You can’t change the world till you find your people. This is a story of shared transformation, and I invite you along. Through a contact at Impact Hub Minneapolis-St. Paul, I met wholistic consultant Julie Delene of Move as One this spring. Within minutes, we both knew we had work to do, together.
We’ve teamed up to create this blog series, The Soulful Sidebiz. I’m following my call to help people find my voice, and Julie’s providing tools for creating change. We hope to inspire you on your own journey of transformation, whatever it may be. Here’s to aligning passions with goals!
The Soulful Side Biz Series (Part 3)
For me, the desire to build a side business came from being burned out. At 42, I’ve reached the 20-year mark for working full time. Most were spent (and still are) at a nonprofit whose mission I support deeply. It’s brought the fulfilllment many workers seek, but often at a cost. For years I volunteered to help with any and every task, without realizing the endless pace would eventually affect my health.
I’ve also learned a thing or two about personal burnout, as I rebuilt my life after divorce several years ago. At the time, my ex and I worked hard to end things amicably, a feat I appreciate to this day. Still, achieving this relative peace took a lot out of me. It was also preceded by a trip to rehab for him and the Hazelden family program for me.
From Burnout to Inspiration
If you have an alcoholic/addict in your life, I know how tiring the experience can be. I can’t say enough good things about the self-care strategies I learned in the family program, and I hope you have access to something similar. Spoiler alert: While helpful, this may involve a LOT of crying.
Fast forward to now. Life has stabilized. No longer in survival mode, I actually have energy for growth. (Can I get a “Hell, yes!”) Wonderfully, growth brings adventure. But it can be disorienting, too. Deep down I sense there’s more I want and need to do.
The more I explore this feeling, the more exciting–and unsettling–it gets. At times I’ve been tempted to call this process a midlife crisis, but I don’t like being stuck with words others pin on us. The desire to reboot can bring out your best self, if you’re willing to work through the uncertainty. Maybe “midlife opportunity” is more like it.
A New Mentor Crosses My Path
For these reasons, I was thrilled to meet Julie Delene, a consultant who guides clients to combine mindfulness with action. So far, I’ve had three sessions with her. Each has brought a powerful insight that’s led me to take action toward my building my side biz.
I look forward to Julie’s sessions, where I get to play 5 Mindful Moves. It sparks conversations around fulfilling my true intentions. Julie takes me through a series of questions. I pull a card from each deck and answer its prompt:
- Map where you are
- Open your body, mind, heart
- Visualize what you want
- Engage co-creation
- Sustain momentum
Suzi’s Happy Place
This session’s best insight came to me through Question #2. I’m paraphrasing here, but the card asked me to describe my happy place. Where do I feel most joyful and safe, it wanted to know. I thought for a moment, then started describing the monthly gathering for my local chapter of an organization called Live Your Legend.
Julie’s face lit up as I told her how energized I feel at LYL meetings, among people who’re actively changing they way they live, work, and play. “That’s it!” she exclaimed. “These are your people. No matter what business you end up building, people like this’ll be your audience, too. Those who want to change the status quo.” She was right, of course, but this had never occurred to me. I knew how good it felt to spend time with people who get me, but I’d never considered the connection to my business and its audience.
Biz-Building Takeaway: Don’t underestimate your unique point of view. Picture your happy place, then think about how you can bring this feeling to your audience.
How Can Crafting Change the World?
Suddenly, Julie had attached greather importance to my business goals. I’d always envisioned crafters as my audience–and I proudly still do–but now I realized something new, too. On some level, I’m trying to change the world. What draws me to crafters is that they make something from nothing. They draw beauty from chaos. And yet, the word crafters somehow makes these folks seem less important, frivolous somehow.
What I see now is that crafting is everything but frivolous. It’s an important act, and it can influence everything from paper projects to attitudes to jobs to community. I want to surround myself with makers, and I want to help cultivate more of them in this world. Sure, decorating Altoid tins is a part of it, but using your hands is just one tool. There are many ways to find your voice and make a difference. I want to explore more of these tools, especially entrepreneurship.
I look forward to my next session with Julie, and I wonder what it’ll reveal. So, what about you? What’s your happy place? And what can it teach you about making your world a better place?