How Your Past Lives Can Lead You To Success

Post by Liv Lane for the Kindness in Business series.

greeting card by LivLane on etsy

How Your Past Lives Can Lead You To Success

Want to know the very best way to ensure your future success in business? Embrace your polka-dotted past. Unfortunately, so many creative entrepreneurs do just the opposite, distancing themselves from and denigrating the very path that led them to today. It’s what I used to do, too.

In 2007, when I left corporate America and first became my own boss, I was so enamored with my newfound freedom that I was quick to bash my “past lives” – the ones spent climbing the ladder in cubicle land or making minimum wage doing tasks I hated. They’d been dead-end or soul-sucking jobs, I told people, and I treasured the chance to call all the shots and finally do what I really loved. I never wanted to see another spreadsheet again.

But as I dove deeper into the realities of running a creative biz on my own, I began noticing how often I had to rely on skills I’d learned in my past jobs:

• That telemarketing gig I’d taken right out of school forced me to be charming and succinct when touting water heaters on the phone. Years later, that actually came in handy as I started to network in new circles.

• All the copywriting and PR campaigns I’d handled for big brands made it easier to develop my own promotional materials {and, eventually, to teach others how to do the same}.

• The grueling budget reviews and board meetings I had to prepare for when running a media company? Those skills – including the dreaded spreadsheets – helped me develop and review my own business plans.

• Even the year I got laid off from a radio job, living on unemployment checks and moving back in with my parents in my mid-20s, taught me to be resilient and hopeful when all else failed.

Turns out my past work had been surprisingly formative – total gifts in my life, despite some of the hurdles that came with them. Those weren’t dead-end jobs, after all, but rather stepping stones to my next big thing.

The more time I spend running my own business and connecting with other entrepreneurs, the more I realize that no one achieves success without depending on the valuable lessons, skills and traits that other people and experiences have taught them. It’s true that our pasts do not define our future; only we can do that, using the wisdom gained from the places we’ve been.

So let us be kind to the choices we made, to the jobs we took, to the lessons we learned along the way. And by the same token, may we all be reminded that the challenges facing us in our work today are also gifts that will serve us tomorrow.

Liv Lane calls herself a Human Sparkler, dedicated to helping women illuminate and celebrate their inner sparks, brave hearts and bright futures. Liv follows her bliss by teaching e-courses for creative entrepreneurs, writing and speaking about living with purpose, creating inspirational art, and blogging about it all. Liv lives in a suburb of Minneapolis with her husband, two young boys, one crazy dog, and an army of invisible angels. Find her online at and follow her Choosing Beauty blog.


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