Making this change is especially daunting when we have the confidence of what we have already achieved, but also the anxieties resulting from the uncertainties of a new venture. It is further complicated if we are switching from a logic-based corporate job to a creativity-based entrepreneurial venture. Our logical approach would be to test the waters. So we start off by gaining the relevant education and skills that will empower us to make the change.
As we continue to empower ourselves and nurture the creativity
that we always knew we possessed, we become increasingly excited.
We take a leap forward by engaging in part-time business activities.
Self-actualization for the first time seems a future reality. But
the stakes are high. Our energies are being divided between a job
that pays the bills and puts food on the table and the business
that is fast outgrowing its part-time beginnings.
The demands on our psychological well-being is becoming apparent as apart from involvement in these equally demanding disciplines there is only time left for much-needed sleep. We push our bodies to the limit as we try to create that right moment when we can consolidate our energies and somehow harness the years we now consider as potentially wasted to embrace the hope of future gains.
But for now we have to cope with two jobs—one that provides us with paychecks for tasks performed and the other in which we have to find the tasks to create the paychecks. Overwhelming as it may seem, we launch forward fueled by any positive growth that we dare not allow to escape unannounced to friends and family members—sometimes to our temporary recoil, as they inform us of pending dangers.
Because energy is neither created nor destroyed but converted from one form to another, we recognize that one opportunity has to grow at the expense of the other. We are drawn into a cycle of looking ahead and then looking back. But our compassion for what is ahead causes us to press forward as we anticipate the moment of truth.
These emotions are normal, and there will never be the perfect moment. Maturity has now afforded us the opportunity to systematically and scientifically plot our path to progress. We need to soberly consider the following factors:
• The Age Factor: Does our
age permit us to bring this new career to maturity, or is it more
feasible to set aside our ambitions and focus on what we have spent
most of our years building?
• The Health Factor: Are we psychologically and physically capable of managing these parallel disciplines until we change lanes and thereafter mobilize these facets to financial reward?
• The Social Factor: Can our family relations survive the additional stress and ultimately lend support to the new vision? Are they committed to accepting increased responsibilities before they can share in the future rewards?
• The Money Factor: Can we sacrifice new and, at times, higher standards of living for increased gratification that comes from doing what we so passionately love? Have we factored in the benefits we now receive from our present employer, e.g. paid sick days, casual and vacation leave, partial or non-contributory pensions, health insurance, access to credit and other lending institutions and any other benefits that might be available to us at present? What about compensation for years of service given to your employer? Is our new venture capable of sustained growth?
• The Competence Factor: When we take off our emotional hats can we truly be critical of our ability to handle the task at hand? Are we leaders or followers? Are our spirits willing but our flesh weak?
• The Timing Factor: A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. This instability has led to lost opportunities. After all, there will always be an element of risk associated with making this ultimate decision. The “right” time might be at the next downsizing at our present organization, it might be at the next economic flourish, or it might be when nothing significant seems to be happening. But once we have done our homework, depend on the divine guiding voice inside and be confident when the time comes. In summary, prepare your business plan taking into account all the economic, political, religious and social contributors to financial success and ultimately self-actualization. Recognize that this decision is personal and that you alone can decide what success means. Be practical in your evaluation and seek professional and spiritual advice.
Janie Cox is the owner and manager of A-Class Draperies and Interiors, a custom workroom and school located in Trincity, Trinidad, West Indies. She has been in the window coverings industry since 1997 and has attained the level of WCAA’s Certified Window Treatment Consultant and Certified Workroom Professional. She also is the founder of First Association for Bright Interior Coverings (FABrIC), the first workroom forum in Trinidad.