If there’s anything I’ve really picked up on in my 3 years of working as a coach, it’s semantics. Besides being an occasional George Carlin listener, I never really gave semantics much thought, or much weight. But as a coach, I tune into the words my clients use that make their knees shake and their voices quiver. “Marketing” is one. “Sales” is another. “Networking” is yet another. “Focus” and “should” and “don’t/can’t/won’t” still more. But it was only recently that I started hearing another one repeatedly:
(insert dramatic bum-bum-BUUUUUUM! here)
The people that come to me usually have two things in common: they all identify with being called creative, and they’re Renaissance Souls. As creative Renaissance Souls – even as practical, creative Renaissance Souls – we see the word “career” and the bright lights flash and the alarm sounds and the jail door closes. We see “forever.” We see “pick one thing.” We see “in a box” (and if we’re anything, it’s out of the box). We see “make the right choice.” We see “pressure.” We see “stuck.”
So just like I’ve called “focus” out as The F Word and I’ve taken to replacing “marketing” or “selling” with “pimping”, it’s time to find a new word for “career” – or at least take away the pressure, the forever, the stuckiness that comes with it.
Thankfully, it’s 2011, and in this day and age (I always feel so old when I say “in this day and age”!) we all know it’s possibly to be, for example, a coach and a writer and a speaker and an e-course leader and an accountant/pimp/admin (like all solopreneurs are). Obviously, I’m talking about myself. It’s also possible to be an artist and a studio co-owner and a coach, a singer and a songwriter and a retreat leader and a coach, a photographer and a food blogger and a day jobber and, um, a coach (there are a lot of us walking around!), a talent show coordinator and an Etsy seller (I know, I had to get away from the coaches!), a world-traveler and a summit-founder and an author, a pattern designer and product maker and e-course writer/leader and artist and a “pro-active pimp and a promotional wordsmith“….I’ll stop here, but honestly, I can absolutely go on.
I’ve started using the phrase “revenue streams” with the clients who run out of the room screaming (metaphorically, of course) when we talk of planning their “career.” I think I’ll start embracing the term “funpreneur”, too, for those that are yearning to work for themselves. Because, really, it’s about figuring out what lights you up now, what you wanna make room for now, what you wanna monetize now – and giving yourself the space, the permission, the okayness to shift directions at a later date. Like Charley Gilkey wrote, you can press the reset button any time you like.
I feel like this is gonna bring up the question of how you decide what to do as your funpreneaurial endeavor. Because of that, I’ll discuss it in tomorrow’s post. Until then, though, how does the word “career” make you feel, and what can you do to change that perspective?