Work With Carmen

Exploring What's Possible

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We are living in uncertain and extra-ordinary times. Everything that we took for granted a month, a week, a day ago—kids being in school, flying to a conference, going to visit a loved one, going on a plane to vacation—are all on hold, indefinitely.

It feels much like someone scrambled all of our puzzle pieces and then walked away.

There are so many questions and so many feelings! 

How do we put the pieces back?

Do they need to go in the same spaces as before?

Were we trying to fit square pegs into round holes?

I’m angry. 

I’m happy. Am I even allowed to be happy?? (Yes, yes I am.)

I’m scared. 

I’m excited. 

The list could go on and on. 

This time in the world reminds me of when I was first learning to navigate as a divorcee and a single mother. 

Right before my divorce, life looked pretty amazing—from the outside. 

I was a stay-at-home mom homeschooling my three kids—ages 12, 9, and 6. We had just spent the better part of the year abroad in London. Life looked exactly as it “should.” 

However, the reality inside the house was very different. My husband and I were NOT happy. Tensions had been running high for years. We finally agreed that divorce was the best answer for all of our sakes.

Even though the divorce was what I wanted and knew we needed, I was scared.

How was I going to support us? I had worked as a research chemist for over a decade. I knew I did not want to go back to that work.

My oldest son had started public school the year before. It ended in more tears than I care to recall. So, I knew that I didn’t want to put my kids in school. I knew it wasn’t what was best for them or for me.  

Nothing in life seemed certain. There didn’t seem to be a clear path forward.

Everyone around me was eager to share what I should be doing . . . 

You should stay married. 

You should work this out. 

You should find a “real” job.

You should put the kids in school.

You should go back to chemistry. 

Everywhere I turned there was another should. Should, should, should . . . . 

Everyone believed they had the answers. 

I didn’t feel like I had any.

But I knew what I didn’t want. I didn’t want a job in chemistry. I didn’t want my kids in school. 

Those were my priorities. My priorities made it clear I needed to find a different way forward. 

At the time, I was a part-time virtual assistant. I decided to take a course and find more clients. 

What did I have to lose? (Honestly, not much at that point.)  

Looking back that seems like the right choice because it worked out. 

But at the time I had so many doubts.

You should have seen my dad’s expression when I told him. 

You’re gonna what?? Work with imaginary people? Why would they pay you?”  

I might as well have told him I was going to work on Mars, lol.

Back then I wasn’t all that technologically literate. I didn’t know how to build a website. I didn’t even know that running a Facebook ad was a thing. 

But, I believed in my ability to learn and to figure things out. 

I had many, many failures and made many mistakes along the way.  But I found ways to pivot instead of giving up. 

Was it scary? Fuck yes. 

Was it easy? No, definitely not.

Would I do it all over again? A million times over. 

It has been an amazing adventure and a beautiful healing journey. One that continues to unfold.

I’ve come to realize that the solopreneur’s business journey is about so much more than how to make a living. It is about consciously choosing how we want to LIVE life.

How does this serve us now?

I believe that we are currently sitting on a precipice. A unique opportunity in time. 

We get to choose how we will respond, just as I did when my personal world collapsed.

Yes, the world around us is changing at breakneck speed.  

We can’t control the changes.
We can control how we respond.

Will you choose to stay in a “life is ‘supposed to look THIS way” mindset or will you choose to explore what new way of living and thinking you can create? 

Not everything you try will succeed. 

But, everything you try will inform what will ultimately work. What can we learn from the failures? 

Even in less dramatic times, the integral place to begin is to talk about what you NEED in your life. Or what you don’t need. The way I did when I decided I didn’t need to return to my old career and I didn’t need to enroll my kids in public school.

Go back to the beginning. What pieces of the puzzle are you willing to pick up? Which are you willing to leave behind? How do you want to put them together? 

Kids are home. What are the options? What are the possibilities if we throw all of our preconceived notions out the window? 

Can’t meet clients in person. How can you serve them virtually? 

You don’t know the technology. You aren’t alone, other people are trying to figure it out, too. Where is a safe place to experiment? 

How can you start to PLAY and EXPERIMENT with what is possible?


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