Four years ago I took a leap of faith, left a really secure job that I loved, and started my own business as a professional speaker. I’m sure there were some nurses who thought I was crazy and I have to admit; there were many days when I thought I was too.
I remember thinking that other nurses start their own business – why not me? Plus, I didn’t want to get to be 80 years old and have regrets that I never tried.
Well, that was four years ago. Although my business has steadily grown and I finally feel like I have the nursing career I’ve always wanted, it’s hasn’t been easy. I’ve made many mistakes, sacrifices, failed at a few initiatives and experienced countless disappointments over the years. However, they’ve helped shape me into the nurse entrepreneur I am now.
What’s my secret?
Several years ago, I read the following story about failure and disappointment and it changed my perspective on success. Any time I would get frustrated and felt like throwing in the towel, I would re-read this story:
At the age of seven, a young boy and his family were forced out of their home. The boy had to work to support his family. At the age of nine, his mother passed away. When he grew up, the young man was keen to go to law school, but had no education.
At 22, he lost his job as a store clerk. At 23, he ran for state legislature and lost. The same year, he went into business. It failed, leaving him with a debt that took him 17 years to repay. At 27, he had a nervous breakdown.
Two years later, he tried for the post of speaker in his state legislature. He lost. At 31, he was defeated in his attempt to become an elector. By 35, he had been defeated twice while running for Congress. Finally, he did manage to secure a brief term in Congress, but at 39 he lost his re-election bid.
At 41, his four-year-old son died. At 42, he was rejected as a prospective land officer. At 45, he ran for the Senate and lost. Two years later, he lost the vice presidential nomination. At 49, he ran for Senate and lost again.
At 51, he was elected the President of the United States of America. The man in question: Abraham Lincoln.
My mantra – If Abe can do it, so can I!
Action Steps for a successful nursing career:
1. Make a decision – think about your dream nursing career. What would it look like? Would you be teaching other nurses, caring for patients in their homes, owning your own case management company, etc? This might take some time. But the key is to DECIDE what you want.
2. Find someone who is successful doing what you want to do – chances are there are other nurses who are successful doing exactly what YOU want to do. Find that person(s). Take him/her out to lunch and ask lots of questions about what he/she did to succeed.
3. Do it – once you find out what you need to do, take action and start doing it!
Remember, you might not succeed right away. You might initially fail. You might experience disappointment. But just like Abe – don’t ever give up on your dreams.
As the late Winston Churchill said, “Never, never, never give up!”
You deserve the nursing career you’ve always dreamed of. Go get it!
Thanks so much for reading. Would love your comments about alternative nursing careers. What would YOU like to do?
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