Someone suggested the other day to write a letter to my past self.
I wasn't quite sure how it would go, but decided it was worth a try. Here's the result:
Hi 2019 Shaun,
You've been through a lot this year!
You've seen highs, and lows, and you've been to some pretty dark places. You're not where you expected to be at the start of the year - not by a long shot! After you decided to make a career change, you truly had no idea what would come next.
The great news is that you're finally feeling like yourself again, and you're wondering what it would be like to run your own business.
You're nervous. You've never run a business before, and you don't even know where to get started. You know that you have some skill, but you don't even know if there will be clients who want what you have to offer.
I know you're nervous, but you're going to be great! This is what you were meant to do!
Here are a few tips from the future that might help you navigate your way through this entrepreneurship journey
Feel the fear...and do it anyway. Fear is healthy, but don't let it stop you from success. You're afraid sometimes that you don't know what you're doing. Here's a fun fact - nobody does! We're all just sort of making it up as we go along.
Try new things. You're going to get a lot of opportunities coming your way that you never could have imagined. Try saying 'yes.' If you think you can handle something, then go for it. They're coming to you because they believe in your talent - use it to help make them shine.
Don't try to be all things to all people. You're going to get projects that are totally beyond your capabilities or skill set, and that's okay too. Don't try to take on work that you know you can't handle. Build your network of professionals, and refer something out if it's really not the right fit. Everyone will be happier in the long run.
Talk less, listen more. Everyone has a story, and if you stop and really listen then they're more than willing to share. People will tell you "it's a long story" or just laugh something off as being "for another time" because they're used to people not wanting to listen. Make sure they know that you're interested, and that you have the time, and they'll start to open up slowly but surely.
Sometimes plans go out the window, and that's okay! It's 2019, and you have no idea what's coming next. The next three years are a lesson that sometimes even the best laid plans fall apart! The world is going to shut down, and you're going to get quite sick, twice. It's going to knock you off your feet, but you're strong enough that it won't derail you completely. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep going!
Lastly, try and have some fun along the way. You're going to meet some incredible people that you didn't know before, and you're going to hear stories that will make you laugh, stories that will make you cry, and stories that make you want to change the world.
These are stories that need to be told, and their keepers are trusting you to help tell them.
Now get out there and make some magic!
Now the rest is up to Canada Post...