How Do You Choose Yourself?

This is the article I started to write on Monday. But that article turned into something else, and I went with it (that’s the kind of thing you get to do when you aren’t writing for an editor). A few people seemed to like it.

What I meant to write was more instructional, less abstract. Less about why to choose yourself and more about how. Because that’s where people get hung up, I think; they know they want to step out on their own, but they aren’t sure how to start. They think they have to have the whole plan figured out before they take the first step.

Here’s the secret: very few people have the whole plan figured out before they take the first step. Some of us barely even have a clue. We just step anyway and figure out the plan as we move forward.

It takes time. It takes a little bit of courage. It doesn’t have to cost much at all.

Most of all, it takes passion. To choose yourself, you have to have something you need to say, something you’re not willing to hold inside anymore.

If you’ve got that, you have all you need to start. Everything else is logistics.

I started this blog in about 10 minutes. It cost me less than $20 to register the domain name, and WordPress was free. I spend about an hour each day reaching out and creating new content.

So far, I have a disappointingly small readership. But it’s bigger this week than it was last week, and next week it’ll be bigger.

I wrote my book one day at a time, over the course of about three years. Not counting the Civil War books I bought for research (books I wanted to buy anyway) and the coffees I bought at my writers group meetings, it cost me about $60 to get it published between conversion and layout software, my Fiverr cover, and my ISBN.

What if writing isn’t your thing? What if you have something you want to say, but no patience to put it on a screen? Maybe a podcast is the thing for you. A high-quality USB microphone costs less than $100 these days, and there’s no charge to post your recordings to iTunes.

Video may be even easier. Some phones can shoot HD video and stills, and YouTube makes uploading your work even easier than iTunes does for podcasts.

Can’t find the time, you say? Can you watch an hour less TV three or four days a week? You just found three or four hours a week to work on your dream. You’ll find more before long.

But…what if your stuff is no good? What if nobody likes it? Worse, what if nobody notices?

Good questions. Here’s one for you: what if your dream could change the world, and you keep it in your head?

Your excuses are gone. Go start something.  Make something happen. Choose yourself.

I've been a soldier, a dreamer, a working stiff, a leader. A husband, father, example (good and otherwise), and now a survivor. I write about courage, because courage is what enables us to accomplish the impossible. If you draw breath, I love you. If you love in whatever way seems best to you and want others to love in whatever way seems best to them, I am your ally. If you believe someone is less than you because they do not love the way you do, I oppose you. If you see someone as a threat to be abused or destroyed merely because they do not look like you, or love like you, or worship like you, I am your enemy. I am a joyful and courageous man. And I stand with you who love.