My first ‘real’ job was in a major department store. It was the big kahuna back in the day to land a job like this. It paid well, and it was always a comfort being in this big, impressive building that could protect you from all the elements. My little part time t-shirt / record store job led me to the big store so I thought I had it made.
But then things changed. I was being shoved into departments that didn’t utilize my full potential. Yes, I could punch keys on $1.49 day and get people through a lineup like the best of them, but a little part of me died inside when I did it. It didn’t tap into my creative side.
My best days there were the Warehouse Sale days where I could go in wearing jeans and draw hand drawn signs all day long. Other departments took note how graphic my signs were and asked me to draw for them too.
That led me to my first sign shop job. I was able to get in there with no prior computer experience via a series of hand drawn sketches. They taught me from the ground up and I learned all about the sign industry.
I was fast on those keys, and excelled in whatever they needed me to do. But something still wasn’t quite right. I was more giddy about the sideline job they gave me of cleaning up and organizing than making signs. I decked out my computer station complete with a cow print office chair and had it looking so slick, another artist wanted me to revamp her space.
My next morph landed me in the auto-graphics industry. It was an extension of the sign world but this round, it was about getting out there myself and approaching body shops and car dealerships with the offer of vehicle graphics. I became quite the hot rod vinyl pin-striper in town.
But… I was still working for someone else, so I morphed my sign and auto-graphics abilities into my own business. I bought my own equipment, took a course and taught my way to success.
I worked from home but then opportunity knocked and I moved to a storefront. And eventually, employees.
But then we moved and my son came along and everything changed. I had a very successful business but I needed to be closer to home. So I built what I needed on our home turf and became home based yet again. And didn’t morph any further for YEARS.
My work became just about the pay. I just wanted to be a mom and put the morphing on hold.
Luckily, life forced me into an unintentional morph which had me leaving my dream shop and property. So my son and I moved to a little town with nothing more than a city sized property… with no shop for my shop. It was an awfully bad time in my life. But I morphed the basement into what I needed and this became my downscaled sign shop. With bonuses I had NO idea of at the time.
This is when I started tinkering on the house. I was pretty much broke, but having a desire to make my broken house look pretty, I just started gathering junk off the side of the road and making it into something.
Then I came across the world of blogs. Interesting! So I learned how to fire one up and started sharing.
I was soon putting WAY more time into the blogging side of things while I worked and parented… over extended would be an exaggeration. Why? Because I felt alive when I tinkered on something I loved that felt like it was made just for me. Double duty in this case became my lifeline and saved my life. It wasn’t easy. No way. But I pushed and did it anyway.
I found I could exercise and push my talents in new ways. ie: If I wanted to learn photography, I just picked up my camera and pushed myself into learning, through self inflicting assignments. I soon learned the sky was the limit and listed all the ways I could potentially earn if I chose this for my life’s work.
But I had a big decision to make. The sign side was gnawing at my blogging side. Every day I had to get up to do signs, it was like being pried away from where I really wanted to be. So I became ultra choosy on whom I did sign business with so I could afford more time on the blog side.
Today? I do very little sign work and am going to expand in new and interesting ways in order to earn through junk.
I don’t have all the answers yet and SO much to learn. But here’s what took me over 50 years to learn…
Everything you’ve learned prior to where you WISH to be is a huge gift. Your past experience will help to catapult you into becoming the person you were meant to be.
But you really have to have a serious chat with yourself. While we all want to love what we do for our life’s work, it comes with lots of uphills and self motivation and scary steps into the unknown. You have lots of ground to cut and learning to do. Your willingness to learn can never end. Because if you stop learning, you won’t continue to morph. And morphing is critical to new success.
I learned to sell.
I learned what I liked to sell and what I didn’t.
I learned that I like to teach, educate and inspire.
I learned to use my graphic design abilities to help decorate my online life.
I learned to write, photograph, and post build.
I learned social media to help broaden my online world.
I learned working from home is where I not only want to be, it’s where I need to be. I was able to get up umpteen times to cater to my sick son while writing this post.
I learned that I have so much more to learn.
I learned that if you follow your heart, you will ultimately be led to the very place you were meant to be. It all works out. You just have to believe.
And the biggest of all?
I learned taking the scary steps of morphing into whom you wish to become was vital.
I mean, what does one have to lose?