The Fool’s journey will change you more than you imagine. You can spend years working towards a goal only to find yourself right back at the beginning. For some this can be disheartening. For the self-aware it can be the turning point. It truly depends on your perception and how deep you are really willing to look. Underneath the surface a radical change has taken place.
The Fool's Journey: The Beginning
When I began to build my personal brand in September 2016 I had nothing but optimism, creativity, and time. In essence, I was embodying the energy of The Fool. I had just begun to recover from untreated mental illness and substance abuse and needed a new hobby. Thankfully I was able to align my addictive personality towards something meaningful.
Addiction had left my life barren. However, this made it easier to focus on recovery and educating myself about online business. Very early on in this process, I had an opportunity to speak about my experiences at a training event for local police. The positive response from the audience made me realize that my story had power.
Possibilities began to flood my mind and after years of deep depression, it’s easy to get swept away by enthusiasm. I started a podcast and soon after got a website that Christmas. Recovery, content creation and study became my focus. I was immersed in a whole new world, drowning in a sea of information and flailing to keep my head above water.
The Fool's Journey: On the Path
The course of the next 3 years can be summed up in the following word “pathfinding”. On a personal level I was working through years of unaddressed issues, resentments, guilt, and shame. Spiritually, I was soul-searching to see where I was guided and to reconnect to the creative force of the universe. Socially, I was figuring out how to be myself and let others be themselves. Professionally, I was playing with ideas and trying to figure out what would stick. Ironically the positive forces in my life were pulling me in so many directions that I wasn’t able to really make progress.
Although I had moments of doubt throughout the process, October and November of 2019 tested me like no other. My podcast was declining and I decided to put it on a shelf. My social media was stagnant despite a grueling creation cycle. I wasn’t making money online and I was losing money setting up at events. I almost out of hope. Thankfully, I had spent a considerable amount of time the previous years building a connection with a higher power and self-confidence.
The Fool's Journey: Transformation
The real shift came after listening to Gary Vaynerchuck’s book “Crushing It” on Audible. It was rejuvenating to hear that many successful people are grinding for years before anything substantial happens. I could relate to that on a deep level. The game changer though was hearing Gary say “You’re the reason your business is failing”.
So much of the recovery process is based upon accountability and I was neglecting to apply that principle to my business. I wasn’t just a helpless victim of circumstance. If I wanted to succeed I needed to address the issues at hand and find solutions. That’s when I realized I was back at day 0. By reviewing my progress I was able to take a completely different perspective on my recovery, my business and my life in general.
End of the Beginning
The Fool’s journey is a grueling quest that leads us back to where it all began empty handed but not unrewarded. The reward we’ve earned is perspective and the character etched into our soul by the process. Like all things, the lofty perspective of this moment is fleeting. Soon our souls are called to chase the next horizon and the journey begins again.