Man, what a crazy ride it has been!
This journey has taught me a thing or two. Or… three… okay, a bunch more. When I started this blog, I’d been thinking seriously about launching a nonprofit. If you look back through the pages, you’ll see some very detailed information on what that was going to look like. And, I’m glad I wrote it all out. It helped me get to where I am today.
So, where am I now?
Through my own experience with analysis paralysis, ups and downs through an 18 month unemployment stint, countless classes/workshops/seminars, asking questions and setting up informational interviews, visioning exercises and plugging in to various activities… I learned that the vision I had to start this nonprofit did not fit me. I still believed in the vision whole heartedly, but realized that some key aspects of what I wanted to create for the organization… didn’t fit me personally.
It’s difficult to go back to the drawing board when you thought you knew what you wanted to do. Fortunately I was able to take the four main focuses for the nonprofit (crisis management, job training, life skills, and sustainable living) and spin them into a social entrepreneurial endeavor that does fit me.
That is important in the end, you want something that fits you. That makes you excited and ready to tackle the day!
I wanted to be able to take the vision I’d come up with for the nonprofit and still do something with it… but what? It seemed like it was on the tip of my tongue… or just out of reach for a long time. I felt like I was almost where I needed to be… but, I just couldn’t put my finger on how it would work out.
My room-mate and I talked for months about the possibilities of what could be done. I am very thankful to have had her as a sounding board. Someone with an open mind and servant’s heart for the community. After being unemployed for so long, we saw a vast array of issues people needed help with – and, we weren’t seeing a lot of answers. She had been laid off around the same time I had — around January of 2009.
I found my focus shifting from wanting to serve a broader people group to wanting to serve the unemployed, the destitute hit by this economy – from no fault of their own. Not people who were manipulating the unemployment system. But, people who were striving to find work, who needed unemployment benefits to survive… to live on. Highly intelligent, capable, hard working people who were not able to find jobs. I found myself wanting to shift the four main areas: crisis management, job training, life skills, and sustainable living to help in this demographic of people.
After all… who best to help… than someone who has lived through it and understands the issues.
I have seen the pot holes and pitfalls that are involved… more than that, I have experienced them. Obstacles your not sure how you can get around… your car breaks down, your insurance runs out, the cell phone bill is more expensive than you can afford, you wonder where you can find affordable food to feed your family, your living situation changes and you have to find something else fast… and your savings account starts to dwindle until you have very little left.
I’ve also learned how to reframe my realities to see opportunities where other’s might see failure or impossibilities. I know how thrive through very difficult circumstances… grow from adversity… and I can help other people to do the same.
Then it hit me… an AHA moment.
I can coach people one-on-one. I can teach people how to implement customized action plans. I can help navigate people through the crazy unemployment system, teach how to take stock of current situations, show people how to find low cost healthy food, alternative transportation, develop job strategies, cut expenses, stay healthy/sain and social. I can help people identify obstacles and determine their worst case scenarios. I can show people where opportunities are to thrive.
Unfortunately there is a lot of missing information, lots of questions… not very many answers. I don’t understand why that is. My goal is to change that. I see a need to fill a gap and connect people to experts who can answer their questions from financial, real estate, bankruptcy, mortgage… social services, health care, counseling, and career coaching.
There are many many downsides to unemployment. Unfortunately, there are so many upside down perspectives on what the population of the unemployed look like. They are lazy… that people who have been unemployed for more than six months are riding the system. More than twelve months… what about more than eighteen months? I beg to differ. That’s not the reality I’ve seen.
I am launching a crisis management coaching practice that teaches people to survive and THRIVE through an unemployment crisis.
Stay tuned to learn more.