The Best Birthday Present I Got For Myself
May 22, 2008 by Akemi Gaines
Last year, I took a vacation day on my birthday – but not just to relax.
My birthday is coming up next week (Yep, I’m a brilliant Gemini. Two heads are better than one!) What do you do for your own birthday? Do you buy something you’ve wanted for a long time? Do you do something special?
I did something for my birthday last year, a seemingly small thing, which eventually led me to my current business. Back then, I was working the 8 – 5 corporate job, and I wanted to have my own business. I wasn’t sure where to start, but I wanted to start doing something. Maybe learning the general basic of small business is a good idea, I thought, and signed up for a seminar held by Small Business Administration. It was scheduled on Tuesday morning, so I had to use my vacation time to attend. Coincidentally, it was right on my birthday.
What do you really want for yourself going forward?
The idea of spending a vacation day sitting in a seminar may sound unromantic, but I’m glad I did. It set a tone for the year to come.
Not that I used the knowledge immediately. My business ideas have changed during the year. Initially, I was thinking of doing some real estate deals. I was learning how to make creative financing arrangements, and thought the timing was great to go ahead with the dooming market crash. Help those people who can’t pay their mortgage nor sell their house, put in good tenants, and I’d be a landlord! I still think this is a great idea and maybe I’ll do it – but I’ve found even more interesting thing to do as I progressed in the year.
I kept learning and working on some of the deals (potential deals, I should say. . .), and I ran out of vacation time. I figured that I needed at least one weekday to do this kind of real estate work. So I talked with my boss. I was very efficient and could fulfill all my responsibilities at the company in four days a week, and I was willing to do overtime on those four days if necessary, so may I free up one weekday? He told me no way. Everyone must work full-time or leave, no exceptions.
This made me think. This company relocated me from Ohio to Tennessee. If I weren’t working for this company, I didn’t have to be in Tennessee. What do I really want? Where do I want to be?
New possibilities emerge when we start moving to that direction.
I started meditating a lot last summer. I learned how to meditate more than 20 years ago, but I was only doing it on and off. Last summer, I decided to do it every day. And a strange thing happened. The idea of “Portland, Oregon” popped in my mind repeatedly in my meditation.
I moved myself to Oregon last October, still thinking I’d do real estate deals. But because I was new to the area, I had to learn the area first. While spending a lot of time driving up and down in this new city, and meditating and writing, I realized I’m very into personal development, especially in the spiritual area. So I started taking professional coach training courses. Now life coaching is my business, and real estate is put to back burner.
Looking back, I can hardly believe all the changes that have taken place in one year. And I think my birthday commitment to start a business of my own ignited these changes. It was my way to say “I’m in!”
Looking further back, I came to this country in 1995, two days before my birthday. I was to attend the summer courses at a college, and for the time being, that’s all I knew I was going to do. I didn’t know I’d get married, get a job, file divorce, change jobs, etc. at the time. I just put my first step forward in this new country.
You don’t need to know everything planned out to step forward.
If you want something more in your life, just start doing something for it. Then keep moving. It actually doesn’t matter if I’m using the tips I learned at the seminar for my business. I declared my intention to myself and to the Universe with that action, and that’s what matters.
For instance, if you are an aspiring entrepreneur, what is the one step you can take now that moves you closer to your dream business?
- Do you need to learn more about the trade?
There are three ways of learning. Which ones are you doing now?
- Do yo need to research the market?
The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich has great tips for this.
- Are you not sure where to start?
May I suggest my e-workbook 7 Check Points For Aspiring Entrepreneurs? It is packed with questions that you need to think to get ready as an entrepreneur.
Give yourself the gift of commitment for your birthday. Oh, if your birthday is too far off, make another case to take that action. Every day can be your special birthday.
Thanks to Alex for including this post in Personal Development Carnival.
If you like this article, you might enjoy my eBook on spiritual entrepreneurship. Click here for free, immediate download