Five years ago, I stepped out of a safety net. I left my job that paid the bills and paid my health insurance. I left my job that gave me vacation pay, a retirement fund and most of all…security.
I took a leap out of that net. I accepted a part-time retail job with a meager hourly salary, no benefits package, no vacation nor any kind of retirement fund. With that acceptance, I gave up my evenings and most weekends with family.
I took a risk five years ago. I was scared to death. I wasn’t just worried that I made the wrong decision but I was also really worried that my friends and family would think I was simply crazy. And some of them probably did.
My dream was to create freedom for my family and in order to get there, I had to be willing to do something completely different for a while. Taking a part-time job freed up an incredible amount of time for me to pursue my goal of being a full-time coach. I had an extra 20 hours a week to work on my personal coaching business while working retail hours to supplement income until my business started to grow.
Sometimes in order to create more freedom, you have to be willing to make sacrifices and take a couple steps backward in order to move three steps ahead.
When we make decisions in life, it’s pretty normal to second guess ourselves, question whether it was the right move, and try to adjust to the changes that typically follow as a result.
But when you take a BIG RISK, all of those feelings are dramatically increased. You don’t just question everything, you try to make sense of how it will work out without having a complete breakdown. Although, these happened quite frequently for me.
I was at a point in my life that I knew that in order to see change, I didn’t just need to make a change, I needed to make a DRAMATIC change.
I knew if changed jobs and went to another similar job, it might be better for awhile, but then all the same issues would start to resurface again. There would be the same lack of fulfillment from doing work that didn’t inspire me, the unrelenting feeling I was meant to have a greater impact on others and feeling stuck in lateral movement without anything better to aspire to. Most of all, if I just left for another similar job, I would still have that burning desire in my belly that I was meant to make a bigger difference.
I was willing to take risks in order to fulfill that desire.
I sacrificed a lot, including time with my family, entertainment and income. I had to humble myself on a level I had never been. I had to stop worrying and start believing. And surprisingly, it felt amazing.
The feelings of doubt eventually subsided. I was making it work. I liked my new job. It was a fun outlet sharing my passion for running with customers while being able to continue to pursue my goal of being a full-time coach.
It took two years. And I probably still was not ready financially or emotionally to become a full-time coach quite yet. But again, I knew I was ready to take another risk.
This is what I learned about taking risks.
- Nothing would change until I made a change.
- Nothing would change until I changed my way of thinking.
- It’s okay to fail.
- I do not need permission or approval or others to live my desired life.
- Just because I had doubts often, doesn’t mean I made a wrong decision.
- Working hard at something you love doesn’t feel like work.
- Fulfillment comes from taking action on the things you desire.
I would never be where I am today if I didn’t take a risk five years ago. I would never be working for myself. I would never be creating the freedom for my family. I would never be traveling to places I always wanted to go, traveling often to see my parents, giving my family opportunities that I just simply couldn’t afford to do five years ago.
I believe the only change that would have happened is that I would have been unhappier, less fulfilled, feeling stuck and still listening to the same fear that ALMOST kept me from making a change.
This is what I learned about taking risks…be willing to take them. Take them often. They will change your life.