This is a story about bouncing back from the darkness and finding your way through your executive career transition if you're willing to read on. The only way I can write this today is because I don't regret the past. My shame and guilt are nowhere what it used to be. That's because thankfully, I got help and worked my way through the dark nights of my soul.
At my darkest hour, I thought about leaning one of the world's fastest, sexiest, adventure motorcycles into an oncoming truck while on a long ride through Death Valley, California. It was mid-July of 2006. The heat on the road was over 116 degrees. I was screaming at myself, angry, not clear, in doubt, trying to find a way out of the dark. Clearly, I didn't do anything stupid because I here to tell you more.
My goal is to share some of the things that helped me the most. If your experience is anything like mine, you'll be empowered to bounce back and turn your work and life around if you're not content with what is now.
Losing Almost All My Marbles
It's one thing to lose your shirt. It's another to lose your mind or marbles. I did both. It's happened more than once because I've been in business for myself for almost thirty years. I know what I did not know as a younger man.
I'll never forget the agony of not having clarity and being stuck in my career transition. I had sold my first business to the distant kin of Attila the Hun. I was obligated to work with him for five years due to the contract I signed. Two years into this, 9/11 happened, my relationship with Mr. Hun IV was toxic, and I needed to figure out what I was going to do for the rest of my life.
The business of my life sucked. That much was clear. The key is knowing how to get clarity.
Where Are You Now?
If you can relate to being stuck, not loving where you are in your executive transition or business life, here's the good news. By the end of this article, you will feel better knowing that taking a higher view of where you are now is one the way to let go of the head trash that holds all of us back.
Start by asking yourself these questions. Sit quietly and get a new journal or notepad. Find a happy and quiet place. All the answers live inside your heart.
- What's working well now for me professionally, financially, etc.?
- What's not working well?
- What's missing?
- What's next?
As you think through the answers, remember that shifting your perception of what is can help you instantly see your life and work from a higher level. Next, I'm going to show you how.
How to Measure What Matters
The social norm for many of us is the more money we have the happier we can be. Need proof? Look around.
I believe we can be rich, happy, and healthy especially if we don't place too much importance on the money aspects of being rich. Being rich is more about your mindset and perceptions, your beliefs, than your bank account.
Yes, God wants you to be rich. Me too. But don't count on bags of free money hitting you in the head to make you happy. Money is part of the equation. This lesson took losing all of my money to figure out. And you have to take action every day.
Here's a quick view of the Return On Life Assessment. I created it years ago to keep on top of my own wealth measures. That's because any time I lose clarity or confidence, I needed a tool, a process, a system, for immediately shifting into "observer mode." This helps me see the big picture. This view can change everything, especially for an executive career transition.
When you do this exercise you can often see how rich you really are even if you feel stuck in your career or business. This is important because your self-image must empower you to confidently take the right action steps with clarity. You act as if and take action. But knowing what action not to take is the way to know what action to take.
In order to do this, you create a plan of action for your life just as if you own a business. After all, you are your best investment, right?
If I lost all my money today, or business success, I'd be okay. I wouldn't be pleased, but I'd be content enough to find clarity and develop the next plan of action. We never stop seeing, feeling, and trusting our plan will work. And we must be willing to adjust along the way.
Now that's clarity and confidence! To make this shift can be profound even if it sounds goofy. Try it. Rundown this list, assign 1-10 to each line item and total the numbers up to 100. That's your Return On Life. I hope it works for you as well as it does for me and others who use it.
How to Get Clarity and Confidence
Do you believe everything happens for a reason? Maybe this article is the perfect call to action.
Start with being honest about where you are. Your inner teacher is always sending you signs. The key is how well you see, listen, and learn.
If you're stuck like I was, there's a part of you saying these three things...
- I don't like what is happening with my career, business, income, life, etc. I don't like where I am. It's bad enough now to change.
- I'm committed to change. I need help from someone who understands and has been where I want to go. I only trust getting help from someone who has been where I'm going more than once.
- Now it's time to take appropriate action. I am committed!
If this is you, what's next?
I invite you to learn about my new workshop and coaching program and how it can help. It's called, The Power of Clarity for Life: A Step-by-Step Guide for Creating Your Action Plan to Live, Work, and Retire On Purpose.
When you complete the program you have the clarity and confidence you need to execute a clear plan of action to get the result you seek. The keyword in all of this is "result." If you want results, my process can help you because chances are I've been where you're going more than once.
Be honest by answering this question, please. On a scale of 1-10, how happy are you right now with your career or small business?
If you answered 7 or less, maybe it's time to have a conversation with me or someone else who can guide you.
If You're Going Through the Dark ...
Get help! Why wait?
In closing, I wouldn't wish the kind of darkness I lived through on my worst enemy. But there is always a way to find gratitude in every lesson. For me, the lesson learned is there's nothing more important than having clarity and confidence for living a rich life. This requires purpose, vision, mission, clear goals, core values, and a team of people to help us see the blind spots and fill the talent gaps. It requires taking the right, forward-moving action steps in the right order. Success requires focus. Focus comes after clarity. That's how you get confidence.
Nobody gets where they want to go alone. In the end, your life plan can look similar to the strategic business and go-to-market plans I write for small business owners. Or it can be a blank slate. It's up to you.
Your life plan can help you become a better leader of your self and others. Your new plan can give you the clarity, confidence, cash flow, and quality sleep you and everyone else earns when we live, work, and retire on purpose.
Trust me, you can't be fake and make it in the business of life for long. But you can make a real plan of action and work your way to getting what you seek.
All you need to do is take action with clarity and confidence to get what you want in your executive career transition.
The ball is in your court.
Click here for my calendar. Get clarity.