For me, the idea of starting from scratch is equally exhilarating and petrifying and I think that is true for most people. Usually it’s the petrifying, unknown part that keeps us from doing it. That was definitely true in my case and after several years of contemplating a reset, I muzzled all those doubting feelings and took the leap. For me, the first thing was to take some much needed time off of work and rejuvenate. But after that period of self care, I knew the day would come when I was ready to go back to my career (or my bank account would require it).
So my first question was:
Do I return to my successful career because there are many aspects of it that I loved, still miss, and occasionally get nostalgic about? or
Do I try something new with this opportunity? Because if I don’t I will never know what else I am capable of?
Not taking advantage of the latter sounds like a future regret life regret in the making, right? The same core principles of dedication, commitment, focus, and hard work from my first career can be applied to write a fabulous second chapter in my career. Being a natural worrier, I ran through the worst case scenario in my head: I never get another job, my hubby decides to retire and take up mountain biking full time, and we have to move back in with my parents. Since I have the coolest parents ever that’s not such a bad option. So new opportunity it is!
But that still left the question of what exactly to do. For the first time in my life I had no clear plans for what came next and for this type-A personality that was a nail biter. Like most people I had spent so many years focused on building my career that I had forgotten to cultivated any personal ambitions beyond that. Over the past several months I have had lots of ideas but did they make sense and were they going to help me fulfill my goals? I fully believe it’s important that we invest our time well because that is a lost opportunity we will never get back (maybe I should focus on a time travel machine?).
I needed a checklist to compare my ideas against, which would ensure I was pursuing something that would lead me in the direction of fulfilling my goals. Being an CPA and a former executive/general manager in the corporate world I have oodles of capabilities in evaluating a business opportunity and taking a new idea/product to market. But there are two other components that are equally important to me in choosing my second chapter: Excitement and aligning with core values.