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Ordinary People Taking Action
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I was recently offered a pretty cool job with a very big company. I declined.
My colleague, Michael, and I met last Thursday over coffee, just to catch up. He is a huge part of my inspiration to leave my last full-time role and start my own consulting practice. I’ve known Michael now for, I believe, 8 years. He has wanted me to join his team throughout the years and for one reason or another, it didn’t work out. Yet, we have maintained our connection.
I met Michael while I worked for Insights. I was the facilitator for an Insights session he attended at Microsoft. When he left Microsoft to join Verathon, he asked me to facilitate an Insights session for his new team. I agreed.
When I left Insights, he asked me to interview for a senior level role with Verathon. I declined and said I wasn’t ready for the role. Instead, I would say yes to Whole Foods Market.
Several months later, Michael asked me to interview for a different senior level role. I interviewed but in the end, chose not to join the team. A part of me still regrets the day I told Michael I wasn’t ready for the first role he reached out about. Yet, had I said yes to Michael, I wouldn’t have my strong Whole Foods Market network. Life and the path we take is always interesting.
In the years that have passed, Michael would see me through two more positions, always encouraging me and supporting me along the way. Michael himself would leave Verathon for another position. Each of us growing and maturing in our careers.
Back to our coffee on Thursday. At one point, Michael asked me how I was feeling as an entrepreneur. I replied honestly that some days are awesome and some are tough. I told him about the full-time opportunity that virtually fell in my lap, right after launching Thinking People Consulting. I told him I declined, explaining that my heart is with Thinking People Consulting. There was also no way I could make a huge launch like I did, then turn around and say, “oh never mind, I’m taking a full-time role with X company.” He agreed but did say that people would probably have understood.
If there is anything that crosses through my head daily, it’s self-doubt. I don’t doubt that I can make Thinking People Consulting successful. The self-doubt revolves primarily around whether I am doing the right thing for my family. I have two kids and my oldest starts high school next year – in four years he will be in college. My youngest is just two years behind her big brother.
Sometimes I think I should take the big role with the big company, which continues to be offered to me. I know nothing is secure these days, but a full-time role working for a company does seem more secure than starting my own business. The role would definitely provide financial security.
Out of the 90 minutes I spent with Michael, we discussed the full-time opportunity for maybe 5-10 minutes. Yet, what makes me the happiest is the email he sent later saying, “Glad to see you so passionate about your work.”
Here are some things I have learned from Michael:
· Don’t say you’re not ready for a job that the hiring manager thinks you’re ready for.
· Don’t have regrets, because you’re on the right path, even if you don’t realize it.
· When someone believes in you; their belief in you can really make a huge impact.
· People can change roles and change companies yet stay connected.
· People within your network really are rooting for you to succeed.
For all those I coach, know that I receive coaching too. Coaching is important for all of us – just as coaches are important for athletes at all levels.