The Exit Strategy


It seems like something so simple.  Drinking my coffee from my favorite mug instead of a travel cup. It’s the little things that begin to add up.  Being able to sit at my desk with no shoes. Listening to music while I work. Taking lunch and breaks when I want. My definition of freedom.

I’m at that point where the exit strategy check list has become more important. It is no longer a desire, but a reality. An exit strategy check list is my “what would it take” list to go from my current career to my new career. From a 9 to 5’er to a freelancer.

We take happiness for granted. We may even misconstrue what it actually is or how it really feels. Or maybe we have become so robotic, we assume we are happy because we have numbed ourselves with TV, video games, alcohol and legal marijuana. However, when you realize the most challenging part of your job is not knowing how to add a hyperlink to an email signature, which was actually more frustrating than challenging, it is time to move on.


The art of reinvention is not always a linear path. Sometimes you have to try a few things just to find out that you circled back around to what you wanted to do when you were a kid. I now understand the saying that youth is wasted on the young, but I also know that you are never to old to start something new. After reading The War of Art, I was even more convinced that I was not crazy. Resistance is part of the natural order.

As adults, we are not always attuned to our fear of change. Even I thought I was immune to   it being the child of a military father. I learned back then to never get comfortable. A move was always on the horizon. Resistance is very real. Unfortunately, what usually comes with it is self-sabotage. We have no idea that we are doing everything in our power to prevent reaching the goal we set for ourselves. As much as I might be ready for a new career, it’s scary stepping away from the comfort of being an expert at what I’m doing, with the exception of that darn email platform, and jumping into something brand new.

I will always tell you to trust the process. Part of the process is checking in daily. Daily I look at my exit strategy and ask myself if I am doing everything I need to do to meet the next thing on my list. If I’m not, I have to ask myself what do I need. Am I willing to make the changes to get to what I want? Am I willing to push past the fear and take the next step? These are questions that you can ask yourself. Listen for your answer. Sit with how the answer makes you feel. Are you more tense than confident? That’s resistance.

What’s Your Focus?

I can tell you from experience it takes more than wanting it really bad. Will power alone will not get you there. It takes action. Action brings on fear. It’s okay. It will only be uncomfortable for a moment. The first call I took I kept saying megabit instead of megabyte and the user let me know how wrong I was.  I wanted to quit right then. I told myself I was stupid. It was uncomfortable, but you know what? I survived.

I encourage the same for you. Remember your first time? Or your first mistake. Even the thousands you’ve made since that one. They were learning moments. Don’t use them as excuses to not keep going.

Daily focusing on what really matters does help to combat resistance. I try not to repeat the constant self-help quotes, but there is some truth to “what you think about, comes about”. I told myself I did not have the money to self-publish my book. Then I looked at my bank and credit card statements. It’s not that I didn’t have the money, I just didn’t have it as a priority. I was spending my money on my ego instead of my goals. Did I really need three pairs of shoes at $90 each? Of course not.

When I focused on my money “problem”, I only saw what I was not capable of doing. When I focused on a solution, I saw that there was no problem, but that I needed to make a correction. That brings me back to the question, am I willing to make the changes to get what I want? What corrections are you willing to make? Less TV? Less video games?

So I challenge you to sit down and start creating an exit strategy. What would it take to transition to your dreams? Visit your list daily. Don’t numb yourself. Don’t allow excuses to give you permission to keep doing the same things. Instead, take action.

You are so worth it!


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