Making The Shift: aka The Decision To Do Something Else

Making The Shift: aka The Decision To Do Something Else

by Rashida Bartley

Anyone who has changed careers is often asked why and how did you do it? Changing whether by choice or circumstance is always hard. When circumstance changes one’s course then the how and why are obvious. "I had to."  When not faced with force, the decision to make a shift still is a tough one. In the best-case scenarios, it is one that is well thought out.

Most entrepreneurs, small business owners and self-employed people will say no amount of thinking and planning can guarantee success. Looking for absolutes will guarantee failure in business and in life. The choice to making a shift aka the decision to do something else is about rolling the dice after you’ve weighed all your possible outcomes and pathways to success then declaring – I am going to roll these dice!

We’re all a consumer of something but that doesn’t make us want to start a business surrounding what we consume. What pushes a person(s) to make that shift? Passion, opportunity, solving a problem or many other tipping points.

The answer is what many entrepreneurs deem as “discovering your why.” Your why is going to keep you in the trenches when the business plan isn’t going as planned. Your why keeps you searching when the sector or industry you’ve shifted to hands you unforeseen disappointments. Your why lifts you up when you are doubted by close friends or distant acquaintances. Your why causes you to tighten up your circle, cherish allies and seeking mentors. Your why pushes you to be innovative and chase the forefront.

Researching the landscape seems obvious however is often a step not taken. Don’t make that mistake. Know your industry and furthermore know the part of the industry you wish to occupy. This helps one speak with confidence when explaining and pitching your business. Being an entrepreneur requires fulfilling demand and solving problems. Knowing your landscape allows you to answer what demand you fulfill; and what problems you solve. Researching your landscape also reveals mentors and builds partnerships. Networking through industry events teaches you the landscape as well.

Mentorship is key to making a shift from one career path or industry to another. Simply, no one wants or needs to make mistakes that could be avoided when they could have been guided to a better conclusion. Things never go as planned but having someone who has knowledge, gained longevity and experience can make all the difference in the world. Mentors don’t have to be in the exact lane that you are trying to be in but hopefully they're in lanes close or relatable to what you’re seeking. 

Partnerships allow you to do business across many platforms. There are very few successful hermits; partnering with people can increase growth. It is crucial to pick your partners wisely; which circles back to researching your landscape.

Allies are as key as mentors. Allies tell you when trouble is coming, shepherd you out of trouble when need be and help you make trouble when called for. Finding allies can be a matter of connecting with people who have a similar agenda as you.

We live in a world where information and education can be found by just a few keystrokes. With that being said that propensity to be self-taught has never been more prevalent. Want to know how to write a business plan, get investors, incorporate a business – you can look it up. What you can’t look up is a crew.

Your crew is going to stick by you through rejections, long nights, projects not coming through, lean pockets, losses and gains. Your crew is the human manifestation of your why. Whether it is a crew of one or more, your crew is the intangible that makes failure palatable and success possible.

This is a long game no matter what industry you are in but especially for the current hemp and cannabis climate. So lace up your shoes. Those who have and continue to take up this work no matter where they operate on the spectrum are fighting decades of “isms”. Your passion, vision, brand, niche and goal will ask the question – are you a day player or a long gamer.

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