A friend coined the phrase, kick the carpet, to refer to those times when it’s necessary to step out into something new but you’re not sure which direction to take. His suggestion was that it’s like kicking a roll of carpet – you give it an almighty push and see how far it goes. Then, you walk along the carpet until you come to the rolled-up end and you kick it again. That process is repeated over and over again.
Kick the carpet and goal-setting
We all like to know that we’re heading down the right road. We also like to know where we’re going to end up. And a lot of people set very specific goals because they have very specific ends in mind. And there is nothing wrong with that.
However, many people find that specificity to be daunting. For people like this – myself included – the idea of setting goals seems very rigid and we don’t operate well within firm boundaries. We are very flexible in life and business – a flexibility that others may view as just making it up as we go along. But in reality, there is a purpose and intentionality to it all that is not immediately apparent.
They also are unsure of where they want to end up. These people are open to the end being something different to what they envision. As I’ve got older, I realise more and more that I don’t know what it is best for me. I don’t know what is the best use of my talents. But I am prepared to try the things that come into my field of vision. I‘m prepared to take risks on activities and opportunities that present themselves. I remain open to what each day brings to me – both opportunities and challenges.
It’s not that I don’t have an over-arching purpose or direction for my life and business. I do. I just don’t have the specific steps set in place.
Kick the carpet into business
A perfect example of kicking the carpet was when I made the leap from full time work into my own business. For many many years I have wanted to have a speaking business. I knew I was an effective communicator and I wasn’t afraid of speaking in front of lots of people. But I didn’t know how to go about making this dream a reality. I knew that if I stayed in my current paid role I would not have the opportunity to pursue this dream and, as life was ticking into its final season of life (I had turned 60), I knew I needed to do something, now.
So, I left my job, took my superannuation funds (which I knew would not last more than 12 months or so) and decided to try and make this happen. Two weeks after finishing work, an ad appeared in my Facebook newsfeed that sparked my interest. But as it was for a one-day seminar with a young man from the US who was suggesting that he could develop women speakers I wasn’t sure that he could offer what I wanted. after all, what could a young man teach an older woman about speaking! But, a friend sent me the same link, and I decided I’d better go.
Kick the carpet and trust
So, I kicked the carpet, got on the train to the city, found the venue and took 20 pages of notes. By the end of the day I had signed up for speaker coaching, including the opportunity to speak in Los Angeles and meet Al Pacino. I felt a strange peaceful detachment, as though this huge step was just the right thing to do. On the way home in the train, I spoke with another passenger and as we exchanged pleasantries I was able to say, “I’m a professional speaker”!
Kicking the carpet in this manner was a fantastic and unexpected beginning of my speaking and coaching business.
I had kicked the carpet but didn’t know where it would end up. Was the organisation I bought the coaching package from legit? My trust in them was well-founded. An experienced international speaker was flown to Melbourne from the US to work with me for four full days of one-on-one business coaching. After I spoke on stage in Los Angeles I met a couple from Pennsylvania who has gone on to be affiliate partners in business. The video of that presentation has been used many times to introduce people to my work. And I met Al Pacino. I wanted to be a professional speaker. My dream was to be on stages across the world. But I didn’t think the opportunity to do so would come via a one-day seminar in Melbourne.
Kick the carpet and grow your dreams
Further than this, the shape of my business has changed – and so too have my dreams.
As different opportunities have presented themselves, I have taken them up. Each time, I have kicked the carpet that little bit further. And because of that openness to opportunities, I am now a panellist on a weekly podcast (Boomsday Prepping). I also entered a speaker talent search which came out of looking for podcast opportunities on the internet. This resulted in my having two podcast interviews scheduled so far this year and a possible television appearance.
My dream of being a platform speaker has changed. The platform I now have is a digital rather than a physical one. My influence is far and more effective than it would have been if I had limited myself to developing a speaking and coaching business solely in Australia.
I kicked the carpet. I keep kicking the carpet. I don’t know where I’ll end up, and that is quite OK.
Kicking the carpet requires courage because we don’t know where the carpet roll goes. But standing in one place is also scary as we look at opportunities come and go or we reject them because they don’t fit our plan or our neatly constricted goals.
Kick the carpet with me
What about you? Are there opportunities you have taken up because you kicked the carpet? Do you fell you have missed opportunities because the carpet didn’t seem the right colour or pattern?
If you’d like to talk with me about how you can develop a mindset of kicking the carpet drop your details below and I’ll organise a time for us to chat.