3. Accept you’ll be laughed at. Welcome it as a good sign.  


The post below on embarrassment mostly covered this one. Except it gets more so when your first one is in something esoteric, decorative, fantastical and/or "not cool" (I'll be saying more about coolness).

It would have been so much easier if I'd come here to Prague and said I was starting another corporate consultancy. I could have said that we were specialising in emerging markets and change management. No-one would have batted an eyelid. But instead... "Tarot?" Even someone I like back in the UK couldn't say it without a small snigger.

But then he didn't know - because I'd never found it relevant to tell him - that I spent about a year obsessed with ouija boards as a small girl. "Don't break the glass, will you dear," was my mother's remark on this constant need to commune with the spirits via an upturned tumbler and an alphabet written on small scraps of paper. (It seems that you'll inadvertently find out quite a lot about my bizarre upbringing by the time we get through all these points.) Or that I then went on to study traditional yoga in an ashram in Belfast between the ages of thirteen and fifteen - ? - Yes, really, there was such a thing, started by an idealistic Austrian man who was my first yoga teacher. While others at school were working on Latin, Geography, Maths and the usual stuff, I was also taking classes - once they decided I was serious and needed some real training - in levitation and traditional Hindu spell-casting. Of which more sometime. So all in all I took to tarot, all those years later, a bit like a duck to water. Actually more like a duck that had spent years in dry dock that suddenly saw the opportunity of paddling in a lake again.

But my old friends and colleagues in the UK - such as are left - mostly find it laughable. While I suppose deep down I find the idea of them still giving earnest advice on "brand differentiation" or "leveraging your brand assets" pretty hysterical too. Let's just say we agree to differ about what's humorous.

Do what you've always been interested in. Because only a genuine passion will sustain you during those 80-hour weeks that are going to be necessary when you start a business. Follow your true long-term interests however odd or absurd they may seem to anyone else.

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