Do you sometimes wonder about how it feels to do something you will most likely never do? I often think about how incredible it must feel to stage dive. Can you imagine? You are feeling intoxicated by the atmosphere, you get up on stage and then simply faaaaallll back into the crowd and get transported around by a bunch of hands.
It kind of reminds me of those trust exercises we did at school, do you remember the ones where you did the 'crowd surfing' part of it in PE? The intent was to allow yourself to be quite literally in the hands of others. Unfortunately I experienced a bit of a fail once in high school, when we were blindfolded to be led around the room by a fellow pupil, and my partner drove me straight into someone else andI got a nasty black eye!
Sometimes we have to simply trust that everything is going to be okay. Another example of this is walking across the street in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. If you wait until there is a clearing in the traffic, you will quite literally be waiting for ever. And don't go looking for any crossings! Simply take the first step, walk out into the chaotic traffic, keep on moving, and be awed by how the traffic simply parts around you!
Are you ready to surrender to something now, and just trust it's going to work out?
Personally, I think that if we hold off taking our business to the next step in some way, until things are just perfect, then we might be waiting a long time. With my first company, my business partner was way more bullish than me. She managed to convince me to invest into premises, and take on extra staff way before the P and L justified it. As much as it kicked my protestant, play it safe little voice into overdrive, I don't know that we would have experienced the success we did, if we had simply.... waited.
In July last year, I was primarily coaching face to face, was working with a number of wonderful clients, and holding these sessions in cafes around Auckland. Although it was kind of nice working out of a cafe (and a theme for me; with ITmaniacs, we actually operated above a cafe my business partner bought so we could interview people in it), it was pretty distracting, I tended to drink too much coffee, and it was proving to be expensive with all the parking and coffee costs. I decided to look around for an office or spare meeting room that I could work from for two days a week, and ended up finding my wonderful office in Grey Lynn. But I needed to take it on full time and sign a lease. The expenditure was probably more than I could justify at the time, but I knew that the benefits would outweigh that, took a deep breath and jumped! And have never looked back.
Then in May this year, we finally hired our brilliant full time virtual assistant Christine, who is based in the Philippines (check out virtual staff finder for a great sourcing service). Christine's job is to make my life easier, and she certainly does that, but again, I probably took her on just a little bit sooner than the cash-flow forecast would recommend.
And finally at the end of August, my dear husband Geoff left his career of 37 years asbanker. He now helps me for 20 hours a week, and keeps the household ticking over way better than I ever have. He also supports Christine to do her job, because I have a tendency to get so absorbed in what I am doing, and don't spend enough time providing direction. Giving up a nice corporate salary was a big move for our family, and my earnings at the time didn't replace that, but if we were serious about taking my company to the next level, then it was the smart thing to do (and logistically,it would have been a nightmare managing child care when I am travelling so much more with my speaking work now).
The most wonderful thing about this (apart from having a way happier and more relaxed hubby :-)) is that we now sit up as a family and have dinner together most nights. Can you even put a price on that?
The dividends have so paid off. My business now is in a new growth phase, and I pinch myself about the caliber of work and clients I am attracting. If I had stayed on my own, and continued my cafe coaching, I would never be making the difference I am today.
I know that many people in my community and particularly my cool sisterhood (you know who you are) are also deliberating whether it's the right time to move to the next level somehow in their business. I get that it is scary, and it can even feel irresponsible to financially commit to something before you can justify it. But as a mentor of mine once said ' there are two types of people in this world Laurel, risk takers and losers'! (he isn't one to mince words). The funny thing is that by nature I am quite a risk averse person, but my faith in my business and the difference I know I can make overrides that. Sometimes you simply take a deep breath, check in with your faith, and take the first step (or dive into the pit!).
PS - yes, it is worth noting that sometimes people get injured, or even die stage diving or walking across the street in Vietnam. The odds of this are very slim, but they exist. When you take a risk you naturally have to consider what will happen if it doesn't work out, and more likely than not, it simply won't happen!