Time To Readjust The Sails



Where do I start?


It seems confusion, failure, new beginnings and change are the major themes of my twenties thus far.


Once again, I am faced with a new beginning and a lesson learned.


Its amazing how much one person (myself) can seemingly stumble their way through life. 


When I was young I thought I would have it figured out when I got 'older'. Then when I was in high school I thought I would finally have it all figured out in college. Then when I was in college I thought that as soon as I reached the working world, things would magically fall into place. And then when I was young and naive to the world as an independent adult, I thought when I was in my mid-twenties, I would most definitely have it together. And now - after all of my life experiences including living overseas and trying a myriad of jobs - I still don’t have it figured out. And regardless of how ridiculous it may be, I secretly dream about having life figured out by my late twenties or early thirties. 


But will I? Will I really? I seriously doubt it.


So maybe this is what life is about, right? 


Stumbling from failure to failure. Serendipitously finding your way into new opportunities and discovering new passions. Trying something new only for it to only halfway work - you like that part, but not that one - time to readjust the sails AGAIN.


I mean seriously, what. is. it. about. life.? 


Why can’t I just have it all figured out?!


Why? (as I often scream at God in frustration)


…But what if…


What if this IS what life is about?


What if the messes and stumbles and seemingly random encounters with new people and opportunities are what it IS all about? What if THIS MESS is it?


Well, hmmm, that certainly changes things a bit.


While I was away this past week (on a family vacation, no less) I stumbled across a famous quote of Winston Churchill,


“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”


So if I stay enthusiastic in the midst of the mess, does that make me successful?




Really?! Life for real, for real?


I would like to think so. 


Because no matter how messy a situation can be - everything is a lesson. And if not a positive lesson - it can be one that shows you what doesn't work.


And if you ask me, that is just as valuable if not more valuable than a positive lesson.


Think about an inventor. 


Any inventor will fail hundreds, if not thousands or millions of times before finding something that works. Thomas Edison once said, 


"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."


Why should our lives be any different?


We are each beautiful pieces of artwork in progress. We are all on a journey called life. God is working in each one of us to create something beautiful and to fulfill a purpose. But in that journey comes mistakes, stumbles, growing pains, joys, beauty, love and hurt. The journey includes it all. So we should expect that while we are being worked on the potters wheel like clay, that there will come times where things collapse, where we have to start over and rebuild. But each new beginning adds its own marking, making us all beautiful in our own unique ways.


So maybe, rather than focusing on 'getting it all together' and having life 'figured out', we should have patience with ourselves and the bumps in the road and instead focus on the beautiful journey called life.


Because when we each reach our individual ends of the path, it won't be a matter of whether we had it 'all figured out'. Rather, what will really matter is whether we lived life fully through the ups and the downs.


And I choose to live.


Taking Action

I did something scary this weekend.


Something I’ve been mulling over for at least a few weeks.


Something I thought I couldn’t find enough time to actually make happen. When in reality I was procrastinating and doing unimportant tasks that filled up the hours and made it APPEAR as though I had run out of time.


So yesterday, after a long conversation with a good friend and fellow entrepreneur, I finally did it.


I had already spent two hours scrolling through meaningless social media when I told myself that that was enough. I had to make a move.


So I did.


And in doing so, I felt a mix of both freedom and elation and the weightiness of FEAR.


The thoughts of doubt. The thoughts saying that I couldn’t do it. That it wouldn’t work. That I would be a complete and utter failure. They were all there.


And I’m still struggling with them.


Do I know what I’m doing? No.


Will this be a steep learning curve? Yes.


Will I make mistakes? Yes.


Can it fail? Quite possibly.


But will I be happy I tried? Yes. 


Will I regret taking action? Ultimately, no matter happens, no.


So in the end its worth it.


And in a way I launched this community as much for myself as for others.


So what is it?


Well first let me explain one thing. I rebranded my website under The Rested Entrepreneur. That was the original goal of starting a website and it finally felt like it was time to shift everything over. My website is still under my own name, but the primary domain has changed. As well as the layout.




I launched a community. On Facebook.


I decided that in order to provide value and learn more about what other entrepreneurs needed in order to feel balance in their lives - that I should launch a closed group - or a community - for those looking for the same thing.


And don’t get me wrong, I am in no means the shining example of this. In fact, I am often the opposite. 


Struggling with energy, self-doubt, depression, overwhelm...all of it (cue the negative self talk here).


But one thing I do know is that I am tired of seeing friends working to the point of burnout. Tired of the endless lists of productivity hacks. Of sleep hacks. Of ways to squeeze more activity into your day. Of quotes that are supposedly motivating, but instead create unnecessary levels of guilt about how much YOU got done today. 


I’m tired of the productivity narrative telling us to wake up early, take care of your body, run a business, have a family and look perfect the whole time and repeat the next day - and saying its easy with these ”easy to implement steps”. It’s not. It’s not natural. And I would argue that it is far more likely people burn out rather than ever make it to success with this game plan.


So I did it. 


I created the Facebook community under the same name as my website, The Rested Entrepreneur.


At this point in time I have no idea where it will lead me, but I do know one thing - it is something I needed to do. So I did. 


And the value of action often far outweighs anything else.


So if you would like to join, just send me a request over Facebook and I will be sure to include you in this experiment called community.


My hope is that it takes a life of its own. But we will see. 


And that’s part of the excitement.


Not This

I sat at my cold glass dining table under the glaring white lights, long into the cold of the night, writing a list of pros and cons with trembling hands. Earlier in the evening I had spent time debating with myself, praying to (more like screaming at) God, speaking with my roommate and crying endlessly. 


I was torn to pieces. 


I had thought - only a year and a half earlier - that I had found the perfect job.


Boy was I wrong.


As Elizabeth Gilbert says,

"Most of us, at some point in our lives (unless we have done everything perfectly...which is: nobody) will have to face a terrible moment in which we realize that we have somehow ended up in the wrong place — or at least, in a very bad place."


How many of us have ended up in this "bad place"? Face down. Exhausted. At the bottom. Feeling like you just HAVE to make a change. There is no more waiting.


Well I certainly did in 2014.


Not only did my situation end up less than ideal, it had turned toxic. 


It frankly wasn’t good for me: emotionally, physically (stress) or spiritually. 


Did I have any idea what I was going to do next? 




Did I have a Plan B? 




Did I have any idea how this decision would alter the future?




But did I know I had to leave?




It was a deep, gut wrenching sense of 




My heart, mind, body, soul - every part of me was screaming 




I had to get out. 


So I did.


By the end of that evening - before I even went to bed - I had a resignation letter drafted and ready to go for the morning. 


And I felt peace.


Yes I was terrified. I had no idea what I was going to do. And I absolutely did not want to leave my home - Cape Town, South Africa prematurely.


I was risking my entire life. The life I had spent so much time, heart and soul building. This decision could destroy it all in a moment.


Regardless of that, I knew the decision had to be made.


I had already waited too long. I had had that unmistakable sinking feeling after only a few months and had decided to hang on even as everything started slipping out of control.


I knew that even with the terrifying prospect of not knowing what was next, or how this decision would change things - that staying in my home would become increasingly difficult without a miracle - I absolutely had to listen to that gut feeling screaming, NOT THIS - because anything was better than where I found myself.


So when the moment came, I handed over my resignation letter without regret.


I knew I had done the right thing. And only relief swept over me as I walked away that day. 


Since I was at the bottom, I also knew, I could only improve.


Recently, my good friend, fellow blogger and awesome podcaster, Bryan Teare, creator of the Quarter Life Comeback, reminded me of a challenging post written by the wonderful Elizabeth Gilbert titled, Not This .


It struck a chord the first time I read it. And once again it is having the same effect all over again.


In the post she writes about the terrifying moments in life when you realize - NOT THIS.


When you find yourself on the floor emotionally or physically with the realization that something has to change. Must change. 


That you have to leave the job, end the toxic relationship, admit yourself into rehab, leave a community that is slowly poisoning you or walk away from a belief that once defined you but no longer does anymore.


That no matter what you do next, it’s NOT THIS.


In Elizabeths own words,

"If you keep ignoring the voices within you that say NOT THIS, just because you don't know what to do, may end up stuck in NOT THIS forever.
You don't need to know where you are going to admit that where you are standing right now is wrong.
The bravest thing to say can be these two words.
What comes next?
I don't know. You don't know. Nobody knows. It might be worse. It might be better. But whatever it is...? It's NOT THIS."


So are you getting the feeling that something needs to change? Are you in the middle of your personal NOT THIS moment right now? Have you ever experienced this in the past? If so, please tell me your stories if you feel comfortable below - I would love to hear about how you got to this point and made the change to get out.