Making a successful transition in life in general, can be quite tricky. Add the fact of midlife to the equation and it becomes even more so. There are some sequential steps that are very important to have in place if you are going to have a successful transition especially during the midlife stage of life.
It’s like climbing a ladder. You cannot start at the top or in the middle of the ladder. To attempt to do so, could lead to possible disastrous results.
If you want to be successful in your climb, starting at the rungs closest to the bottom, will give you a better chance to make sure the ladder is steady and will stay in place once you begin the climb. It will also allow you to feel more confident as you ascend.
This is also true with transitions. It is like climbing that ladder. To make sure you are successful in your transition, you need to start at the bottom rungs.
The question is what do those rungs look like or what are they?
The first set of rungs must contain your “Why”
You must be clear on why it is you want this transition. What is it that is at the heart of your desire? Why now? There could be more questions added but this will suffice. I remember when I first was feeling the nudge that there had to be something more, which tends to be a familiar nudge at midlife, being clear or partially clear on what I wanted to pursue and how to do so, was vitally important.
Transitioning at this stage of life, was no ordinary feat. It would not be as simple as it was when I was much younger. This is why for some, maybe you, this thought can be so frightening, which leads to settling and continue to live a comfortable miserable life.
This decision was going to be a huge one for me.
I was leaving a secure job (or what I thought was secure) of 20 years, a stable salary and people who I had gotten to know and love. They were like family. This was not an easy decision or one that should be taken lightly.
I’d better had a good reason for leaving at least to convince my wife and other close-knit family and friends, that I was making the right decision. I had to become a good salesman.
One thing I know about sales and I am not an expert, is that you need to be convinced of your product to be taken seriously as well as to be trusted.
As I wrestled with this, I came away with my why, as wanting to make a larger impact in the world, doing what I was most passionate about. I wanted to help people on a larger scale … find hope.
With that in mind, I had to figure out a way to make a living from my passion. As my coach and mentor Dan Miller talks about so frequently, passion alone is not good enough. He taught me that I need to make sure I had the talent to go along with the passion and then find out if there was a market to make money from it.
I was able to figure out a way to do so and as of this writing, I’m still finding other ways to add to my initial ideas; I’m adding other streams of income, to borrow another teaching from Dan.
So, what’s your why?
The second set of rungs must contain having others to support your climb
You can’t do this alone. It took me sometime to figure this out.
I started off thinking I knew what to do and how to do it. I had it all figured out. It looked good in my head and in some areas, on paper. As the climb went on, I realize that I was climbing by myself. I didn’t have the right people around me to assist me or to encourage me. I did have people around me but most of them didn’t understand what it took for this kind of climb. They had not done it before and had no interest in it. Bummer!
As I “consulted” with podcasts, books, conferences and workshops, I became more aware of the need for what was called mastermind groups and coaching.
What a revelation. My eyes were opened to a new dynamic. I know I needed it because the climb was becoming more difficult and I was beginning to doubt myself. My confidence was waning. My feet and arms were becoming tired.
Finding these resources and becoming more aware of the need to surround myself with like-minded people, I looked for and found the likes of Dan Miller and others who came to the “rescue.”
Surrounding yourself with the right people, not just anyone, is key to your successful transition.
The Third set of rungs must contain trial and error
Making mistakes and learning from them is key to this journey. Oh, will you make mistakes; lots of them. You will try things that looked very promising only to find out, it bombed. On the other hand, you will try things that you thought was questionable only to find it successful.
Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason to how this works. There is no guarantee. There are some tried and true formula that is worth duplicating, of course with your own flavor. But having the right support group around you, will be most helpful during this process. I cannot say this enough.
How many times have I tried some things or was afraid to try, but having a group of people around me who believed in me, knew what I was striving for and have had their own experience, made a huge difference for me.
Again, transitions are never easy, especially at the midlife stage of life, but having the ladder leaning against the right wall, and your feet firmly planted on the right rungs, I do believe you can successfully transition into doing what it is your heart is yearning to do.
Which of these set of rungs do you think you are needing to have in place? I would love to hear your thoughts.