It was a ‘Happy 7 years in business’ card from a business funding group. It’s only been 2 years since I set up Vet Harmony and I’d kind of forgotten that actually, my biggest leap of faith ever was 7 years ago this November.
This was when I took the plunge, left the security of my £60k a year high-level job at Vets Now with the potential to reach board level, invested all of my savings in retraining and went freelance.
I was working with Vet Dynamics but I was doing it from my own limited company rather than as an employee.
I had to shift from a regular pay-check mentality to a much more entrepreneurial mindset, which terrified me at the time. I was suddenly responsible for generating and keeping my own clients, even though I was working under someone else’s branding.
I was the main breadwinner in my relationship and our financial ability to survive was resting on this decision and whether it worked or not.
Looking back over the last 7 years, it’s been an amazing and brilliant rollercoaster and I’m immensely proud of how far I’ve come.
But what struck me the most reflecting back on this wasn’t just what an amazing journey that’s been.
It suddenly hit me in the face just how much it costs us to stay stuck and not take action when something’s not quite right in our lives.
The Rolling Stones were absolutely bang on the money when they said, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you find you get what you need!”
What we WANT, when either our career or life isn’t making us feel the way we want it to and we’re not sure of the way forward, is
- To know what to do instead
- To know that this is the right thing for us
- To have certainty that it will work out
When I first went solo, initially I didn’t really know myself or what I wanted very deeply. I knew what I was good and bad at, and I was aware of what people wanted or expected me to do.
But the true operating manual for me, the one coming from my deep authentic core, was so covered up in layers of limiting beliefs, or professional and family expectations that I felt really in the dark and winging it.
Not a comfortable feeling for a vet who likes to control outcomes!
What I found on my diversification journey however (both while clinical and then non-clinical) was that every step on that journey taught me more and more about myself. The successes, and annoyingly probably more the missteps.
When you are in a linear, very structured career like vetting, you use the structure and pathway of that career to define yourself. We know what GCSEs we need to take and what A-levels. We have a limited option of universities and then a small range of ‘standard’ options once graduated if you go into clinical practice. We have a goal, and we define ourselves by working towards it.
As soon as you step off that linear pathway, even if it’s staying clinical but inventing your own way of doing that, you HAVE to change what you’re using for your navigation system.
The uncertainty forces you to use yourself, your values and who you truly are as the guidance system and that means tapping back into your intuition. For most of us we’ve not had to use it for so long that it’s rusty as hell initially!
It becomes like a real-life game of hot-cold-hot-cold with your intuition and your feelings as the guidance. No proven, data and evidence-based pathway to follow on this one!
So what we think we WANT is to know ourselves 100% beforehand so that we can correctly predict which pathway will be the ‘successful’ one for us. We then overthink and overanalyse and refuse to take action while we’re waiting to work out what we want.
Not realising that what we actually NEED is to step onto the pathway, and it’s the pathway itself with all its ups and downs that will teach us who we really are.
When we’re stuck, we can always find a really good reason to not start taking action. A common one right now will be, “ah, well it’s nearly Christmas so I’ll wait until after then!”. Or maybe until the practice isn’t short-staffed any more, or maybe when your youngest starts at school etc.
If I could go back to myself 7 years ago, I would be telling her NOW is the time.
Even though you don’t feel ready.
Even though it feels scary.
Even though you don’t have time and it’s not convenient right now.
Even though you don’t have a clue if this will work and can’t control the outcome.
Because if you wait until you feel ‘ready’, you are denying yourself the opportunity to ACTUALLY get to know what you want and who you are. You are saying, “Yes!” to more of the same and to feeling no different to how you do now in 6 months’ time.
And I don’t want that for you!
If this is resonating at all, then you NEED to be on my free live webinar on Tuesday 10th December next week at 8pm where I will be going into this in much more detail. We will be going deep into what keeps us stuck, and I’ll be outlining the tools and techniques you can arm yourself with to have the courage to start taking action and making changes.
Don’t miss it!