I had a business consultation with a coach a few weeks ago. I started to feel weird again regarding business. For those that know me, I switch roles more often than my seasonal wardrobe. Some of her (Holly's) advice was a bit brutal but good to hear. Especially after I got over myself. I asked the question I always ask myself: "What do I want to be when I grow up?". I'm turning 37 in April and I still don't have an answer to this question. Luckily Holly did. She told me "focused". That's what I am going to be. It won't mean I'm a doctor, lawyer or teacher. But I will somewhere find the discipline to be focused in my life.
I mean it's obvious in one way, but in another way I never ever considered trying to be focused. I mean I'm a scanner, focus is really the last thing on my mind. Sometimes I feel like a butterfly just fluttering along in life with no destination at all. Holly said that part of my lack of focus is the fact that I can be at home. I'm married to a man who has a good job and brings in the majority part of our income. It's not that the money I contribute doesn't help, in fact last year we really survived on the extra money I earned. She said that in some cases, I would make more money working for someone else. I do much better when someone tells me what to do rather than being left to my own devices. I did very well at the cemetery. I started as a grounds keeper, made it to cemetery supervisor (I think my organizational skills helped nail that one) and eventually I was promoted to work in the office full time. I excelled partly because I tend to have good communication skills or maybe it's just that my dad taught me to say my pleases and thank yous.
I love being self-employed though but I do lack focus. Part of the reason I chose my post header is that I wanted to be honest about this blog. I don't' know if many of you have followed me on this blog since the beginning. I started off strong and my obsessive nature really put everything into the blog. I wrote nearly every day. Yet one day I went to write and it was almost as if I didn't have any words to say. Remember when Forrest Gump ran until he was finished? It's like that for me.
I switched computers at that time from a PC to a Mac and I couldn't get my photos to load correctly. I lost my passion for blogging and instead focused in the direction of book selling. I began to post monthly on my blog with many people writing me to say that they missed me. I felt guilty but I just couldn't force myself to write. I think this is a trait among scanners. It's hard to force us to do something when our soul has lost the emotion.
I felt that I had come home as a bookseller. My great grandmother Nanette, had a used book store in Berkeley in the 1920's. I still own some of those very books including an original Maxfield Parrish book full of his illustrations. I treasure this book and often think about Nanette and her book store. I put my all into my books and quickly went from selling a mere $500 a month to $4000 a month in just six months. I worked and worked and worked until this last summer. When Dave and I were driving down to CA for our summer vacation I once again felt frustrated in the work department. I didn't like the competitive nature of other booksellers. Some were so mean and I backed away from their meanness. I like people with heart and who think of other people first. I felt that I wasn't cut out to be a book purchaser. As a seller I think I do well but fighting with those people just isn't my thing.
We decided that I should refocus on my blog and take a break from book selling. I'm a huge dreamer and always had the vision of earning millions of dollars for some idea that I haven't quite found yet. Being a thrifter has given me such rich taste. I have no need to for cheaply made products when I can get such high quality items on the 2nd hand market. But at the same time I'd love a fancy Viking range to cook on and a sub zero fridge like we used at our last home exchange. And of course a swimming pool to go with my dream mid century home. Are scanners bigger dreamers than other people? I'm not sure but I know that I always dream beyond what I can afford. Which I am okay with because overall I'm content with what I have now. I love my house and my life. But I still am a dreamer.
I tend to want to find that job that will make me millions. I think I'm starting to let that one go though. I don't know if I have the focus to find one. I mean this guy made a million by one simple website. That's my kind of money making idea. I like it simple, quick and fun.
Starting on our vacation last summer, I began to write again on this blog. I took the weekends off so that I wouldn't burn out. The passion was back and I so enjoyed writing again and connecting with people. Not to mention creating new friendships. We arrived home from vacation and I could hardly go back to selling books. Each book I shipped I did so with a pretty bad attitude. I didn't list any books for ages and when I did so it felt like such hard work. And that is how strange it is to be me. I kept plugging away at the books though and finally in December the passion returned. I had to wait 6 months to once again love my book selling job.
I guess as a scanner or maybe just as me, when one passion rekindles another dies away. In the same month I started to struggle with posting on the blog. I took off two weeks or so during the great snow of 2009 and when I started with my post in January I ran into a photo problem. I still can't get photos up on my laptop. Maybe I subconsciously created the problem.
I'm so fired up though about books and reselling in general. I revamped my website and updated all of my services. I even sat with a notepad the other day and wrote down my dream job. Basically it is to go into a home and buy the entire contents and sort through everything. I guess the official name is clean-outs or buying entire estates. I don't necessarily have the funds to do that but I came up with some services to get me close to that idea. I love the sorting and researching of this kind of work. It's what I thrive on.
Holly suggested that I really focus on the Finder Service. This is where people tell me what they are looking for and I find it for them. I love this idea. I'm already bartering my singing lessons in return for finding things for my singing instructor. It is such a satisfying feeling to search for something for someone.
This long winded email is really to share what is going on inside the mind of me. And also why my blog posts are not as frequent. I wish it wasn't as convoluted as it is but that's just the way my mind works. And again, I'm okay with that. I need to honor my passions and follow them but in a more focused way. I am going to try hard to still post frequently although the posts might be somewhat shorter.
I need balance and focus to be a part of my life. And if you are up for it, I hope to share my path with you as I take this journey. If you are a scanner, I imagine your path might be similar.