Don’t Wait . . . Create

I had an epiphany in the middle of the night last week.

It was not a religious epiphany or something that can save the world. I awoke from a dream with a feeling of peace and a moment of clarity.

A clear view of the bend in the river from a bridge in Vermont.

I finally understood what has been holding me down from truly pursuing my dream to reinvent myself and create my ideal career. After several days of deepening depression and frustration, I broke through to an understanding of what is wrong and how to begin fixing it.

It shouldn’t surprise anybody when I say that the thing holding me back the most is

I am not talking about fear of the unknown, because my life has really been a series of unknowns. What I seem to fear is following a non-traditional path.

To put it more simply, while I keep saying I want to create my own career that doesn’t fit the mold, I still am using traditional methods to find work, praying each day that I will discover a job description that matches my dream job. I am still looking for a position that someone else creates and I fill.

But, in my moment of epiphany, a phrase sang out loudly in my head:

Don’t Wait . . . Create! I think this will be my motto for my new company, a company of one that I am giving birth to as I type each word.  I know what I have to do now, and I am beginning to plan. I am still scared, because I am wandering into a completely unknown world, where I have a lot to learn. I don’t really know how to start my own business. But, if there is one thing I do know, I always learn what I need to know to achieve what needs to be done. So I cannot let my fear stop me.

What are the next steps? I’m slowly trying to figure that out, and I even wrote a Hub about it (not a brilliant Hub, but at least I wrote something).

I know that one of the first steps I need to take is to really clarify what services I want to offer. I plan to market myself as a Teaching Artist, Theater Artist, Creative Thinker and Writing Consultant who offers individualized programming to meet the needs of my clients. I’m going to provide examples of things that I can do, such as:

  • Work with students of all ages to create a performance on specific themes
  • Use drama techniques in non-theater classrooms to enhance learning of specific subjects.
  • Work with adults with special needs to encourage creativity and enhance interpersonal relations, as well as build confidence.
  • Work with individual groups to find new ways of approaching problems such as bullying or effective ways of communicating.
  • Use creative techniques to enhance writing and encourage students of different skill levels to find their individual voices.

Whew! Those are off the top of my head. Do they work? Do they sound good? Would you hire me?

Here’s where you, my blogging friends come in. I need help! In so many different ways. I think I’m losing my mind. ;)

Don’t worry, I’m not asking for money, I just want advice and input. So, if you have any suggestions about how to achieve this momentous goal, please speak up, or even e-mail me.

I also have a fun challenge. I want to make myself an LLC but I don’t want it to be Lisa Kramer, LLC. I want a name for this company, and a logo. Right now the name I am playing with is “Eclectic Approaches” but I am open to any suggestions from this fabulous blogging community that has such a way with words.

Epiphanies come when you least expect them. Last week I was struggling through the dark wood, unable to see past my depression and my fears.That evening, I had hit rock bottom, hiding from my family in my bedroom and curling up in a defeated ball of emotions, followed later by a complete outburst of tears, anger, frustration, loneliness and fear. But the explosion opened the way for messages I needed to hear. I cannot describe the dream or the image that spoke with such clarity. I couldn’t even remember it when it happened. All I now is that right now I feel like I am on a good path.

I wonder where the path leads?

Photo by Sarah KramerLee

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38 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. bornstoryteller
    Oct 11, 2011 @ 10:29:34 of the key things nowadays is that we have to stop thinking of what used to work, how we used to go about marketing and going after jobs. Diversification and stepping away from some of the old is needed. I see that daily: If we don’t change with the times, we are not going to get all we should get.

    Good luck.


    • Lisa (Woman Wielding Words)
      Oct 11, 2011 @ 10:37:23

      Stuart, I would love any advice from you, as you are out there doing what I am passionate about. Thanks for reading.


      • bornstoryteller
        Oct 11, 2011 @ 10:54:40

        Not sure how much advice i can give here. There are so many different opportunities, we just have to search them out OR be lucky enough that we know the right person at the right time.

        I feel that more now: it really is who you know to get your foot in. Feel that more now then in the past. People are afraid, at times. to take what they see as a risk on a new person.


        • Lisa (Woman Wielding Words)
          Oct 11, 2011 @ 11:01:57

          That’s actually a good piece of advice right there. I am the new kid on the block, and I have to be aware that building a good reputation and making connections takes time.


  2. LittleMissVix
    Oct 11, 2011 @ 10:35:42

    This is a great idea, good on you Lisa! Of course it won’t be easy but you have the skills and the determination so I know you’ll be fine. After all, you created this blog so you can create a company no problem.


    • Lisa (Woman Wielding Words)
      Oct 11, 2011 @ 10:40:35

      Thanks Vicky. You can do it too, you know. We just have to support each other along the way. ;)


  3. TheIdiotSpeaketh
    Oct 11, 2011 @ 11:18:14

    Good for you Lisa! I am so happy that you found your path. Just be sure to stay on the path! You even think about stepping off of it, and I will beat you with a twig! :)


    • Lisa (Woman Wielding Words)
      Oct 11, 2011 @ 11:38:30

      Ah, but the path is not straight and may have some treacherous parts, so there is potential to fall off occasionally. ;) Thanks for helping me through a really rough day last week.


  4. Rose
    Oct 11, 2011 @ 12:05:44

    Oh, Lisa. I literally went through a dramatic “I don’t know what I should do but I want it to look more like this” crying confession yesterday. It is scary! And I think that’s okay. Let’s just not let it stop us. Your plan sounds interesting and fantastic and I suspect you’ll be able to execute winningly.

    Be patient with yourself. Talk to a lot of people about your goals, vision and interest. You never know who will be supportive or knows someone who can help. Also, it will help you solidify your vision. Believe you can.


    • Lisa (Woman Wielding Words)
      Oct 11, 2011 @ 12:39:57

      Rose, it’s good to know we aren’t alone, isn’t it? I’m just trying to take things one step at a time, once I figure out what those steps are. We can help each other through this, I’m sure.


  5. notesfromrumbleycottage
    Oct 11, 2011 @ 13:34:40

    It sounds like you need to network and volunteer some time to get your foot in the door. What about the name – are you happy with it? I would suggest writing it on an index care and taping it where you will see it often. After a few days you will know if it is right.


  6. Heather Henry
    Oct 11, 2011 @ 16:17:25

    Wow LIsa, that sounds like the perfect solution for you. I think you are definitely on to something, and I truly believe you can and will accomplish it. I think the best way to start anything, is to know what it is you want and as the ideas come to you, write them all down, no matter how crazy they seem. Keep a notebook handy, so you can write everything down. Find other people who are doing something similar and pick their brains. Set goals. Give yourself deadlines and find encouraging phrases and people to keep you motivated when you have moments of feeling discouraged. You need cheerleaders. :) I am super excited for you.


    • Lisa (Woman Wielding Words)
      Oct 11, 2011 @ 17:51:45

      Heather, I need you to be my cheerleader and to help me. I already had a panic attack on day one of this new adventure, when I started looking at legal stuff. I’m trying to remember to breathe.


  7. nrhatch
    Oct 11, 2011 @ 17:04:10

    Maybe you should call the company: Don’t Wait . . . Create!

    Good luck!


  8. Sparks In Shadow
    Oct 11, 2011 @ 19:09:39

    “… it’s good to know we aren’t alone, isn’t it?” I’ll say it is! I’ve been going through very similar feelings, albeit from another end of the job search spectrum.

    I’ve heard more than once that creating one’s own company, is actually one of the best ways to make a living these days. Creating a position from one’s own strengths and interests makes for a more fulfilling career, too.

    I’m not sure if I have any info that you wouldn’t know already, but this did come to mind: Wanting to start a brownie business when my daughter was a toddler, I researched some business regulations. I think naming your business (Doing Business As) has more rules than using your own name. Also if you built up a reputation with a business name and then decided the name didn’t feel right anymore, for whatever reason, you might not want to confuse your business history by changing it.

    For skills as deliciously singular and creative as yours, I wonder if using your name as the company’s name (with an equally delicious logo and tag line to showcase it) and then naming each of the packages of services you offer to people or organizations, could work for you. You can change the ‘package’ names more easily later on as your business morphs. Just a few thoughts.

    I’m excited for you, Lisa!


  9. savorthefolly
    Oct 11, 2011 @ 19:12:36

    Hi Lisa, Good for you for trying to overcome your fears. I don’t have any advice to offer beyond what others have said, but wanted to wish you good luck!


  10. Kathryn McCullough
    Oct 11, 2011 @ 19:25:54

    What a great insight that it’s fear that’s getting in your way–fear of forging your own way. I wish I knew how to do what you’re proposing, but I’m afraid I have no idea.

    But, I also think “Don’t Wait, Create” would be a good name in and of itself. However, maybe the negative shouldn’t come first.

    I’m really, really exited for you, Lisa. This is great news!



    • Lisa (Woman Wielding Words)
      Oct 11, 2011 @ 20:01:54

      I’m terrified. :P


      • k8edid
        Oct 11, 2011 @ 21:29:08

        It’s okay to be terrified – just don’t let it paralyze you. So glad you are feeling this positive energy and moving forward on the path.


        • Lisa (Woman Wielding Words)
          Oct 12, 2011 @ 07:37:16

          Of course today the fear is overwhelming, but I’m trying to work through it.


          • bornstoryteller
            Oct 12, 2011 @ 08:20:30

            Taking risks can be very scary, but…you KNOW you need to do it.

            Here’s my thing: I’d rather TRY and have it not succeed then be like all the scared rabbits who stay in place and remain unfulfilled. Failure, to me, is not trying.

            My story: I left a career of fifteen years that I hated just about every second of. I was making good money (esp for then). HATED IT, and it was not in just one location, one company. I left, took a huge drop in finances, learned to do without things I didn’t need in the first place, and I started the road to living my passions.

            I created my own theater company. It ran for twelve years.

            Take the fear, kick yourself in the ass to get started, and know there will be bumps in the road. Look forward, not back.

            End of sermon.


  11. countingducks
    Oct 12, 2011 @ 08:50:39

    Having that moment of clarity is really self affirming, and probably means yur subconscious was whirring away over the problem while you went ab out your normal life. Once you’ve made the decision don’t go back on it. The only way is Up as the song says


    • Lisa (Woman Wielding Words)
      Oct 12, 2011 @ 09:27:35

      The challenge for me is going to be not letting my enthusiasm outrun the reality of the process. I tend to get frustrated when things don’t happen as quickly as my dreams, but I know that everything will happen in time.


  12. GroundCherry
    Oct 12, 2011 @ 14:01:02

    I do want to say that is incredibly rewarding to chase your own dream. (Having just self published One Bowl: Simple Healthy Recipes for One a small dream I’ve been musing about for years, I think I can claim to have been in a version of your shoes.) However, I would advise creating a really solid business and marketing plan before doing anything else. And by marketing plan, I mean not just the name but the logos/hardcopy materials/website design but also your outreach, how you will market YOU, intended audience, long-term plans, pricing, willingness to do freebies for media coverage, etc.

    If you have the money for an advisor of some sort, it would likely be helpful in the early stages. I have a friend who does that sort of advising for artists, but I’m sure you can find someone local. I would have loved to have someone advise me prior to launch.

    Good luck!


    • Lisa (Woman Wielding Words)
      Oct 12, 2011 @ 14:23:45

      Thanks for those welcome words of advice. I am working toward a really solid plan. I would love an advisor, but part of my problem is that I am so new to the area (where I’m living, not the career) that I don’t even know where to begin. I know that I have to make connections, and I’m slowly trying to figure out how.


  13. CMSmith
    Oct 12, 2011 @ 17:06:00

    Hang in there. You’ll find your way. They say it is darkest just before dawn.


  14. ElizOF
    Oct 15, 2011 @ 02:15:40

    I’m happy for you Lisa as i have been on the same journey and continue to march towards my dream. My advice is to meditate on what you have already envisioned and ask for inner guidance… spirit never misleads. Best wishes! :-)


    • Lisa (Woman Wielding Words)
      Oct 15, 2011 @ 08:32:07

      Thanks, I’m trying to meditate and be open to guidance, although I am not always successful at that. ;)


  15. Lunar Euphoria
    Oct 16, 2011 @ 11:08:53

    Take the leap!

    Hang a shingle, create a website or brochure, print business cards, market your services, attend community meetings and events and get your name out there!


  16. Trackback: Leaping into Possibility « Woman Wielding Words
  17. sterlingsop
    Nov 17, 2011 @ 15:46:35

    Sometimes we get paralysed by fear of success as much as fear of failure. What will it do to me? How will my life be changed? What will I think of myself if I am successful and I haven’t got that drive to be better any more? It’s just as valid as the fear of getting it wrong.

    Keep going girl, you’re doing a great job :)


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