What Did You Want To Be When You Were 10?

What-Do-You-Want-to-Be-When-You-Grow-UpDo you remember what you wanted to be when you were 10?

For me, I wanted to be the editor of Tiger Beat magazine. I’m not even sure ifTiger Beat is still around—and if it is, it’s probably in digital format—but, back in 1978, Tiger Beat was my favorite thing in the world. I would create this big, elaborate Tiger Beat office in my basement—complete with my TV tray desk and unplugged rotary dial phone. I would have pretend phone conversations and interviews with the cool kids of my time—you know, Andy Gibb, Shawn Cassidy, Donny Osmond. I would write out my interview questions, conduct the fake interview and write the story. And, I would do this over and over again.

Alas, I never became the editor of Tiger Beat magazine, but some of those traits are still with me.

I love to write:  Matter of fact, I actually became a writer.  Today, my writing pretty much revolves around content marketing; however, I am in the process of writing my first book and am always looking for ways to write more.

I enjoy talking to people:  Yes, I am chatty.  However, my love of talking to people is more about finding out their stories–not necessarily sharing mine. My kids jokingly say that I “interview” new people when they come over for dinner.

I am a process-oriented person: There was a lot of process going on in myTiger Beat basement office–I had a plan for how I would conduct the interviews, a process for turning the interview into a story and a schedule for when the story would publish.  I still flourish in process and drown when I am feeling disorganized.

I like to be my own boss:  This probably doesn’t come as a surprise to any of my siblings (or spouse), but part of the reason I enjoyed my time as the fake editor of a 1970’s teen magazine was that I made my own rules, I ran my own show, I managed my own fake people and my own real time (seriously, if there was a chance to go to the pool with friends, my Tiger Beat offices would close down for the afternoon).

So, what did you want to be when you were 10?

Although you may never have become a ballerina or professional baseball player, there are probably some personality traits or nuggets of knowledge that you still carry with you today.  Your love of baseball also made you a lover of stats–perfect for your job as an actuary.  The little ballerina in you still loves the arts and every month you pack your family into the car for a trip to the museum or a show.  Or the bravery you felt when you dreamed of being a firefighter comes through clearly when you are faced with taking a risk or making a quick decision.   Whatever it is, can you connect the dots between the “who you are today” with the “who you wanted to be” when you were 10?

When you do this, you begin to discover a lot about yourself.  This small exercise may affirm the life decisions you have made or inspire you to make a move in a new direction. Perhaps you forgot how much you loved drawing or horseback riding or reading mystery books.  What if the things that brought you energy all those years ago would energize you again?

It has for me.

For all those moments when I feel so unsure of myself and the unexpected entrepreneurial position I am in now or when I get overwhelmed at the idea of writing a book, I just reflect back to when I was 10–knowing that the person I have become was really part of the person I always wanted to be.  Knowledge is power, especially when you take the time to know yourself.

I would love to hear if you were able to connect the dots between who you are now to the person you wanted to be when you were 10.




By Patti Minglin