Two weeks later, at a respectable 10:00 in the morning, Joey’s cell phone rang. He paused the TV and picked it up. He was surprised to see Kimberly’s number, not because he wasn’t expecting her to call but because he hadn’t realized two weeks had already passed. Was it Wednesday?

“Hello.”

“What are you doing next, Joey,” Kimberly gushed enthusiastically. “And hi.”

Joey smiled. He couldn’t help it—she had this child-like exuberance that hovered exactly between endearing and annoying, but she was so sweet it tipped the scales in her favor. Either way, when someone comes at you that fast, the surprise alone knocks you off guard, and smiling is the natural result. “Well, I suppose when my show is over I might take a walk.”

“Funny. Now really.”

Joey sighed. “Kimberly, I don’t have a plan. I have my application in several places, some I even like, so hopefully I’ll have better news for you in a couple of months.”

“We work with a bunch of companies right around you. Do you want me to call around and see if anyone is hiring?” Kimberly offered.

“That’s...wow. That’s nice of you. But no thank you.”

“Why no thank you? Why do you not want me to network for you? What’s the downside I’m not seeing?” Kimberly asked.

“It’s not a downside, I just...I don’t know,” Joey trailed off. “I feel weird about that for some reason.”

“That’s only because you haven’t worked with an agent or manager. It’s when marketing comes between the job and the applicant to connect the dots—something else I can help with.” Kimberly barreled through, “But that’s ok—no networking for you. Got it. What’s the name of your next company?”

Joey was floored. “I don’t have a next company. I’ve been there, done that, had to sell the t-shirt. I’m not going down that road again.”

“Joey, you had a large group, high overhead, and not enough word of mouth to keep you floating. Now you have a group of one, for starters, no overhead, and I’m literally begging to be your word of mouth,” Kimberly said. “This is your life, and you do whatever you want to—I’m not trying to be pushy. But you started your own company because that’s what you want to do. It didn’t go well. Ok. So let’s talk about what went wrong so you can do it right next time.”

“No next time. I can’t afford it. I’ll be paying on that last loan for another six months with nothing to show for it. I’m not doing this again.” Joey was adamant.

“Ok, Joey. Just do me a favor. Think about it. Think about all those places where you put in your application, and think about what it would be like to work there every day. If you can be happy with that, I want nothing more than for you to be happy.” Kimberly paused for effect. “I don’t think you’re going to be happy with anything less than your dreams—content, not miserable, but not happy.”

Joey sighed again. “You’re right. That doesn’t change anything, though. But I’ll think about it.”

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