By Rana Ozseker, Founder @ RNA Change Management | Founding President @ ACMP Turkey | Change Management Lead | Cultural Transformation Coach | DEIB Project Designer, Mentor in SIM’s Community
"You must make a Choice to take a Chance so you can Change your life." - Anonymous
11 years ago, I changed my life. Yes, I did! The successful C-level executive resigned. I decided to let go of the urge to be a Super Women, live the life society wanted me to live. I decided to pursue my passion, to live my life purpose. I am doing it for a decade now. Today people look at what I am doing and how far I have come, and they think it has been an easy journey. It was not. The journey that takes you to your dreams, goals, purpose, your passion is not an easy one. But if you do not give up, make a sound plan with a well-structured strategy, and work smart, then you do not fail.
When I remember the old days, I realize that the most difficult part of the whole journey is deciding that it was the time to take a step for the change. The decision itself was a milestone. The journey, for me, actually started at the moment I have made my decision and chose to act. But that one moment was the result of a much tougher process of decision-making. I have tried many ways to make a healthy decision so that I can feel safe with the future I would create. I have tested many theories of decision-making since I would not want to risk certainty for the uncertainty. I have asked myself whether I should use my brain (logic), my heart (feelings), or others’ opinions (friends, family,…) so many times that I could not remember the answers anymore. Are you in that place right now? You know something has to change, and you should make a decision, but you are stuck because you do not know how to make the right choice? Just like the lyrics of the song say, “Should I stay or should I go? If I go, there will be trouble, and if I stay, it will be double…” So if that is the case, then what is the best way to make a decision and choose our future? Shall I quit my job and become an entrepreneur? Shall I stay as a professional in corporate life? How am I going to decide? Which one will I choose?
What is it that you want to change?
The first step is to be absolutely certain that you are not happy with current conditions and need to make a change in your business life. You should be uncomfortable, but to be clear, you need to ask these three questions: Is it the company's culture that makes me unhappy? If your answer is no, then continue with the second question: Is it the position I am holding right now that makes me unhappy? If the answer is still no, then ask the final question? Is the job itself the problem? Then you would know whether to look for a similar job in a new company or make a strategy that will get you promoted or change your whole career? You need to define what the problem is very precisely, or you can end up thinking and trying to make a decision about the wrong subject.
Especially if you want to be an entrepreneur, you have to be certain that this is what you want. You should be passionate about it since it is not easy to change your lifestyle.
Change is risky!
You are passionate… You know what you want, and you are ready to take a risk. You are not scared of uncertainty, and you overcome your fears. You have the courage to take a step toward your dreams. Stop! Yes, I said stop! I need you to think with your brain now. Do you have a business plan? What about the strategy? Have you arranged your funds while you are trying to set up your business? The invoices you need to pay? The rent? Nowadays, we often hear that we should pursue our dreams. I would say to you that dreams should be left as dreams. You should pursue your SMARTs goals. You should have a plan. Otherwise, it would be really difficult to fight. Part of resilience comes from being ready….and being ready means having plans. Sometimes you do not need them, and sometimes things change, and your plans directly go to the trash. But still, it is better to have something than anything when issues arise. We all know that change is risky. It means you can lose money, time, or credibility, but you can also get more of them. You cannot be too risk-averse if you are going to be an entrepreneur, but on the other hand, this does not mean you should take high risks for high returns. You should take calculated risk….so you can step out of your comfort zone but still not too far. Let’s be smart!
My decision will influence my beloved ones’ life too… Am I ready to carry such a heavy responsibility?
If you know you need a change in your business life, want to own your own company, and have your business plan, then you have finished phase one. Now it is time to consider how this decision will affect your partner, your husband, and/or your kids? Most of the time, this subject is one of the most difficult ones for women entrepreneurs. As a woman, you are expected to take care of your kids and your house. Once you start a company of your own, you will need to spend more time on business. If your family supports you, everything is fine. Since this is the last step in our process, I would probably say go ahead and start. This is the general process, and it has to be shaped according to your conditions.
If your family does not support you, then you need to understand the reason behind this behavior. Is it because they are afraid you will not be able to have a work/life balance? Or maybe they do not believe your business idea? When you know why they do not support you, you have to try being objective and decide whether you still want to go ahead…or maybe postpone until you and your family are ready for this step! I believe most of us cannot be objective at this moment, so ask your support network! If you can afford to work this out with a professional. If not, go and find a mentor, which is not hard to find nowadays. First, listen to the other people, but please remember that your decision should be the product of your heart and your brain together. You are the one who will decide, so listen to yourself!
Am I ready to change my life?
Haven’t you decided yet? So tell me… what do you need to decide? What is this one thing that will help you to decide? How can you change your perspective so that you have the whole picture and make your decision? Stop listening to other people and start paying attention to your inner voice? What does it say to you? I want to leave you with a passage that is attributed to Goethe, although there are other claims.
"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back-- Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now."