We Need To Think Big, Bigger, Biggest!
My podcast listener and one of my students in my Persuade to Profit program, Amanda Page, had a special request for a podcast episode. Amanda asked me how to know when it’s time to let a project go or make a transition in your career or business.
We need to think bigger, think ahead, see what’s coming down the pike, and then act accordingly. When you do this process, you have to be able to adapt at the moment. Maybe you need to let specific projects go; perhaps you need to let certain dreams die because they just don’t make sense anymore. This skill set is critical to have in your toolbox.
One of the obstacles I notice is that people have major opportunities sitting in front of them, however; they’re clenching so hard to something in their past, they don’t see the opportunity that’s sitting in front of them. The other obstacle I see is a change going on in your industry, and you’re so caught up by the change and the bullshit and everyone’s drama that you don’t see the opportunity. Those who are incredibly successful need to be able to see an opportunity, and they need to be able to adapt accordingly.
Steps to Transition Your Career
Step #1: Learn how to be an observer of a situation
Learn how to just take in data without attaching meaning. Start practicing how just to observe what’s going on instead of getting emotionally wrapped up. This is one of the reasons that I’m such a huge fan of meditation. I’ve had a regular meditation practice for years. You’ll be able to see the opportunities that are in front of you, or you may see some pitfalls that are coming down the road, and you can adapt accordingly.
I feel like as a society; we need to learn how to observe, adapt, and have some self-reflection. This is something that comes up with my private coaching clients because they start noticing there’s a general, societal lack of knowing how to be self-reflective. They know how to be reactive, and then they make decisions from a reactive place, which usually backfires.
Step #2: Pay attention to the warning signs
One of the reasons I’m able to adapt very quickly is because I pay attention to the signs, I pay attention to what’s coming down the pike, I pay attention to industry changes, and I pay attention to what could be problematic in my own company. People ask me about brand ambassador work and ask how do I work with companies and how do I work with campaigns? I always tell them the same thing that it’s enjoyable work and can be extremely lucrative. One good market correction and all this money are gone. This means I can’t wait for the market correction to occur and get screwed over in my cash flow. I need to figure out how to adjust my business model accordingly.
I hired a chief financial officer. Most people would wait until their cash flow is on the floor; they would wait until everything is a mess, and would ignore all the red flags. If you see something coming down the pike, start making adjustments ahead of time to be prepared.
Step #3: Check-in with your progress
When I was making the transition from primarily freelance writing brand ambassador work and marketing consulting for my clients, something interesting happened. I was in a transition period for about a year, before I ultimately got rid of freelance writing because my writing started getting in the way of my new career. I could have let my writing go sooner, but the reason I didn’t was that I just hadn’t run the numbers in my company. One day I’m sitting running through the numbers in my QuickBooks, and I noticed that my coaching and courses had matched my freelance writing income for that year. I dropped freelance writing altogether. At this point, when I focused on my new company, my income doubled in one year.
I realized how much time I was wasting. I emailed my writing clients that day and quit. I was done and quit. Sometimes we don’t make the transition because we don’t necessarily realize how far we’ve transitioned.
Step #4: Practice letting go of attachments
People quickly get attached to their work. They’re like, “I spent so much time and money on this project. I can’t let it go.” Never mind the fact your project isn’t working, not getting you anywhere, and causing you much stress. People get attached and insist on holding on to their ideas, thoughts, beliefs and projects. They won’t let go because they have invested so much emotional labor, time, and money. In my company, if something isn’t working, I drop that shit and move on. There’s no attachment whatsoever.
You’re so emotionally attached to something because you feel like you have to be, you feel obligated. What you should be concerned with is finding out as quickly as possible that what you are doing isn’t working. Drop what isn’t working, and don’t waste more time and money.
You need to have resilience, and you need not quit, and you need to see things through. However, your life situation changes, or new problems arise, and you have to adapt. To adapt, you have to let things go.