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48 Days to the Work You Love: Chapter 11 Questions

Chapter 11: Skunks, Rags, and Candy Bars

1. Who has launched a successful business after being fired at a previous job? I don't know if he got fired, but Jack's Uncle Mike started a little business called NetMedic, which initially involved troubleshooting networking and other tech problems, but has grown to a major information exchange competitor in Chicagoland. Mike's company now handles all the networking for The Museum of Science and Industry (or is it the Natural History Museum? Like it matters. One of the well-known bastions of intellect, which I obviously am not). DH got fired from a job, too, but I wouldn't say he launched a successful business.

2. What unique skills do you have that may be the basis for a creative business (writing, drawing, building, analyzing, singing, driving, thinking, etc.)? I have several unique skills, it's just that none of them are well-developed nor do I have the confidence to apply them. I'm a good writer; I'm dependable. I'm great with kids. I'm great with difficult kids. I love to read aloud. What do I do with skills like that? Oh yeah! I teach preschool!

3. Do you have any ideas that would fall into the “peacemakers, storytellers, and healers” category? To quote Nathan Arizona, "That's your whole God-damn raison d'etre, ain't it?" It's what I do best: mediate disputes between four-year-olds, read a good story in an engaging fashion, and apply bandaids to owies. And I've proved I can do it on my own. Maybe I'm meant to start my own in-home care (Auntie M, you ready to make those kid-friendly bento box lunches?). Or follow Bev Bos and Lisa Murphy's leads and speak to other educators, bringing them back 'round to the values I believe we've abandoned in early childhood. Or maybe I need to sit for ideas and figure out how I can apply these skills in a different venue.

4. Can you think of an idea that would create SWISS dollars for you? SWISS dollars = Sales While I Sleep Soundly. Well, if I ever got around to restocking my etsy shop, I might earn a meager few.

5. Do you ever give yourself time to “sit for ideas”? I don't sit. I'm most uncomfortable when I sit. But I do give myself time to jog for ideas, or hike for ideas, or bike for ideas. My brain processes best when my body is engaged. Problem is, I don't ever record any of these ideas, so they don't often earn me more than a few moments' pretty diversion.

6. “Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you your heart’s desires” (Ps. 37:4). How does this apply to being content in a job you hate? Mom commented once that every task is equal in the eyes of the Lord, and she remembers that when she's wiping down the countertops for the nth time. Martin Luther King, Jr., has uttered a similar quote: "If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.” Recognize opportunity, but don't shun the work you have because it makes you unhappy.

7. How does your culture, environment, and experience perhaps limit your being able to see new opportunities? Many aspects of my life conspire right now to limit by ability to see new opportunities. I'm doing the best I can, with a pending bankruptcy and divorce. I've made a lateral move from one workplace to another, hoping the new environment will rekindle the passion I have for teaching children. That's about as much job change as I can muster while weathering these other life changes. I think you all understand. I think God does, too.


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