I read an e-book the other day on entrepreneurs and ideas.? (If that sounds vague, it’s on purpose — I won’t link to it because? a) I don’t want to do a formal review, and? b) I don’t want to admit what I paid for a glorified pep talk.? An incredibly GOOD pep talk, still… one I had to print myself.)
What stuck with me was the notion of “redefining normal”.? It challenged readers to take a good look at what is “normal” for them, and what might be perfectly normal for others — and what a huge range exists in something we take completely for granted (did you know that someone out there spends 10 hours a day in a recording studio, then kick-boxes for a few hours in the evening to relax??? That’s their normal.)? It then has you envision the “normal” that you want to become, and what preconceptions you have to let go of in order to make that happen.
I think this resonated because I’m still feeling a little trepidation about becoming self-employed (I don’t deal with change well; have you noticed??)? While I’m very excited about it, at heart I am not a “jump off a cliff” sort of person.? I’m more of a “hike to the bottom, carefully step onto solid ground, poke it with a stick a few times, then hike back up and hop down one rock at a time”.? Yeah, I know that makes me boring.? I’m okay with that.? I like to call it “pragmatism” or something else that makes it sound important or useful.? But, yeah.
The thing is as an entrepreneur, you have to fully continuously challenge your preconceived notions of “normal” — as it relates to work, home, the blurry line between the two, business practices, and a host of other things that define the edges of your personal puzzle piece and how it fits into a larger design. ? Not only do you do this as a means of adjusting to a new career style, but also because you don’t want to embrace everything that exists in traditional corporate culture — you want to make it yours, and make it better.
And the thing about “normal” is just how much we take it for granted.? This point was driven home on a professional level the other day when a friend congratulated me profusely on an upcoming show — having exhibited for some 15 years now, and been lucky enough to have artwork that has seen far more of the world than I ever will, a small but nice local show is just part of the landscape.? But to her it was monumental.? It made me realize just how varied my comfort level is between the things I’ve done and those I haven’t, even when they’re markedly similar.
So, here’s the challenge: list five things that are ingrained in your personal existence (bonus points for things that were not part of your comfort zone in the past)