And once you truly understand the lesson of the five balls, you will have the beginnings of balance in your life. Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas by James Pattinson. Back to blog. Time logs API Integrations. Resources Guides Tools Podcasts. Videos HR Support. Work, life, balance - the story of the five balls.
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Money is important, but I discovered a passion for my work was the key ingredient for a sustainable source of income over the long term. Everyone was jumping into the dot-com frenzy of the late 90s, so I followed suit. It was my first experience at a startup.
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The work was exciting, my co-workers were great, I traveled to San Francisco once a month and the money was decent. Then after just 11 months, I was laid off as part of the fallout from the dot-com bust of I had no idea at the time it would be one of my last work experiences as an employee. Election Day was the day I was laid off. My career was stopped in its tracks. It would become one of the most pivotal events in my life.
Everything I thought about work, money and how to live was about to be challenged. Thankfully, I went through this experience early in my career. We all assume our career trajectory is a linear progression rising from left to right until we retire whatever that means. Reality has shown me that is looks more like a stock market chart with lots of ups and downs.
Telling the Dropbox story of “How work became a mess
I was not prepared for that reality. As I continued to seek employment over the next 5 years, I would reluctantly transform myself into an entrepreneur. I may have felt stuck, but I took continuous, productive action to keep growing. Looking back it was my natural path, but I was unable to see it at the time.
Here were the incremental steps I took to become self-employed:. I had never freelanced before. Prior to getting laid off I would have never considered it, but I was so desperate for work I leaped at the chance. Those 3 months without work gave my idle mind lots of time to think. Honesty, I was afraid of working in an entirely different way.
After all, I was taught to be an employee my entire life, and there is a certain comfort in that way of thinking. Freelancing felt too unreliable as a method of generating income.
My Work. My Story.
Freelancing might have turned me off from the idea of working for myself, but it sparked my interest in the business side of media. Back then, the only path I saw for acquiring business knowledge and skills was by getting my MBA.
After some temping gigs and a 2-month stint freelancing at CBS News after the attacks of September 11th, I enrolled in the Business School at Fordham University to study media management in January of I took on an internship managing a website called TVSpy. At the time, it was owned by the career website Vault. It taught me the most crucial skill in business: how to sell.
I had never sold a thing before in my life! Previously, I stuck up my nose at sales. No thanks. Fortunately, TVSpy would change my perspective on sales. I came to understand that the best salespeople find problems to solve and then sell solutions to solve them. Now that was my kind of sale! While at TVSpy I had the opportunity to start my own weekly email newsletter about future business opportunities in local television.
I got to tell stories again. I interviewed industry experts and proposed my own new sales ideas. Writing was fun and I enjoyed engaging with the community I served. Little did I know, that same newsletter was actually laying the groundwork for the next phase of my career as a sales trainer. In the fall of , I was contacted by the Freedom Broadcast Company to speak at their annual executive conference in West Palm Beach to share some of my ideas about the future of TV news.
They owned a handful of TV stations throughout the U. I was so flattered, I did it for free! It would be my last unpaid speaking gig. As I finished business school I was still strongly considering employment opportunities until Graeme Newell , another contributor from TVSpy, asked if I wanted to team up with him as a digital sales trainer at his firm.
He would sell my digital sales trainings to his clients for a commission, and I was free to find my own clients. I waded a little deeper into the entrepreneurial waters. Traveling around the country speaking on something I was passionate about and getting paid to do it was a blast, but after 3 years it took its toll. It was time to find a way to make money from my expertise without having to leave my house. After 5 years of inching closer and closer toward entrepreneurship, I completed my transformation.
I finally had the confidence to strike out on my own. As you might have learned by now, I did not set out to be an entrepreneur. It was never a dream I had or an option I even considered until changing economic realities kept nudging me down this path. I may have pursued entrepreneurship reluctantly, but I have absolutely no regrets about my decision. I am now happily and proudly unemployable.
Work, life, balance - the story of the five balls
Just before the economic meltdown in the fall of , I started my first business, LocalBroadcastSales. It was profitable on day one, and I never relied on debt to build it. On the contrary, it was an opportunity. These modules became a lower cost sales training alternative for broadcasters. Rather than fly someone like me in for a day of training, they could access our archive of sales trainings every day of the year for almost the same cost or less.
My hourly rate also increased compared with selling in-person trainings because I eliminated my travel time and was able to sell the same trainings over and over again. I eventually ran the business so efficiently that I put in an average of 30 hours a week and was able to run my business from Seville, Spain, for 4 months. Building my first business was exciting, and I learned a ton.
My passion for broadcasting and digital advertising sales had waned. I realized the core of my training was around personal transformation and strategies for managing change.