Five months ago I quit my former career and set out to work as an adventure educator. Learning from adventure means going beyond that which is familiar, entering your “stretch zone” where you feel uncomfortable, like you may not succeed. Well … I’m there.
Just between you and me, I’m terrified! On the one hand, I know I have a lot to offer. On the other hand, I’m not at all certain that I can survive monetarily doing what I do. In my corporate engineering career I could indulge my introvert, only concern myself with technical details, and collect my paycheck. Now I’ve got to do a whole lot more including outreach to prospective clients, package and promote myself and what I offer, and find ways to make it pay well enough that I can keep doing it.
I just want what I do to be meaningful and worthwhile. I recently had the opportunity to enunciate my personal mission and it came out “to help people learn and help people grow.” That’s it, that’s what I’m committed to doing. But how, specifically, will I do that? And why should you, prospective client, trust me with your best interests and compensate me for my efforts?
Don’t get me wrong, I have answers to those questions, and I think they’re pretty compelling. But is it going to be enough? Am I going to be enough? I’m in the nascent beginnings of building my adventure education practice and I’m not at all sure how it will go. Who will I serve, where can I do the most good, and how can I keep doing it? And what will I do if I fail and my efforts come to naught? I don’t have those answers and, moreover, I don’t really know how I’m going to find those answers except to not give up and keep working at it.
So here I am, in the crux of Adventure. Michael Meade, author and teacher in the ‘90’s men’s movement, said that meaningful transformation is often accompanied by feeling that you may not survive the experience; it reaches into your core. I feel that way now. But I do feel that this is my path and I must walk it. I can only have faith that it leads me in the right direction.