When I left the Mothership, I thought my quest was to find a new career, one that would sustain me for 15 years or so. Given all the experience and skills I had from my corporate career, I felt confident that I would be able to find something that I could turn my hand to.
In my corporate career I had done a wide variety of things and done most of them pretty well. I got used to having things thrown at me and having to learn about them quickly, to figure out how to handle them. I had managed business units and covered just about everything from coming up with the product ideas and the strategy to sorting out the contracts and training the customer support teams. I had become very adaptable and something of a generalist.
I had also learnt to be a chameleon, changing my behaviour and appearance to suit the people I was addressing or the situation I was in. Sometimes, it was a useful way to gain influence and get people on your side by seeming to be like them. Other times, it was essential to keep a low profile and keep out of harms way, whilst also getting on with my own agenda. Fitting in is very much an expected part of corporate life and I had got quite good at it.
In a way I felt I could do pretty much anything and be like anyone I need to, so my opportunities could be said to be limitless. It was just a question of finding the thing that I could do, quite liked and would give me a decent income for the next stage of my life.
This was my quest. Or so I thought.
You see, that logic led me to buy a franchise, something that was quite wrong for me. A franchise is for people who like to follow instructions, who like someone else to figure out the framework and the plan. I am quite the opposite, I am the one who does the figuring out and creates the plan for others.
How could I make such a basic error? It was because I lacked a deep understanding about myself. As a generalist and a chameleon, I had become so used to adapting that I had lost connection with who I really was, what my strengths, motivations and passions really were.
You see, the choice of buying a franchise was the right answer for the question I had posed. I had done my due diligence and it ticked all the boxes that I had identified. It was the right fit for the quest I thought I was on.
Only it was the wrong quest. My quest was not to find a new career but to find myself, to peel back the layers of conditioning and armour and get back to the real me. Only then would I be able to make the right choices and create the lifestyle and career that I really wanted.
As Stephen Covey puts it ““If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.”
Is your ladder leaning on the right wall? Are you really sure you are on the right quest for you?