A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided.
— Tony Robbins
Today, I announced that I will leave my corporate position to start my own consultancy. This leap into entrepreneurship is anything but natural for me. So my friends’ comments about my courage only served to validate that what I am doing is scary.
But I said it in a room full of my friends and colleagues, so it must be real. Months of thinking and planning, and a little tiny shoot has poked through the earth to brave the elements. Six things have kept my anxiety index in the acceptable category:
A network of generous advisers. People like John Common (Intelligent Demand), William Browning (Rebound Solutions), and Brad Bawmann (The Bawmann Group) described the thrills and chills of launching their businesses. And like my CEO/Wife, Karen Krizman (Clean Copy Ink), their stories made it real for me.
Podcasts. I don’t miss an episode of Michael Stelzner’s Social Media Marketing podcast. Michael, himself a serial entrepreneur, has his guests go into detail about how they parlayed a passion into a living. I began considering my own business after listening to his interview with Jeff Goins, a writer whose blog I now follow religiously.
The changing nature of work. The Great Recession forced corporations to more frequently try alternatives to full-time staffers. They learned there are times when in-house expertise is required and times when specialized expertise outside their walls is preferred. On the other side of the coin, individuals have discovered new opportunities to choose their projects, work partners, and pace. I believe we are only just beginning to see the effects of this shift in demand for and supply of contingent staffing.
Ariana Huffington and Fawn Germer. Huffington’s “Thrive” and Germer’s “Work-Life Reset” landed in my Kindle at exactly the right time. They are leading a movement to reframe the concept of work: From something to balance with life to something that blends with life. Their words have given me courage.
The Affordable Care Act. Knowing that I and my family can’t be denied health insurance because of pre-existing conditions eliminates a huge cost and risk of leaving traditional employer-sponsored health care. The ACA also disrupts health care, and that means opportunity for me, a 17-year veteran of that industry.
A forward-looking boss. I talked with her from the beginning and she suggested I make an early announcement so that we can have an easier transition on both sides of the fence. Not the usual awkward period of estrangement, punctuated by short-timer’s disease.
The words I heard today that made me most satisfied were from colleagues who saw right to the heart of what I am doing: Taking ownership of my life.
Steve is sole proprietor of Connected Communication, LLC, a consultancy that helps organizations develop integrated PR, communication, and marketing programs. His particular expertise is in the health industry, including insurance, health delivery systems, and digital health.
Steve also is professor of public relations and journalism at Metro State University of Denver.