“Hey mom, in three years you’ll be fifty.”
This simple statement, made by my son, still rings in my ears years later. Having been self-employed for over 15 years at the time and working with my main client for over 10 years this brought up a harsh reality.
I looked at the stack of papers on my desk and asked myself “Is this what you want to be doing in three years?”
After some deep soul-searching, I came to the difficult decision to make some major career changes in my life. I had worked from a home office, had virtual co-workers and even virtual friends. I wanted to grow as a person and “expand my horizons” as the saying goes. I wanted to practice what I taught and coached about. I wanted to live my vision and reach for the stars!
I took a leap of faith and left that client. I become a direct seller for a new company. All was great and I became a leader in just 45 days. Having worked from home and with now grown children, I lacked the warm fuzzy market of local friends and family. I knew I need to change that for my business growth, for personal support and friendship.
I had been using and teaching vision boards and goal setting for several years and this seemed the natural first step to making my life changes. As I gathered images, almost randomly using my right-brain, I was attracted to the image of the word CONNECT.
As I reflect back on this now, I see that this was my “One Word” focus. The start of something powerful that I didn’t even know existed!
I didn’t know what “connect” would look like or what the final result would be so I trusted in the image and knew it would guide me where I needed to be. This became my guiding image.
The guiding image to me is a representation of a heart’s desire. It is not a material item or place. It is more a feeling or sense of being. Very often, I think, we know something needs to change. We know there is an opportunity out there, we just can’t yet define it or picture it in our mind. We truly feel it within our hearts. This is what CONNECT was to me. It was my heart’s desire to be part of something outside of myself.
Shortly after creating this board, a gal friended me on Facebook. She was interested in starting a women’s networking group in our area – a rural farming community nestled in the foothills of Mt. Rainier. We did have lots of networking choices if we drove 45 to 60 minutes toward Seattle or Tacoma, but no strong local groups. We met at Starbucks that week to set the plan in motion.
Hannah, my daughter Emily, and I met. We had great ideas and a grand vision. We did wonder if anyone would attend our meetings. My daughter promptly committed to not attending! However, undaunted, Hannah and I moved forward.
Flash Forward seven months….Our networking meetings boasted consistent attendance of over 15 women. We enjoyed new members every meeting. We made strong friendships that transcended the networking group. We socialize together and support each other. We are connected.
Looking back to pasting that image on my board, I never “visioned” co-founding a successful networking group, developing close friendships so quickly, or redeveloping the connection to my community. The abstract image CONNECT was my guiding image – guiding me to connect, take chances and reach for the stars!