This is actually my second about me page, and it’s essentially about entrepreneurship. I’m an entrepreneur at heart (and if you are too then I hope (and expect) that you’ll find some value here if you stop in regularly). I never would have said such a thing in December of 2009. So here’s a bit about me and this discovery.
Since I created Liz Lundberg Dot Com (roughly May of 2010), I’ve been like: “CRAP, who am I and what the crap am I doing?”
Don’t tell me you’ve never thought that about yourself. If you really haven’t, then go away and don’t come back. You’re not real, or you’re too good for me*.
After ten of the most painful months, both financially and personally, I’m finally clear about what kind of Being is in the skin I’m in; it’s an entrepreneur type of Being. I’m the kind of person who will work twice as hard in life, ALL my life, trying to find a way to elevate myself to the level of never having to work. And here’s a news flash; I have let go of the notion that my purpose in that pursuit is something of arguable value, and finally grasp that lever of my personality with confidence, no longer simultaneously riding the brakes (in case I be wrong).
I’m not free yet (my time), but I’m not afraid to say this to you: If you be the kind of person I be; Paint your heart’s picture of the moon, draw your bow and aim for it and you will make your way. Everyone will call you a dreamer with the implication that you should not be taken seriously.
It takes many dreamers to move mountains, alter realities, and produce miracles. Even if you and I never produce a miracle in our lives, either for ourselves or anyone else, we are no less important – for abiding in our unique, creative experience – because our energy in the universe holds open the portal from which miracles are manifested. We humans are incredibly more powerful than we’ve realized, but the closest to doing so are those of us with endless imagination. The world needs us.
So the less dramatic story of who I am is; I’m a little girl who lived in the Bronx of New York, who fell in love with horses. And the short of that tale is that my dad told me that if I could read, I could learn to do anything, so now at 52 I am a retired Thoroughbred Jockey and professional horse handler. I am in the top 5% of all horsemen and women on the planet. That and a buck will buy you a cup of coffee (maybe…)
I never thought about trying to bill myself as a horse whisperer; never thought to capitalize on my identity in the way a fellow like Monty Roberts has (and you see? Many say that he’s really a mediocre horseman, but he’s got a lot more coffee money than me). You get what you ask for; I asked God to be able to ride any horse; I never asked to see my name in lights. So I am no famous horse-whisperer. Like most of my colleagues and contemporaries, the connection with equines is rich enough to satisfy us, of a day.
However, I’ve discovered that failing to pursue recognition, position and influence at the same time makes putting bread on the table an increasingly labor-intensive exercise. Even (and especially) at that time in life when my laurels would otherwise have allowed me some free time; a little rest between jobs… Here in the middle of nowhere (Podunk downs) I can barely pay my bills, for all the quality of my skill.
I’ve been casting about for almost ten years now full of doubt and fear about what to do next. How can I pay for the care and maintenance of Elizabeth Lundberg, and also satisfy my personal nature? The dream I had when I was a kid is fulfilled; I did it. – I am who I had always dreamed of being. I the process I’ve come to realize that courage, persistence and vision are not qualities reserved for a few special people, but that they exist in equal measure in the most common and unlikely subjects, and I am living proof of this.
Now I want to give, badly…I want to take my world of simple people in my arms, the ones who work so f***ing hard all the time, even the ones who barely toe the line of the social contract, and give them the gift of my time. Spontaneously, whenever I feel like it.
But right now I have nothing to give; all that I have to offer is consumed by making a living; I feel stifled by the sheer labor-intensiveness of surviving. So with my remaining years, I have to elevate my standard of living to one where I have my choice available. I need wealth. Not just paying the bills. I need wealth, with a capitAL W.
You know you have wealth when you have free time. Most people don’t need too much free time- they don’t know what to do with it. But you and me…the entrepreneur types? We want to shower the world with our ideas, but we need to have a gazillion unstructured hours to create so we can do that. We would rather die by our own arrows than leave a single one left, unused, in the quiver when we breathe our last.
The bitter reality is that I’ve spent my whole life avoiding responsibility for my own upkeep and survival. I suppose that it’s not so shameful if one is a woman, but an entrepreneurial woman would need that skill. So at 52 I am back to the drawing board and the drawing back of my bow, aiming, literally, at a new moon instead of retirement.
Here’s an example of how financial freedom looks to me: say someone I know needs a driver’s license or something and for various reasons it is difficult for them. They have no transportation, they have no money, they don’t know how to get their birth certificate; they don’t know how to read, or write or something…
If it takes a whole day, without having to worry about “catching up” on my own business (because I’d have the money to feed myself without working), I would be able to be there for that person, as their servant; as if they were the only person in the world for a day (nothing Oprah Winfrey would find strange, I would guess). Because why? To acknowledge the simple and otherwise unnoticed acts of courage that the very simplest and ordinary of us commit every day of our lives, in order to keep the turf at our feet (and not above our heads).
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect to be completely free of having to do work or to have anyone else care for me; but I want to be able to provide for myself by living off of my residual income, so that I am free to share the experience of love, which to me is the only reason we’re all floating around on this Water Planet (with the turf beneath our feet).
And that, readers, is the picture that never will leave my consciousness, even when I want to quit finding my way to wealth (with a capitAL W); even after I’m smarting from my most recent attempt.
I became a Jockey because I never quit… it was the only thing I lived for.Last year I might have said it was because I didn’t think I could do anything else. But there were plenty of things I could have done for a living; I just couldn’t do anything else and call it my life; not life as in the sacred gift that comes only once in your memory.
I think the following quote sums up just what happens that we entrepreneurial types are addcted to, thta keeps us flying by the seat of our pants our whole life:
“A crucible is, by definition, a transformative experience through which an individual comes to a new or an altered sense of identity.”
From “Crucibles of Leadership” by Warren G. Bennis and Robert J. Thomas; Harvard Business Review, September 2002, P.3 (from the HBR At LargeVersion)
And I will make my own way, again, while the rest of my generation sits back in their easy chairs!
And so will you, you risk-takin’ dream chasin’ entrepreneur….That is…if that IS you out there…
So if my attitude resonates with yours, then this is where you belong and will feel at home…subscribe, participate, and use this place to restore your energy. We have a lot of good work to do in the world; so let’s leg each other up and get on with it.
*The way I see it, if you have never struggled with the issue in an existential way, so that you have to question the value of your own singular existence, then one of two things is true. Either you are content to live in the domain of personal survival and creature comforts (with the rest of the animal kingdom) and my website begs too many questions you prefer to never entertain, OR you already saw the big, cosmic picture and you have no time to tarry here. Either way, you be the kind of person who need never return.