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According to Darwin, “The most efficient and important quality any person can have is adaptability.”

I believe this.

I have been listening extensively to Seth Godin’s tapes and words of wisdom. He encourages people to quit. Can you believe it? What were we always taught as kids? “Quitters never win.” “There’s nothing worse than a quitter.” “Stick with it, don’t quit!”

Seth believes that people that stick with things for long periods of time are simply afraid. He encourages people to POKE THE BOX which is a call to action about the initiative you’re taking in your work-place and life. Are you afraid to try new things, afraid to branch out, and afraid to adapt? Is the person who stays with a miserable job that he hates for 20-some-odd years admirable? Seth says, “no.” In fact, Seth encourages people to “pick themselves,” because no one is going to think as highly of you. YOU need to PICK YOURSELF, make your own mark, be successful and try new things. Be the best at what you do, branch out, and WIN.

I applaud this logic and I’ll tell you why. I went to school to be a certified teacher. When my “ex” flew the coop, I was determined to get a full-time teaching job and really sock it to the world. I applied at 6 different schools for an art position, and no one was hiring. So, I took a leap of faith. I JUMPED, I sought, I picked myself, and I ADAPTED. My measly teaching job that I was so disappointed I would not get, would’ve netted me about 36K a year. Can you live off of 36K a year in Boulder County? Not really. That’s about what my “ex” made and we were on food stamps. So, I devised my own stress management clinic. I borrowed 5k from the bank, rented an office, bought hundreds of dollars of aromatherapy products, became certified in aromatherapy and stress management on-line, and worked my tail off for CEO’s, physicians, attorneys, business owners, and the “big-wigs” in the area, devising stress management plans for them. I coached them on everything from sleep patterns (how to get a better night’s rest,) nutritional guidelines with exercise choices and much more. I sent them home with my aromatherapy choices for their lifestyles and sold them bottles of my oils. I began making body lotions and shaving gels as well. I also sold jewelery in my tiny office. They bought it. They bought the whole idea-loved me and the way I improved their lives. I grossed 84K my first year in business. Was it difficult? You friggin’ bet it was. I would drag myself home after seeing 7 clients in a day, and literally fall on the sofa. Tired, unable to speak to ONE MORE PERSON, I would smile at myself for bringing in the people who would benefit from my service. I bought a hot tub, and I bought OODLES of Aspen furniture, hand-made in Estes park. Each month, I rewarded myself with another piece of Aspen Furniture. My home is full of it now! When I look at it, it reminds me of how well I did. ALL BY MYSELF, when no one wanted to hire me as a teacher—all because I have a step 9 dealio which meant I’d start at more than a new teacher would, I said to myself, “screw you, ” I’m better than this and I’ll make it. I remember my parents saying to me as they carried my new microwave up the steps to my office, “if you don’t make it, you can always move back home with us.” As “comforting” as that was, it made me say to myself, “I’ll be damned if I won’t make it. Just watch.”

I keep my teacher’s license current, but I now run my new husband’s law office.

Life hasn’t been easy, but because I didn’t “lay down and die” when schools weren’t hiring, I became ADAPTABLE and I survived.

Could I do it again? You bet I could. But right now, I’m enjoying being an art advocate in Northern Colorado, helping fellow artists and running my husband’s law office. Life’s pretty good and Seth Godin is right. Don’t be afraid to POKE THE BOX!

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Don’t be afraid to POKE THE BOX. (Yes, that’s me)

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