A friend from college connected with me late last year and said very kind words about this website. After further talking, I learned he did a pretty cool thing career-wise. And now he helps send delicious coffee to the addicts who need it (including me).
His story reminds me that if you don’t like something in your life, it’s up to you to change it (while keeping a good attitude).
Focus To Focus On Focus With Focus
Distracted with distractions? Our focus to focus on things we shouldn’t even be focused on is even under attack these days. A tug-of-war on your iPhone between Instagram, Facebook, SnapChat, Email, Twitter, Josh Ritter, Smitter, Blitter, and Bitter, is in a constant pull for your attention. Oh and work, of course, work, when we decide to fit it in, this too plays for ownership of our waking hours. Bounce around for the better part of your day between news feeds and articles until you find something you care about or until it’s time to go home.
If you find yourself in either category, distracted or un-enchanted, then try reading this…
Thankfully There’s Conflict
In Manhattan I spent the better part of four years at a television production company, sounds kinda rad, right? I was helping make television that was entertaining millions. I knew everyone I needed to know and those cats that mattered liked me. Also pretty rad.
Lift the curtains – I was spending most of my time making the rich, richer. Sure, I was well-liked, this makes my mom happy, but what that really meant was people liked what I could do for them. I think a lot of us can relate here when I say my work, my time, and my energy was essentially designed to make other people’s dreams a reality. Put that sh*t on TV, ha! When my boss sold most of his company for $360M, there was a company wide celebration, champagne at 10 a.m. and food that I should have stuffed in my backpack to save myself $50 at the grocery that night. While everyone was partying the day away, I was doing quite the opposite.
What did I have to celebrate? I was so close to the process of a team manufacturing their dreams and I had nothing to say for it.
It’s pretty fantastic to help make someone’s dream come true but it loses its nobility a bit when you’re essentially just making the rich, richer.
In the process of them, your boss’, achieving their dreams, it can feel like you’re distancing yourself from yours. Especially when you’re placed in a system, one rung of the ladder at a time, you can get to the top, but often times someone else decides how tall that ladder is.
All great stories have conflict. We know what we’re capable of regardless of what professional hierarchy structures dictate. We know that we’re all just one decision away from breaking the mold or forming to it. We know we should be focused on things we want to focus on and not focused on distractions. Often times it’s seeing others get what they want that gives you the tenacity to say – “why the French Toast am I not getting mine.” There’s probably a reason you’re scrolling through feeds of other people living extraordinary lives and following highlight reels of friends and strangers – it’s because you know you’re what feels like a click away from doing it yourself.
Establishing From Distractions, Growing From Conflict
Everyone talks about quitting their jobs and traveling. I’d suggest a different approach, quit your job, create your own success, and travel with purpose by blending two worlds – professional and personal. To get what you want is to establish what you want.
What I wanted for myself:
Work I believed in
Travel & adventure
Ownership and opportunity to be proud of what I was doing
If my project failed, if my work tanked, if my pursuits nose-dived, I’d be in a position to gladly take ownership, learn from experience and move forward until getting it right. And then when things DO work out, call up DJ Doughnut Bones, put on some LCD Soundsystem, let’s dance…
Shake It Out
While unemployed, or as I told my grandmother, between jobs, I spent every ounce of my time developing things I was interested in to better myself. Including but not limited to, short-film projects, music production, art, seeking career opportunities and connecting with people who have already done something well, really well. A quick introduction from a friend led to a few phones calls, which led to a weekend of meetings. A countless amount of enthusiastic emails later I joined forces with Atlas Coffee Club. Atlas Coffee Club sources premium single origin coffee from around the world and delivers it in a convenient monthly coffee subscription.
Oh amazing coffee, how great you are! Coffee, nature’s energizer, people’s motivator, incredible and delicious, a product I was personally thrilled to wake up with every morning. Oh hi, coffee? Thank you for existing.
Safe to say I found a product I believed in. Onto the next one, on, on to the next one. Let’s travel, let’s adventure. I pitched the team on taking a cross-country road trip. I was plotting a way to make travel count. By connecting with coffee lovers face-to-face, building relationships, expanding coffee culture and enhancing the coffee experience on the road, we created a fulfilling way to blend two worlds – an honest professional pursuit and a personal passion.
Now let’s bring it all together, by joining forces as a start-up you have the platform to start small and develop together. You build your own foundation to grow on. If that’s not having ownership of your work, I don’t know what is.
With more adventure planned, my travels thus far took me winding through the Southern States of America, departing from New York and finishing in California.
Weaving through narratives and pocket communities, there’s no better way to live life than to do it yourself. Experiencing the world through my own eyes not through a filter called Instagram.
Experiencing Southern Hospitality in Savannah and not reading about it in a friend’s Facebook post. Having terse and uncouth conversations with some entertaining New Orleans’ locals, not through Twitter discourse.
Physically traveling this earth, over 3,000 miles of it from Manhattan to Los Angeles, not through the Travel Channel. I woke up to smell of Salt Water Marshes; I fell asleep under California stars. I had beers and brews in every city and I experienced the local flavor. People, places, and things in each town have names, they have memories, and they have meaning and they have a story. I wouldn’t have known any of which had I not made a decision to make my own story great.
Here’s What’s Great …
Love my story or hate it, it does not matter. Here’s what’s great, you read enough of these damn things and you’re going to be convinced that you can do it too.
Certain you can do it better.
I had absolutely NO clue how I was going to do what I wanted to do, travel and get paid for it? I did know however that if I wanted a chance to do it sooner rather than later, I’d have to take a leap of faith and put myself out there.
What I Learned
Looking at conflicts, internal struggles and distractions and recognizing them as blessings and direction will lead you somewhere worth your time. Focus on what you want to focus on and develop a mindset of expectancy. This mindset communicates confidence. That confidence grows your capability to achieve anything you put your mind to. That attitude builds your worth; priming you for the position you want. Leading you to the life you want to live.
A life you author.
Jordan Rosenacker is the creative director for Atlas Coffee Club, a monthly subscription service that features exotic coffee from varying regions around the world.