I boldly declared three weeks ago that 2015 was going to be a year of action for me. A year of doing, not just thinking. Today I received an offer that will force me into action – an enrolment offer from the University of Newcastle…

A university offer means action

In between other projects I have spent the past two years trying, without much success, to rally national support for a mental health service specifically targetted at small business  owners. After my own battles back in 2011 I realised there are no services available for entrepreneurs who experience anxiety or depression triggered by business factors. This is a terrible situation given the small business sector is the largest employer group in Australia.

So I became the sort of person you certainly wouldn’t want to sit next to at a dinner party. I spent a lot of spare time banging on to anyone that would listen about how we needed to do something to lower the mental health struggles small business owners often face alone. I did public presentations. I had private meetings. I volunteered for things. I chose my words carefully and I listened to the suggestions of others. Here we are though, now 2015 and still nothing has happenned.

The old me – the “must achieve at all costs” me would be devastated and exhausted over this. The old me would likely feel upset and probably resentful about government  money being spent in other business areas. The old me would still be doing old approaches in the hope of one day finding a break-through. The old me would be perenially tired.

tired old me

The new me is different.

The new me accepts that things happen at the right time, and when they are supposed to, not necessarily when I want them to. The new me doesn’t feel like a failure because nothing has changed. I’m still a good person. I tried my best, and that’s the best I can do right now. Even facing inaction I know my best was good enough. The new me decided to focus my effort on a new way of helping. A new way of supporting other business people.

The new me applied to return to study at university.

If I can’t budge the big wide world, I can certainly create a ripple in it. I haven’t been successful with the implementation of a national support system, but I have successfully applied to learn how to better help others – to aim to support a single business person during their time of need. Just perhaps my little personal venture into business counselling (when I graduate in a thousand years) will start an avalanche of help in other areas.

As I accepted the offer today I had to take a moment to acknowledge that I felt a tad scared. Was I really ready to put myself out there again? Was I ready to be open to judgement? Was my ego quiet enough to allow myself to be a student once again in a room full of learners who would most likely be less than half my age? Having already completed two degrees, am I humble enough to join the ranks of the first year undergraduate students?

The answer is yes to all of the above, and if I forget any of it – that’s ok too. Today I received an offer to road test the new me, and it was an offer too good to refuse.

Let’s do this!