For some reason people are always asking me if I see myself owning my own business in a few years. I always tell them the same thing: “Owning my own business isn’t my thing. I’m good at helping other people achieve their dreams. I am terrible when it comes to prioritising and managing my own projects; the drive just isn’t there.”
Let me tell you a bit about me.
When I started uni, I interned at a start-up for three months. It was unpaid but it was good fun. This start-up would cycle through a team of interns who would reach the end of the three month internship and then leave, to be replaced by more interns. At the end of my three month period, I decided to stick around and extend my internship. I had been interning for about eight months, when one day I was pulled aside by the two owners and asked to join them as a partner. From there, the work grew. I was no longer just doing marketing but also strategy, business development meetings and financial forecasts for potential investors. I was working on weekends and unusual hours around uni. Still unpaid but still happy because I was driven purely by the desire to see the project come to life.
The start-up wasn’t my own but I had the drive to see it succeed. I like helping others bring their dreams to life.
With personal projects, it’s different.
I have had a couple of blogs in the past and have never been able to maintain them. I have started three websites during moments of inspiration and have lost interest a couple of days in. I have no hobbies that require ongoing commitment or focus.
I have simply never been interested in, or good at, prioritising my own projects. My drive is always at its strongest when I am part of something that is beyond the confines of my own interests, such as uni or work.
Until a few weeks ago.
You know those rare, strange moments in life where a switch flips inside your brain and in one, inexplicable moment, your mindset changes? It’s only happened a few times for me and every time, it catches me off guard.
In my first post, ‘It begins‘, I mentioned the sudden burst of energy that flung itself upon me after I had been inconvenienced for 10 days by a very clingy and very miserable cold. That was my response to a ‘recalibration’, so to speak. The switch flicking after a chance moment from the previous night where I stumbled across a YouTube video by muchelleb and realised I wanted to change my lifestyle.
I’ve had plenty of similar moments before, where I feel the inspiration in the moment, to start a project or change my lifestyle in some way. It’s analogous to the peak in gym attendance during the first couple of months of the year, spurred by the collective power of New Year’s resolutions. But, in the same way that gym attendance falls as the fervent flame of a new beginning dwindles to naught but a flicker, that drive fades away and the project or new behaviour is unceremoniously tossed to the curb.
Usually these momentary decisions are fuelled by something I feel I ‘should’ be doing or something that I feel I ‘could’ see myself doing. They are decisions driven by a superficial end goal that I feel little-to-no real connection to and because of this, I feel no great loss in prioritising other things.
But this time was different. I didn’t decide to become more minimalist because I liked the idea of that lifestyle. I didn’t decide to be more environmentally considerate because I felt I ‘should’ be. Rather, in that moment, my perspective and my ‘wants’ changed. I was suddenly more aware of the types of items I surrounded myself with, of how many and what they were made from. I was more aware of my own decisions and the emotions that fuelled them. Without forcing anything, my perspective just changed and thusly, my drive to maintain this new awareness and lifestyle feels effortless and manageable.
For once, I think I can finally prioritise my own projects like the 30 Day Simplify Your Life Challenge and this blog. It feels good to finally have an interest of my own to get excited about. Although I can confirm, if someone were to ask me now if I see myself owning my own business in a few years, my response would still be the same simply because this is a personal transformation, not a business transformation.
My plan for this post was to write specifically about my process of prioritising my own projects but I got a bit side tracked. So think of this as a precursor for what is to come. I hope you are as excited as I am.
~ Alice Maisie