Monday, November 2, 2009


My child is brilliant. But that's not what this post is going to be about. Just wanted to get that out there ;)

What's really brilliant and shiny and exciting to me today is this article that I read on Hybrid Mom. Did you read the first two paragraphs? They express exactly where I am at in my career right now:

I’ve always been able to get pretty good jobs: I’m smart, articulate, I have a strong work ethic, take initiative, a pretty good problem solver and a team player, willing to lead with or without a title. Despite the hard work I put in, I still found myself in a job that was unfulfilling and that failed to provide the challenge and opportunity I sought after. It was a pretty good job, but I was just bored. I wanted more; I knew that – I just had no clue of how to get it. Have you ever been in that place? Or maybe you are there now.

As a working mother, and definitely as a single mother, there is every excuse as to why our ambition gets put on pause: We are doing everything by ourselves, there’s not enough time, money, support, _______ you fill in the blank. But the excuses don’t stop our heart from wanting. There’s a proverb that says, “a dream deferred makes the heart sick.” It is unhealthy to put off and dismiss the things your heart wants – regardless of the reason. I’ve often wondered if the reason so many of us are depressed or tired is because of the energy it takes to mask and bury our true desires so we can get through the day to day grind that requires less and less of our true brilliance.

This is my work life right now in a nutshell. I am B.O.R.E.D. And I know it. I could do so much more. I could be so much more.

I was recently talking with one of my brilliant BFFs who shall remain nameless (except her name rhymes with Fawna) about this very thing. It's a frequent and welcome topic of conversation for us. She is always my sounding board for our (and by our I also mean Grant's) business ideas and how we are going to take over the world. Or at least change it. We have LOTS of good ideas. Some are actually really feasible. And I think that any one of us if we put our minds to it could absolutely be successful in a business enterprise if we fully committed ourselves to it. So why are we such chickens???

It takes guts--lots and lots of guts--to cut and run. To break from the "norm" and strike out on your own adventure. Many of us want to do it. But we just can't. There are so many things that tie us down. Mortgages. Kids. You name it. There are many reasons why, especially in this economy, we should be fearful of leaving our cushy jobs to pursue our dreams.

But what are the consequences of our inability to act on our goals and dreams?

The strange thing is that we have actually done this very thing and have been successful at it! I always forget this little fact. Right after we were married Grant left his good job as an accountant at a local credit union to start his own business. From scratch. Yikes, when I think about it now I practically break out in hives. But back then I truly believe we felt invincible somehow. What the hell were we thinking?? He quit his job, started his lawn care business and worked his ass off. And it was a HUGE success! It was so successful that 2 years later we sold the business for nearly 10 times what we put into it initially.

At first glance I think, well, that was then and this is now. Now we have Miles. Now our mortgage is bigger. Now we have other dreams to think about (like a second adoption, perhaps??). We can't just quit our jobs and strike out on paths that could eventually lead us to financial ruin.

But, again, I wonder what are the consequences if we DON'T act on our dreams? Do we end up denying ourselves the chance to be truly fulfilled in a career path of our own design and choosing? Maybe. Are we better off staying in our safety zone, even though it might ultimately hurt our hearts to do so? Maybe.

Here are some questions to ask yourself if you come upon this crossroads in life:

- Will this opportunity ever come around again?

- If you pass up this opportunity how will you feel about your decision in one year? Five years?

- Have you taken a look (a REALLY good look) at your current financial situation, and do you know what changes or contingency plans you would need to make if you were to peruse your dream? (Don't say "I can't" if you don't know that for sure....maybe you can!)

- Do you have a well thought out business plan?

- Do you have the passion and work-ethic to make it happen?

Brilliant. It think we are all brilliant at something. Some of us are brilliant photographers. Some of us are brilliant writers. Some of us are brilliant rollerskaters. Whatever it might be, I am hoping that many more of us working moms take a chance on our own brilliance. Let our lights shine, so to speak. I haven't quite figured out what I am brilliant at yet, but when I do you can be sure I will be asking myself these exact questions.  Because you never know what direction your life can take if you allow your brilliance to shine.


  1. WOW!!! GREAT POST! While Im not a mom yet and you and I aren't in exactly the same position I am pondering these exact same things in myself. I completely related to this post on a really gut level.

    I think the consequences are high. For you and for everyone around you. For if you are not your best person, then you and everyone suffers. Well maybe we don't all suffer per say.....but we certainly can't be experiencing life, love and happiness to its fullest. I know that for sure, and it is all relative and all, but isn't that a form of suffering?

    I stumbled upon this quote just this week and I thought it pertained to this post quite well.

    "When you make average GREAT, your dreams can become a reality." - Suzie Orman

    It is really simple, but basically you just have to find what you are brilliant/great at and embrace it.

    Thanks for this post. Like I said before...felt it in the gut!

  2. I speak from experience when I say that there is nothing more satisfying then pursuing your dream of making a difference and totally being in charge of your own destiny. It has made me a stronger, more innovative and fulfilled person to go out on my own and make a life that I am proud of.


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