Lemonade the Movie is a fantastically reaffirming and inspiring film and I love it’s tagline “It’s not a pink slip. It’s a blank page.” This is especially poignant right now as my best friend is a teacher who, along with her colleagues, goes through the torment of getting a pink slip and then playing the waiting game to see if it is truly effectual. It doesn’t seem right, the way we work, the way our businesses, government, schools, and systems all work. It doesn’t seem right that people who want to work can’t always find jobs, and that hard working, well-educated people work in constant fear of losing their jobs. I think a revolution is coming, but not all revolutions happen quickly. I believe that amazing things are happening and more and more people will soon take the opportunity to grab the bull by the horns and do something wildly unexpected, creative and fresh. More people need to believe in the possibility that we can all be happy, doing what we dream of doing, all the while contributing to the greater good. Richard Branson’s new book, Screw Business As Usual explains his forward-thinking, altruistic business philosophy, driven by his belief that we can shift the current paradigm and all enjoy our lives so much more. The 4 Hour Workweek was also a fantastic source of courage and inspiration when it came to taking our leap into the unknown. It didn’t happen right away, and it’s still a work in progress, but the fire within us, the belief that because we care about the community, we will succeed- that will undoubtedly bring us success.
Inspiration Born of Desperation
As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention, and even though no one wants to be forced to find a new path or blaze one themselves, sometimes it can be a blessing. Having lived through the pain of hanging on for dear life to jobs before, and watching my father lose his job after 27 years of seriously hard, loyal work for one company, I understand the pain caused by losing a job. He was given no notice, and no severance- hundreds of people suddenly out of work. And it happened at that lovely, awkward stage when they’d built a “stable career,” thinking they would be able to retire with this company. And then in a flash they’re carrying the contents of their desk in a box, nowhere near retirement age and now it’s time to go home and write a resume, and wait for the last paycheck.
Reading List For Regaining Your Footing and Reigniting Your Fire
- Leveraging The Universe
- Crush It
- Infinite Possibilities
- The Power
- The 4 Hour Workweek
- Landing on the Right Side of Your Ass
- The Joy of Not Working
- Career Success Without a Real Job
- You’ll Land On Your Feet
- Career Comeback
What To Do When You’re Forced To Ask: What’s Next?
Sometimes you have an inkling, and sometimes you’re blind-sided. Whether it’s a job, or a relationship, getting dumped hurts! There came a day when I realized I could either stay trapped in various boxes where I wasn’t fulfilling my goals and wait in fear of “getting dumped” or I could set out on my own and make things happen with no one telling me what to do. That plan is all well and good, but I’m sure anybody who can identify with the situation I’m describing knows the hilarious irony of entrepreneurship: being your own boss means you have to set out on your own with no one telling you what to do! And then sometimes the hardest thing to do is work in a job you hate but you do it to support yourself and, even more admirable, your family. Even if you like your job, work is… work.
Unless… Work is Passion!
Of course, we’d all probably love to strike out and do something fun and amazing that’s always been a dream. Joel and I had definitely cultivated dreams, but kept them in the back of our minds, safe, to be released at some point in the future. Then after reading Gary Vaynerchuk’s book Crush It (and listening to the audio on a road trip) we were 100% convinced that there’s no time like the present- we were beyond inspired, suddenly we knew our obligation to the Universe and we were motivated to action. I know that quitting your job and deciding to start a small business definitely isn’t in the cards or isn’t the right choice for everyone. I really love the part in the book where he explains that you can find joy and passion in a job well done even if it is in your current “day job.” It can be so rewarding to rekindle the fire that we once had when we accepted a job offer or first chose our career path or find ways to have more fun at work.
Money Isn’t Everything
I have definitely felt the stress that comes with not having enough money to make ends meet, and I’m still not out of the woods. But at some point along the way, I stopped worrying and complaining and started doing all I can with what I have. I realized that the stress I carried was limiting my health and happiness and affecting the people I worked with, and I did not want issues of money to ever create a rift in our marriage. When Joel and I met, we were in love and that’s all the mattered. Everyone knows money can’t buy happiness or love, but when bill collectors are harassing you, you feel like a failure, like there’s always something you’re running away from. We do aim to be wealthy now, we do not want any more struggle and we know that the more successful we are, the more success we can contribute to the community’s success at large. That being said, when it comes to choosing between making big bucks or doing something that makes us happy, we choose to be happy. I figure we may as well use a trick from our incredible mentor Mike Dooley’s books, and “cut out the middle man.” The goal of having money is to buy things that make you happy right? So you cut out the middle man (the money) and hop straight to feelings of freedom and happiness. Easier said than done, I know. But with practice, it works!
10 Lessons from Caine’s Arcade:
(#11. Always Spring for the Fun Pass!)
As soon as we saw this story, Joel and I just looked at each other in awe and disbelief- this is the kind of story we live for- heartwarming, but also wildly motivating. A child, totally full of imagination, innocence, fun-loving creativity and unwavering happiness- and with a little help, he is the ultimate businessman and a hometown hero turned international inspiration. I was also very impressed by the compassionate spirit of Nirvan Mullick, who “discovered” Caine’s Arcade and organized the “flash mob” that brought this budding entrepreneur more customers than he had ever dreamed of. I made this little poster in honor of Caine’s accomplishments- we often say “do what you love and the money will follow-” but it becomes cliche until you remember it’s importance. It doesn’t get any better than this! Caine can be a doctor, a lawyer, and artist, an investor, or student of life traveling the world and never have to worry about the cost of college. And that’s just the beginning.
Kale Chips, To the Rescue!
We’ve followed Brad’s Raw Chips on Twitter for a while, but I had no idea that Brad Gruno started the company after losing his job, converting to veganism to get healthy, going raw and getting fit! What a whirlwind of success. After starting two years ago in his garage, Brad now has over 50 employees and the business projects earnings this year of $10 million! He has plans to build a juice bar and offer workshops and coaching.
What Have You Lost and Gained?
Share Your Story on Google+
We want to introduce a way for all of us as a collective community to share and engage on topics we are discussing, so I’d like to introduce a couple hash tags we can all use to share the ways we’ve lost and gained in positive ways. We’re so excited to connect with you all and we’ve found that a lot of the raw and vegan community is very savvy and active when it comes to social media. To join in this conversation:
- Create a Google+ profile (or log in if you already have) – join the plant-strong community socializing and sharing on Google+!
- Circle Kale University
- Include the hash tag #kaleuniversity so people can find everyone involved in this discussion
- Use the hash tags #ILost and #IGained to share with us how you’ve grown through the experience of losing something
- Be sure to reach out and congratulate others in the comments when you notice they’ve been successful or their story inspires you.
I’ll start with mine for examples:
#ILost the stability of a “real job” but #IGained the opportunity to recreate my career from the ground up. #kaleuniversity
#ILost 30 lbs and #IGained so much momentum to keep getting fitter. #kaleuniversity
We’ll be spending more time growing our community on Google+, so please feel free to reach out, ask questions and chat us up!