Sunday, January 06, 2013

My Brand, My Plan

2012 was a bit of a rough year.  On a large-scale perspective, we saw another extremely politically divisive election season, continued unrest in many parts of the world, disturbing acts of violence, and endless fear and uncertainty about the future.  On a personal level, I struggled extensively with depression, spent a week in the hospital, lost my house, and went through several career transitions.  As I wrote briefly about in my last post, there are plenty of ways in which I could look over the last few years and talk about what a failure they were.  In many ways, I'm sure that I have yet to fully deal with the emotional, spiritual, and psychological baggage resulting from the last couple years.  As I was telling some friends last night, I feel like I've been working so hard just to keep my head above water.  I described to my Psychologist last week the image of transitioning from drowning to treading water to slowly making my way to shore.  I have been feeling like I can see the shoreline in the distance and it looks so warm and comforting.  But it's been difficult to muster the strength to actually start swimming toward it.  Just keeping your head above water can take all the strength you can muster. 

I have an uncle who works for a Justice on the Ohio Supreme Court and he writes a weekly column for the paper.  His last column for 2012 did a fantastic job of painting the dismal picture we have all felt recently while still highlighting the small slivers of hope we see beginning to develop as people realize the power they have to do good.  We don't have to wait on large institutions to figure shit out.  We can actually start living the change we want to see in small ways in our daily lives.  That can give hope.  I feel confident that we will continue to see the icy walls we've constructed that so often divide us begin to melt as our hearts warm to the idea that we all want very similar things and have similar goals, we just have to talk about the best way to get there. 

But I digress.  The point is, I've been trying to maintain hope as I enter 2013.  I'm tired of feeling like the victim of circumstances and I want to take more control of my life, while recognizing the things that are simply out of my control. 

So, I'm working on a plan.  In light of my last post, I know that this plan may or may not work out according to my current understandings.  Things change, and I've learned from past mistakes that it can be extremely dangerous to completely invest your hopes and dreams into one possibility, putting all your eggs into one basket as it were.  I want my plan to work, but I'm also trying to diversify my efforts so there is a greater chance of at least part of the plan working out. 

Anyway, I want to share this plan with whoever is interested enough to read about it and then share some ways in which I could use the support of my close friends and family. 

The Plan (in 3 parts)

Part 1: Business
During my brief stint working in sales, I discovered some skill-sets I didn't really know I had and started getting lots of ideas on potential business ventures I could pursue in the future.  I decided very quickly that I was good at sales and there were parts of it I enjoyed but if I were ever to make a career out of it, I'd want to be in business for myself.  I have some ideas that I'd still like to pursue in the future, but as a start and a good way to hopefully help fund my studies, I've decided to work as an Independent Associate for Legal Shield, a company that offers access to consultation and other services from top-quality law firms for a low monthly fee.  The idea functions in a similar manner to what you might call legal insurance, but it's geared more at giving greater access to preventative legal measures, like consulting with an attorney, having a letter written or phone call made on your behalf to resolve issues like traffic tickets, getting documents reviewed to make sure you aren't being taken advantage of, and the list goes on.  I think it's a great idea with a lot of potential and something I think many people could use, so I've decided to get on board and try to sell memberships.  This works out great because I can work my own hours, be totally in control of my own schedule, and potentially set up some great residual income for down the road. 

There are other ideas I want to pursue in the future, but I think this is a good and logical place to start. 

Part 2: Art
Naturally the greatest focus here is going to be on my writing.  I want to get in a solid routine of blogging 2-3 times a week and begin working on the book idea that I've had floating around in my head for ages (more to come on this later).  I have so many other writing projects I'm anxious to work on but I'm trying to take it a step at a time. 

I also want to work on my music more, as well as start getting into photography.  For now, this is just jamming out with friends and posting stuff on Instagram but we'll see where it goes.  I also have this crazy pipe dream of getting into acting so we'll see whether or not something happens with that at some point. 

Part 3: School and Career
I'm returning this semester (finally!) to finish my Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology.  After spending some time analyzing what I want my future career to look like and what things would need to be included in order for me to feel fulfilled, this path makes the most sense.  I can counsel people, which I love to do.  I can teach, which I love to do and am still wrestling with the fact that I was not strong enough to make it teaching in the city.  And I can write, which is clearly something that I enjoy. 

While I'm going to school, I'll also be working for a tutoring company part-time and perhaps trying to get an online teaching gig to help supplement. 

So, that's my plan, in three simple parts.  In many ways, I'm sure I'm not doing some of this in the most responsible manner but it's how I've chosen to proceed for now.  I have no idea what's going to happen over the next little while, but I invite you along for the journey if you're up for an adventure. 

How you can help (if you so desire):

1.     Check out my Legal Shield website:  Watch the video, do a little reading, if it sounds interesting and you'd like to find out more for yourself, let me know and we'll talk.  If it's not interesting to you but you think someone else you know could benefit from the service, tell them about it.  If you're not interested at all, we'll never talk about it again. 
2.    Read my blog!  And tell your friends! 
3.    Follow me on Twitter (@colterdiehl) and Instagram (colterdiehl).  I'll keep my different channels apprised of new developments as they arise. 

I'm trying to build something here.  Help me spread the word!

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