At some point in our lives, we will be required to make a decision -- take a risk based on calculated strategy, or recede into a place of mediocre obscurity. When we consider the tasks of the mundane life, many entrepreneurs often tremble at the thought of punching a clock and hustling a 9-to-5 job. It is, however, often a necessity until we can make a change that equates to a responsible decision.
Many would suggest I made an irresponsible change in 2015. You see, after six years of serving in law enforcement, I realized it was time to move on. No, I did not go rogue, get secretly fired or run into trouble on the job. My issue was a bit more complicated. I wrote and self-published a book for law enforcement, and a business was subsequently born. By September 2015, I had enough business coming in on the side that I needed to make a decision -- keep wearing the badge, or focus full-time on my exploding business.
After careful thought, a lot of prayers and wise counsel, I decided the best decision for my wife, my children, myself and our future, was for me to take the leap and go full steam ahead with the business.
I received a lot of criticism, and many people called me crazy. Understandable, I suppose. I mean, why would a husband and father of three children leave a secure job to focus on some internet business, right? Yeah, well.
I was bringing home about $2,000 a month as a police officer, and that was often with overtime. Factor in the ever increasing amounts of stress from every angle, and it's safe to say I was feeling the burden, without a doubt.
The first three months of my new business revealed something to me. While there are risks involved in anything we pursue, this decision was by far one of the best I had ever made. From a financial standpoint, the first six months was astonishing with a nearly six-figure revenue. My business is a one-man operation at the moment, but it is rapidly moving into a phase where I will be required to consider staffing budgets.
Related: How to Recognize and Beat Burnout
Aside from the financial benefits, I have experienced a serious reduction in stress, worry and anxiety, and I have recovered to a healthier state of living altogether.
So what is the takeaway here? If you are considering starting your own business, pursuing some other business venture or wanting to make a serious change in your life, here are a few things you should keep in check:
Even as a gun-toting, shield-wearing police officer, fear is involved. However, I learned to manage fear. I attribute a lot of my business success to being able to keep fear in check. Fear is like a boa-constrictor. If you give it a little space to cuddle up to you, it will eventually choke the life out of you. Give fear one inch, and, well, you know the rest. Know that most of the things we fear will never manifest. Know that the only person who can control your fear is you.
Fear's ugly cousin is worry. When we worry, we reprogram our minds from success thinking to a mindset that prepares -- and almost seemingly attracts -- failure, disaster and a whole host of other negative emotions and behaviors. It was once said, "Our thoughts lead to our discussions, which lead to our beliefs, which lead to our decisions, which lead to our actions." --Tim Zimmerman, SM3 Success.
It is easy to doubt what we cannot touch, see, smell or experience on a personal level.