So you’ve made a decision, planned your strategy inside and out. You’ve begun to execute that plan and things feel … wrong. Is it every okay to back off your plan and change your mind?
Short answer … hell yes.
I recently shared a bit about this on a Facebook Live video where I talked about my spending an entire year paying for mentoring, studying, learning, planning and working my ass off only to burn myself out and realize it wasn’t what I wanted anyway.
Now, I wouldn’t recommend doing this on a regular basis. After all, constantly planning and switching direction makes it hard to maintain a business, let alone move forward and grow. But if you have given it real, meaningful thought before deciding to change your mind, just let it go.
Sometimes I feel like I’m running my business like a dog in a yard chasing squirrels.
There is a right way to do this and a wrong way. The wrong way would be to continually jump into new things without any forethought or planning what-so-ever. I know this because it’s my horrible habit to just “do” rather than plan. Sometimes I feel like I’m running my business like a dog in a yard chasing squirrels.
The right way … well, the opposite of the wrong way. It involves planning and asking for help. All those things I hate doing. And if you’ve done it the right way, you’re bound to feel like you’ve done a whole lot of work for nothing. I promise … it wasn’t all for nothing.
Was it a “Learning Experience”?
Did you grow at all? Did you learn anything along the way? If the answer is yes, then I would let go of those negative thoughts. I know it isn’t easy. I’ve been there. If you picked up a skill, learned anything about yourself or your business or your clients then it wasn’t a failure. Let’s call it a “learning experience”.
Did you disappoint anyone?
Probably. There are business partners, investors, contributors and just all of the people that support you on the regular. They all thought you were doing this thing and then you just … quit? Husband was a bit hurt when I told him I no longer wanted to become a glamour photographer. I had invested a bit of money, spent a lot of time and gotten really, REALLY excited about the prospect. When I told him that it made me miserable he was left a little forlorn. I’d been talking about how happy this would make me. This was my plan going into retirement.
It’s okay to change your mind.
You are not obligated to do anything that makes you unhappy. Especially when we’re talking about what is supposed to be your passion! Don’t beat yourself up over it. Not too much anyway. As much as you feel like you’ve lost or wasted you’ve probably made up for in experience and knowledge. Hell, knowledge of yourself! I learned something about myself that I had not previously known. I do not want to be Annie Leibovitz! As ridiculous as that sounds because I DID want to be Annie for decades. I mean, have you seen her work? Google her. Seriously.
You are not obligated to do anything that makes you unhappy.
My point is this. If you’re not doing what makes you happy then you can’t make anyone else happy. Of course you will have to do things you don’t like. I hate accounting and managing money, writing estimates and proposals … blech! I have to do those things to run my business and they aren’t that bad. But I’m not running around doing big things that I hate … like coding. I tried it. It sucked for me. I was good at it, but it just sucked the life out of me. I would obsess over it. I don’t do it. Glamour photography was a lot like coding. It was a lot of planning and getting ready and scheduling and extra work that I didn’t enjoy.
Turn to your tribe.
Remember to lean on the people you trust to give it to you straight and support your right to choose your path. Don’t settle for people who allow you to wallow in your guilt or feelings of failure. You have every right to change your mind. Find the path that feels the most right and take your tribe with you.
Find a way. Don’t just assume that you have to keep killing your passion.
Do what you love and the things that support that passion. Nothing else. If you hate it or it’s hurting you personally or professionally … just stop it. Give it away. Maybe you can pay someone to do it if it’s that necessary. Or trade services. Find a way. Don’t just assume that you have to keep killing your passion. That’s not the way any of this works.
Do you have a story to share? I’d love to hear it. Leave me a comment or email me!