Image via Flickr by v923z
I am lucky – I have a job that I love, and I am very good at my job! I earn a reasonable living wage! And I don’t take any of this for granted because I know that I am the exception, not the rule. At this point in time, 90% of my income is generated through teaching.
That may not sound that impressive until you understand that what I teach is knitting. If someone today asks me what I do, my answer is: I’m a Professional Knitting Instructor. Needless to say, that statement can either be the beginning of an interesting conversation or kill it dead in its tracks. And just to reiterate, I love being a professional knitting instructor and I blog about that all the time, too!
However, about 12 to 24 months ago I started getting restless in this job that I love. I realized that I wanted to find a way to do more, but I also knew that I was very close to “maxing out” what was possible within the niche of knitting instruction. And so I began to explore what might be next.
So what is it that I love…specifically? I love teaching, training, and talking with groups of people. And I can do this effectively on a wide range of topics and skills. In my business consulting life, prior to my knitting career, I was a generalist. At the time, it was a plus. But now, generalization is no longer beneficial; specialization is the key.
To that end, I have started exploring what my business life outside of knitting might look like. This blog is one of my first steps in exploring how to do more of what I love. My passions are professional instruction, leadership, and meeting facilitation, but even that is probably too broad. So I write, hoping that through the words, I will begin to see the uniqueness that I can bring to the world. I love public speaking, but I am still working on how to get that aspect of the business started. And my biggest struggle is one we often all have: time.
Part of my business is being self-employed, which is shorthand for, “I am responsible for handling all aspects of the business including the stuff I don’t like to do very much and/or I am not very good at.” Because I know I cannot create more time, I am exploring how to use my time differently. I have the ability to create a new web presence for this business, but I am considering outsourcing the development. Historically I have always done all of my own marketing, but I am looking at the possibility of working with a speaker’s bureau. My conversational speaking “voice” doesn’t always translate well into “print” (and I can’t spell), so hiring an editor probably makes sense.
So my exploration continues, but I have already made some discoveries along the way. Exploring is easier when you have a partner, and Tara really has some great skills. It is easy to miss some of the best treasures if you are too focused on the goal; exploring is about finding something new and unexpected. Exploring takes time, and it requires patience and a sense of adventure, but most things in life do. And ultimately, exploration can be its own reward.
Where will this journey take me? Only time will tell for sure. But in the meantime I am exploring, discovering, and trying new things. You never know what you will find until you start to look! So what are you exploring in your world? How can you learn to do more of what you love?
“This post is part of the Exploration Party – a celebration of our inner explorers, led by Tara Swiger of Explore You. You can find other tales of adventure from artists, crafters, writers and biz smarties – and share your own story – right here.”