Put on your Big-Girl Panties and go to work!

Sometimes life is hard and we don’t always get what we want. But if our desire for that something is strong enough, in the words of the 19th century Hungarian poet, Janos Arany; ‘In Dreams and in Love, there are no impossibilities.”

Years ago I launched out of my comfortable 40-hour-a-week job to start my own little bookkeeping business. My first client was the firm I previously worked for, but now as an independent contractor. Fortunately, they were not my only client, and over the next twenty years my little business grew into my new comfortable source of income. To be in business that long means I’ve had to learn a few things along the way.

As a freelance bookkeeper for the last 20 years, I’ve kept books for multiple types of industries. During that time, there was also my decade as a Pilates instructor, and I frequently encountered students who had physical issues which made performing the typical Pilates exercise difficult, or even counter-productive. Occasionally, one of my clients from either of my professions would need or ask something of me that I didn’t know how to do.

I admit that when I was younger, if someone asked me a question that I didn’t have an answer for in the realm of one of my professions, angst and a feeling of inadequacy could paralyze me. Why didn’t I know? If I call myself a professional, I should have all the answers, right?

Uh…no. I am human after all. There were different situations and circumstances that came with each client, and sometimes a task was required that was new to me, something I’d never done before. Again, in the early years of my fledging businesses, this unknown felt like I was running blind in a snow storm. But because I was the owner, operator, and responsible party for both of these ventures, it was on me to figure it out.

So rather than panic like a rabbit in a dog-race, running in circles and getting nowhere, I had to pull up my big-girl-panties and do some research.

However, that is sometimes easier to say than it is to do, especially when you’re uncertain of how to start, where to look, or even know what you’re looking for. Fortunately, the Internet is full of information, and I knew other professionals who would help me out when I was completely stumped.

As I grew in my business careers, I discovered that people appreciate it when you’re honest and admit that you don’t know everything. But when you’re in business, that admission better be followed by the statement; “But let me look into it and I’ll get back to you…” with an answer, or a solution, or the correct exercise, or whatever it is, but you get the point. And then do so! Follow through on your word. Nothing gets my ire up like being told “I’ll get back to you with that information”, and then nothing.

~~~she only heard crickets in the moonlight as she waited patiently at the river’s bank for her lover’s return…but, alas~~~

Fortunately, maturity is a good thing. There finally came a point in my career, and in my life, when I realized the satisfaction of learning something new. Rather than letting fear of the unknown make me feel inadequate, I chose to embrace a new feeling—curiosity. With curiosity came satisfaction. Choosing to find a sense of accomplishment in learning something I didn’t know before put a whole new spin on my reaction to the unknown. Instead of being paralyzed by what I wrongfully believed to be ignorance on my part, I chose to embrace the idea of learning something new!

In launching a new writing career, I soon discovered that everything about this venture I’ve taken on is new to me, and there’s a whole bucket load of stuff I don’t yet know. But I’m learning, little bits at a time, even while facing those feelings of inadequacy all over again. Yes, there’s a lot I don’t yet know on this path of publishing and promoting my books, but I’m trying to be a sponge and soak it all up as fast as I can, and I have surrounded myself with people who do know. So I lean on them when I feel those little gremlins of doubt and fear start creeping back in, telling me things like; “You can’t do this, you’re too old, there’s just too much you’ll have to learn.”

Yes, I admit there’s a lot I don’t know, but I’m never too old to learn something new. As long as I’m able, I don’t intend to quit learning, or growing, or expanding on the person I can yet be.

Knowledge is power, especially for a woman.

Now, where did I put those big-girl panties anyway? Ahh…there they are, right where I left them—next to my stomping boots and a pitchfork. Time to go to work, girl!

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