The Road To Success Is Not A Straight Line

Sport hiking in mountains, walking and backpackingFrom very early on we are conditioned to think that setting goals and working toward them will bring us blissfully to our destiny. We enter nursery school at the age of 3 then on to junior kindergarten at 4 and through the school system until graduation at the age of 17 or 18.  All along we are led to believe that the next thing in line is the right thing for us as long as we stick to the path.

Well, it doesn’t always work that way.

The pressure of choosing the right college or university program after high school seems so critical (and so stressful). What happens if we get it wrong? What if we simply have no idea who we are or who we want to be? Maybe the notion of travelling around Europe for a year after high school isn’t such a bad idea except for the empty bank account.

Maybe it’s time we stopped putting so much pressure on ourselves. Although the program we are enrolled in is a great start to our future, it is not the entire college experience. As you graduate from grade 12 your best guess is what guides you. You never really know what will spark your passion and curiosity. An open mind is really all you need to get started.

What you’ll find once you are finally walking the halls on campus is that you are experiencing a whole new kind of freedom. You are required to be responsible and independent. Your parents aren’t helicoptering and making sure you remember to set your alarm and get to school on time. Your profs aren’t micro-managing your every move and if you don’t submit an assignment by the deadline, you feel the consequences.

Owning the experience is what makes you feel alive.

Once you’ve graduated and found that first job in your field, there really is no other feeling like it. There will be plenty about the experience that is nothing like you expected and you won’t care at all. The second and third jobs may be similar or a complete departure from what you were trained to do but every step along this path you are forging has added to your character. Each experience helps shape who you become. And it has not been a straight line.

What I learned after many years of working within and outside my field of study is that I keep coming back to one key theme. I need to help people. It’s in my DNA. Each position along my path has enabled me to learn a bit more about who I am supposed to be. Then finally one day I decided to create my own business and serve people using the skills and experience acquired over years of ‘not quite right’ jobs.

Hanging my shingle made my heart soar. Becoming an entrepreneur is what I was meant to do.

The delightful byproduct of being self-employed is the constant need to network and build relationships. Connecting with like-minded individuals and other small business owners means becoming part of an important collective that serves our community. Building that network and serving the business community is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

Who knows where my path will lead next.

Marnie HughesMarnie Hughes
– Television Broadcasting, 1984

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