Friday, September 25, 2009

Motivation all around

Nothing like total strangers to help you feel good about insane major life decisions.

After being somewhat sedentary yesterday, I resolved that today would be a day of action, starting with getting out of the house. Rather than defaulting to the public library, I drove to one of the local Panera restaurants to grab coffee and a muffin, plug in and log on.

The last time I went there I got a subtle confirmation for my decision to reboot: a bunch of pharmaceutical salespeople were there, having a buzzword-laden team meeting and sweating over not making quota for the month. I could only shake my head and smile to myself.

Today, after I settled in with my laptop and paperwork, the very friendly manager came by and asked if I was working hard. I told him that my work was a little out of the ordinary: I am researching a start-up. I explained the concept to him, and he responded with a great deal of enthusiasm. That led to a chat about his career -- he's an actor by training and temperament, which was totally apparent after talking with him for two minutes. A few moments later, one of the other employees came over and joined the conversation. In fact, she returned a few more times to tell me more, and to confide some of the challenges she's been having in getting funding for vocational training she wants to take. She got teary eyed as she told me about someone who was working to help her get a grant, and she reminded me that prayer definitely works.

Later on, the guy who was sitting at the next table started asking me what I was up to and told me about his new career of adjunct teaching at a local college while trying to start a consultancy. Meanwhile, I'm toking up on high-test coffee... so I'm really zooming.

Needless to say, all of this interaction with total strangers was a real boost, which also got me over the hump to sign up online to get some guidance at one of the NJ Small Business Development Centers through Rutgers. I have to write a business plan. And do market research. And figure out how the hell I will make a living wage. Or find a millionaire to marry. Of course, I'm sure I'll have to harass the SBDC people to book an appointment, but I've made the first step.

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