What Should You Do Next With Your Life?
During the dot-com implosion, I lost my job and started asking myself hard questions about my professional life. Fast forward to present day, and some of you may be feeling career anxiety amid the recent US housing market and Wall Street meltdowns.
My experiences from 2001 to 2003 shaped much of my current-day career thinking. Somewhere along the way, I picked up the book “What Should I Do With My Life: The True Story of People Who Answered the Ultimate Question,” by Po Bronson.
I highly recommend the book to anyone rethinking their business strategies and professional priorities. Here’s why.
Bronson’s book didn’t tell me what to do with my life. Rather, it offered real-world examples of smart people who were struggling to find their calling. As Bronson wrote:
“We all have passions if we choose to see them. Most of us don’t get epiphanies. We don’t get clarity. Our purpose doesn’t arrive neatly packaged as destiny. We only get a whisper. A blank, nonspecific urge. That’s how it starts.”
Finding that calling can be a long, painful process, especially when you’re distracted by a temporary career stop that pays the mortgage.
Back in the early 2000s, I believed my “calling” was building and managing IT magazines. But I was only half-right. Gradually — as I took new positions to round out my skills — I discovered that my real professional passion was building and creating IT media, regardless of the platform.
Face to face events. Online events. Online media. Custom media. Social networks. Build, build, build. Create, create, create. Launch, launch, launch. That pretty much sums up my media interests.
Your Next Moves
If you’re still searching for your passion or rethinking your career ambitions during the economic storm, I only have two pieces of advice:
- Read Bronson’s book
- Take responsible, calculated career risks and try everything
I was fortunate: My wife has always supported my career moves, and we’ve always lived below our means. As a result, I had the financial flexibility to navigate several job opportunities. Each career stop gave me a bit more of the expertise I needed to help co-launch MSPmentor and its parent company, Nine Lives Media Inc.
I’m still learning the ropes of being an entrepreneur. And I’m lucky to be working with a business partner (Amy Katz) who brings a range of business development, sales and management skills to the table that I lack. But I’ve found my business passion. And that makes all the difference when I get up for work each day.