By Wanda “Sistah Soldier” Petty, President & CEO
An unstabilized economy causes reluctance for businesses and the workforce to make sound decisions about their future. As entrepreneurship and freelancing become no longer a thought, but a necessary implementation for many, who would have considered six months later, we’re still trying to figure out how to return to living our ordinary lives (which in comparison would feel like extraordinary lives) by now. Perhaps, you’re still trying to figure out what direction you should proceed next. And, you’re waiting for something to happen that will motivate you to take action in your business or career.
As we inch closer toward the midterm of the fourth quarter, it’s important to begin considering your goals and plans for the next year. Many people occupy themselves with the current times so intensely that it’s easy for the new year to sneak up on them before preparing a plan. For years I’d excuse myself from the city and travel to a suburban area or beach to find tranquility and allow my thoughts and creativity to flow unhindered. It’s not unusual for me to find a pleasant hotel or escape to our timeshare to begin laying out all of my ideas, being sure I would return home with a solid plan.
I would pack my vehicle with office equipment, supplies, food, and all the fun things I loved to do during my pastime. There was nothing more that could excite me knowing the fall season was approaching, and it was time for me to strategize. My energy level would always rise for the occasion. This year was a little different. Although I couldn’t escape to re-acquaint myself with me, I had the opportunity to be secluded within the walls of my home office for a day of atonement during Yom Kippur. I felt as if I were away having a rendezvous with God. I introduced myself to peace, clarity, and assurance, and received a warm reply that allowed me to trust being guided by a higher source who knew just what I needed.
I turned off all cell phones, computers, television, and any external communications to focus on what my spirit wanted to whisper, “I should pray and have gentle patience.” Those 24 hours felt as if I’d flown thousands of miles away to a small island and met new islanders. And, when the time expired, I felt like a renewed woman with fresh ideas. I have a plan and strategic processes to follow to keep my life and business moving forward. Why am I saying all of this? I want to remind you not to get so caught up with the noise happening around you that you end up missing continuous opportunities because you haven’t planned for them.
Eventually, the pandemic will end, and the goal is to not remain in the same place we landed in during its beginning. I’ve missed many opportunities due to unpreparedness in years past. If only I would have known then, what I know now? I can’t number the experiences I allowed to bypass me because I was unprepared. However, now I’m awakened, and I know to prepare for the unexpected. That’s why I intentionally create time to rejuvenate and elevate my mind with freedom beyond ordinary circumstances — allowing myself to have space to stimulate creative thinking.
If you’re feeling stuck and need to ensure your years ahead are not where you were yesterday, find the time to create a private retreat and plan your next year. Planning works for vacations, finances, education, home buying, and many other reasons. You’ll have to determine which reason is important enough for you to set some time aside and make it happen. Trust me; you’ll be glad you did!
Sistah Soldier is an inspirational leader who helps veterans, women, and minorities step into God’s call for their lives using their creative skills. She’s the CEO, Host, and Executive Producer of SHE VET iNSPIRES Television Show and the Executive Recruiter for SHE MediaTech™.