My Plan B… or is This C?

We’ve all heard that if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life, right?

How do you turn the things you love into a career?

I mean, I love food.  I love eating.  I love being healthy.  I love sharing all of that with others.  But how do you turn that into work?  While I had a few ideas, I never knew how I could realistically do that.  Starting the weight loss business allowed me to have a seamless transition out of patient care into a similar patient interaction in a different field.  I knew, however, that I wanted more than that.  At one point, I toyed with the idea of writing a cookbook highlighting healthy recipes.  You wouldn’t know this, but that’s a ridiculously absurd idea for me.  While I can whip up a good, healthy meal, I don’t have the skills or the talent to pull that one off.  It was just a silly daydream, and I never followed through.  Then one day an old classmate approached me about making some dry spice rubs for him to sell on his website.  That was something I could do.  I just didn’t know how.  But I did it anyway.  I figured it out.  I spent part of the last year developing, testing, and bringing to market a small line of (delicious, I might add) dry rubs.

I was forced to go out of my comfort zone.  I had to learn the how-to’s of making a food product.  I had to get into a commercial kitchen and navigate my way around a completely new environment.  I mean, talk about feeling insecure– I was in a room full of professional chefs, and I couldn’t even figure out how to use the industrial-grade mixer.  But I learned a lot, and the point is that I did it.  I did things that in my most “stuck” days as I dentist, I never thought I had the skills to do.  And guess what?  It was all so easy!  In fact, it was so much easier than a “simple” crown prep.  All I had to do was take that first step.  All I had to do was talk to the people who wanted my business.  They were the ones with the experience, and they all gave me nuggets of information that allowed me to pretty effortlessly get to a finished product.

It was important to celebrate the small stuff along the way.  This may sound silly, but for a dentist who thought dentistry was my only skill, I celebrated the fact that I went into the unknown and went to work in a commercial kitchen.  I celebrated that I worked with a designer to design product labels.  I celebrated that I worked with a printer to print them.  These were all simple, simple things to do that led to a finished product.  And now I get to celebrate that I have a finished product.

The best part of this all is how much fun it has been.  It didn’t even feel like work.

Am I expecting to make millions off of this project?  I don’t know (never say no,) but though extra income is part of the goal, it’s not all of it.  Am I open to seeing where this will go?  Absolutely.  Am I having fun with it?  Yes.  And while I hope for the best, I’m not dependent on it as my only source of income or my only measure of success.  Do I stand behind the product itself and love it?  Yes!  In fact, I cook with this stuff almost every night, and I have become a lazy cook now.  But I still enjoy my dinners, and I know that it is helping me to enjoy healthy meals without much work.

At this point, the money earned, or the work energy expended doesn’t really matter to me.  Remember?  I’m playing the field and loving it!  I have faith that regardless of the outcome this will lead me to where I need to go.  We all take success and failure too seriously.  While I prefer to ask myself what if it succeeds… So What if this fails?  Absolutely nothing, and I’ll be on to the next open door with more confidence and understanding.

If you do something, it may take you down either of these two paths, but if you do nothing, we know exactly where that will lead you.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

21 thoughts on “My Plan B… or is This C?

  1. Brilliant Laura !
    Have so much to share with you – but exactly like what you have written , it’s important to have faith and even of it doesn’t work – heck we’ve enjoyed the experience . Ok – so can we buy your spice rubs 🙂
    Have a super week c

  2. AWESOME! I’m pretty sure that as one that has worked in commercial kitchens, I couldn’t do a crown prep at all. Not even with my knowledge of how to use a Hobart mixer… 🙂 You have some amazing skilz from your dentistry years and amazing skilz in general – but you know how to learn, and that’s the best skill for anything.

    1. Thanks! Isn’t it funny how we downplay the things that we are good at. Sometimes we seem to forget about all that and focus on our insecurities. 🙂 I love that– knowing how to learn. You are so right!

  3. I loved your examples and how you are working on doing something you enjoy, cuz that require more resilence and determination than doing something old like the crown thing, that its something that a dentist know how to do and even enjoyed in a time, but can learn to grow tired of it. Thats where I think all people must aim, to learn to enjoy the little things and flaws of stuff, for example a friend of mine always have loved music, has been in bands and enjoy playing all the time, then one day he did somehow good and was signed for a minor company to make gigs and travel around, well long story short, he is an example that making you passion into a bussiness is not always a great idea. At the end he started hating it all, cuz its fun when you do it one time, but when you have to do it over and over, as your only source of income it can get anoying and frustating cuz you start to feel as a slave even when you do well in terms of money.

    I think thats the real teaching of you article, dont have just one plan as a way to eat and maintain your lifestyle we all need a lot of plans that make us outcome independent of whatever the plan succeed or not, and that we dont have to sell all our time for one thing even if we enjoy it, cuz at the end we all need to do different stuff and a new education system that understand this, is one that will succeed, specialization and expertise is important but not at the expense of people lifestyles and grow. Cuz at the end of the day a successfull person need to grow out even out of carreers if thats necessary for his/ her happiness.

    1. Hi Maoooo,
      Thanks for reading the blog! We are always taught that we have to pick a career and stick with it forever, but it’s really not true. Life definitely feels more fun, creative, and full with the knowledge that I can do it all right now. I like your point about your friend who is the musician. I’ve often thought that there were certain passions of mine that I wanted to keep that way, so I never even considered turning it into work. You’re right– sometimes it’s fun to keep our passions and our work separate. Thanks for your thoughts!

      1. Or maybe it is that we really dont know what our passions are and we get stung in the process of knowing, the happiest people I know are the ones that start working from an early age in different stuff and start getting education depending on how their careers start developing, they have two advantages, first that they dont spend alot of money while just studying and 2 they learn to adapt from an early age without a strong label, people who get a degree in health stuff and other areas just label themself as that and the proccess of changing is painful and hard and most just cannot change cuz once you get a degree in that, working in other places is not even socially accetable and also since you labeled yourself others will too, I bet you still get people that want you to look at their teeth, so getting out require a level of determination from another world.

      1. Married with 2 young children, in the USA . Kind of a perfect storm, as I hate doing clinical dentistry (won’t claim I’m any good at it even after over a decade of trying ), work for my very financially successful dentist wife…at her office..who thinks I’m just lazy, etc. Since my financial contribution to the family is scornfully low, any attempt at anything new would be unsupported
        and seen as selfish and irresponsible. It’s ok, though- everyone is healthy, and my kids are getting good educations, and I’m not ungrateful for such great blessings…

        1. Hello syed
          I hear you ! I have a toddler and another ion the way and as much as I’d like to change my career – unfortunately it’s not something I could immediately do . However, attempting to take baby steps in what you do like will help – even cutting back your week by a few hours and having some time to yourself will help . This is what I have done and it gives hope – in addition I have made some minor progress in other areas I enjoy even if just to prove to myself that I can do it . As difficult as it appears just take a small step – you never know where it leads you !. Good wishes

        2. Hi syed, your story has so many interesting elements to it. The fact that you work “for [your] very financially successful dentist wife,…” must create even more pressure. I used to feel inadequate in my working situations because my bosses had so much more drive and desire for this field than I did, and I worried about disappointing them or appearing lazy. It sounds like the rest of us that it’s just not the right career for you. I do hope you get the chance to make some sort of change. I think it will light up your life and just add to the blessings you are already grateful for.

        3. Like I said, A Perfect Storm of sorts, as the way out isn’t as easy or obvious as I would hope, but God willing, a better way will present if I keep working on finding a solution. I have a whole lecture (diatribe? :D) in my head I think entering dental students need to hear, not just to hear me vent, but to grasp the reality of dental school and the industry they are going to be a part of- not that I assume my experience is the most common one, but as some of us have found, there is much to this picture we are never shown. Thanks for your words of support .

    1. A better way will present as long as you don’t give up that intention and doing small things to find it. I always wished for a bug magical moment, and it never happened. It took about 3 years of active trying to make a real change.

      I had the whole lecture in my head too… until I was lucky enough to write it down here on this blog. Man, it has felt to get all of that our in the open.

      You are welcome!

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