Self Respect & Money: Jennifer Hofmann Interview

As I said in a recent comment, clutter is the third side to the Someday Syndrome triangle: I Might Need It Someday. Clutter blocks progress and can especially be a problem for small business types who do everything themselves from within a home office. Fortunately there are people like Jennifer Hofmann who uses her own experiences with clutter to help others get themselves organized. Let’s take a look at how she came to start helping people.

Jennifer HoffmanWho: Jennifer Hofmann of Inspired Home Office
Jen is a creative, cluttered entrepreneur who loves her work, her clients, and life in general – without running herself ragged.

Name one moment in your life when you threw a pity party for yourself and the reasons why you felt you weren’t able to achieve your goals. Were you feeling stuck? Had you felt you failed? What wasn’t working in your life?
I was being micromanaged at work to the point that I hated being there. I dreaded it, but obsessed about it constantly – even when I was not there. I felt badly enough about myself that I believed I deserved the micromanagement, the constant dread, the terror of losing my job, and the unending self-hatred for forgetting to do/complete things.

What kept me stuck was the belief that I deserved it. And the belief that I needed the money more than I needed self-respect. It was terrible. Nothing was working in my life – and I had all this great talent that was going to waste trying to dance to the wrong drum.

Even our lowest moments fulfill a need in us or express our desires. When you threw yourself that pity party, what did you hope to gain? What need did you fulfill?
I threw the pity party many times, always with the hope that I would be rescued or somehow saved from the misery of my situation. I thought that the strength I needed would come from outside of me.

Tell us what you did to break up the pity party. What actions did you decide to take? Did someone help you buoy your spirits? Push you along?
I got a letter from my employer indicating that I’d have to improve “x, y, and z” in order to remain employed. Not surprisingly, I had constant stomach cramps and other stress-related illness, so I took myself on a week-long retreat to get some perspective.

In a cabin at the coast, I spent a week alone, journaling, drawing, cutting out images for collages. I took several personality and skills tests to discern what work I was best suited for. By the second day, I’d finished my letter of resignation – even though I had no idea what I might do for income. I just knew, in my heart of hearts, that it was time to stop. To stop attempting to fit an uncomfortable mold. To stop swapping my spirit for a decent income.

By the end of the week, I’d created 9 collages – one for each area of my life – that inspired me. I found certainty that I was on the correct path. I felt trusting and confident for the first time – and I wasn’t looking to be rescued.

Can you look back on that moment and tell us how you felt when you did decide to take action? What results came about from your decision to take charge and move on?
It’s hard for me to look back at that time in my life and even believe that I’m the same person. Today, I’m running a business that I adore and touching the lives of people all over the world. I love my life. The path here wasn’t easy and it’s still sometimes scary, but I wouldn’t trade it for all the “security” in the world.

Everyone has a Someday problem hiding deep inside, even little ones. What variety of the Someday Syndrome do you currently harbor? What would you like to achieve but haven’t yet?
I’m aware that my business has a limited capacity to help and support others. So many people are suffering, overwhelmed by their stuff and by their thoughts. My Someday is to create a way for lots of people to offer my work so that together we can spread healing.

Examining your Someday Syndrome problem, what are you currently doing to resolve it and eliminate it from your life?
At the moment, it’s gestating. I’m completely at peace with the process of creating this new aspect of my work. 80% of creating involves no output – it just entails thinking, dreaming, and working out the details. When the timing is right, I’ll launch it and create it. I’ve no doubt.

So many people rush to solve their “problems” and create misery for themselves. Being patient with the process allows me to more forward with clarity and trust.

Many people suffer the same problems you do. You’re not alone, and neither are they. What would you tell people in your situation right now to help them avoid what you’re going through?
Vent if you have to, but begin to acknowledge your own innate talent. Find courage inside. At the end of your days you will have to look back and account for the risks you didn’t take. Will you like what you’ve done with your life so far? Will you be proud of your choices?

There is often the urge to explain away your dreams. Discounting them won’t make them go away; it will just make your Inner Dreamer quiet. Don’t be content to just get along. Stretch. Reach. You can do it. It’s absolutely possible.

If you could ask for one thing, right now, to help you overcome your Someday Syndrome, what type of help would you ask for?
Aside from the obvious cheeky answers, 🙂 what I’d really like is clarity about which things to do in my business now that will help me get closer to my goal, more quickly. A guide to help me discern the right path. Sometimes getting an encouraging outsider’s input can be very helpful.

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