Throw Down Your Professional Gang Signs

So this morning on my usual miserable commute to Brooklyn from Queens I was dangerously cut off by a 10+ year old red Ford Explorer. What’s the only thing worse than that? It had stickers on the back that it was part of an SUV driving ‘riders’ group like motorcycle gangs have. I forget the actual group name, but the car was named “Apple Bottom,” as in the trashy clothing line.

Wow, there’s a group of people who have banded together because they recklessly drive SUV’s for kicks? Then about 20 minutes later I see another one, guy driving a different color SUV, also not a nice or new one, different SUV club.

So in today’s salute to trash, let’s learn a few things – like drive safely or you might end up being called out on someone’s blog (or killing yourself or someone else, but don’t let that stop you, ride on sister, ride on).

And learn and harness the power of groups. Gather a gang of your own that supports you and your goals. Most people have friends and family, but a lot of times these people may be knowingly, or unknowingly sabotaging your current or future happiness. These people may have known you most of your life, and they may love you more than anyone else ever could – but they also may be holding you back.

When you’ve played a certain role in your life, those around you expect you to keep filling the same role – and that can be hard to break free from, especially if you’re looking to make any change that involves an element of risk – which most major changes do.

So if you know you’re ready to start your own business or practice, or want to change careers at the age of 50 – start slow and try, and find people to help and support you with it. By the way, I’m not saying it’s OK to be reckless and throw away a career on a whim and ignore everyone around you either. You may have resistance also because you’re embracing a really bad idea – so heed warnings of those close to you, but don’t let them hold you back if it’s a logical decision.

Luckily nowadays finding people to bond with is easier than ever online. From craiglist.org, facebook, myspace, or whichever industry you’re looking to bond with people from – there’s an online group. Meetup.com and eventbrite.com also have specific types of meet-ups for different industries and hobbies all over the world as well.

So if you’re ready for change, but those close to you aren’t onboard – join or start a new gang. Find people who also love and believe in your mission, and embrace it. Just screen them really carefully before meeting in a public, well-lit area. You want to cover your bases in case the crazy comes out.

Now you don’t need gang colors, gang names, or gang signs, but hey, why not. It’ll help you bond and identify others just like you. I doubt the dangerous jalopy SUV drivers’ mothers are thrilled with them ‘riding’ for kicks. But I’m sure it makes them happy, or they wouldn’t be doing it.

Once you have a team to support you, it’ll be easier to pursue your dreams.

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