I've never met anyone who wanted to make a change -- who wanted to do something different with their lives, either professionally or personally -- who felt they made that change too soon.
Everyone I know feels like they waited too long to make that jump. (Some of us never jump on our own; we have to be pushed. Like me.)
And everyone I know is glad they made that jump; their only regret is that they waited so long.
If you're still waiting, Mike Lewis just published the perfect book for you: When to Jump: If the Job You Have Isn't the Life You Want.
The concept is based on the Jump Curve, a series of phases that map out a good jump:
Phase 1: Listen to the Little Voice
You have an idea. You have a goal. You have a dream. You're thinking about it... but you haven't done anything about it. But that little voice is getting hard to ignore.
And you shouldn't ignore it.
Phase 2: Make a Plan
Ideas are great, but execution is everything. Still, exception always goes better when you have a plan. Maybe it's a series of notes. Maybe it's a comprehensive business plan.
The key is to go from concept to nitty-gritty.
Phase 3: Let Yourself Be Lucky
And then you jump. Will everything go according to plan? Of course not. And that's okay. The key is to accept that the outcome may be unknown... but your willingness to work hard and adapt and work through the obstacles is certain.
When you are willing to do whatever it takes to succeed, you don't need luck. Luck will find you.
Phase 4: Don't Look Back
Sometimes a jump still won't work out. Or possibly a jump won't work out quite like you planned. That's okay.
When something goes wrong, the key is to turn it into an opportunity to learn something you didn't know -- especially about yourself. (And when something goes wrong for someone else, turn it into an opportunity to be gracious and forgiving.)
Where you've been, what you've done... everything in the past is just training.
When you decide you won't look back, your past informs your future... but it never defines it.
Sound simple? It is -- and it isn't. That's why Lewis lets more than forty people tell their own jump stories.
One jumped from martial arts school owner to Hollywood screenwriter. Another jumped from commercial banking to brewery owner. Another jumped from journalism to the Marines Corps.
That's the cool thing about the first-person stories in the book. They prove that success is never assured; it only looks that way after it is achieved.
Sure, other people may have skills you don't have (at least not yet), but you have skills other people don't have. You don't need a gift. You just need yourself -- and a willingness to put in a tremendous amount of hard work, effort, and perseverance -- because that is where talent comes from.
Never think about what you don't have. Focus on what you do have -- and, more important, what you are willing to do that others are not. That is your true gift -- and it's a gift we've all been given.
Learn from the stories of people who made a jump that didn't work out the way they hoped. Get inspired by the stories of people who made a successful jump -- and now live the life they want to live.
And then go make your jump.
As When to Jump shows, you'll be glad you did.