Just after my 30th birthday,
I decided I was going to publish a magazine. I had always loved
writing, debating and politics and my idea was to combine the
three and provide a modern, exciting new platform for
Australians to discuss the country and its ills. The mere
thought of having my own publication energised me from the
moment I woke up, and everyday I couldn't wait to 'get at it' in
my dining room slash office. My head overflowed with visions of
people submitting their articles and me, the Editor, wielding my
power to determine who was printed to page and who wasn't.
In those first few months, it never entered my mind that my
dream would not come to fruition. I was blinded by fervor. I
spent full days at the library [no publicly accessible internet
back then, just the Dewey Decimal System] researching the
components of a magazine, the intricacies of publishing, and
floating on the motivational experiences of Nene King, Ita
Buttrose and Lisa Wilkinson. When a new 'action' presented
itself, it was added to my To Do List. Initially an A5 index
book with a picture on the front of me superimposed next to Lisa
.. which quickly turned into a coloured ringbinder with alphabet
and by-the-month inserts. Working part-time as a Cleaner, the
hours flew by as my plans evolved in my head.
Looking back now, I was merely collecting information.
Generating a guide of how to become a Publisher, rather than
carrying out any of its contents. I was at the very bottom of
the middle class ladder, unable some weeks to fund my rent
let alone the expenses of a printing press. Tasks quickly got
out of hand, particularly when I started inviting people to
submit articles. The binder had reached
plague proportions. Desktop publishing had become the industry
tool of choice and I had barely mastered Word Perfect. Some
Authors had experienced the true platform of publishing, and I
was clearly a rookie with more ego than money.
Three months in, I was accepted into a Psychology degree and it
was very easy to convince myself, and everyone around me, that
the magazine would just have to be put on hold, for this far
more pressing, far more noble and important consumer of my time.
'Explore Reality' [yes that was the title] would simply have to
wait. And with many 'good effort' pats on the back, the dream
Twenty years later, as Counsellor, I wonder if
I really wanted to be a Publisher or if I just liked the
idea of people thinking I was one. I
come across many 'would be' Publishers [or Songwriters, or
Business Owners or Yachtsmen etc] who have built up a vision of
the goal that excludes the boring stuff, the hard stuff, the
challenging stuff. Without a true representation of what to
expect, they stop the journey when it all seems too much. For
those Clients, I take them through what I call the Big Five:
Objective - Actions - Tools - Skills - Motivation. Elements that
help break down dreams into tangible actions.
I'm not saying that you must stumble to be successful, but when
I look at my own experience, maybe if I had analysed the
vocation from an objective angle, I would have known what was
involved and prepared myself to advance further. Or at the very
least, realised earlier that it wasn't the career for me.
Actions – Tools – Skills – Motivation
Would the Big Five have
made me into a Publisher? Who knows, but I certainly would
have been more prepared. Pushing forward is great in
theory but action without a direction can only get us so far.
of us have ample time, money and resources to support
growth, so when we stumble, it is easy to stop. The
best we can do is work out the impact of taking on something
new and plan ahead for the challenges that may or may not
happen. Download the worksheet
to make something happen.