Off the Clock – The Road not Taken (YET)

Two Roads - FB Cover

There I was, at a crossroads.  I had traveled so far already.  In the course of five years, I had gotten divorced,  lost my job, my dog, and my truck (cue the banjo) … But I also had gotten got my coaching certification, a new puppy, met the love of my life,  and we were getting married!  After bouncing back from my own financial struggles, we were now knee deep in more debt due to a critical medical crisis (the day after he proposed!) that knocked us for a loop.  I had built a very good coaching practice – but it wasn’t strong enough to sustain the hit of taking a month away from it to tend to my fiance, and it wasn’t strong enough to stand on its own.  I didn’t have any income streams feeding the business, and when I had to step away, it suffered… and I was burned out.  Networking constantly, shoveling business into my pipeline, and spending night and day marketing took away from what brings me the most joy – coaching.

Fortunately, I had been working part time for a good friend of mine who runs a landscaping company.  It was a natural fit because I had been the Office Manager of a large lawn care company (the corporate job from which I had been laid off); so doing his book-work and payroll for 10-15 hours a week was a great way to supplement my income while I built my business.

But there I sat one morning as he said “I need you here full-time.  I need to grow the business, I need someone to help me put procedures and policies into place, and help train my employees – I really want that person to be you.”  I knew I could do all the things he needed – and be really successful at it… my trepidation was the thought of all the time and energy it took to get my business to where it was, and knowing when I stepped away for even a moment, my business couldn’t sustain it.  I believed that if I accepted his offer, it meant walking away from my business.  But, if I didn’t accept his offer, the part-time employment that had floated me along would go away as he was set on finding someone  to work full time.  I asked if I could sleep on it and come back to him with a decision in a few days.

I started by talking with my Fiance.  He honestly didn’t know what my struggle was – he saw things in me I couldn’t see.  He knew my strength and potential, and he also had been there, done that.  He started his DJing business while working full time – and he thought I was crazy to turn down a full time opportunity.  He said I was organized enough, and determined enough to do both.  I argued with him that his scenario was different -as he was literally moonlighting – his DJing gigs were after hours.  How could I justify being a business coach who was unable to see my business clients during business hours?  Obviously, I was riddled with limiting beliefs and gremlins that were determined to hold me back and blind me to the opportunities and possibilities.  All I could see were boulders in my way.  I couldn’t see the view.

To succeed jump as quickly to opportunities as you do conclusionsThat night I attended a Mastermind meeting, and presented my challenge to the group.  The women in the group were amazingly supportive, and encouraging.  Their advice – jump and the net will appear!  The leader of the group said once I closed one door and focused all my time, effort and energy on my coaching practice – that it would flourish!  I left that group feeling pumped and energized! I was going to quit my part time job and take on my passion full time! WAH-HOO!!!

The next morning, reality set in.  As my mentor says “You can’t eat passion for breakfast” – Passion doesn’t pay the bills.  Passion wasn’t going to pay off all the medical debt my fiance had racked up, nor was passion going to pay for the wedding we were going to have next year.  You know what pays for all that?  MONEY. Cold hard cash…. and I had a guy willing to pay me good money for a chunk of my time.

That night I called my mentor, and had a heart to heart.  I cried.  I laughed.  I listened.  My mentor is a no-nonsense, no rainbows and unicorns, no blue-birds-who-will-fly -in-with-a-net-to-save-your-ass-when-you leap-off-a-cliff kinda guy.  He was in my husbands camp – I was crazy to turn down an opportunity to earn a steady income… and, I was crazy to think that just because I was going to work full time for someone else I had to walk away from my dreams.  What you need Priscilla, is a PLAN.  You can leap off that cliff -but you better be damn sure you placed a net at the bottom.  No one puts the net there for you. Take the job, then meet me at my office next week.  Take the damn offer.

With that… I took the road less traveled – and I began making my net.


This article is part of the #write31days challenge for October 2015. To catch up on the whole series – click HERE.


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Business Leadership Guide and Founder of Blazing Trails Coaching I help business owners and leaders grow healthy, sustainable, and resilient organizations. I help you train your leaders, manage your resources, and create time saving workflows that help you become the efficient, productive leader you were meant to be, and your business and family deserves.

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