Since pretiring, I’ve been shifting the way that I approach my life and the things I do during the day to help people (and pay the bills).

It all started with an interview I watched with Mastin Kipp where he explains why he changed the way he approaches new opportunities and his efforts to attain them.

In the interview Mastin mentions that he stopped trying to force things and just let good things come to him. As he continued to be of service, the things he would have otherwise chased came naturally.

I was immediately drawn to this idea that I could attract, rather than push, good things my way. Not in a strictly woo-woo sense, but in a calm, centered, and fear-less approach.

So much of my career with Jess LC was focused on the push method: push to make new products all the time, push to get in front of magazine editors, push to market online via blog ads, and push to get into more and more stores.

And those things did accomplish quite a bit. But when it came to my purpose and pretirement, I didn’t want to have that same constant ego-effort mentality. Because often the push-push-push approach is guided by fear of not having enough or being enough.

Going forward, I simply wanted to get up everyday and do what excites me, feels right, and serves others. 

So far I’m a month into this new way of thinking and aside from a steep learning curve as I add new business services (more on that next week), I have been remarkably peaceful and several amazing opportunities have come my way.

By “come my way” I mean that I didn’t go out and force them into reality. They came to me.

I have two new design clients (each approached me, I didn’t ever try to seek design projects), a workshop at Alt Summit with Ez, an exciting home feature, and a whole new aspect of workshops and consulting based on reader requests.

Simply incredible. I could not be more grateful.

So, you might be wondering how the hell did I get all those awesome opportunities to come to pass in just four stinking weeks? The truth is that some have been percolating for a bit longer but just got approved or completed recently, and others just popped up once I stopped trying to “make things happen.”

However, it wasn’t like I was just sitting on a rock meditating to attract these things my way alone. In the case of the home feature and design clients, I had been doing and sharing what I loved: decorating my home with people online and in real life. My current clients saw my home and were interested in having me help them as well. So in this case I was “active” in the sense that I was serving others with blog posts and doing something that excited me. But I wasn’t shouting from the rooftops “hire me!!!!” 

In fact, in one interview for a commercial design project I actively told them that I hoped they picked the best person for the job. If it was me, I was beyond excited to get started. And if it was someone else, I hope they had a wonderful completed design that worked with their overall vision.

In the Alt Summit case, I noticed the Things I’m Afraid to Tell You movement was nominated by someone on Twitter to Alt as something to include in the conference. Since I was already attending (thanks to a ticket bought from Jess), I sent them a quick email letting them know that I would be at the conference and if they wanted me to speak about the subject, I would be more than happy to.

Weeks went by and I didn’t hear anything. So I figured it was a no-go, that it wasn’t meant to be, and that was totally okay with me (see: important no’s). But out of the blue a few weeks ago I did get an email back from them asking me to co-teach with Ez. A dream come true! Had it not happened, I was totally at peace with it, I just offered up a way I could help and be of service if they needed it. No attachment in my ego was made about whether the answer was yes or no.

And finally, when it comes to the new workshops and consulting that I will be doing, they again, cropped up from the service I have been providing here on the blog. Though I still want to keep a bit of suspense for the announcement next week, I will say that a few readers have been finding certain aspects of my writing helpful and they wanted to work with me one-on-one about those topics. I took their feedback seriously and decided that it was indeed a good idea to expand from business to other intentional areas as well.

So it’s pretty clear that the main themes that drew these new ventures to me involved doing things I naturally loved to do and serving other people.

But there was one more thing in my pretirement plan I mentioned above: do things that feel right.

This principal applies to what helped me get to pretirement in the first place: I decided to close Jess LC. So many kind friends and readers have asked me how I’m doing after the close of the shop. And they often expect me to have a bit of sadness to share. But the truth is, nothing has ever felt more right in my career than closing the shop.

Had I listened to any fearful worries about income and the unknown path created from pursuing my purpose full-time, I would never have had the time, energy, or ability to take on these new projects which bring me so much joy.

Along with hearing all of these yeses in my life, there have been a few no’s too. But each one is now filtered into one of the following:

Not this way.  - Not with this person or in this form.

Not right now. – Not at this point in time, but sometime in the future.

Not what would really make you happy. – If I got this opportunity, something about it would not be good for me or I wouldn’t like it.

So those few no’s that have cropped up are filtered with such a trusting, positive interpretation that I can feel peaceful knowing that even that “no” is working in my favor in some way and will eventually lead to a different “yes.”

I am so, so thankful that I have chosen to take this new approach to my pretirement. And I cannot wait to see what new offers come my way in the years to come.

And the best part? This approach is not exclusive, expensive, or hard to implement.

It just takes a leap of faith.

 

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  • http://elembee.com Lisa // Elembee

    This reminds me a lot of something a friend once said about meeting her husband — all of the relationships she sought out and pushed to make happen didn’t work out, and it wasn’t until she stopped trying to find someone and started just pursuing the things she loves instead that she met him.

  • http://www.sweetercpa.com Helena

    I just learned this week that I, too, will be speaking at Alt! I had also written it off as a “not this year” kind of thing, so it was a huge blessing.

    I’m also in the position of having a newly-started business and there are moments when it can be very scary… but I’m “beginning with the end in mind” (who taught me that?) and building a client base that reflects the kind of business I want to run. That does include turning some things down (terrifying in the short run) but I know I’m making the best decisions for five-year-from-now-Helena.

  • http://www.sweetercpa.com Helena

    Ha, I had to respond to Lisa’s comment! That’s exactly how things worked with my husband. I was always trying to be the girlfriend of that guy who didn’t want a girlfriend (great plan, Helena!) and forcing things. Will was the first guy where things didn’t feel forced.

  • http://www.justcallmesassy.blogspot.com Lauren @ Sassy Molassy

    In reading The Passion Test lately, the saying “what you focus on grows stronger in your life” keeps reappearing and reminding that I get to pick to focus on/seek out the positive things. And a bit on fear… The thing about fear is figuring out how to get past it, one baby step at a time. Still a serious challenge for me, but working on it.

  • http://www.alexayupangco.tumblr.com Alexa Y.

    I love this post! It has just what I needed right no – an idea of WHY I might be besieged with “no” at this current moment. It’s not always a completely closed door; perhaps there’s something better coming along the way.

    Jess, you have ALWAYS been an inspiration to me since starting your blog. I’m grateful for everything you’ve shared and the advice you’ve given. It is my hope to be living out the life that I feel I can best serve others with before I turn 25 (in two years!), and I will continue to draw encouragement and inspiration from what you’ve shared.

  • http://bethanybarkey.com/blog Bethany

    Agree so much. If you want to (for example: exercise)…stop waiting for permission or time and make time to do it. Phew. 24 hours in the day seems so so little. Maxing every moment is soo important! Saying no is only PART of what I need to do, I also need to say YES to the things I really need/want to do. What a great post!!!

  • Kate

    Right on! Trusting the process is hard, but I’ve learned it is truly the only way to find peace.

  • Lauren

    Thank you for writing so candidly on this matter, I am in the early stages of a big career change, starting a small business and trying to grow readership on my blog. I have at so many times felt like I’m forcing things a bit too much. I love your idea of staying focused on your goal, but not being pushy about it. Things really do have a way of working themselves into what they need to be. Great post!

  • http://wordsofwilliams.com kelsey

    Great post, Jess. I think it is amazing what can transpire in our lives when our hearts are in the right place. When it’s not forced or for what we can get out of it, but how we can help others, that seems to be when things really fall into place.

  • http://Ibreatheit.blogspot.com Duaa

    Beauitful..this post has really motivated me !

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