After deciding to quit real estate, I thought the weight would be lifted off my shoulders. However, the real anxiety, pain, and confusion would just start setting in.
What was I going to do next? Is that really what I want to do? Is that for me? How do I know if this is what I'm supposed to be doing?
I spent months trying to answer this never-ending mental battle on my next steps. My conclusion came down to one thing: I'll never know.
If you are struggling to figure out what it is you want to do, here is my advice that got me out of my funk.
You're Never Going to Know
This is the most helpful and least helpful advice you'll ever get. My slow acceptance that I'll never know what I want to do with my life was not easy, but here is what made me start to grasp it.
I'm very serial. I love the diversity in my day - that is what I value most about working at The Hedrick Project. One day I can work with our accountants on the upcoming forms we have to file; the next, I'm in the field diving with sharks, and the next, I'm sitting on a panel talking to high school students.
My mind can and will change. At the moment, I don't want to do anything other than The Hedrick Project. However, in 6, 8, 10, or 20 years - who knows what I want to do and who I will be.
When I started working in real estate and launching my firm, I didn't think I would be doing anything else. Now, look at where I am.
Embrace change. Embrace the fact that you will evolve, and so will your professional interests.
Don't be afraid to test the waters
I hate to think that I'll be dead one day and didn't try every little thing that caught my interest. While this step requires the most effort, it is an important one.
When I quit real estate, I actually had another startup idea I was pursuing. Interestingly enough, it was a business surrounding the concept of helping people explore and pursue their interests.
The idea was an online education platform similar to Masterclass. However, it would be based on job shadowing instead of entertainment-based classes. Imagine taking a course on the life of a cardiologist - something only a few people have access to. More importantly, if we could sit down and publicize the life of cardiology, it would help plenty of people avoid going to school for 8-12 years to figure out they hate medicine.
As you know, I didn't pursue this idea. However, I spent time pitching the idea to friends and family and investigating if this was something I wanted to do.
Eventually, I decided not to pursue it because I had this lingering idea of starting a nonprofit - you can see which won the battle.
However, the point here is that if I never explored this idea, it would still be lingering in the back of my mind. Same as pursuing a nonprofit - if I did the opposite and pursued the online education platform, I would still have the interest in starting a nonprofit.
Take time to explore your interests. You can do this without investing time or money. You can connect and shadow those currently in the field, take online classes, research on YouTube, and much more.
Most importantly, don't let your interests linger - pursue and explore them.
You can have more than one passion, job, and interest
Especially with making my life very public, this one was hard for me to grasp. On the internet, with my personal business - 99% of what I talk about is business, entrepreneurship, startups, productivity, or something related. However, I have tons of other interests, and I pursue them in various ways.
Travel, photo/video, wildlife, fitness, running. However, I pursue them at all different levels of interest. You'll never see me launching a diet program; however, if that day came, I know it would fit in with my life because I allow myself to have various interests and passions.
It's healthy to have interest all over the place. Most importantly, know that your interest levels will grow and shrink depending on the year, month, heck even day.
Pursue and explore anything that could be an interest. It can be something other than your 9-5 and require less time commitment. It might help you remain as interested as you are. For those who don't live at the beach, we enjoy our trips to the coast. For the locals, it might be less exciting to see the sand and waves. I hope you see where I'm going with that.
That is all the advice I have for you. Figuring out what I want to do with my life is something I have struggled with. I'll update and re-publish this article when more ideas come my way - however, these three tips cover all the advice I could give.
I promise the best life advice I can give you is to start and do it. If you fail and things go wrong, you'll learn. The sooner you incorporate that mindset into your life, the happier you will be.
I have failed so many times that the size of that list would break the internet - and I promise you that list will grow daily for the rest of my life. However, I'm happy with that. That means I'm taking risks. If I take the time to reflect and learn from my mistakes, it won't happen again. That means I'm learning, growing, and figuring life out as I go on - and I'm happy with that.