I was catching up with a colleague last week who had seen my latest blog “It’s never too late” and he shared his own experience with me.
Twelve years ago, he was working in a marketing role for a very reputable company. Work was okay, but he was becoming restless and had been thinking more and more about leaving and setting up his own company. He wasn’t sure what that looked like yet, but he knew that he wanted the opportunity to run his own small business.
One day at work had been particularly bad so he went out for a run during his lunch hour. By the time he had returned, he has made a decision. He picked up his office keys, he went and spoke to his manager and he resigned. Six months later, he and his wife had purchased a small business and were working in partnership together.
What was interesting about this story, is what happened after his resignation. Over the course of his notice period, many people came to his office, shut the door and said a variation of the same theme. They told him he was lucky and they wished they could do what he was doing. My colleague’s reply was not sympathetic. He had a mortgage. He had a small child and another on the way and had to extend his mortgage to help pay for the business. It was not luck and if they really wanted to do the same, most of them could.
My colleague is not irresponsible. He knew his goal and had worked through his financial situation in detail. He had put measures in place to mitigate risk and was open to opportunity. He was nervous and afraid but he backed himself. He was passionate about owning a business and didn’t want to look back with regret later on in his life.
I have thought a lot about what he shared it with me. How often do we hear “I wish I could do that too”. Some of this is social banter, but a lot of the time I do believe it is true sentiment.
When you take on a new challenge, set up a business or book your ticket around the world, what people see is the result. What they don’t see, is the planning, saving, thinking, procrastinating and deliberating that goes on behind the scenes leading up to that moment in time.
When you set yourself a goal, it is to achieve something that you don’t have now. Depending on the size of the goal there is usually some work to do!
Not all of us are so good on the planning side. Some of us are great at starting. Others are good at doing a lot of things at once and not finishing any. Others just can’t get off (or on to) the starting block.
For any dream you have or any goal you set yourself, you have to be prepared for the hard work and the journey. It helps to know your strengths and know your limitations in order for you to plan, prepare and succeed in what you want to achieve.
As we plan our LEAP retreat we have been very mindful of these things. We are mindful that the answer to achieving your best life is not found in five days on a beautiful island (although the setting does help). Our programme is one in which we not only help you clarify your goals, but we support you through your planning process. We also introduce you to tools and personality theory that helps you understand yourself better… what you might excel at and where you might need more support.
If there is a leap that you want to take and haven’t yet, you may want to join Mandy and I on our five day residential programme 26-31 July as part of our “outsidethelines” series. Reach out if you would like to chat over Skype or email me, firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to know more.