I had a friend in Junior High who had an Italian Grandmother from New York City. This woman was a crack up who had the loudest smoker’s cough you could ever imagine. She was boisterous and crazy and sweet and everything in between. She made meatballs and marinara like no other, but what I remember most about her is a little song she taught me and my friend. It goes like this: “Life is a bucket full of shit. You’d better duck or you’ll get hit. Down and down and down into the cesspool pit.” It had a catchy tune, and all three of us would sing it over and over as a round. As soon as one of us finished the first sentence, the next person would begin. Then laughter would inevitable ensue. But as my Junior High self turned into my college self which turned into my dentist self, I would catch myself humming along to that song in my head more often than I’d like to admit. Grandmother was right! Life IS a bucket full of shit, and, quite frankly, I AM swimming in a cesspool pit.
NOOOOOOOO!! What happened?!??! Why was my life sucking so bad? I mean, on paper everything looked great. I was literally working 2 days a week, I had a beautiful home and my dream wife, I had travelled all over the world, I didn’t have any health issues, and I was miserable. Miserable!
Fast forward to now. Things happen. For a reason. Blah, blah, blah, yada, yada, yada, yada. But it’s true. Something really awful happened to me which forced me out of my own dental practice that I had owned for 17 years. What happened to me is irrelevant. How I made it through is what matters.
I cried for 8 solid months. I was hurt. And sad. And angry. And scared. And literally making myself sick. Panic attacks were the new norm. I literally felt like I was living in a dark tunnel of hell. Or a cesspool. Unless you’ve hit the lowest of lows, this is very difficult to explain. But, my guess is that a LOT of us have been there.
But then it clicked. The click sounded something like this, “Jen, you dumbass, don’t you remember how miserable you were? So WHAT if you lost your practice? Why not figure out who YOU really are and then live YOUR life for YOU?” The click was mean. And scary. And RIGHT. It was time to pick my sorry-for-myself self up and move forward. I felt a new sense of hope. And here’s what I did. And here’s what I want you to do.
- Write down what you LOVE to do. It’s VERY important to WRITE IT DOWN. Think of the things that give you a pep in your step. Things you look forward to doing when you have some spare time. Whether it be chasing your dog around a dog park, planting flowers, making a kick ass soufflé, browsing through books at your favorite book store. ANYTHING! What truly makes you HAPPY? For me, listening to PODCASTS was just one of the things I wrote down. I had many! And it was right about now that I decided that I was going to figure out a way to change my life from SUCKY to SASSY. BUT HOW?
- Ask yourself, “If I could do ANYTHING and make MONEY and be STOKED every day, what would it be??” Make sure you approach the question as if NOTHING or NO ONE could get in the way. Really image the possibilities! Think about everything you wrote down in the first step. Did you like playing with dogs? Would a dog walking biz propel you into an insane amount of happiness? I had a friend who literally hadn’t worked in 15 years. Then one day he found himself in a position where he needed to actually bring in a paycheck. LIKE MOST OF THE WORLD! He had a friend design a very simple website, and within less than a month, he was walking Fluffy and Fido and Barney and forty other dogs for a decent amount of cash. You’d be surprised how much people will pay for this! Within a year, he had hired 5 employees and was pulling in over a HUNDRED GRAND! Just sayin’. This was year ONE, and he knew little to nothing about running a biz before this. IT IS POSSIBLE! For me, I decided I wanted to try my hand at PODCASTING. I’m an entertainer at heart, and I was dying to have some CREATIVE FUN! But I had absolutely NO IDEA where to begin. None at all.
- Create a vision board. I’d been hearing about vision boards for years. Haven’t we all? I just could not imagine that the things actually worked. Sounded like a bunch of hocus pocus to me. But at this point, I was willing to try anything to help my dreams come to reality! So take your INCREDIBLY AWESOME idea you had in #2, and start visualizing all the GREATNESS and HAPPINESS and SASSINESS it would bring to your life. This isn’t the 1970’s anymore, so no magazines needed. Hop onto GOOGLE and type in something you visualize. Go to IMAGES and scroll around until an image resonates with you and PRINT IT! Slap that baby on a piece of cardboard, and keep going! On my board, I had microphones and happy people with headphones talking into microphones and names of podcasts I liked and piles of money and people jumping into the air with happiness! And every day I stared at this board when I got up in the morning. And every day I felt more and more compelled to possibly, maybe, look into this wild idea. And every day I was feeling lighter and happier and more hopeful about my future. But I was scared. Actually, I was absolutely petrified.
- Lean into your fear. It’s a good thing! What was the last thing you did that caused you fear? How did you feel afterwards? For me, I signed up for a life coaching course. I was in desperate need for life coaching myself, I had infinite respect for the woman who created the course, and I’d hoped I’d become a better version of myself, if anything. Oh, did I mention that it scared the crap out of me? It was SPENDY, a huge TIME COMMMITMENT, and SCARY! We had to coach a client over the phone with bunches of people listening in, including a master coach with years of coaching under her belt. And I had no idea what I was doing. Every time it was my turn to coach, I literally forgot everything I learned. It was HEART POUNDING SCARY, but when the call was over, I’d be incredibly INVIGORATED! I put myself out there, did my best, and LEARNED something new! This kinda stuff doesn’t happen sittin’ around on the couch, people!! Get up, and do something that scares the crap out of you. I guarantee you will feel AWESOME afterwards! No fear=complacency. Complacency=Sucky. Get where this is going? If you’re feeling fear, then you’re doing something RIGHT! Grab ahold of it and RUN! Move ahead! Your idea in #2 is awaiting your GREATNESS! But how are you going to make it happen?
- Itty Bitty Turtle Steps. Little Steps Leads to Big Success. When I definitively decided to start a podcast, the overwhelming thought would propel me into the bathroom with a bout of the big D. Over and over. I knew nothing about anything podcasting. At this point, I could do what most people do and quit, or I can figure out a way to get this done one tiny bit at a time. And that’s what I did. I sat down and wrote out one teeny, tiny thing I could do to get the ball rolling. I Googled “how to start a podcast.” I decided to give myself a half an hour to scroll through the results so that I wouldn’t get overwhelmed and to get a small glimpse into the world of podcasting. Right off the bat, I started seeing things about microphones and editing software. The basics. The next day, I gave myself a half hour to research microphones. I continued the half hour days of researching mics until I felt comfortable with what I knew. The next day, I ordered the mics. From there, I went on to softwares. You can probably see where this is going! I took very, very small steps every day until I felt ready to get this thing up and running! And if I ever started feeling overwhelmed, I walked away until the next day. And then I’d sit down with a fresh set of eyes and try again! It WORKED!! Just a few minutes a day, and now I have my PODCAST! I’m tellin’ ya, this is the KEY! Don’t push and overwhelm yourself. You will freak yourself out, and the next thing you know, you’ll find yourself down the street double fisting a tequila shot and a jager bomb. Not ideal. So, start SMALL until you reach your BIG DREAMS! Jump on board! Dream big, but move slow. We ain’t getting any younger, but there’s TONS OF TIME TO MAKE IT HAPPEN!
Drop me an email on my contact page to let me know your story from SUCKY to SASSY! I just may feature you in a future BLOG!! And thanks for listening to SASSYCHAT!
WE CAN ALL DO THIS! LET’S CHANGE OUR LIVES FROM SUCKY TO SASSY!