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A Time to Follow Your Dream!

 

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As I mentioned in last week's blog, I have changed careers several times in my life. It's not something I necessarily planned on doing. It's just that I get restless from time to time, and I'm not afraid to go where life takes me.

From early on I possessed an entrepreneurial spirit that constantly drove me to do new things. I became a very successful businesswoman at the tender age of 19, and made so much money that I convinced myself that making money doesn't require much knowledge or education. I was also young and silly enough to believe that having made the money once, it would be there forever.

I enjoyed my success for about ten years. Then my personal life came crashing down around me, followed soon after by my business life. A nasty divorce left me heartbroken, penniless and confused, wondering who I was and what I should do with my life.

After drifting aimlessly for a while, I gathered my wits and resources and started all over. Only this time, instead of striving for corporate success I decided to become an artist. I threw myself into various art classes, while trying to make some money in whatever business ventures happened to come my way.

As I started to produce paintings I could feel proud of, my entrepreneurial side urged me to start selling them. Upon selling my very first painting, I felt elated, acknowledged and completed. More important, it seemed I had found a new direction. Once again, however, life threw me a curveball.

My darling husband, who had strongly supported my artistic endeavors and taken great pride in my paintings, was devastated with my first sale. To my surprise, he didn't want me to sell. Instead, he wanted me to hang all of my pieces on our walls. His love for my paintings made me feel special, but we soon ran out of walls, and I could not convince him that selling my paintings was a good thing.

Around that time, three of our four children were graduating from high school, and it became painfully obvious that none would earn a scholarship. With huge college expenses looming on the horizon, I decided that my career as an artist should be placed on hold until retirement and that I needed to move towards making money.

A Gem of An Idea

As I thought long and hard about what to do next, my mom suggested that I look into jewelry making. What a splendid idea! I could satisfy my artistic muse and still make enough money to contribute to the cause.

As I embarked on my new journey, I quickly learned that I wasn't alone on my quest. In fact, it seemed like every other woman on the planet had decided to pursue the same career. The market was saturated and very competitive, but I persisted.

As I honed my craft, each new creation became a treasured work of art. Each piece had a story to tell, and when it came time to sell, I found that the tables had turned. Now it was me, rather than my husband, who had a problem letting go!

Fortunately, my oldest daughter, Stephanie, began to take an interest in my jewelry, and began helping out with the marketing aspect of the business. In fact, it was she who opened and sustained our first large account, which enabled me to indulge my ego and contribute to the bank account at the same time. Only a year into the business, my "baby" decided to create a line of her own, and I took great pride in watching her struggle at first and then begin to produce her own masterpieces.

As Stephanie became more involved in the business, I decided to let her take the lead, while I moved to the sidelines. About that time, I became friends with the mother of her best friend, and we began taking daily power walks together. One day, my new friend began talking about finances, and how one can build wealth by using their mortgage as a financial instrument in their overall financial strategy.

As I listened and learned, I became fascinated with the concept. I started analyzing our finances and had a life-changing revelation. I had always believed that my accountant and financial planner should manage our money for us. After all, that's what they do, right? I soon came to realize, however, that it was up to my husband and me to take matters into our own hands and begin planning for our retirement.

Passion + Hard Work = Reward

I became so passionate about the subject that for the next six months I did nothing but read, take classes, attend seminars and get licensed. My new friend was so impressed that she asked me to become her partner, and I eagerly agreed. And so began my latest quest and current career -teaching women how they can plan for retirement by using their mortgage as a powerful financial tool.

As I got more involved in the business I discovered that it, too, was very competitive. If I wanted to succeed, I had to find a way to stand out from the crowd. To accomplish that goal, I began acquiring all kinds of certifications to establish my professional credentials.

I was so enthused that it had an impact on my son, who was starting his first year of collage. When he showed an interest, I began feeding him books and taking him with me on seminars. Before I knew it, he asked me if he could get his license and become certified. How could a mother be more proud!

Despite my excitement with my new career, I still had moments of doubt and fear. My new line of work required a great deal of education, and as I struggled with the complex financial issues, I sometimes wondered if I would be able to comprehend it all. Plus, I am an artist in heart. What was I trying to do by taking on the financial world? And what if I failed? What would I do then?

Fortunately, I realized that all negative thoughts and fears were just old tapes playing in my head. I brushed them aside and concentrated on what I wanted and how I could help people to better their lives. I realized that all my past failures were merely steppingstones to success, and all those lessons learned the hard way provided me with more confidence and positive energy than ever before.

It wasn't easy, but it turned out to be very rewarding. Not only did I find a new career for myself, I also planted the seeds of ambition in my son, who recently closed his first deal and is on his way to a second.

The moral of the story is this – ladies, if you have a dream, go for it! Remember that she who is afraid to fail, will fail to succeed. Dive in enthusiasm and passion, listen to your heart and your gut, stay focused, and reach for the stars

And keep me posted, because I would love to hear about your success!

Cheers,
Yana



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