It’s A Wonderful Life
This week I played a game of ‘What if?’ in regards to my choice to leave my previous life behind and come online at the end of 2005. If you are familiar with Frank Capra’s 1946 classic holiday film, which starred James Stewart and Donna Reed you know that it tells the story of George Bailey (portrayed by Stewart) as a man who has given up his dreams in order to help others. On Christmas Eve he contemplates suicide and is then connected with his Guardian Angel, Clarence. Clarence shows George all the lives he has touched and how different life in his community would be had he never been born.
Although my life has not been nearly as dramatic, I did have moments in 2005 where I questioned the work I was doing and wondered if I would ever have the time and the money to help others the way I had always intended. I had worked for twenty years as a classroom teacher in the public schools of Los Angeles, while simultaneously working as a real estate broker and residential appraiser. I was about to celebrate my fiftieth birthday and felt as though I had squandered the best years of my life by working ten to twelve hours a day, six or seven days each week for all of those years.
So this week I asked myself ‘What if?’ What if…I had made other choices?, been afraid to risk my financial security?, not connected with the people who would teach me how to get started? I went back over that time day by day in my mind, and this is what I came up with…
I wake up one day in April of 2005 and realize that I want a new life. I have absolutely no idea how this can happen, but I believe I must make an effort to see what’s available. I begin reading, attending seminars, and talking to people about the possibilities.
In the summer of 2005 I met another real estate appraiser at a building site about twenty-five miles north of where I was living at that time. The area is called Santa Clarita, and that day I put down a deposit on a new home that was to be built that fall. I have no idea how I will be able to see this through but I have faith that if it is meant to be, I will find a way.
In December of 2005 the home is ready, and I spend the first two months of 2006 putting together the financing so that I’ll be the new owner. In March I begin moving in.
I realize that I want to completely change my life, not just the location and setting where I live. This requires me to stretch way out of my comfort zone as I begin to explore the world of online marketing and entrepreneurship. At first I reject the idea of coming online because I honestly feel like I have nothing to offer anyone else. I work on my ‘inner game’ until I believe that I can make a difference in other people’s lives with the work I will do.
In April of 2006, after learning as much as I possibly could about online marketing for the past six months I finally earn twenty-one dollars and sixty cents from the sale of an affiliate product, an eBook on dog training. I then believe that I can be successful as an online entrepreneur.
This sets in motion a chain of events that would lead to me deciding to resign from the school district in June of 2006, and to begin turning over all of my real estate clients to others who were working in this area full time. By July 1 of 2006, I was unemployed and unemployable.
This is when the hard work began and I was thrust into a world I knew almost nothing about. The technology scares me; the writing overwhelms me; the idea of conducting a business from behind my computer amazes me. I know that if I am to be successful I must arm myself with knowledge, information, and people who can assist me. I find someone to help me with the technical side of the business, begin voraciously reading everything I can find on entrepreneurship and online marketing, and begin creating content faster than I thought possible just months earlier. Writing every day turns me into a writer, something that makes a huge difference in my progress almost immediately.
By the end of 2006 I create my first product and begin hosting regular teleseminars. Allowing people to hear my voice is the next best thing to being able to meet them in person. My list begins to grow with people who resonate with what I have to share.
The fall of 2007 is a milestone for me; I have now replaced my previous income and know that I can keep growing my business in a way that feels so right for me.
My first book is published in the summer of 2010, allowing me to realize my life long dream of becoming a published author. I write and publish more books on a regular basis, and in October of 2014 I publish my tenth book.
As we come to the end of 2014 it’s still difficult for me to imagine that I have come so far over these past years. I believe today, more than I have ever believed in the past, that it is possible for anyone to do what I have done. If you want to change your life and your circumstances it all begins with you believing in yourself and feeling confident in your ability to help others.