Tuesday, February 27, 2007

To leap or not to leap: Journey to the unknown

Recently a unique business opportunity was presented to me. Without going into too much detail, this business opportunity combines what I already do (journalism), the hobby I love most (horses) and the chance to work from home. A state-wide horse publication is for sale and a friend of mine tossed my name out there as being an interested party with the experience and background to make it work.

Publisher of my very own paper, making my own decisions, making the final edits. Long days, but long days at home. Traveling, but traveling to horse shows and equine expos and trainer clinics. Writing what I want to write and covering the things I want to cover instead of some of the crazy-ass stuff my editors make me cover.

I couldn't think of a more perfect job that would tap into my knowledge, my experience and my passion all in one stroke.

The thought is intoxicating, and terrifying all rolled into one giant ball of 'what ifs' and 'why nots?' And then I think about what a huge leap into the unknown it would be. No more paid days off, no more vacation time. No work = no money.

I love what I do now. I love the changing topics, the changing subjects I come in to write about every day. I love knowing that every day I've made a difference in at least one person's life. I love the perks that come along with the job: The stunt plane rides, the days spent in a sailboat watching them race, the trip in an Air Force tanker, the chance to fly with the Thunderbirds, the exclusive events, free lunches, meeting fascinating people, watching history happen and leaving my mark. I would miss that, all of that.

There is the possibility that turning your hobby into your job would take away the hobby. What if I did have to write about horses and trainers and shows every day? Would it become something I viewed as a 'have to do' instead of a 'want to do?' I would die inside if that happened. I would lose my therapy, my escape, my hobby and in the end I'd have nothing but job.

On the other hand, publishing such a paper would give me amazing connections in the horse world, connections I'd most likely not make just being another backyard horse hobbyist. I could fall even more in love with my hobby, if that's even possible.

So, the decision is still floating out there, a possibility that is all at once a dream and a nightmare, a gift and an iron shackle, an ethereal 'what if' that needs an answer.

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