I like to try things. When I’m trying something new, I put my whole heart into it, and usually a big chunk of my wallet.
For example, I thought it would be cool to learn about human psychology.
I don’t know if I thought, “Hey, I should go to school and become a psychologist,” but I did go to school nonetheless.
This is after I already had a university degree, a fulltime established job, and a husband.
I went to college to learn human psychology because that was something I wanted to do. Plain and simple.
The only investment there was the college course tuition and the cost of the textbook.
Then I wanted to learn photography. So I enrolled in that.
This was an online program that actually, surprisingly, didn’t involve taking any photos at all. It was theory and concept, which I aced.
But my husband bought me a Canon SLR Camera anyway, so there was that investment. We still have this camera, so I believe this was a good purchase.
Next up, interior design. I can’t remember what inspired me to do this, but once I was in, I was all in.
I took a course online, but this one required turning in homework assignments regularly, and each assignment had a practical question.
Not only did I need to buy all the rulers and paper to do this, but I needed a special desk (I said this, not the program), with special lighting, and pencils etc.
So far, I hadn’t spent as much as I did with the photography course, because that camera was expensive, but I still spent money that I didn’t need to.
The Never-ending Courses of Trying To Fill a Gap
I didn’t stop there. I was so sure I was going to become an interior designer so midway through the course, I talked my husband into getting me a website so I could sell myself.
Then I went to Vistaprint to buy all the little things one needs for branding.
Business cards, magnets, postcards, notebooks, pens, and a mouse pad, because why not?
By the end of the course, I changed my tune. I felt like I wouldn’t be able to deal with people at all.
I also felt like I would need more of a business degree to handle all other aspects, because in order to deal with people, you need to be able to sell yourself at a fare price without selling yourself short.
Instead of becoming an interior designer, I’d just flip homes. So I went back to Vistaprint and bought home-flipping stuff, and that was pretty much all I did.
Why? Because I’m in no position to buy another house just to flip it. Plus I don’t know any contractors and I’m not handy.
Success in Places Unexpected
My next business endeavour was successful. This is where I got together with two girls and we created a publishing company.
It has had ups and downs in the last five years, but finally we’re at a place that we’re comfortable with.
And I have two of the bestest girlfriends I could ever ask for. So overall, this one was a great success; though not enough to quit our day jobs.
One thing I did not need to invest in was a ginormous laser printer. Now I’m stuck with this and can’t afford to even replace the toner.
There are four toners, by the way, and each costs about $200. It’s cheaper to just buy another printer.
We’ve done this, but now I think we have about three printers in the house and none of them are operational.
I’m not actually sure why, I’m just not technical enough to figure it out.
During my time as a publisher and editor, I was still a fulltime employee, mom, and wife.
If we’re being honest, let’s just say that these are all fulltime jobs, and they all require my time, strength, and positive attitude.
At this point I decided it would be a good time to start a business. Why? Well why not?
One Step Forward…
So, I joined Mary Kay and sold makeup and skincare products. I met a bunch of lovely ladies – other Mary Kay sellers – and invested a lot of money into this.
I went to the bank, presented myself as a professional, they gave me money to spend and I spent it.
Now I have about $5,000 worth of inventory and I’m not doing this anymore. So if you want anything, send me a message.
Why am I not doing this anymore? Well I gave it a couple years, and I learned a lot about myself.
To do a MLM job, you need to not take no for an answer. You need to be persuasive. You need to be pushy, but also happy about it. You need to be confident.
And, most importantly, you need to not take things personally because you will deal with a lot of insults and rude people and you just need to brush it off.
I’m none of those things. Everything is personal.
So the more rude people I met, the more people who lied to me about things like “oh sure, I’ll do a party for you” and then didn’t.
Then there were the people who said they wanted things and then didn’t ever actually buy anything, so the harder this job became.
I sunk myself further and further into debt, because I trusted people.
Eventually I landed myself in the hospital, unrelated, but I was really, really sick. I was in the hospital for a week, and another two weeks off recovering.
During this three-week period, I discovered something. I needed rest. I needed to stop trying to sell myself, when that version of me, wasn’t me.
Happiness Comes From You
I’m not always happy. I’m not always smiling. I’m not always positive. I can pretend, but it takes effort.
It’s exhausting putting on this happy façade, when you have so many women who lie and cheat.
I was going to say backstab, but really, they stabbed me in the front and I handed them the knife.
I felt like a failure. I actually tried to do this. I gave it my all, and still I failed.
Maybe I didn’t fail though.
Sure, I’m still trying to pay off this debt, and I still have a lot of products that just aren’t moving… and this part is a constant reminder… but maybe, just maybe, I didn’t fail.
I learned who my friends are, and who I want them to be. I learned who I could trust, and who I couldn’t.
As I’m writing this, I feel like maybe I’ve said this before.
Maybe I’ve talked about all the things I’ve tried and quit.
Maybe I’ve talked about being a quitter before, because really, that’s possibly my official job title. Quitter.
Except I’m not.
I’m still alive and trying new things. I’m surviving life.
It’s not easy. It’s never easy. But every day, I manage.
Crafting became my newest thing. I started making candles and painting pictures, and I really enjoy this.
My husband, as supportive as he is, suggests I sell these things.
As you can imagine, I’m a little disheartened from the selling.
I really just wanted to enjoy making things without having to make a business out of it. I did learn a valuable lesson in all my attempts at new things.
I don’t have to invest a lot of money to try something, but I can invest some.
Buying wax and a special pot to make candles is fine – remortgaging the house or maxing out my credit cards is not fine.
My call to action for you: Try something.
Step Into Your Try Zone
Pick a date this week or this month and say, “I’m going to do this.” Let it be something you’ve never done before.
I challenge you.
If you want to be extreme, try skydiving, or mountain climbing, or going on a road trip to a place you’ve never been.
If you want to be social, try joining a new class: salsa lessons, wine tasting, or a paint night.
Maybe there’s someone at work or on the way to work that you see regularly but you’ve never said ‘hi’ to. Do that.
Get their name and strike a conversation.
If all of that sounds far too scary, that’s ok – I don’t think I would do those things either.
Want to try smaller?
- Cook something you’ve never cooked before.
- Taste something you’ve never tasted.
- Go for a walk down a street you’ve never strolled down before.
- Pick flowers, or just buy flowers because picking might be illegal.
Try something. It doesn’t have to be big, but it does have to be legal. It doesn’t have to be scary, but it does have to be new.
Tell me about it. Tell me how you felt. If you didn’t like it, don’t do it again.
Be happy that you tried, because now you have a story to tell. Now you have a new piece of you that didn’t exist before.
Now you know.
If you learn something new about yourself, then you haven’t failed at all.