Yesterday morning started like many of my days, at the Java Love Cafe. As often happens, I enjoyed a brief, but engaging conversation with one of my Sedona friends, Jack (name changed to protect the innocent). Jack is an entrepreneur but not the kind of entrepreneur I often run into. You could say he's a renaissance man; Barbara Sher would probably say he is a "scanner." Jack has no "job" and doesn't have a pat answer to the question, "What do you do?" As a matter of fact, we didn't get around to talking about work for at least a month, which only came about when talking about medical issues and working. This led to my revelation that I wrote a book to guide people back to work after a serious health setback. He shared with me that a number of years ago he took (was given) a medical discharge from military service after a severe breakdown associated with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). Hm, the plot thickens! Curious about the potential utility of my book for people like him, he asked if he could read it.
Fast forward back to yesterday and the inspiration for this post. Jack said that "Business from Bed" helped him quite a bit, and asked if I'd like to hear how. (Uh, yeah!) To start, he pointed out that my guidance was geared towards helping people focus on on the best use of their time in service of A business or job. In other words, I encourage people to focus and DEFINE their work.
Reflecting on his natural inclinations - and wide range of talents - Jack realized that he did not need to specialize or define himself, that he could make money doing a variety of things as the needs of another were revealed in conversation. Gotta love it. His response to the overtones in my guidance gave rise to clarity about what's not correct for him, at least not right now.
His revelation dovetails nicely with something I've been looking at for myself. I've been curious about what else I might do to earn income if I didn't coach. I've also noticed that after 12-plus years of coaching, and the repeated exposure to the formulas-for-success-in-business it is very difficult for my mind to think outside its habitual track of thinking about my work.
What does it take to think outside the box when the box is such a well-worn box?
Maybe it takes someone not yet trapped in the box pointing to the exact direction the thinking wants to go. Jack's revelation helped me see that my training and experiences have inadvertently limited my ability to visualize opportunities and choices outside the traditional service business model.
So, I'm here to say that whatever and where ever your talents and lifestyle needs take you, the world is yours to explore.
As for me, we'll see. I had a LOT of fun interviewing people for Business from Bed, and I have had a lot of fun running Tweetchats. In recent months I've really enjoyed sharing other people's comeback stories in the Lifework Cafe. Perhaps I'll just add "adept interviewer" to my list of skills and see what happens.
What do you think?
- Is there some well-worn track in your own thinking that has kept you from exploring other avenues for generating revenue, especially those that seem ridiculous (a good clue)?
- Do you HAVE to specialize to succeed?
- Is it easier to specialize and focus when time and energy are at a premium?