It’s hard for me to believe that less than a year ago I was teaching 8th grade. Loved it, yet at the same time knew it was time for a change and wondered how and when I’d launch my second career. While I was home for break on New Year’s Day, I turned on the Today Show to find Jon Gordon, a motivational speaker, telling hosts Al Roker and Natalie Morales that 9 out of 10 people break their resolutions before the end of January.
What he and his family do instead of making resolutions is that each would “choose one word” as his or her focus for the year. He advised that you look in – what do you want to be or do, look up – how will God guide you, and look out – how can you live it?
I chose the word INQUIRE, because it seemed to open a lot of doors without demanding an outcome. I didn’t have to perform or get results because I was just INQUIRING. No pressure! Here’s the short version of what happened.
The next day called my long-time realtor friend Mark Thudium and took a first look at inns for sale. Signed up for an Aspiring Innkeeper’s convention. Got a business mentor through SCORE. Found out how to get a commercial bank loan. Learned how to write a business plan and about the importance banks put on financial projections. Put offers in on three other b&bs and was under contract for one other. Retired. Sold my house (twice). Put in an offer for Olde Square Inn. Every single aspect of this was new to me, but came my way because I was able to just ASK how.
Here’s the miracle of the whole “one word.” About a week before closing my financing crumbled, leaving me almost $100,000 short. My word – my prayer – was “How do I make this happen?” I wasn’t afraid of asking anymore, so I put it out there. A friend of an acquaintance offered to lend me what I needed at a rate better than the banks, and we signed the papers November 11, 2014. Al, Jon, the good Lord, and many, many other people guided me to this lovely and beautiful inn.
Where does Jane Pauley come in? If you’re thinking about your second career read her book, Your Life Calling: Reimagining the Rest of Your Life. It’s filled with stories about people like you and me who wonder what could happen next. I’d offer you my copy, but I’ve already given it to a guest!
Two final thoughts:
- You don’t have to know HOW something will happen, just know that it CAN.
- Al Roker, Natalie Morales, Jon Gordon, and Jane Pauley – your rooms are waiting for you, along with a chat and a glass of wine by the warm fire and a delicious breakfast in the morning. See you soon.
PS – Still thinking what my 2015 Word will be. Let me know what you might come up with for yourself this New Year.