I have been many things in my life, and I have enjoyed them all, mostly, for a while. For a while I thought I had a boredom problem, or an attitude problem, or some kind or problem, but it turned out I just hadn’t found my place. I think this is true of a lot of people these days, there seems to be a general feeling of wanderlust, of ennui, of seeking. Most people put it down to Millennials — harumpf ! They are out the door at 5 on the nose, no over-time for them! But I don’t think so, because I recognize the symptoms. They have not found their passion yet.
To prove my point let me give you a little background on me, rebellious, hellion, me. I was always an entrepreneur, starting my first business with my friend Karen, a summer school for neighbor kids that we ran for several years. Steady babysitting starting in 4th grade, walking home and staying with a 1st grader until his Mom arrived home at 6:00., after school job at 14, then better after school job at 16, Graduated early from HS first Full-time Job Executive
Secretary for the Pres. of International paper company. Then a stint at a Dental Office and working nights at Hit or Miss (remember them) Then I opened My first real Business helping freshly graduated Dental students establish their practices, then claims auditor at Delta Dental Plan, side gigs modelling, then Arthur Andersen (at least 4 positions there), Then selling Medical Only Pagers, then Cheffing! I worked as a Restaurant Manager/Chef for 4 years opening a Chicago North Shore Staple that ended up selling our catered food in 35 grocery stores in Chicago, then came the restaurant consulting business, then came the Pre-construction management company and permit expediting business, then the real estate business and lastly, The Robbins Group. Oh along the way I got my college degree graduating Cum Laude Phi Betta Kappa from Lake Forest College in Constitutional Law!
I have been at the helm of The Robbins Group for 14 years now and I would not change a thing, not how I got here and not where I am today. I absolutely adore what I do. I have a real passion for it. I can’t wait to get up eachmorning and start each day. I love my clients, I love seeing and idea come to fruition. I love the whole damn process. But none of this would have ever happened if I hadn’t scratched that itch and tried several different things out first.
When I was at Delta Dental, There was a lovely group of people there but some of them had been there for 18-20 years and they would gleefully tell you they had worked every desk in the place. That did not make me feel gleeful, that make me feel queasy. Same thing essentially at Arthur Andersen, I knew that if I worked hard enough I could move up to that cubicle over there and maybe one day even have a cubicle with a door on it. No Thanks. I wanted to chart my own path.
Reinventing yourself takes nerve and a bit of daring but the reward can be amazing. You may find something that really lights your fire that really gets you passionate. I remember telling my stepdaughter when she was about 14, and she told me she wanted to be an actress, “If you want to act because it makes your heart sing, then I support you 150%, but if you want to be an actress because you think you are going to be Julia Roberts, then you need to get a new plan.”
And ultimately that’s what it came down to for me, what was going to make my heart sing each and every day, and allow me to be in a role where I could help others, and make some money. And in case you are wondering, yes, I have had clients follow me from one career to the next. One more thing, a lot of people don’t know this about me, but I am also an artist, I make fused glass art, collage art and I paint. Were I to have to choose between the two: Art or Marketing it would be a real Sophie’s choice.
Life is short find what makes your heart sing and do it!