About 18 years ago I heard that little voice again.
The voice of doubt.
The voice of hesitation.
The little voice whispering, more and more often…’Is this….it?’
I was teaching at the most prestigious language institute of the Netherlands.
I was well-paid.
I had a permanent contract.
It was a lovely 20-minute bike ride from my house.
I had fantastic colleagues and inspiring students.
I had been teaching for over 10 years.
And my soul was shrinking.
A tiny bit more every day.
I was wondering if this would be my career for the rest of my life. I was tenured, after all, so it was in the cards that this was how it would be.
But something told me I could do more.
I wanted to create my own materials and teaching method.
I wanted to be my own boss.
I wanted to be A (or maybe ‘The’, because this did not exist yet) Personal English Coach.
Oh, and I just had a baby. Talk about taking a huge risk! There goes my stable salary, vacation days, insurance, etc. What the hell was I doing?
My commitment to follow my dream was bigger than my fear. And I was pretty afraid. I made phone calls that were not returned. Sent mails that remained unanswered. When the first person actually agreed to see me for an appointment, he said ‘How much does coaching cost?’ and the only thing I could say was ‘I don’t know. I’ve never sent an invoice before. How much are you willing to pay?’
I had no colleagues anymore.
No peers to consult about pricing, services, etc.
I was utterly and completely on my own.
But as you know, I live in Buffiland.
There are tons of people there.
And they believed in me.
And I believed in me.
I had to work so hard to prove my value and just last week I had to pinch myself again. And again.
I worked in 3 countries in 2 days – Wednesday in Berlin, Thursday in Antwerp, and Thursday night coaching back in the Netherlands again.
Yesterday I saw my name on the film credits for the English coaching I did for the (brilliant!) film De Dirigent. My name has also been added to the International Movie Data Base.
And lots more awesomeness, but I won’t share it all here. (Oh, as an American, I see success as something inspiring and not threatening. I hope you do too. I’m sharing this not to be arrogant, but to share my story and inspire you to chase your dreams.)
I’m so glad I did’t give up on me.
And what about you?
What do you want to do?
And what is holding you back?
If your passion to follow your dreams is bigger than your fear (it is, believe me, it is), then it’s time to take the first step and follow what that little voice has been telling you the whole time.
It’s there for a reason.
There are so many reasons to say no – worries about time, money, security, status, what will other people think, what if I fail, etc? I went through all of those questions every single day for a long time.
But you know what?
There’s only one good reason to say yes.
And that reason is you.
I believe in you!
PS: If English is something you want to say yes to but it makes you nervous, or you don’t feel that you have a good basis in English, come to my English Confidence Boo(s)tcamp in March next year! It’s a whole new program designed for beginners, to get back to basics and feel confident about speaking English! (Early bird price ends in December!)
A must see! (For many different reasons.)