Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Catherine Caine.
I’m not religious, but I got suckered by those tales of prophets and holy men nonetheless.
In all of those stories – and the other myths and fables of my childhood – people get a clear and unmistakable message from Someone Important that it’s time to build the boat or look after the poor or do some other life-defining work.
There is zero ambiguity about the angel of God descending with a fiery sword to tell you that This Is What You Must Do.
And there was a voice in my heart that believed those stories and told me to wait: wait for the burning bush and the clap of thunder and the rising chorus.
That Voice Kept Me from Doing Anything Great for Nearly a Decade.
I dabbled with ideas of “Wouldn’t it be nice to work for myself? Wouldn’t it be great to have a job that meant something?” I thought wistfully about it as I ate my lunch in a series of pleasant but uninspiring jobs.
Over and over I said, “This time. This time I’ll go for it. As soon as it feels right.”
But it never did feel right. (Translation: no twinkly lights, no sword in a stone, no Voice From Above.) There was just me, looking at spreadsheets and thinking, “There has to be more to my life than this.”
There was a day that I wish I could describe. I wish with all my heart I could wrap up the essence of that day, that moment, to share with others and to help them along… but all I can say is that one day I stopped waiting for the gods to choose me and I chose myself.
I started working. I kept on working. And not very many months later I had my own full-time business.
In all of those months, there was no day of divine certainty. I had no idea if this was the right idea, or if it would flourish, or if it was doomed to fail. I simply decided that I was going to work, and see what happened.
This Isn’t the End of the Story.
Less than a year later, I was sitting by a pool in Las Vegas, contemplating the business that had grown enough to fling me halfway across the world into the loving arms of friends and fellow entrepreneurs.
I had money coming in and I loved the people I got to work with. I wallowed in freedom, flexibility and fun.
So why did I think there was something missing?
I spent that time by the pool daydreaming: was this all I could do? Was my business as heart-stoppingly kick-ass as it could be?
No, it wasn’t. I was still proud of it, for sure – I’d built a business of my very own, with no experience – but I knew that my current business wasn’t a reflection of my absolute best work.
Something was still missing. And by now I knew that friendly river spirits wouldn’t tell me what it was, so I went figuring it out for myself.
The Missing Piece
I’d gone through all the sleepless nights and uncertainty and argh-ness because I wanted more.
I didn’t want another pleasant but meaningless job. I didn’t want to look back on my life and think, “Is that all I did? Man, I wasted my life.”
And my business had tiny tastes of that urging for greatness, but there wasn’t enough of it.
Once I’d figured that out, I didn’t wait for the signs: I just went ahead.
I completely changed my business.
I came home from Vegas and:
- neglected my website
- started a new website with a new focus
- abandoned any client who wasn’t an amazing fit with my new path
- created entirely new services to rock the pants off my best audience
The core underneath every one of those changes was this simple idea:
I Want to Spend Every Hour on Magnificent Work.
I want to change the world.
And so naturally those new services and articles and everything else reflected that urge to create magnificence. I started attracting people who wanted to blaze, and finding ways to make them shine brighter than they ever had before.
I started asking my clients very practical questions about how they planned to change the world, and how improving their marketing could help them do that. And their answers sometimes brought me to tears, as they told me about the beautiful work they were now ready to create.
It’s been amazing.
Every day of work is glorious. I have more clients, more meaning, more joy and more impact with my work than I ever have before.
I’ve Become a Transformation Addict.
Helping people to identify, articulate and power up their best work has became my absolute favorite activity.
I want to spread the message and enable as many people as possible to create their most magnificent work for the audience who can’t get enough of it. I need to keep upping my own game to produce more glorious work every day.
In just over a year, I’ve gone from wage-slave to business owner to magnificence amplifier.
And there has never, ever been a fairy or an archangel to tell me that it was the right moment to make all of these sweeping changes.
The Moral of the Story
No-one ever tells you when it’s time to shine.
There’s no engraved invitation or bolt of lightning or even a subtle hint. Your friends don’t know, and neither does your mastermind group.
Your audience won’t know that it’s time. The industry certainly won’t. No-one knows when you’re ready to start creating your most amazing work. (Not even you.)
It will never feel like it’s the right time.
The right time is whatever moment you stand up and say, “You know what? I’m going to make something magnificent!”
No-one will tell you when it’s time. Because no-one does.
Catherine runs Cash and Joy from her secret underground lair in Brisbane, Australia. Her nefarious plan is to help every creative service provider start delivering their best work to their best audience. Mwa ha ha ha!