can’t run a business model that gives back.” “You can’t ___________.” [Insert what you’ve been told.]
Doing something kind, meaningful, and bold is scary. The good news is, it’s still kind, meaningful, and bold, and you will overcome the fear once you start doing it.
Bottom line: if you’ve got something really scary down in your gut that you’ve been avoiding, pull it out and go for it. That’s a pretty good radar for finding what you were meant to be.
(P.S. – You might be wondering, well, what the hell have I done that’s scary? Good question. I have set a date for August 1 to release of my first charitable project. It probably will be ready sooner. You’ll most certainly be notified when it is!)