Be Open to ‘Wildcards’ in Your Career Path and Life

Intuition and imagination have always been extremely important to me. In fact, I believe they are the cornerstones of innovation. These tools (arguably both logical and spiritual in nature) are also very useful in navigating one’s career path and life.

Intuition and imagination can be used to foster ‘wildcards’ – unexpected and seemingly magical outcomes. Please bear with me as I weave a real-world yarn based on current and past events in my career path and life.

💡 It is important to mention the critical importance of ethics in our journey to succeed in life — if you’re tempted to ‘take shortcuts,’ resist that temptation. We’ve all seen how ‘the ends justify the means’ invariably backfires and causes needless suffering…

The Journey Begins

In the early 1990s I met my spouse Bessie. Back then, the two of us were looking for more in life — she had dropped out of optometry school — it just wasn’t a good fit. I had been trained as a musician, but was working a series of crappy gigs in the dreaded retail sector.

We just happened to be at a local bookstore.  The next thing we know, we bought a book on how to start a nonprofit organization. Since the sky was the limit for us, we decided to have a go at it. We agreed to start out own charity producing videos to educate kids on difficult social issues.

Starting a nonprofit seemed like a radical departure for this new team. But it was actually a great fit: Bessie was concerned about the violence in response to the Rodney King beating. I had an ‘inner knowing’ for a few years that I needed to use the media to help society. Our first video on diversity won the best in state cable TV award (children’s professional division) from the Massachusetts Cable Television Commission.

As far as I know, our next video on HIV/AIDS prevention and education for preteens, was the only video for this age group listed in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention database of educational materials on HIV/AIDS. Our video was a difficult challenge on many levels. However through research, hard work and determination the video ended up distributed to many schools and youth groups — saving lives and preventing suffering.

We handled creating the videos brilliantly. But ultimately the charity failed because of our lack of business acumen. Bessie and I make a great team, so we carried on. She went back to school to get her MBA and recently her PhD.

Since then we’ve had other projects we’ve worked on together like the Secretary of Innovation blog — not an actual government agency, but we saw a need and filled it. We even got permission from Craigslist founder Craig Newmark to mirror his blogs.

The Present Day

Last week I met Bessie at the train station to walk her home. During the walk I had mentioned that I felt one of our wildcards was going to bear fruit. I also mentioned that I always enjoyed working with her and felt this would happen again very soon.

I had forgotten that previously I posted a generic blurb on Craigslist for her in the ‘Resume’ section outlining her skills as a PhD and what not. So anyway we get home and there is an email reply from someone needing help.

With some back and forth with this email contact, it turns out this may be a meaningful opportunity for both of us. He needs lots of help and we hope to convince him that he has found the right team!

The Bottom Line

What’s this story about? It’s about being open to change in your life in diverse settings — this does not mean we give up on the usual places like a jobs website or networking on LinkedIn. But it does mean making your intentions known to the universe, God or whatever you are comfortable with. If you have no spiritual framework, just be positive about your intentions. Most of all, believe it will happen – just let God manifest your desired outcome.

And be open to the wildcards out there like posting a generic blurb on Craigslist — who knows?  Some amazing opportunity may present itself ‘out of the blue.’ 😎

Remember: Don’t be in a hurry to succeed — you may end up sabotaging yourself. Ethics may be the turtle in the race, but will overtake the rabbit of cutting corners to succeed on our journey…



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