Last night, I was overcome with a twisted, sickening feeling in my stomach.
I was thinking about the $20,000 in yearly rent I’ll soon be paying while living in New York City (still not knowing when I’m moving or where I’ll be living), in addition to a $3,000 – $6,500 price tag for a very needed blog redesign and total brand revamp.
Then, there was the new biz mastermind program that I applied to — before taking note of the excruciatingly hefty price-tag hinted at the back-end of the video offer. Ouchies.
Meanwhile, I had been looking all afternoon at some other general biz and living expenses: I grabbed plane tickets down to Austin for SXSW this March, without any idea for where I’ll be staying for those handful of nights; and I almost bought a $500 – $700 digital SLR camera to start injecting new life and personality into my online presence with professional-quality video blogging.
Suddenly, I was staring down the barrel of a $50,000 shotgun. And the smug bastard holding it was saying, “Smile wide, you broke-ass starving artist! How’s that money-should-come-last idealist in you feel right now?!”
Frustrated and feeling completely without answer, I buried myself into bed before 10PM, jotted down a short and sharp, “I keep showing up, now it’s time to start reciprocating the dollar side of this” poem to the Almighty and waited to restart come dawn.
That dawn was this morning, and before the sun could fully breach the horizon I was half through a triple-shot espresso latte, consuming handfuls of pages of exquisite Hafiz poetry and jamming out to Explosions in the Sky over my car’s speakers while near-frozen waves crashed over the shore of the bay just feet away.
It is in this sort of a moment that my worry melts.
It’s when my fear-filled, anxious, aggravated thoughts dissipate faster than an ice cube dropped into a boiling pot of water. Hafiz reminds me of my love and my offerings, and how God has already seen, anticipated, and known this day’s unfolding all along. The ocean’s claps against the sand remind me to be present in the moment — that there is nothing else. The gulls overhead say without a squawk, “All is right, all is how it ought to be.” The beats of my music hum my still-sleepy heart into rhythmic harmony.
From this mindset I am able to gather myself, and the always-learning student can pretend to be a teacher. “How would I teach this to others in ways that would benefit them?” I ask myself. “Road signs,” maybe God or Hafiz or some smart and hidden-away part of my subconscious tells me.
Every problem is a road sign. Every issue and every obstacle, no matter how great or subtle, is itself a sign indicating the way you ought to go. Every lull, every energetic burst of enthusiasm, all of them. When you ignore the signs, the road owns you. You white-knuckle the steering wheel, miss a turn, swerve and stomp the break. You feel utterly out of control. The road owns you.
There’s another way to go about it. And it’s not a matter of owning the road, but rather, moving in accordance with the street signs all around you. Seeing them. Understanding them. Following them.
What if your every problem, worry and concern was simply guiding you to the exact place you need to go?
And so, what do my street signs — the angst, the worry, the fears, these dollar frustrations — tell me? I’m staring down the barrel of a $50,000 shotgun because it’s time to focus on the business side of my journey. It’s been a consideration for a while, but an almost consistent failure at every turn. Today, my road signs tell me that this frontier is due to be conquered.
Money has definitely been on my mind lately. That used to be a “dirty” feeling to me. But it’s not a dirty feeling anymore — I guess looking at a shit broke bank account will do that!
Jokes aside, a healthy wealth is what I crave now — I’m totally “over” and officially giving up the starving artist routine (Thanks, Ms. Tara Gentile). Of course, I want to live more than comfortably. But far more than that, I want to be in the most excellent position possible to be able to share, to teach, and to give to the world around me.
Luckily, I’m in an ideal position to obey these road signs.
I have no debt, few financial obligations, am so grateful to already be living so very comfortably. Better yet, with some hard work, I’m poised to totally recuperate every single dollar that I’ve invested in this journey in just a matter of months — and then some.
I just released my anti-resume and have dedicated myself to three incredible intentions for the year ahead: Captivate, Cultivate, Shine. I’ve got opportunities (that I never thought I’d have) to speak at colleges and conferences and organizations across the United States. I wrote a book last year, and have several new books that I’m planning to write this year alone — nonfiction, poetry, maybe even a fiction. Plus, there’s at least a half-dozen awesome programs and power-house courses that I’m plotting to create and launch in the months ahead: The Awakening Warrior, Organic Book-Writing, and more.
And to think, just three years ago, I was selling all of my belongings in Washington D.C. after just a year of living there, even more broke than I am now.
I was on my way to moving back to Rhode Island for a job that I knew in my heart was wrong. I was headed into a long, tough bout with depression and anxiety, secretly seeking out a doctor for medication to treat it, dealing with heartache, having no direction or sense of purpose in my life, and about to quit that same job just months later. Then I decided to start a blog for my writing because I didn’t know what else to do.
I’m in a great position. F*ck the fear, the hesitation, the worry. All the road signs that I’m seeing are guiding me to exactly where I ought to be going. Don’t dismiss yours. They’re there with good reason. See the road signs showing where you ought to head.
Say a big “f*ck you” to being frightened. Follow where the road leads.
What are your road signs telling you? And, do you think I should just go ahead and declare what my income goals are for 2012, and share the fine details of how I could plan to go about achieving them?
Flickr photo credit: sebr
* While we’re dishin’ on moolah, and because it’s an FTC requirement, links to Hafiz and Explosions in the Sky above are affiliate links on Amazon. If you buy through one of those links, your ~2 cent contribution to my $50,000 shotgun-staring is deeply appreciated. :)
* * Safety disclaimer: Please do not stare down the barrel of shotgun.
* * * Note: No writers, pretend rockstars or aspiring Jedi were harmed during the writing of this blog post.
* * * * If your road signs are telling you to start earning like mine, check out The Art of Earning LIVE by Tara Gentile, which you can attend in person or (clothing optional) online (afilliate links).