I’m Not Ready Yet

Often an employee who wants the freedom of being her own boss will make a statement about her lack of readiness. Have you considered what makes us ready or not? Readiness is a self-described, subjective state of being that is not usually given the consideration it deserves.

Often when folks declare a lack of readiness they can’t answer this question. What exactly needs to change for you to be ready? This tells me that they may not really be working on their readiness but complacently existing in the never-never land of avoidance.

I think it’s fascinating that in our games playing we get set and ready. Skeet shooting wouldn’t be much fun unless we were primed and loaded for action. Try catching any ball when you don’t know it’s being thrown. Yet in life, when much more is on the line, we don’t often invest in the same level of awareness or preparedness.

Some even prefer a ready-fire-aim philosophy. These folks would rather be thrown into the fire so that they are forced to adapt and respond. Is there a more effective way to increase our readiness? I think there is.

Yet are we ever completely ready for big life challenges? I’m not sure we can be or even want to be because then our sense of adventure would be dimmed.

But there does seem to be a readiness progression of sorts that can certainly make us more ready than randomness does.

1). Willingness is a state of openness and receptivity to the possibility of change. Readiness begins with being willing to change. Without willingness we aren’t even in the ballpark let alone the game.

2). Fitness is just beyond willingness. It’s when we’ve begun to condition ourselves to the possibilities and various scenarios that could happen.

3). Alertness is just beyond fitness. In this state we are poised and primed for action. Here we have crossed over the line of expectation by making a deliberate decision. We now know that we’ll make our move.

4). Preparedness is the final most advanced stage of readiness. It’s when we know that the move or change is imminent and we stand confidently ready to face it. This is the “bring it on” state of mind that says I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.

At what stage of readiness do you find yourself regarding your next big move?

What do you really mean when you say you aren’t yet ready?

When you say that you aren’t ready, do you have a strategy for readiness or is it more likely a defense or excuse against action?

What makes you feel like you’re ready?

Seize the Freedom of Self-Employment

Fear around the lack of money keeps many stuck within the slavery of employment. I believe more would seize the freedom of self-employment if they truly understood the value of the freedoms they have willingly given up. Most seasoned self-employed individuals joyously place a higher value on their continued freedom and would not give it up even for much more money.

What do we, as free workers, know that employees do not? We intimately understand and are invigorated by the value of the freedoms that come from doing work that we love in our own way. We believe that it’s our sacred responsibility to safeguard this freedom.

I believe that we enjoy three essential freedoms that employees do not.

1). The freedom of autonomy is our independence. It’s our ability to exercise self-government. Answering to the whims and rules of another is akin to slavery.

2). The freedom of self-determination could also be called the freedom of unlimited decisiveness. By enjoying this freedom we get to decide and choose both our day-to-day work projects and over all strategies and objectives.

3). The freedom of self-expression is simply what we are able to say without hesitation or restriction. This freedom is at the core of our well-being and the freedom I want to discuss today.

The ability to speak our minds on any issue, in any setting, to anyone is invaluable because it’s directly tied to the magnificence of our own authentic identity. When you knowingly restrict your identity you have assumed an identity that is less than your core being. This pretense wounds you deeply at a soul level. Identity restriction is a slow deadening process where the individual hides his true feelings and ultimately settles for less of a life then he or she may have lived.

Many employees complain about their work but throw up the money or security excuse as reasons why their hands are tied. These employees know they have settled for something less than they could be enjoying but they have yet to find the courage to make their move.

How can we, the joyfully self-employed help them to seize their freedom? We can help by talking about how wonderful our freedom feels. We can help by replacing money with freedom as the new standard of success. We can encourage them to be bold and let their freedom ring as an example to their children.

If you are happily employed and can honestly accept the accompanying restrictions, please stay where you are. But if you are among the majority of unhappy employees, know this: the freedoms of self-employment can lead you into a life of unlimited prosperity.

Prosperity comes through enhanced awareness so we can see and seize the right opportunities at the right time.

By working on what you want to work on and dearly value you’ll end up producing work of higher value that will make you prosperous. Please trust that everyone wants to support individuals who put their heart and soul into their work. Trust your internal yearnings to be the man or woman you can here to be. Seize your freedom now!

If you are employed but want to seize your freedom – tell us how we can help.

If you are self-employed and would like to encourage others to make their move – please comment on how freeing self-employment feels to you.

Today I Simply Ran Out of Excuses

Even in Pittsburgh, it’s a beautiful sunny day with low humidity.

I have had absolutely no interruptions.

I have the time to create whatever I want to create, or not.

I realize suddenly that I am happy.

In this moment all is well.

Either I’m full of it or it really matters that all is well.

There is nothing to pursue.

I have things I could do but I feel like doing none of them.

Better yet, I choose to do nothing.

Perhaps I’ll simply be.

Yet I wrote this.

Isn’t this something?

Perhaps I’ll just sit here and glow over the remark ability of me.

I wonder since I’m now excuse-free am I obligation-free as well?

Excuses are things we say to justify not doing something we feel like we should be doing.

Obligations are those things we feel like we should be doing.

It seems like there’s a connection.

I wonder what an excuse-free, obligation-free life might feel like?

Could this be the work life freedom that I encourage the pursuit of?

How could so much of nothing feel so good?

Do you feel like simply being the remarkable human being that you are?

I am what I am. Popeye

Screw Going Back to School

How many times have you heard this from confused folks who have yet to find their true calling?

“I’m thinking about going back to school.”

Screw that! Why? Because the odds are excellent that more education and/or additional credentialing isn’t necessary to get to the level of success, freedom and work fulfillment that you desire.

I’m not anti-education. In many cases I’m for it. I certainly don’t want anybody that hasn’t been to medical school removing my appendix. I’m especially pro education for younger folks and for those who clearly know exactly what they want to do. College is a great place to grow up. I almost did there. But I didn’t find out what I wanted to be when I grew up. Did you? Perhaps that’s because at that tender age we’re still in the process of growing up.

But that’s not who’s going back to school. More often than not it’s the confused and uncertain folks who are returning to the classroom. If they told themselves the truth, they may have to admit this: “I’m going back to school because it’s a socially acceptable way for me to avoid making this big decision for another 2-4 years.”

They are prime suckers to fall into this trap – perpetuated by the world’s biggest lie: someone else knows better than you do, what’s really good for you.

Of course it’s safer to believe in this illusion because it’s a convenient way of escaping personal responsibility. If things don’t work out, you can always blame the school, or the government or heck, blame the economy.

We frequently fall into this trap because we are experts at belittling ourselves. We doubt ourselves, undervalue our talents and judge our performance so harshly that it seems like we’d be nuts to trust ourselves. Somebody else must know better. Bull! They really don’t.

This return to school could be nothing more than a hidden urge within you that’s looking for approval. You’ll never get the approval you need from others, so stop looking for it. Every one of us is the product of a collection of beliefs and assumptions that were laid on us by family and society. It’s time to examine those beliefs and to toss out those that no longer serve us well.

Instead of wondering, “Should I go back to school?” why not ask, “What exactly do I think this education or further credentialing will bring me?” Then, “What will that bring me?” Keep asking and drilling a few rounds deeper and you’ll eventually get to what you really want. Then you can ask this beautiful question:

Is there a more direct way to get what I want?

Often, self-employment (with the talent and resources you have right now) is an easier, more direct way. But, self-employment is so bold, you say. Yeah, it is. So what?

Has being cautious paid off big for you so far? Going back to school does not put you in play in a big way. It’s benching you. It’s like putting yourself on the sidelines of life and delaying your real contribution. Then at the end of 3 or 4 more years and thousands of dollars, “they” may still tell you that you can’t get what you want. Going back to school is not a sure thing.

Neither is self-employment. But I can fail a lot faster and a lot less expensively by walking my own path and adjusting in the moment to what I’ve learned. So can you. Going into business, leading with your own strengths and expressing yourself authentically is a much better bet at success than following the herd.

Delay is much more expensive then failure.

Any delay. It doesn’t matter whether it’s hiding in school or hiding in shitty employment. If you’re putting off the active pursuit of your true calling and work life freedom, then you’re not fully in the game. And it’s costing you big time.

Complete One Small Action

In this post I offered a dare. I dared seekers of work life freedom to make both a decision and a declaration of their intention. It’s interesting that so many have chosen to remain in work that does not bring them alive. So many think that fulfilling work is so difficult to find that they need to be dared to just take the first step.

Why is such boldness necessary to awaken us from the work life slumber we’ve settled for? Could it be that we’ve so limited our view of what’s possible that we believe it’s unnatural to be excited about work? That’s bull and you know it. Snap out of that line of thinking and at least give yourself the integrity of telling the truth about what you believe is possible.

This post is about taking that next small step after you’ve made your declaration. Don’t over think it. Just one little thing that can get you closer to the work you love. Even if completing that thing only serves to give you greater clarity about another thing you don’t love to do. The true value comes from the completion and the resulting feeling of strength that comes alongside the action.

Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Here’s a method that works well to improve your chances of success.

You have four personal creation arenas to work with. Use all four in concert and you’ll increase your probability of success.

  1. Make a firm decision and bold declaration and you’ve aligned your metal powers. Mental power is activated by what we think and say.
  2. Imagine how wonderful it will soon be to enjoy work life freedom all the time. Really picture that freedom and deeply feel the accompanying natural euphoria. Emotional power is activated by our ability to fully feel.
  3. Ask and understand what such a life will mean to you. Understand why you were uniquely meant to enjoy it. Spiritual power is activated by the clear and deep meaning we give to our actions.
  4. Then, only after you’ve aligned your previous three powers, take that one small step and honor it with the dignity of a completion. Taking and completing a predetermined action activates our physical power.

Activate all four powers in your quest to engage work life freedom and you’ll be way ahead in this glorious game. Looking at it as a game is sound strategy. Lots of mistakes are made in game playing and players just laugh them off. In this process you’re rewarded for exercising a lighter touch.

Some get stuck in the physical realm thinking that hard work is the answer. But the self-created pressure that comes from trying to push so hard only serves to wear us out.

Others get stuck in the mental realm trying to figure it all out. The trouble with a mentally dominated approach is that it also invites all the reasons why we should not act yet.

But you and I both know that deep down you really want to live a lighter, freer life. Really, what do you have to lose? Complete one small action towards what you think you want, using all four powers.

But wait. What about those of you who don’t know exactly what you want?

You’ve got to begin somewhere. You’ve got to select something to take action on. I wish I could give you a direction that would be certain for you. But I can’t. I can only give you some possible openings. I like the light approach that Pamela Slim has offered in this post, Five Easy Ways to Discover What You Are Meant to Do With Your Life.

Try one of those or just take your best guess. At this stage of the process it doesn’t really matter. You’ve made the declaration that you want work life freedom. To honor that desire you must take and complete a number of small actions until you find your gold.

If it’s right for you, you’ll feel really good when you think about it. If it’s right for you, it will have some connection to something you love to do right now. If it’s right for you, it will put a smile on your face -and that’s more than worth the effort. Complete one small action and welcome to the land of full living.

Is it Your Time for Work Life Freedom?

Okay, it’s time to put up or shut up about this business of making your dreams come true. I’m directly speaking to those of you who have believed your own excuses for far too long, or who are biding your time, waiting for your ship to come in. (Update: There are no ships headed for your port, right now. And none are scheduled.)

Today, in this powerful present moment, you’re either in active pursuit of your work life freedom or you’re not.

We work 40+ hours in this society and that’s far too much to be at the whim of someone else’s wishes and desires. It’s time for you to declare total self-determination as one of your dearest values.

Work life freedom is simply this. A declaration that you have engaged your natural ability to work on exactly what you want, when you want to, and with whom you want.

Let’s cut through the bull. When you look deep within, you know that you’re destined for something far more enjoyable than you’ve settled for. Embrace this truth. Savor its promise and then you’ll be ready for authentic action. You might ask this. If this is all true, why is it so challenging to find work that I love that also makes me financially prosperous?

I’ll tell you the secret.

You never get started. You never get started because you allow your own fears to keep you from getting started and from consistently following through.

It’s the active pursuit of work life freedom that puts you in position to see your next step.

When you follow your bliss….doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors, and where there wouldn’t be a door for anyone else. Joseph Campbell

The first step to the active pursuit of work life freedom is to admit that you want this freedom. The second step is to declare that now you are actively engaged in the pursuit of this freedom. What’s next? Take these two first. I dare you. Then write – by commenting on this post – and tell me how wonderful (or fearful, or whatever) you feel. Stay tuned. I’ll help you take step three, but it can’t even be seen, let alone reached, until you take the first two. Dare you?

Is Your Work Life Delightful?

Delightful work is: amusing, attractive, captivating, clever, engaging, enjoyable, fascinating, gratifying, luscious and thrilling.

Does your work invoke any of these, or something less?

If you’re not engaged in work that you love, you have chosen less than you could have. If your career, job or business does not feel like a true calling, can you even expect it to be a delight?

Here is your wake-up call. If you aren’t in active pursuit of work life happiness, prosperity and freedom, get in the game my friend. Get in the game now. Know this: each of us has a special something that can be expressed as our unique, fulfilling work. In the engagement of that work we’ll be in service to others and financially prosperous.

Writer Frederick Buechner said it best. “Vocation is the place where your deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.”

Have you always had this hunch that you were destined for greatness? That hunch was your deep gladness calling out to you from within. Your first step is to acknowledge that whisper of greatness and declare yourself in active pursuit of your delightful work. The path needs to be your own, but you needn’t walk it alone. Let’s boldly stride out on this path together.

The mission of Delightful Work is simply to increase the number of folks on this planet who are in active pursuit of work life freedom and happiness. I’ll be your guide and together we’ll move all obstacles now standing in the way of your deep gladness. My name is Tom Volkar.

The world has a deep need for what only you can give it. This is your time. It’s your time to stand tall and pursue what was meant for you, with honor and commitment. Author of Coaching Into Greatness, Kim George, shares this very inspiring thought. “What is meant for you can’t be lost.”

What was meant for you is still there waiting for you to give it life first by making a bold proclamation. No obstacle, real or imagined can stop you once you commit. I’ll prove it to you.

Tell me what scares you the most. What stops you from pursuing your delightful work? Really. What do you run up against when you entertain the thought of creating a happier work life? What circumstance, belief or fear has caused you to settle for less than you could enjoy?

Be bold and share, and I’ll post it here. But we’ll do far more than post it. We’ll work together with other committed adventurers to show you how to move through it in active pursuit of your deep gladness.

For you brave souls who are already enjoying work that brings you alive, what once stopped you and how did you move forward anyway?
Stumble It! Stumble It!