Thursday, May 24, 2012

Starting a Business: Dreams of St. John and Beyond

The demands of life very often necessitate "little emergencies" that will prevent a person from achieving their dreams.  Educations have been curtailed by unexpected parenthood or other responsibilities, athletic and artistic inspirations have been forgotten in the name of practicality, and living the life you want to live is replaced with a series of compromises and good-enoughs.

I've come to realize that my life's calling is not teaching.  I don't love it.  I'm not sure I ever loved it.  Perhaps if I get my gifted and talented extension the excitement and thrill of teaching will be rekindled.  I do love math, and I adore helping students who want to learn, but the number of students who do not value their own education has grown to a level that saps the enthusiasm from me.  I can't teach those who don't wish to learn, and that constant struggle wears me down.  I have been working for my sabbatical, which is at least six years away.  That is a long time to be unsatisfied.

On my sabbatical, I want to ride a
lot of trains and learn a completely
useless skill
I have long had a dream of something better than the nine-to-five.  I enjoyed my first career, but so much of my work was very soon rendered obsolete when the companies I worked for ceased to exist during the tech bubble.  Even in the first occupation, I longed to work for myself, but didn't know how to go about it, or even what I would do.  I considered food, since I have a passion for it and enjoy cooking, but my palate is not what I would call "refined": I like and appreciate almost everything I've ever been served.  After that, once I started teaching, I looked at an afterschool enrichment program.  Maybe I could move up the educational ladder as a math coach, or, since my favorite part of the job is lesson planning on the smartboard, I could sell my lessons.  But I finally hit upon something that I enjoy, that I am skilled at, and that is not overwhelmingly complicated or expensive to start-up.

But then, things happen, life interferes.  I have to write lesson plans, or I have to plan a party, or design a kitchen.  The dream remains but the work that must be done to achieve the dream goes on hiatus.

And then, I'd like to have a leisurely life
on St. John.  I'll wake up, go for a swim or
a hike and then build or mail out some models.
At the end of the day, amongst the palms,
I sit and feel the Carribbean breeze
My business advisor asked me three very important questions: why this business, what do I bring to the market that is different, and what do I hope to achieve with this business.  I have already written about why I chose this business and the special niche I hope to service.  But the third and most exciting question to respond to has not been answered in blog form...until now.  I hope to achieve a nice life, by which I mean I hope to enjoy my work, make enough to survive and thrive, and be able to travel.  I desire more time with my daughter; I'd like to be able to have more "girls' days" and chaperone her class trips.  Eventually, I'd like to move to St. John and set up my business in the United States, but in an environment that is as far from the rat race as can be on American soil.  But, before I do so, I'd like to take my sabbatical overseas, and expose my daughter to another culture or cultures.  These dreams are what keep me going.  I keep them with me at all times, and they help me get through the daily slog. 

Do you have a dream?  Do you work towards your dream regularly, or do you just wait for "someday".  Has anyone made their dream a reality?  Please comment and inspire others to keep their dreams alive.


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