Recently, I attended a surprise 50th birthday party for a good friend from college. I had a fantastic time reconnecting with old friends and discovering new ones as well. One of the biggest Aha’s for me during the weekend festivities was the realization that most of my time is spent with entrepreneurs—people who have made the jump to self-employment and choosing to do it their way. Many of the people I spent time with at this weekend event were employed by someone else. The topic of conversation was quite different for me yet it was illuminating to learn and see life from their perspective.
One woman, in particular, shared that she’s ready to make the leap to do something different but she’s unsure how to move ahead or what the process would be to make a good decision. She feels the “tug of transition” but lacks clarity on how to navigate a potential new path. Fear and feelings of failure are on her mind as well. She’s certain that if she could take initial steps forward on how to explore and discover what’s next, fear and thoughts of failure could be overcome. Not having a plan or the equivalent of a roadmap that can be easily followed is what keeps her from moving ahead.
Have you ever felt this way? I know I have. Before I made the decision to begin my journey as an entrepreneur, I had sleepless nights and perplexing days wondering what could possibly be next for me.
If you are feeling that change is on the horizon, but you can’t clearly see the path ahead, here are some basic and easy steps you can take to feel more confident and clear about the possibilities:
1. Give Yourself Permission to Explore – The first step you need to take for all the others to work, is to give yourself permission that it’s ok for you to think about doing something new and different. Change can be both scary and exciting at the same time. Open your mind to what might be possible. Remember this is an exploration. You aren’t making a decision–yet.
2. Block Out Some Time – Pull out your calendar and block out time to do this exploration. At the party, the woman asked me, “What should I do with the time?” Online research, read books or publications on the subject, attend a class or workshop. For example, if you are interested in event planning, take some time to research online, read books or publications devoted to the industry. Before I made the decision to get my coaching certification, I researched the industry to learn more. If you don’t actually block the time and make an appointment with yourself, your “to-do” list will get in the way and before you know it, another 6 months will have gone by.
3. Reach Out – Make a point to connect with people who are doing what it is you’re considering. During my exploration, I connected with several coaches that I respect to learn more about their business, how they got started, what their business was like, etc.
4. Consider Hiring a Coach – Having a supportive person to walk with you through this exploratory phase can be extremely helpful. Having someone to ask the right questions to illuminate new possibilities or reframe your current situation is invaluable.
Summer is the perfect time to go exploring. I invite you to discover what might be next for you. The journey begins by taking the first step.
Anything is possible. Everything is waiting for you.
© 2011 Joy Chudacoff
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Joy Chudacoff, ICF, PCC, is the founder of Smart Women Smart Solutions®, a Professional Certified Coach to 1000’s of women, Motivational Speaker, and Entrepreneur. She publishes a weekly buzz generating ezine, Reflections On Life and Business for Women Entrepreneurs. If you’re ready take your life and your business to the next level, get your FREE Tips, FREE Report and FREE MP3 now at Profits With Passion.