Let’s face it, life happens. Often at the most inopportune time. Many of us find ourselves, at one time or another, in a position where, either by necessity or choice, we are “starting our life over or making a major change.”
The manager who goes to work one day only to learn her job has been outsourced.
The couple who after years of bickering agree to call it quits and file for divorce.
The middle-aged man or women who suddenly looses their spouse to an accident or illness.
It may be new career and lifestyle choices brought about by an illness, the result of personal circumstances, or simply a matter of choice. Whatever the reason, we find ourselves embarking on a new life journey.
The process of starting over, regardless of the cause, or the age at which you do it, is pretty much the same for us all.
Not only is this something you may do at any age, it’s more than likely you will do it more than once in your lifetime.
Transitions are a part of living and often, in order for us to grow, we are put in position of having to make radical changes.
Below we will examine some of the facets you will encounter in your quest and provide some specific strategies to help you not only make the most of the situation, but turn it into an experience that will enable you to create the life you were born to live.
So Where is My Net?
You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase “Jump and the net will appear.” I mentioned it in my first book, Handbook to a Happier Life. There is another side to that which you may not have considered.
Yes, if you have faith in your dreams and believe in yourself the net will appear, however, no one says when it will happen.
If you have a job, even if it’s not ideal, keep it!
I’ve been out on a limb several times in my life and I am the last person to advise someone to quit their job and just “follow your heart.”
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying not to pursue your passion, just do not put yourself at risk unnecessarily.
If you have a choice, cover your assets and don’t jump into the abyss. Of course, if you have no other choice, jump with passion and certainty.
If your situation is such that you are not being forced to start over you can proceed more slowly and save yourself a lot of stress and anxiety.
On the other hand, if you have been tossed into the great unknown, fear not, you can and will come through it and probably will be glad that you had the experience.
Your Starting Point
When you find yourself in a place of having to start over, particularly if it’s sudden and not of your choosing, the first thing that you’ll want to do is quickly assess your situation.
Typically, here is what happens.
A person looses his or her job and decides to start their own business. So far, so good. They apply for unemployment if possible and may even have a cushion of money. This is where the problems begin.
Because there is no actual financial pressure at this point, they dabble at their new venture usually until just before the money runs out. At that point, they typically give up, telling themselves that they are just not cut out to be self-employed and start job hunting.
I’ve seen this happen over and over again to friends. When I went into my own business many years ago, I had been let go from a job I did not enjoy and I vowed that I was going to work for myself.
I remember coming home and telling my wife that I was no longer employed, it was about 1:00 in the morning.
She said, “What are you going to do?” I said, “Ask me in the morning.”
I sat up most of that night thinking about the rest of my life. I was 28 years old and I had already reached the pinnacle in my industry and had become tired of working for someone else.
By morning, I knew what I had to do. I made the decision then and there that I would work for myself. Of course, I filed for unemployment, but I also began my business in earnest.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but looking back I now see that it was my absolute commitment to succeeding in my own business that started me moving right away.
I had no other choice. The idea of taking another job, to me, was more painful then going out and finding new customers for my business.
If you find yourself in this situation and have decided that self-employment is for you, start moving right away.
Don’t dabble and don’t coast along collecting unemployment benefits.
Commit totally to your venture and as Napoleon Hill wrote in Think and Grow Rich “burn your bridges.”
Next: Letting go of the old and embracing the new