Guest blog by Kerry Low, author of Destination Dream Job Journal
‘Well if you can’t find it just stop whinging and write the thing yourself’ was the answer I got to my rant about the lack of really entertaining, practical and interactive careers books to use with clients and for those who want to self-direct their careers journey.
Hence wine, a discussion about ‘The 100 year old man who climbed out the window and disappeared’ (by J Jonasson – its very good as are his other books) wine, more wine and sleep. But not a lot of it.
I was woken somewhere around 5am with a head full of ideas for that perfect careers book I was going to write. Somewhere my subconscious had listened to the book club belles and for the next bleary eyed 5 weeks I woke at 5am frantically scribbling down 20 years of careers activities as they spewed out of my head. That really was how it felt. It was very quick and very spontaneous. As i put on my Kerry Low Careers Linkedin account I became the human conduit for the Destination Dream Job Journal.
But once created and touted around my friends and peers (good idea or bad idea…good ok, thanks guys’), the next step who could create it and was I qualified to do this? I had met Joyous Creative a dynamic design duo at a local small business Chamber of Commerce event and the next morning they popped up in my daily mediation. Again I did what I was told by the brain and rang them.
Over the next year we worked together discussing, creating, refining the journal. We talked through ideas, getting rid of pages we’d worked on for weeks and they brought magic to my concepts. The truth is that at almost every stage I thought… it will only take a few months. It took a year. It may have only taken a few months if I had taken the money offered by a friend to pay up front for the journal but I chose the safe route and saved for each invoice as we went along. I stopped to accept new careers clients along the way as I knew that was reall work with tangible pay but the journal value was unknown. Funding the journal myself meant I could enjoy the process and be completely uncompromising about the direction without the pressure of backers their deadlines. But the price was a year.
As we neared half way I started looking at who could print a journal with a spiral and found it at extortionate cost. So I launched a Crowdfunder campaign to see what the interest would be and start getting some attention for the idea of a self guided journal to help people commit to a tested process of careers guidance to find work that was a natural, intentional and so aligned to the person’s unique skills that it would create a life of real happiness. The campaign failed. This would have really shaken me if the project was to make money but it was my gift for a 20 year career that has bought me ultimate happiness and harnesses my personal natural skills. I never really appreciated how far being insatiably nosey and getting told off at school for talking could take me!
So after a family meeting we decided that as this was a mummy bucket list task we would complete the design with Joyous Creative and then figure out what format to print it in. We would raise the first print run cost through rerunning a Crowdfunder campaign as that was about the amount we had raised in the first run. Of course it didn’t happen that simply, there was more, self-doubt, self-bolstering, saying ‘I like myself in the mirror’ to get me to constantly step outside my comfort zone (a Brian Tracy special) and meditation where I imagined life with and without completing this journal. In the end I needed to do it 1. For me 2. For me to use with my clients as I had planned 3. To role model how to set big goals and achieve them (because my children are learning about how to act in the world and how it works through seeing everything I do).
So in summary I would say. I think we all have a book in us but not always a fiction book. It will always take double the time you think (just like those houses on grand designs) and lastly you are closest to victory at the point you REALLY want to quit (this thought got me through all the sticky times true or not). I learned that the joy of the process is actually making links with a variety of talented professionals and finding out how much belief your friends and family have in your abilities. A belief that you sometimes need to ride to get yourself over the stuck times! Oh and lastly, our beloved coach and font of all publishing knowledge Alexa Whitten told me something that struck delight and fear into my soul in equal parts during our first conversation. After I had slogged my way to ISBN ready she said, ‘Oh the first is the hardest, when the next idea pops up it will be a much quicker process’. The next? I may just need some sleep first.
To purchase a copy of the Destination Dream Job Journal please email Kerry direct.