I had the most amazing experience. I went to the International eWomen Conference in Dallas and had the opportunity to see Lisa Nichols, contributor to the book The Secret and author of the new book No Matter What!, speak. I was also blessed enough to spend two hours with this incredible and insightful woman at a two-hour private party. When I saw her speak about reinvention, I wanted to jump out of my seat and onto stage, dance and sing her anthem “yes, yes.” While hundreds of women in the audience were moved to tears, I applauded her every message. Her message is my affirmation for my own book Second Bloom: 10 Steps to Reinvent, Rejuvenate and Realize a New life.
She teaches us to conquer our fears and move forward “no matter what!” I have lived my life by those very words. I explain in Second Bloom the importance of living your life with purpose and passion, but also (most importantly) focus and clarity. When you find your passion and stay the course, the rest will follow – success, wealth and health. I am a walking, talking example of a woman driven by purpose and passion. I didn’t know where my passionate road would twist and turn toward, but it has been fueled by my desire to find my way and never leave the course.
We often find ourselves – secretly told by our inner voice – searching for a new direction, but can’t seem to read the directions or listen to our inner guidance passion system (GPS). I know for years I wanted to leave Corporate America, but so many distractions got in my way. First, I wanted to start a family (a whole other story meant for another column) and spent not just money but effort to make it happen. This huge distraction suppressed my longing and desire to change the course of life; however, once the course was set I never wavered.
Although I finally found my GPS, it still took time to fine tune and plug in just the right “address.” I learned a lot along the way though. The biggest lesson I want to impart: stay the course. Just keep your eyes forward and don’t get distracted by the “crab” grass growing in the ditch or the “pretty flower.” Stay on the road. I started my company and ultimately my book publishing company, 3L Publishing by applying the fundamental principle that if I followed my passion and stayed the course all would be right in my world.
So many women don’t understand that principle. They get in their own way without knowing it. They become challenged by the “rocks” in the road. They don’t try to maneuver around them, but take a seat and have lunch on the rock. You cannot do ladies lunch on the obstacles. You will encounter dozens no doubt, but you must see barriers for what they are – your lessons to learn and move on. You cannot hatch an escape plan either. Several women I know who started their businesses at the same time gave themselves what I call the “opt-out” package. They used a so-called “real” job as their fallbacks should the money run low or dry up.
My girlfriends you cannot hatch “escape plans” or fallbacks when you follow your passion. You must not be distracted by alternatives. You have to climb up and over the obstacles. Don’t eat lunch on them and get to know their every nook and cranny. Learn the lessons, study them right, and please move on. I know a tree may fall in the road and you may be tempted to take the detour, but I will tell you true. Take the detour and you may never find your way again. I can tell you emphatically and without doubt that should anything get in my way, I will climb up and over it – my purpose clear. My passion fueled by desire. I will just like Lisa Nichols declares say, “yes, yes” no matter what!
Michelle Gamble-Risley is an award-winning author, speaker and marketing and public relations expert. She has written two books Second Bloom: 10 Steps to Reinvent, Rejuvenate and Realize a New Life and SMASH: A Smart Girl’s Guide to Practical Marketing and Public Relations.