Do you remember the moment you decided to go out on your own? I do. And it was terrifying.
I was 35 years old, in a relationship that, instead of heading towards marriage and babies, was in its final death-spiral and coming to the realization that I’d gone as far as I could in my job as a creative rep.
I was settling for a small life that I didn’t want and knew I had to do something drastic; to go it alone. It was time for me to take a big leap.
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And let me tell you, the circumstances were NOT optimal in terms of personal, professional, or financial support (meaning I had none). But despite my, ahem, less-than-ideal circumstances, I knew it was the right move at the right time.
Have you ever experienced that same intuitive nudge? The one that says you have what it takes. That you know you have something that’s of value to others. That you don’t want to die with your music still inside of you?
Whether you started your business 30 years or 3 months ago, or you’re contemplating a big leap as you read this, we all know the path is never straight and is not always easy.
From finding how, and where you fit in an ever-evolving market place, to learning the marketing and business skills needed to turn your creative ideas into a commercially viable reality, it can feel overwhelming at times.
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Luckily you have access to an amazing trait that can support you through even the scariest of leaps and that’s:
Courage enables you to:
- Take a leap of faith
- Stay the course when the quality of your output doesn’t match your vision
- Wave away the concern of family and friends
- Fail and get back up again
- Manifest resources (time, energy, money) you never knew you even had
If you’re hearing the call to do something big, here are 3 ways to combine courage with actionable steps and take your next big leap!
Look at what’s not working, then get curious
For anyone who knows me, I’m a glass-is-half-full kind of girl, but science has shown that when we acknowledge what’s NOT working we’re actually more successful in finding a solution that turns things around.
It takes courage; but recognizing what’s not working is the first step to making a positive change. Maybe you feel unsure of yourself in an industry that’s changing all the time.
Perhaps clients are no longer buying what you’re selling (at least not in the same way). Or maybe you’re busy and doing “fine” but are feeling uninspired by the prospect of more of the same.
What you can do: Cultivate curiosity. What’s going on in your industry? What are people excited about? What’s keeping them up at night?
Go to seminars and conferences, listen to podcasts and TED talks, read books on subjects that interest you but are outside of your wheelhouse and expose yourself to new ideas and thinking.
You can’t solve a problem using the same thinking that created it, so give your creative mind free reign to come at it from a different direction.
Check the company you keep
They say you’re the average by the 5 people you spend most time with, so it’s time to make those people count. My good friend and accountability buddy Whitney Doherty is genius at meeting and gathering like-minded, yet diverse people.
The gatherings go back and forth between goal setting/accountability breakfasts and evening gatherings that are really more of an excuse to meet/catch up with new and interesting women and drink margaritas.
Both are good for the entrepreneurial spirit!
What you can do: Approach events, meetups, and encounters with an open heart and genuine desire to be interested and interesting.
Be on the lookout for people who are stretching themselves, inspire you, and maybe even intimidate you a little bit with their intellect or sheer fabulousness.
If you’re a master organizer and connector like Whitney, go ahead and create a get-together with the intention of helping one another reach goals. Or simply get the gaggle out for regular breakfasts or drinks.
You’ll be amazed at the support and resources that will transpire. On the flip-side, look at the drains in your life. You know, the ones who bring you down, say it can’t be done, fall into the misery-loves-company category.
Could you create a little distance there? Move on altogether? Life’s too short for limitations so choose your friends accordingly.
Invest in yourself
One of the biggest lies we tell ourselves is we’re not (a) ready (b) good enough (c) credible enough to make our big leap. Believe me, I do it too! I’m not going to tell you to ignore that inner voice, but rather, do something about it.
You probably aren’t fully equipped to fulfill your goal (or you would have done it already) but with the right mentorship, training, or coaching you could be. Who do you know who could help you?
What research could you do to find someone who can help you get to where you’re going.
What you can do: Assemble your dream-board of mentors. If you could get advice from anyone who would it be? Is it one person? Multiple people?
Start researching the people on your list. Are they speaking at events or conference you could attend (you can often go right up to speaker after the talk for a quick chat, a golden opportunity!).
Could a coach or mentor help you get where you’re going faster? If so, what does that look like in terms of scope, timing, and resources?
Here’s the thing. We’re all on this earth for a very short amount of time. Do you really want to waste a second of it not going after what you want?
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