Building a Credible Reputation for Future Self-Employment
It takes a lot of thought and effort to transition into a new life. Even with a clear vision and a plan, it is important to make consistent efforts to gradually adjust behaviors and activities so that we start becoming the person we want to be.
I now have only 14 months before I retire. I am making strides in different areas, but realize I must keep my eyes focused on where I want to be. At the same time, I also must remember the present is a gift. I don’t want to be so future-oriented that I forget to enjoy the moments I get to share with people I care about or forget to appreciate a harvest moon or a pleasant October afternoon.
After retire I want to make a little money while I play at what I love doing – writing, speaking, developing training materials, and conducting workshops. Because I will be self-employed after I retire, I need to build a credible reputation separate from my current professional reputation. To do this will take time and a lot of effort. I’ve already started making some small efforts in this area while continuing to stay focused on the present and my current responsibilities.
I try to be mindful about what I say and what I write about across social media platforms. The topics I am writing about are also consistent with the reputation I am building. My second article for Sixty & Me was just posted this week. I wrote about the difference between goal setting and vision mapping. This topic is consistent with the work I’m developing. I also write and speak about social justice issues. On my FB page, Strong Women, Past and Present, I post stories about women who have succeeded against the odds or who are fighting for social justice.
In the next two months I have a couple speaking opportunities outside the classroom. I’m giving a community presentation related to the TEDx talk I gave last July. Then the next month I’m dressing as Susan B. Anthony and channeling her spirit for a presentation for a local Rotary Club.
Over the summer I developed a self-contained course for an online platform called Udemy. I offered it for free until I had over 1000 students. Then I started charging a small amount. When I get another break from teaching, I’ll develop a course on vision mapping. These courses do not require any active teaching. I periodically add information, but they are basically a source of passive income and also allow me to continue building a consistent reputation. So far, my course ratings have been 5/5 stars.
Consistent with the other work I am developing, I’ve partnered with a colleague and friend to conduct workshops that link visual journaling and art to vision mapping. Last month this same friend and I gave a keynote based on our workshops.
I am limited as to how much I can do and when I can do it since my first priority until I retire is my teaching. Nonetheless, I find bits of time here and there to slowly make my transition into my new life. I am feeling more confident about my new best life.
How about you? What are your future dreams? How are you making them a reality?