I’m a consultant. To my parents, that means I have a job. To one of my friends, that means I get paid to do nothing. To me, it means I have the freedom to make the best decisions for me whether it’s the number of days I go into a client’s office, projects I choose to work on, or the money I charge for that work.
My current project ends in September. A friend asked me Well, what are you going to do after that?’ My response: Who knows?
Probably get another client.’ But I slowly realised the real question she was asking was more about my financial security. To her, the idea of knowing I wasn’t going to have a job in September meant that I didn’t know what I was going to be making after September.
But I thought about it & realised, I did have an idea of the minimum I earn. People always talk about Breaking the Glass Ceiling’ but I think another way to look at it is Raising the Concrete Floor’. For the last 14 years, I’ve worked hard in my jobs to learn and build a foundation, and also gaining a reputation of being an easy, honest & straightforward person to work with.
The real challenge however was creating & following a path that initially no one believed in, but me. After graduating from University with a Bachelor’s Degree, at 26 years old, I left a job and took a non-paying position because I wanted to get experience I didn’t have [trust me I was broke and struggled, but I planned & hoped it would be worth it]. Then I became a personal assistant, again, getting experience in another area I thought I needed in order to succeed. Needless to say, I continued to create my own path, knowing that the dreams I had for myself could be achieved, even when no one else could see through my forest but me.
Why is this relevant because I want you to understand that Raising the Concrete Floor’ is completely within you control. You can move yourself to a place of financial independence [whatever that amount is for you] but you have to believe that you can do it. The truth is that I followed my heart & created a concrete floor I don’t need to know how much I will make, I just know the minimum I will at least make.
It may seem silly, but the point is to focus on building your foundation so that the sky truly becomes the limit & you’re not focussed on not getting a concussion trying to use your head to break through a glass ceiling.
1) Dream Dream big. What is it you want to be when you grow up? Spare no energy on defeating yourself before you even get started write it down, go ahead, it’s ok, trust me
2) Be realistic you can lie to everyone else, but you have to be honest with yourself. Not someone else’s idea of reality (oh you can’t do that, who do you know that’s going to help you do that?, etc) – I mean your own, true-to-self version of reality. For example, if you wrote down that your dream is to become an astronaut, but you hate to fly that’s an easy one. Don’t set yourself up to fail be honest to yourself about what’s in your heart & I’m sure what’s in there is achievable. [Seriously though, who would want to fly to the moon & they hate flying to another country???]
3) Believe in yourself sometimes we don’t have the support we need from friends & family, but that’s when you look within yourself, and put yourself in a position to find the right people to support & encourage you. If you’re a spiritual or religious person, believe that faith is a lot about being honest in your heart, believing in it, and stepping forward knowing that with all the ups & downs, it’s going to be ok
4) Make it happen life is short, trust me. The future started yesterday