Hi there! I am glad you landed on my blog, The Wooden Maven. This blog will take you on a journey through my woodworking projects, triumphs, and epic disasters. Yes, I know, for most woodworking may seem like a lonely grueling hobby. The Wooden Maven is about more than sawing and gluing wood, it’s about gaining the courage to follow your dreams and pursue your passion. I truly do love building things. There is something about the sound of a saw ripping a 2 x 4 that makes me feel like I am doing something creative and feeding my soul. That is exactly why I quit my day job to follow my dreams. Do you ever feel that way about something you love? Well, let’s take this journey together!
About two years, I left my job in facility and event management with no other prospects on the horizon. All I knew was that I was spinning my wheels, putting in far more than eight hours a day; yet at the end of the day, I felt empty and unfulfilled. I loved my job and earned a decent salary, but still, there was this nagging voice saying “Jump”. Can you relate to that sensation?
There was still this nagging voice saying, “Jump”.
I left my job with a loose plan, to build whatever I could from wood and share what I knew with the world. Woodworking is my absolute passion and has been so for many years, but there was one problem. I knew/know little about blogging. There is A LOT to learn if you want to do it right. I have spent hours researching, reading, and networking to the point where I thought I would never actually publish it, it would never be perfect. That’s when I realized done is better than perfect.
New York Times Best Selling author Gretchen Rubin drives this point home in an article she wrote for Slate about the dissatisfaction that arises from seeking perfection. She identifies entrepreneurs and the like to be either a satisficer or a maximizer. You either make a decision based on the information you have, even if you’re aware that you don’t have all the information. You trust your gut to make a sound decision. Alternatively, you take the maximizer route and gather every ounce of information until you feel as though you know it all, make a decision, and yet still travail over the decision you’ve made. The issue with perfection is, there will always be someone better, more skilled, and more likable. The moment you think something is perfect is the moment your intellectual growth ceases.
In the past year, I have learned a few poignant things that have made me a bit more confident in my ability to survive “the struggle”.
Say Adios to that steady paycheck
I was accustomed to buying what I wanted in reason after my bills were paid of course. It was my belief that hard work should be rewarded. Money earned should be spent, right? I recently began mindfulness meditation (and found out that it is all it’s cracked up to be) and stumbled upon a yogi by the name of Sadhguru who says work shouldn’t be hard it should be enjoyed. It allowed me to think differently about finances. Do I really need that new power tool or do I simply want it, badly? I’ve really had to bunker down and decipher my needs from my wants. I will not lie to you and say that is an easy process.
One way I stay on budget and cease the perfect wrist flip with my debit card is to use cash for every day and planned purchases. Whatever I have budgeted for a particular item, I will place in an envelope and label it as “Groceries” for example. Or even something I am saving up for such as Christmas gifts. It is working great so far. Except when it comes to my weakness, power tools and all things woodworking.
Prepare to have some lonely days
I am social bunny by nature. I can strike up a conversation with anyone, anywhere. If you let me loose in Target, I’ll have at least three new friends after an hour. Going to work each day, gave me purpose, something to look forward to. People relied on me and enjoyed interacting with me. It felt great to be needed, although, at times the combination of my social skills and design of my role met there were days when little work was accomplished. There are times when I miss being able to pop into someone’s office and ask a question or round up my team and grab a quick bite for lunch.
Although, I now have the luxury to catch up with my former colleagues or friends anytime. There is a lot more planning involved. I do my best to make at least one lunch date a week to stay connected to the outside world. In addition to making calls to family and friends while I am driving, hands-free. I imagine that once someone begins to monetize their hobby or passion, their interactions with new people would increase.
People will ask, “Where are you working now?”
When you’re in between jobs for whatever reason, you may feel some kind of way about the being asked what you’re doing now. No one wants to appear to be a slacker. As long as I’ve been working, people know me to be a nose to ground type of girl, always working for the biggest and baddest organizations. To say the least, I humbly take pride in my work and the company I work for. During my in-between stage, I decided to create a title for myself, Research Associate in the field of Human and Child Development. Then I go on to explain that I currently have four associates under me and the newest ones are working on new vocal patterns. I just happen to be a mom with four children (also known as my associates) and the youngest are twins, who are beginning to form words. Don’t you love my job title? It sounds prestigious and cool, right?
All jokes aside, if you quit your job without another job, do not despair and feel awkward when someone asks you about your current occupation. Dispel the judgment you may feel coming your way. Once you have the mindset to follow your dreams and pursue your passion, you are only responsible to yourself to see it through. The bottom line is, are you happy? There will be a day when you question if you’ve made the right move and you might even be miserable. Reflect back to one of your most challenging days with your former employer and rejoice that that time has ended and a new beginning is here.
I am okay with letting people know what I am working on and leave their imaginations to wonder, how I left my job, manage to look so fabulous (I’m joking, I spend my days in a garage covered in sawdust), and raise four amazing kids simultaneously.
You are in charge of your destiny
We have all been hired, promoted, or recognized for our ability to operate in a certain role. Formerly, we waited for Mr. or Mrs. Boss to propel us to the next level. Well, not anymore my friends. It’s all up to you. I read that 70% of new bloggers quit after three months. Citing that it’s too difficult to attract an audience. Hard work does not always pay off, but you know what does? Passion. If you let that be your driving force, let it guide you, you will win!
Sure, I can sleep in, wear athletic gear and not exercise, watch television all day. However, I choose not to. I cannot rely on an employer to provide me with a check or handle my health insurance. I am in charge of my own destiny. It has to be awesome, I don’t have a choice now. I made a deal with myself last year and I hope you make the same one today. I will not be in the same position I am in today, a year from now. This position could be something small, such as breaking a bad habit or getting out a debt or quitting your day job to follow your dreams.
The initial stage of this blog is complete with so much more to do, but it’s published. It isn’t perfect, but it’s done. It’s here for two simple reasons. To share what I know about simple woodworking projects and furthermore to inspire you to follow your dreams. Especially, if your dream is out of the box or off the beaten path. If there is something you are considering doing, do it and do it now. Even if you cannot “jump” yet, spend some time each day pursuing your passion. “A good plan today is better than a perfect one tomorrow” – General George Patton.
If you could leave your primary job today, what would you do? Which dream would you chase? Let the world know in the comments section. The first step to achieving your goal is writing it down, or in this case typing it. Leave me a comment and share what your first step will be on your journey.
Be Great. Live Passionately.