Throughout my late teens and twenties, I worked as a waitress in various types of restaurants. Building a career of some kind was uncertain, at best. Most of my friends went from college right into the career paths they studied and planned for —engineering and computer science— but I chose the path of hopping from one job to the next.
My first server job was at a diner while I was in high school. I went on to take jobs at a buffet restaurant, fine dining places, high-end private catering jobs, and all manner of restaurants that serve up your favorite cuisine — Mexican, Italian, Chinese, I worked at each type and then some, covering six different cities across the United States.
Life is different in the world of hospitality. I used to have to worry about making the money I collected from patrons balance at the end of each night and I had to get permission from a manager in order to take a break, only after getting a coworker to cover my section. Lunch was a ten-minute affair, hovering over a plate of nachos or pasta in a cramped, greasy, cigarette-filled closet/break room.
I’m grateful for those jobs but I’m equally grateful those days are over.
Today, I am well-aware of what the balance sheet says and I don’t worry as much about it. I take breaks when I need to, which is often because I know my brain needs them in order to perform more effectively. And lunch, oh lunch is usually pleasant, sometimes with a client at a favorite spot or just alone at my kitchen table, about twenty feet from my office.
I am grateful.
I feel overwhelmingly lucky to have such incredible abundance in my life these days. I earned it. I worked hard for it. I created it. But I didn’t always believe that I could create a sustainable consultancy business.
When I was in my early thirties I became really sick. I’d just returned from spending two weeks in Okinawa with my lovely sister-in-law and I thought maybe I’d picked up a stomach bug that I couldn’t shake. At the time, I was working a job as an office manager for a real estate law firm. It was impossible to work full-time in a busy law firm while feeling so sick. I’d wake up early each morning to vomit then return to bed, sleep a bit more before finally getting up to shower and leave.
I’d go to the office until five then come home and sleep. I only drank yogurt fruit shakes and they even made me sick. I thought this is one tough virus, man! My general practitioner did some tests, but they revealed nothing. Sweating, weak, with non-stop nausea, I would go into her office every three weeks to see if the latest test would tell us anything about my condition.
“Any news? My friend suggested it might be my gallbladder.”
“No, there are no gallstones or sludge when we did your ultrasound. And usually, we only see gallbladder issues if you are overweight, over forty years old, and had kids.” That wasn’t me.
But it didn’t go away. For seven months the “bug” persisted.
Work suffered. I spent most of that time in bed. Now I’ve always been thin, but I lost a LOT of weight during this time and I had zero energy. People started suspecting drug use. I was finally diagnosed with Cholecystitis, inflammation of the gallbladder. Once my diseased gall bladder was removed, my health started to improve. However, I decided not to go back to working in someone else’s office.
In addition to my job at the law firm, I was working on the side as a website freelancer. I decided it was time to stop freelancing on the side and start my own full-time consultancy without any formal business training whatsoever.
The first two years I was a mess with the usual failures, bad decisions, and painful learning experiences that come with setting out on your own and staking your claim for something of value. I had to learn, adapt, change course, restart, reboot, and re-organize more than once. I evolved from just designing websites on my own to managing teams of people as we assist businesses in their branding, marketing, and digital media strategies, among other things. I have had mentors and been blessed to have more mentees than I could have ever imagined would seek me out for my knowledge and experience.
Now, I travel the world —training, consulting, speaking— sharing what I know, what I’ve learned, and who I’ve become, showing people how they too can decide to have more, be more, do more, and be grateful for each step of the process.
I didn’t do it alone but I created my own luck. Uncertainties along the road ahead are unavoidable. Forging my own path showed me I could do so much more than I ever believed I could if I was really willing to try. By embracing the notion that luck wasn’t a magical thing that would come my way if I waited long enough or in the right spot to catch it, instead it was a thing that I could manifest. In fact, creating my own luck is up to me and knowing that helps manage all the uncertainties life still brings.
In what ways have you created your own luck?
How have you forged your own path?
Who helped facilitate your journey?
What pivotal events/circumstances shaped your journey?
What would need to happen next for you to create your luck?
Contact me if you are ready to discuss your entrepreneurial journey or your brand’s digital strategy in a free 30-minute chat. Text/Voicemail 702.900.3419
Meet Christina Aldan for the first time and you will feel as if you have known her all your life. she is proof that you can Create Your Luck with perseverance and a desire to learn.