Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Box Too Small

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Over the last few weeks, I have been editing my first book. Yes, the book is getting a face lift! And hopefully will come out error free. Well...at least we'll make a really good go at it.

Below is an excerpt that is in keeping with our current theme.

I wanted to share with you because I thought it might be helpful for those of you still struggling with the "next" step.

Dream Excerpted from My Journal

As I was finishing up the duties assigned to me in my old life, I had a very revealing dream. A former boss opened his office door and asked me to look at the small box in the corner.

His office was completely empty except for this box that resembled a standard mailbox. He said, “Allyn, I want you to fit yourself in that box while I’m gone.” I agreed and said that I would do it for him. He closed the door and left.

I tried for a long time to fit myself in that small box but couldn’t do it. No matter how hard I tried the box just wasn’t big enough.

Marsha Sinetar, well-known career consultant and author once said, “Maybe this narrowing of life—the eroding of interests and hope—could be likened to being cooped up in a room that’s too small…The only thing that’s stopping you is you.”

How true both her thoughts and my dream turned out to be. My final breaking point was at the pinnacle of my professional life. Three months after being named in the "dream job" position, I declared, “No more!”

The pay was fabulous and the position was definitely good for my ego, but the job was choking the life right out of me. Adding to the pressure, I now had a two-year-old daughter that I suddenly had no energy to care for. It was all too much and with deep regret, I realized I had just eaten the wrong carrot.

The journey to finding what I was really looking for wasn’t over yet, but I was sure the heavens rejoiced—I finally got some of the message. Immediately I took back a part-time job I had at the college while I regrouped and rested.

Within fourteen months, I had started a home-based business and was making almost as much as I had made with my former job minus headaches, stress and fatigue. The business, a résumé writing and career consulting startup, was a perfect match.

I knew everything about preparing marketing materials, interviewing and convincing an employer to hire me. My knowledge came from my own experiences, numerous interviews and books. I emerged from all those seemingly dead-end paths as a career consultant. I had a tried and proven means to make money that was very practical and inexpensive to launch.

Besides that, I enjoyed the work and relished the opportunity to stay at home with my daughter.
After two years, though, the thought of writing another résumé from scratch was nauseating. To change things up a little, I added grant writing—finding a fairly easy way to add more money to my bottom line. That decision prolonged my home-based business for another six months, but by the time my daughter was scheduled to go to school full-time, I knew I had to change things.

Not interested in returning to a traditional job or a boss, I sought consulting jobs—short-term contracts and commitments.

As luck would have it, a nonprofit company needed an Interim Executive Director to fill in for nine months. I had the skills and was hired.

A deal was quickly sealed. The contract was part-time, but still provided the share that I needed to contribute to the family income. With income covered, I dropped all my other contracts with résumé and grant writers. I focused on myself. Finally, I was ready to follow my heart. But first, I had to figure out what my heart wanted.
It's my hope that you too can find a way to listen to your heart. Next post, I'll give suggestions on how to do just that.

Allyn Evans
email me!

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Camellia said...

And you still are following your heart. What a great adventure.

Liana said...

Hi Allyn,
I read your story...well, it is exciting how you've made it work for you! I am now in the same situation, keep changing till I find what I really want! Amazing!
Thanks for sharing,

Allyn Evans said...

Thanks for the comments! Always a work in progress... :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Good for you, Allyn! It doesn't matter how great an opportunity - if it stunts our growth as a person, it's not right for us.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Wow! what a telling dream. And a great metaphor for what we often do--even without realizing it. The box is not only too small--it's someone else's box!

Liana, nice to see you here!

Allyn, good luck with the re-pub of your book. I know it has so much to give so many 'cause I've read it!

Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Blogging at Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites pick www.sharingwithwriters.blogspot.com

Prill Boyle said...

Great dream, Allyn. Glad you're living your real one. xoxox

Allyn Evans said...

Thanks Diane, Carolyn and Prill!

Dreams have provided me with many answers. :)

Carolyn, thanks for the kind word about the book.

Anonymous said...

Hi - I am definitely happy to discover this. great job!