I have this terrible habit of craving food when I get stressed out. You know that.
Besides the irrational cravings, my cheeks get red as the blood rushes to my face, my armpits start to sweat (pardon me for being so blunt but sometimes the truth isn’t pretty), butterflies appear from thin air and wreak havoc in my stomach, my palms start to sweat and my hands – nay – my whole body starts to shake.
So…what could possibly bring about such nervous energy and send me on a rampage searching for the chocolate I know my mom surely hid somewhere in this apartment the last time she was here?
I started my new job a few weeks ago! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the great and powerful I had new job jitters! Spoiler alert: I’m a regular ol’ human being. Dang it!
The jitters came about on my first day as my new boss, we’ll call him M, was giving me a run down of my duties. My official title is Director of Sales, Marketing and Audience Development, with a supporting, albeit minor, role as Executive Assistant.
After that first day run down, I added field producer, bookkeeper, script transcriber, and a list of other growing titles to my current one.
My first instinct was typical. Fight or flight kicked in, and my brain was screaming at me to choose the latter.
“You’re crazy! You can’t do this! You don’t know how! He must have made a mistake! He can’t possibly think you could do this. You’re not good enough, smart enough, wise enough, savvy enough! MAN it’s hot in here. My cheeks are on fire! I hope he can’t see them turning red. Oh god, they’re getting hotter. Crap! …….. Mmmmm…….Chocolate….. There’s some chocolate behind him on the shelf. Man I want that chocolate. I could eat the whole jar. I’m not even listening anymore. Oh crap – tune back in!! Tune back in!!”
Cue Simon and Garfunkel:
Hello self doubt my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again…
Once I stopped singing along to the tune in my head, I forced myself to focus on what M was saying, and even started to get excited about it.
M is a wise man. He’s started 58 businesses. Maybe I should trust that he knew what he was doing when he hired me, and that he wouldn’t ask me to do anything I either didn’t already know how to do, or that I couldn’t learn how to do.
Yes, yes. That felt much better.
M and I finished up our conversation, and I went to work on setting up my new office, narrowly escaping my chocolate attack.
As I sat in my chair and made a list of office supplies I needed, I lifted my journal and a little fortune fell out:
Investigate the new opportunity that will soon become an option.
I remember opening this fortune a few months ago at the bakery. At that point in time, I was already working with M periodically, in addition to my full time job. M was open and honest about the fact that there was no guarantee that this side job would ever turn into a full time opportunity, though he did say he hoped it would some day.
And there I sat, a few months later, otherwise known as “some day”, staring at this fortune on my new desk, in this new opportunity that became not only an option, but the option – the new path – I chose to take. Choice appears to be what happens when preparation meets opportunity.
This is a great reminder of 2 things:
1. The universe is always working for you. You just need to pay attention, and remember what you asked for.
2. Act as if. Decide what you are preparing for. Decide what that ultimate goal is, what you would die to have right now. Now act as if you already have it. Refine the skills you need to truly enjoy the opportunity. Study. Educate yourself. Play the role. Act the part. The opportunity will come, and you will want to be properly prepared for it.
Just be careful: opportunity can be disguised, particularly if it doesn’t come on the silver platter you imagined it would arrive on. Most of the time, opportunity is disguised as hard work, forcing you to reach inward, pull out your courage, put yourself in an uncomfortable – even vulnerable – position, spend time learning new skills, and casting the doubt aside. I believe that what’s waiting for you on the other side of that hard work is a life beyond the one you dreamed it would be. It will be worth it. And the hard work will make it taste all the sweeter.
I will remember these 2 things as I delve into each work day over the course of my time with M, and the rest of my life.
M is teaching me valuable lessons about what it means to be an entrepreneur, to succeed in life on every level, and to find the joy in the small things.
Stay tuned as I document my adventures. I think we’re going to enjoy the ride!
Your crazy friend,