My Paradox of Choice

I recently listened to a TED talk that confirmed what I always knew. Choice is bad.

So having a lot of choice is bad because you are buried alive under an avalanche of options and it’s impossible to choose any one option.

That’s my life in a nut shell (hello, first world problem) . There are so many possibilities for what I can do with my time and my life that I just can’t make a decision.

This careeraphobia means I’m usually like a random visitor peeking inside any given industry/career/expertise area.

I do internships, I study random courses, I wander into weird niche part time jobs, I hang out in underground establishments and I sign up for things only to back out of them three seconds later.

All these things I do are great in their own ways but I leave as confused and unsure as I was to begin with.

Here is a brief list of the things I’ve studied/done/worked as: media, journalism, economics, marketing, psychology, copy writing, science, accounting, dispensary tech/customer service, hotel concierge, production runner, english teacher, editorial assistant, telemarketing, script writing, linguistics

The upside: I learn a little about a lot

The downside: I learn a little about a lot

So I’m coming to a point where I’m sick to death of jumping in and out of things. Partly because I am a high achiever. Partly because I don’t want to end up like my dad’s best friend Igor –

Igor (who lives in Moscow) also couldn’t make up his mind about what he wanted to do. At one point he was:

A professional tennis player

A professional chess player

A professional table tennis player

A teacher

A guinea pig breeder

None of this brought in much dough so he immigrated to Israel and joined the military service. He soon got bored of that and came back to Russia.

He still breeds guinea pigs, smokes like a chimney and has moved on to a new obsession – coffee brewing. I don’t think that’s likely to bring in much dough either.

So back to my dilema. The final straw for me was an entrepreneurial event I attended last week.

As a dabbler and a commitment-phobic I go to events only to blog about them, to hear inspirational people and to chat casually with people who are actually doing shit.

But an odd thing has been happening lately. I’ve been having the following conversations:

Me: So your business is about X? Tell me more!

Entrepreneur/business owner attendee: Yes my business is about X. Let me tell you about X: XXXXX XXX, XXX: X, X, X, X. XX! XX? – XX! What about you? What’s your business?

Me: Oh, I don’t have a business.

Entrepreneur/business owner attendee: makes this face ——>

………………….Ohhhhhh. So what DO you do?

Me: PR and social media.

Entrepreneur/business owner attendee: But one day you’ll start your own business…..right?

Me: Er….

Entrepreneur/business owner attendee: Well it was nice to meet you. Hopefully the next time I see you you’ll have your own business. (But, secretly they’re thinking —-

In perspective this is not a big deal. This is like the opposite of a big deal. I mean people are dying in other countries, right?

But if I don’t stick to something, whether it’s building a business or doing something else, I’m less likely to be able to help the dying people with my awesomeness, skills and expertise so it’s in everyone’s best interests really for me to find something to focus on.

Over the past two years I’ve met amazing people from all walks of life and they all have one thing in common. They have laser beam focus. They have one path and they don’t deviate from it.

They are freaking awesome. And it’s time for me to be freaking awesome too.

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2 Comments

Filed under entrepreneur event, networking

2 responses to “My Paradox of Choice

  1. Jeri

    Hi Irina. I love your honesty and reality. Thank you! Focus and motivation has always been one of the hardest things to deal with for me too. Setting goals and making an action plan of how to achieve them is the only thing that helps me. Somedays I’m like “yeah goals are great but I couldn’t really be bothered about them either”, but eventually the fear kicks in that if “I don’t deal with the situation soon, I will end up repeating the exact mistakes I am trying to avoid”. Good luck with finding your passion and it making you money :).

    • irinabel

      Thanks for your awesome comment Jeri! I really appreciate it.I had a look at your website, seems like a really good business idea, hope it goes well.

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