Hedging My Bet

What exactly does the phrase, “hedging my bet” mean? The phrase is an idiom. It means to protect yourself against a loss or making the wrong choice. It gives one a path to keep from making a solid commitment.

Here’s an example with which you will all be familiar:

Forecasters were hedging their bets about the storm, saying that it could bring lots of snow, or it could head away from us.”

Yep. Every weather forecast.

How does this idiom apply to me? I’ve spent the past year hedging my bet. But, what bet?

At the start of 2016 I bet on myself.

For a couple of years I knew God was calling me to leave my sales job. During 2015 I finally figured out what it would look like. I understood God wanted me to write and speak. He wanted me to share my story, and the stories of others.

At the end of 2015 the decision was made. On Monday, January 4, 2016 I would leave my 18 year career in automotive sales and management. I would become a full-time writer and speaker. Plans were made in order to make a go of it. The bank account was properly funded.

And then I hedged my bet. I took the leap into self-employment with one foot in the wrong place.

God called me to write. God called me to speak.

I felt I needed something else. I put one foot solidly in the world of voice over/acting. For a good chunk of the year both feet were there at the same time. This is how I disobeyed God and hedged my bet.

Please don’t get me wrong. The world of voice over and voice acting is a very viable way to make a living. I have some great friends doing it daily. But I wasn’t supposed to be there.

If I had spent the hours upon hours and days upon days practicing the crafts of writing and speaking instead of voice over, I probably wouldn’t have needed to take a sales job in August.

I hedged my bet. I hedged the bet God placed on me.

I didn’t fully grasp the belief and confidence he had (has) in me.

A very good friend of mine told me there is one thing keeping me from succeeding in the space I wish to be. There’s one thing other people have, and it allows them to be successful. The great news is I can have that one thing too.

That one thing is belief.

I need to simply believe in myself. I need to believe in full the call God has placed on me.

My “Word of the Year” this year is, “BELIEVE.”

I’ll let nothing stand in my way this year. I won’t hedge my bet. I will believe.

Have you ever “hedged your bet?” 
Do you struggle to believe in the calling God has placed on you?

One Year Anniversary

Wow. One year. One full trip around the sun. One year ago this week I left an 18+ year career in automotive sales and management to begin a new adventure.

Someone asked me if I was happy with my decision. My answer? Exceedingly.

Has it been smooth sailing with no bumps in the road? Nope. Not even close. Some days it has been like driving on cobblestones. Other days it’s been like driving straight into a sink hole. For the most part, it has been a great adventure of turns, stops, yields, and pit stops.

Let’s take a look at what I thought the year would look like when it began.
(Here’s a link to the blog post I wrote when the year began if you want to read the details.)

The plan was to focus on three areas:
Voice over acting
Writing
Speaking

Let’s review each area.

Voice Over Acting
I entered the year excited about the opportunities in front of me in the world of voice over. I worked hard practicing, taking lessons, and learning about the equipment. I even created a small “quiet room” in my basement. It’s amazing how quiet you can make a space by simply hanging a couple of old bed comforters.

Over the course of the first 9 months of the year I sent auditions for hundreds of parts. Unfortunately I did not get picked for any. Does this mean I wasted my time? Absolutely not. I’ll talk more about this in a bit. For now, the voice over part of the plan is set aside.

Writing
Woohoo! Writing! I’m in love with writing. I was at the start of the year, and I’m even more so now. This has been another area of great growth and learning. The book still isn’t finished, and I’m okay with it. It’ll happen. Bit by bit it is coming together.

I’ve been working on blog posts and freelance writing opportunities. I continue to be amazed at the number of freelance jobs available. I took some great courses this year to help me learn more about the freelance market and how to make the best pitch possible when trying to win a job.

Speaking
This is the area I haven’t put much time into this year. I did speak at the Launch Out Conference in Atlanta in April, but I haven’t been on a stage since. This year I plan to be more intentional about seeking paid speaking opportunities.

All told, it has been a good year. I have taken a couple of sales jobs to bring in some extra income. I’m still able to work from home. The first company I worked for is based in Seattle. The one I currently work for is based in Denver. Similar to the number of freelance writing opportunities available, I’ve found there are quite a few online sales and marketing jobs that can be done from home.

This week someone else asked me what I’ve learned this year. While it has been a year of continual learning in each of the areas, one particular lesson stands out.

Not surprisingly, the most important lesson I learned involved my faith. God opened my eyes later in the year. I didn’t place all my trust in Him. I hedged my bet. I’ll share more about this in my next post.

 

Humble Yourself

A Popsicle Stick Inspired This Post

  • The words on the popsicle stick: “For God to use me the way HE wants.”

     

    For me to leave my safe and comfortable career in car sales took a huge leap of faith. After I was fired from my job in 2013, I thought I was beginning to listen to God. I may have been for a bit, but I really wasn’t truly listening. And then during Lent in 2015, I really began listening. I couldn’t help but listen. He forced me to listen. Through the rest of the year I struggled against what I thought God was calling me to do. And then when the decision was made to step away and go into this new adventure, I really thought I was in tune with his will for me. Yet, I found out I wasn’t. So, the words on the popsicle stick are vital to me. I walked into this new adventure because I thought He told me to. What he was really saying was, “Leave your job, and follow me.” I did the first part. The second part? Not so much. Now over 6 months into this new adventure, I’ve yet to set aside the time to properly seek what He truly wants me to do. I’ve still been fooling myself thinking it is Voice Over and Writing and Speaking. It may well be those things, in part, but the whole is not those things. He has something planned for me. I need to be still, search, listen, and obey. What I’ve been doing so far may very well be leading me to my true calling, but I need to remain in tune with Him for direction. And while my wife and I planned for this, it is hard. We are getting to the end of the funds. And maybe that’s what He wants. When the money isn’t there, we all tend to FINALLY put our full dependence on Him. So now you know. Even through all the listening and leaping, I still need to humble myself and be patient. I need to wait on the Lord.

     

    Thank you so much to my friend, Michele, for handing me a popsicle stick at the Launch Out Conference in Atlanta in April.

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