By Guest Blogger, Jerilyn McDonald

I recently attended a phenomenal training with one of the affiliate companies I represent. The principles leadership were presented in the form of characters on various sets representing obstacles we face building our businesses. The two that had the most impact on me were Michelangelo and the Dancer. Both struck chords within me that I have dealt with all my life.

First, the artist, Michelangelo. While his character revealed the obvious that we all start our lives with a blank canvass, the more revealing was the fact that we are responsible for that canvas. Often times, we are led down paths of least resistance or paths that others believe are best for us, leaving behind unfulfilled dreams and talents and the wondering of what might have been. For me, I was blessed (or cursed) with a right and left brain and convinced early on that the only way to survive as a single educated woman was to focus on a business career that would put me ahead of the money game and in direct competition with a male dominated workforce. My pursuit of accounting, auditing and finance proved the success it promised, but not without constant good old boy competition, stress of travel, limited time with family and friends and ultimately a long distance move taking me completely out of my comfort zone.

After 20 years of enduring a career with little satisfaction or pleasure, I took the big risk of starting my own business and in a new industry of marketing! It has not been without ups and downs but to say that I have something in my control, to run the course as I see fit, has been one of the most freeing decisions of my adult life. Have I made sacrifices? Yes. Has it been worth it? Absolutely. Would I do it over again? No doubt. And the people I have met and worked with are unbelievably “priceless”.

Second, the dancer. The actor for this character actually told a true story about how she was discouraged by a family member to pursue her dream of dancing on tour at a very young age. She explained how she resented this person all her life and regretted the decision that would have brought her the most joy and happiness. That’s what I really wanted to be, a performer, not a CPA! Over the years, there was less and less time to pursue any form of community theatre with the responsibilities of work, spouse, children. Finally, when my last child was entering 12th grade, I woke up to realize that if I didn’t do something, I would never fulfill this dream!

Starting my own business gave me time flexibility to return to college for acting and dancing classes and our community thrived with theatre opportunities to satisfy my hunger for the stage. In the last year, I found a new passion of ballroom dancing and haven’t looked back! I am committed to train and compete as long I am physically able to meet the requirements.

My search for creative expression and performance has come full circle and I am finally living my dreams!

The lessons from these two characters are profound and I share them with anyone, any age, any stage of life. We are given a canvass to paint our life story. Will it be ours or someone else’s? Will it be painted at all or will we just drift from day to day without direction or initiative to find our purpose of life?

Lastly, if there is an instinctive drive or passion within us, will we pursue it? Or like so many, will someone steal it from us, leaving us with discouragement, regret and worst of all, deep harboring of blame and the pain of what might have been. Will we continue to say it’s too late or I just can’t right now?


About Jerilyn

Jerilyn McDonald is CEO & President of JM Unlimited Inc, organized for professional acting and providing creative marketing services to entrepreneurs, small business owners and sales professionals. She can be seen on stage and screen in and around Charlotte, and especially loves Broadway Musical Theatre.

Jerilyn particularly enjoys working with other actors, artists, authors, photographers, women business owners, and non-profits, providing creative marketing and business ownership strategies.

Jerilyn is a native Texan (proud of it!) but has called Charlotte home for many years. She is blessed with a loving, supportive family and enjoys traveling any chance she gets. She is growing a worldwide customer base and looks forward to the next person she can help get started!

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Filed under: Creating WealthEmpowering YourselfJerilyn McDonaldLive Your Dream Life NOWPersonal DevelopmentPositive Thinking

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