By Kate Northrup
I have a confession to make:
I’ve got this book about money coming out and I’m scared of being “the money girl” for the rest of my life.
My book is called Money: A Love Story, Untangle Your Financial Woes and Create the Life You Really Want. As my publication date gets closer (September 10, 2013), I find myself getting my panties in a wrinkle worrying about what this book is going to mean to my life twenty years from now.
I have at least one other book about money in me. But I also have ideas flowing about spirituality, health, parenting (someday), and relationships.
I’ve paused many times along this book launch process wondering if I’m going to have to move into talking 401K’s and IRA’s in order to stay on point with my brand. (If I did I would feel terminally bored. I’ll leave the nuts and bolts and abbreviations to financial planners and such.)
Ever hesitate to start something because you don’t want to be “branded” by that thing for the rest of your life?
When I get über stuck in my head about it, I think about other people I admire who’ve changed direction with agility and style.
Marie Forleo’s first book was called Make Every Man Want You. Now she teaches women how to rock businesses online.
Chris Guillebeau started out in service work on the Mercy Ships. Now he teaches how to live an unconventional life.
Ronald Reagan was an actor who went on to become President.
Gretchen Rubin was a lawyer who now writes about happiness.
Joy Behar was a high school English teacher before she started doing stand-up in her forties.
Louise Hay was a model and didn’t start Hay House Publishing until she was in her sixties.
My dad was an orthopedic surgeon who’s now a full-time, stay-at-home dad to my eleven-year-old sister.
All of these folks gave themselves permission to morph into the next great version of themselves. There was probably some angst and a bit of an identity crisis or two along the way. But they’re shining examples of the truth that it’s okay to change careers, change topics, and even to change your mind.
A reminder to myself and anyone else who needs it:
If you own and accept who you are, even if it’s a different version than yesterday, other people will accept you too.
We never really know where we’re going. Life is deliciously surprising. Chances are pretty good that all of us will change direction in a major way at some point in our lives.
So, instead of worrying about being “the money girl” forever and cringing every time someone tells me that I’m going to be “the next Suze Orman,” I’ve decided to just do the work.
Right now I’ve got something to tell people about money. Right now I’ve got some insight to share in this particular playground.
At some point in the future I may have something to share in some other playground.
But for now I’m choosing to let go of the fear of future limitation in honor of playing full out right now . . .
Have you ever not started a project because you were afraid of being limited by it later on in life? Do you ever find yourself getting nervous about being pigeon-holed by your brand? Have you made a major change in your career? How did it feel? How did you navigate it? Leave a comment — I’d love to hear your wisdom on this one!
Photo: Henning Mühlinghaus