EPISODE 112: [STORYTIME] Discovering My Purpose Through Trial & Error

Let’s head back in the Wayback Machine together to unpack how I tried, failed, stood up, and got knocked back down in discovering WTF my purpose. Purpose pursuing is no joke and it’s not always something that you know all on your own. I believe that you don’t know your purpose, you find your purpose. If you are currently on the journey of discovering what your purpose is and it hasn’t been easy one, I hope by hearing my story it gives you hope that you WILL figure it out, because you will. 

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Welcome to the living in sunshine podcast if you don’t know who I am, my name is Maddie. And I am so excited to have you tuning in to our weekly podcast episodes, where we chat all the things from tips and tricks to funny stories from my life that have helped me to truly live in the sunshine. In this space, we are all about encouraging, inspiring and giving you the tough love that you need to hear sometimes to realize that you are totally made for more than what you currently have in life, and that you hold the power to make the changes that you need to level up and live your best self. So buckle up, grab some water and let’s get into it.

Good morning. Good morning, my dudes and welcome back into the living in sunshine podcast. I am so pumped that you’re here right now. I’m feeling fine and fresh today. I’m not gonna lie. I got tons of sleep last night. I had plenty of coffee. I’m feeling energized. And I’m super excited about today’s episode. So in case you haven’t yet listened to any of the past episodes for the month, we are diving into each of the four living in sunshine personalities. If you’re not sure what your personality years ago, take the survey. It’s a low quiz 10 Questions 60 seconds or less down in the show notes. Today’s episode is for our purpose pursuers. The first episode of the month was for my joy seekers. Last week’s episode was for my happy hustlers. And this week, we are talking about purpose pursuers. This episode is for you to sort of give you a little bit of hope and solace to know that you’re going to figure it out, you’re going to pinpoint it you’re going to learn and everything’s going to be okay. And in today’s episode, I am going to be giving you kind of a full scope view as to how I discovered my own purpose through trial and error. Because if you haven’t followed me for the last few years, you don’t know, but your girl has done a ton of stuff.

I have tried a lot of different things to get to where I am today. And if it wasn’t for that willingness to try and fail and figure things out along the way, living in sunshine would not be where it is living in sunshine would not be what it is. And I’m super grateful for my journey to figure out what my purpose is. And I want to share my story with you in case you’re currently going through and walking through this journey and discovering what your purpose is. So without further ado, let’s go ahead and dive into it. Okay, so a little bit of background, right. So at the current moment of recording this episode, I am 28 years old, and I currently own two businesses. One is living in sunshine, where I am a joyful living lifestyle coach, I help women just like yourself, discover small intentional action steps to take to live a life of intention, and joy and direction, purpose, all those good things. And I also own an online service provider business, essentially a virtual assistant, right. Where I help teacher business owners get more done in their business and kind of along with that I’ve really kind of stepped into a business coach with that current community of people, which I love. And I help them to grow and scale their business in a way that feels really good and feels really aligned with their goals, but also what they want from life. And getting here was not a straight line, right? It was not linear. It was not always really fun or easy. And it definitely was not like movie worthy.

I’m not gonna lie. There were some points in life where I was like, WTF are you doing? Where are you going? And like literally thinking back on it. I’m like, How did I end up here? But like when I really think about it, I do know how I got here. So let’s kind of Rewind, let’s go back in the Wayback Machine. As Josh and Chuck say on the Stuff You Should Know podcasts. That’s one of my guilty pleasure podcast if you need a suggestion. And let’s go back five years from now when I first graduated from college, and really dive into that, so five years ago from right now I graduated from college, I went to Butler University in Indianapolis Go Dawgs with my degree in education. And when I graduated, I was that fresh, bushy tailed bright eyed, you know, new graduate who had a five year plan. And I knew what my five year plan was, I was gonna get my own classroom and I was gonna have a service dog who I could bring to school and be a reading dog. And I had my whole classroom already paid for and bought like I was collecting classroom decor before I even had my degree. And I had this whole five year plan, right? Lucas and I were moving to New Jersey at the time from the Midwest. It was this huge train a huge change and transition for us both. And I went into it with this five year plan. Well, as life goes, my five year plan literally blew up in my face like very quickly. It just started to blow up and there was no fixing it right? I couldn’t get

hired. I remember literally Oh my god. I just like picture myself doing this and I’m like, Oh my God, you sweep for Angel. i One day for like three days in a row. In the middle of summer I went and I got my resume, which I was so proud of. It was blue and white and navy lettering was like, made in Canva. And I dress up I had on my denim jacket, I had black pants on my loafers and a white t shirt, not a white t shirt white button down. And in the middle of July, I went to probably 20 or 30 schools within like a 50 mile radius of our apartment, knocking on doors and talking to principals trying to get a job. Because when I wasn’t doing that I was applying. And I was getting nowhere literally nowhere. No one wanted to hire me. Everyone wanted me to be a teacher’s assistant, which there’s no shame in that, right. But in the current moment of time, I really wanted to be a teacher, right? I didn’t want to be an assistant, I wanted to be in charge. I wanted to be the leader. I had gotten my degree from a really reputable school, I’d put in a lot of time and energy. I wanted to be a teacher, okay, and no one wanted me to be a teacher. For a lot of different reasons, the educational standards of New Jersey are completely different than they are in Indiana, which I wasn’t prepped for. But my five year plan of being a teacher really kind of blew up in my face and August rolled around. And I was running out of money. Like I was spending my life savings faster than I was replacing it because I had no job I had no job. I was working part time as a retail associate that was making me like, I don’t know, 15 hours a week at $15 An hour living in New Jersey where my rent was $2,000 a month. Like you do the math, it wasn’t adding up. And so I you know, try that whole thing. Along the way I discovered online, ESL teaching English as a Second Language Teaching where I saw this job listing on LinkedIn. And it was super sketchy. It was for a Chinese based company where you could teach Chinese kids English. And I at that point, I was so desperate to where I applied. I gave my social security card number to this Chinese based company that I had, I knew nothing about. And I was like, Well, I guess if there’s you know, this is a scam. I’ve got nothing left to steal. So I might as well just try it right like, I might as well just figure it out and see how it goes. Have you ever felt like the people in your life just don’t understand the dream that you have on your heart? Or even the desire that you have to be more joyful or intentional or even just plain happy? Like Wi Fi is good enough? Why do you need more? Right? Well, my friend if this is you, I have something special just for you. The Sunshine squad community is your go to place for that validation that you’re searching for, to know that you aren’t crazy for wanting more and that you aren’t alone in that desire either. This online community has grown to be filled with amazing joy seekers purpose pursuers, happy hustlers, and dream chasers just like you. In the sunshine squad community, you get continued guidance from me that you need to make your dreams a reality, a community of women who get it and the steps that you need to make your life something that you’re totally obsessed with. If you are ready to say yes to those things, you need to jump into the sunshine squad ASAP. And you can do so right now via the link in the show notes. If you do have questions on what the sunshine squad community is, or if it’s right for you, feel free to send me a DM over on Instagram. I would love to chat with you more about it over there. And my friend, I can’t wait to see you inside of the sunshine squad.

Thankfully, it wasn’t a scam. It was with this company called VIP kid, VIP kid nowadays is very different than what it was back in 2018 when I started to teach for them. But that really was kind of my next step in figuring out what I was going to do for a living right at the time again, it all kind of lined up very serendipitously where I was teaching full time for VIP kid in the mornings. And I was also given a promotion in my retail job I worked at maidwell. Still to this day, my favorite place to shop I would 100% go back and work for them if I had the time.

But that’s what I was doing. I was working full time as a retail manager and I was working full time as an online teacher. And I loved it right. And for a good two ish years, two and a half years. That was my identity. That was my purpose. Being an online educator and working retail. I loved it. I was working all the time. But I loved it. I met some of my very good friends doing it. I still have friends from this day from online teaching I’ve made I had made so many connections during that season of my life that I still cherish to this day.

And that really was my identity. But as it goes with me over time, I started to really question is this it right? Like This can’t be it, this can’t be the only thing that I do for the rest of my life, right? Eventually, I might want kids, I might want more freedom, I might not want to have to work on the weekends. What the heck, right. So then, after a few years of doing that, I found network marketing. And I started working for a company known as Beachbody. Now that are known as just body. And I really fell into that community. And I have nothing bad to say about it. I don’t I have nothing bad to say about Beachbody or coaches or my team. It really that became in 2020, you guys, that became my purpose, helping women discover these programs. And these supplements in this community above all else, discover that, that magic and the wonderfulness that it brought me. And so if we’re following this story, right, I went from college graduate who couldn’t get a job to working two jobs that she really liked to now stepping into this coaching thing, and really kind of figuring out what this is, right? So for a year or so I really grew my coaching business, to the point of where I was actually able to leave my full time retail job to do online teaching, and coaching simultaneously. And it was amazing. And that was my purpose, right? I was like, This is what I’m going to do for the rest of forever. I’m going to grow my team, I’m going to scale my business, I’m going to do all these things and make all this money and retire my husband, it’s going to be amazing. And then 2021 happened, and everything started to change. We had a lot of sudden financial requirements on us, we had our dog have an emergency vet situation, she needed about $10,000 worth of treatment, we didn’t have $10,000, we had just bought a house, which was also a very expensive financial responsibility. And the whole coaching thing really wasn’t working out. And at the same time, the online teaching thing, there was a lot of writing on the wall to where it was going to go away. And it was going to go away very, very quickly. And for me, that was a very scary thing. Without getting too far into like my personal childhood, I have a lot of financial trauma. I grew up in poverty I grew up where there were times where the food that my family, my mom would bring home was already open because she had gotten it from dinner donations. The you know, the cereal box was half empty by the time she brought it home. And so having that that income source, both of them suddenly be on the line was a very scary thing for me, okay. And I had really started to depend on this income coming from these businesses, these companies to were seeing the writing on the wall that it was all going to go away go away was really, really scary. And so I was like, Okay, I’ve got to change course. So I took a job as an online teacher with a local Texas Charter School. At this point in our life, my husband and I had moved to Texas. And that’s what I decided to do. I decided to take a quote unquote, legit and it was legit, right. I just feel weird and a little bit hinky calling jobs legit or not legit, because every job is legit if you ask me. But I took this standard nine to five teaching job with this charter school because it was a guaranteed income. And it was a full time income. And it was good money. I’m not gonna lie. It was good money. But it was Oh, so much work. And it was the kind of work that I had never done before. And I very quickly realized that it was the work that I didn’t want to do. And it was the work that wasn’t fulfilling for me. And here I was, again, for the third or fourth time in my life in such a short period of time being like, I hate this. I don’t want to do this anymore. What can I do instead? And infamously, I quit my job on a random Thursday in October, with no backup plan, quite literally zero backup plan. This was October of 2021. I had worked in this teaching job for like maybe six to eight weeks, maybe three months max. And I quit. I literally hopped on a Google meet or a Microsoft meet whatever it is with my boss, and I was like, I can’t do this. This isn’t what I signed up for. There was a whole lot of you know, factors that went into this decision. But I wasn’t happy. And something that I really pride myself in and take a lot of pride in is knowing when to focus on happiness over money. And this was one of those moments where I was like, it’s not even worth the money to stay in this job, because I’m so unhappy. But yet again, here I was, with no backup plan. I was starting over again and

stir in determining and figuring out what is my purpose, what’s going to make me happy. And all of a sudden, I didn’t have a job. And I wasn’t making very much money doing online teaching, and I needed to figure it out. So I was talking to a friend, and she’s like, You need to check out this Facebook page, I think you’d make a really great virtual assistant, you have all these skills, you’ve, you’ve done all these things, just give it a try, right? Just give it a try. And so I did. And I kind of fell into the realm of virtual assisting, and it worked out really, really well. I found a lot of purpose in it, I found a lot of joy in it, I love the people I get to work with in supporting them how I do. And with virtual assisting, it gave me the the posture and the space in my life, to really start to focus on living in sunshine. And this all really started at the beginning of 2022. I finally had and I wasn’t making a lot of money, like don’t get me wrong, I was not rolling in the money, I was making like, maybe $1,200 a month, which is not a lot of money when you have a mortgage payment and vet bills and home projects and all these things to pay for.

But I had, I had found a schedule. And I had found something that was mine that I could do and still make space for the thing that I really knew in my heart of hearts I wanted to do and that was living in sunshine, right? All of the things that come with living in sunshine, starting this podcast, uh, creating courses, making digital resources, starting a membership, right, all of these things started to fall into place when I took the chance on myself and continued to fail, but continued to try, right. And that’s really where we’re at. Now, right now, I am in a space where I work living in sunshine, and my virtual assistant business simultaneously. And I’ve never been happier. I’ve never been more fulfilled, I feel no sense of lack, I feel challenged. And I feel like I’m on a path that leaves space for future potentials. Right. But that’s really been my journey to discovering what my purpose is, and in this season of life. And I say that because if you followed along, right, you’ll see. And you would have heard that my purpose has changed over and over and over again. And that’s okay, you probably have experienced that as well. Right now, though, all of that trial and error has gotten me to my purpose that I’m really focused on right now, which is growing living in sunshine, and expanding the awareness of the message that women deserve to live a life that they love that they are so obsessed with that they won’t shut up about it. And they have the tools and the resources and the guidance that they need to purposely pursue joy on the daily, right. That’s my purpose. That is the big mission of living in sunshine and everything that I do. And because I continued to ask myself, what makes me happy? What do I want to do? What do I want my life to look like? Throughout that whole, all of those ups and those downs, all of those things that I’ve ever tried, they’ve gotten me to where I am right now. And so if you’re on that purpose right now, where you’re doing something, but you’re like, I don’t know if this is what I want to do forever, or this isn’t working out, and I’m in a transitional season where I’ve got to figure out what I’m doing. Or this is what I thought my purpose was. But now that I’m here, I really not fulfilled by it. I want you to know, and I hope that hearing my story helps you to see that it’s okay to keep asking questions, and to keep pursuing what your purpose is. And to continue to work and really kind of unwind to figure out what that is, right? Because the only way that we can learn new things is through trial and error, right? Nothing good or marvelous or magical was discovered, mostly most times, right? on accident, right? It was through trial and error. You have to try and fail and get back up and try again, to discover how to do something to learn how to do something, right. That’s all we that’s how we all learn how to ride a bike, right? We have to fall off and get back up and try again to figure it out. It’s no different with discovering what your purpose is. And now I’m in this season of life where like I said, everything’s coming up roses, right? I’ve gotten to a point of financial stability. I’ve gotten to the point of time flexibility. I’ve gotten to the point where my husband and I are considering future potentials, like investment properties or photo studios or a different type of income stream for us as a couple. And it’s really exciting. And the reason it continues to be exciting is because I never stopped asking, What can I do to continue to feel more joyful?

What can I continue to pursue, and check out and try and fail and attempt to see if it’s for me, right? That’s how you do it. That’s how you discover your purpose. Your purpose very rarely just comes to you in a dream, right? Just just headshot, right like like a dodgeball, the way that you discover your purpose is through trial and error by trying things you’ve never tried before, by failing, by getting back up brushing off your knees, that you know, pulling your pants back up and saying, Okay, that didn’t work. What can I do that’s going to work. That’s how you do it. And so again, if you’re currently in this season of life, where you feel like you’ve been trying and failing and trying and failing to figure out what the heck you’re doing in life, I want to give you this piece, this peace of mind that it’s going to work out, it will work out, you will figure it out. It might not be fun, or easy or sexy or something you want to post about on social media, but you’re gonna figure it out. And I believe in your capability and your tenacity to figure it out. I know you can. I know you can and you will. And when you do, I hope you send me a message and you say Maddie, oh my god, I figured it out. This is what I’m doing. I’m so for getting excited. So I can say I’m so excited for you, my friend that has everything that I have for you today. I hope hearing my story gives you a little bit of hope and a little bit of peace of mind to know that you’re not alone if you’re on your seventh, eighth ninth 10th thing you’re doing in life to kind of figure it out. That’s okay. We all get there at different points of life. And that is okay. I cannot wait to hear from you when you figure it out when you discover your purpose. And please don’t forget to send me a message when you figure it out so I can cheer you on along the way. And before we wrap up this episode of The Living and sunshine podcast I want to share with you our review of the week. This review of the week comes from slow bros girl. I love that username by the way, and they say Mattie’s energy and realness brings a bright spot to social media in the podcast world. Thanks so much for sharing you with the world. So Lobos girl, you’re so welcome. I cannot thank you enough for leaving this review. And if you have not left the show a review and you’re listening to it right now. Please go do so over on Apple podcasts. We have a very big goal of hitting 100 reviews of the show over on Apple podcasts. And that would be so grateful if you helped me get there. Until next week, my friends, I am sending you all the sunshine, good vibes. And I hope you make it a great day. That is all I have for you today my dudes and I hope you love today’s episode. If you did, I would seriously appreciate it if you went and left the show a review and rating on whatever platform you’re currently listening on. For every review and rating that you leave it truly helps the show grow and reach more women just like yourself. If you had any major takeaways or aha moments, be sure to take a screenshot of this episode. post it to your social media stories with your biggest takeaways and tag me at living in sunshine so I can share it with my people as well. Again, thank you so much for hanging out with me this week. And until next time, I am sending you all the sunshine good vibes and I hope you make it a great day.