Over a decade ago I was sitting at the helm of a small marketing services company. I resided in a corner office on the 7th floor of an office building at one of the busiest intersections of our city. I had 20 employees, some of the best aerospace and high tech clients in the US and was living the good life. I really thought I had it made.
However, every once in awhile, I would feel this stirring in my stomach that there was something else I needed to be doing. So being a woman who had an incredible committee-in-my-head chiming in, I started to wonder if maybe there was something else I should be doing. Seek out new clients? Expand? Buy another company? What is “it”?
I talked to various advisors and my inner circle about what I was feeling. I got a lot of ideas and feedback, but none of it settled well, so I knew I still wasn’t getting “it”...whatever it may be.
As a woman of faith, I always spend the first 30 minutes of my day journaling, praying, reading devotionals and being quiet. It was during one of those quiet moments I felt I was supposed to downsize my business. Huh? Downsize my business? I was sure I had misheard something. I knew I had been blessed with success and that would NEVER be something I was feeling in my soul. What would happen to my employees? What about my office space? My clients? I made up my mind that if I had heard that correctly, it definitely had to be for a reason I just couldn’t see clearly.
The message to downsize continued so I finally decided it was a message and affirmation of earlier thoughts to resign my slow paying accounts. I dreaded calling clients who slipped into the Past Due category, so I felt I was being protected in some way by resigning these accounts.
So I did. I had enough business to still keep all of my employees and now my time would free-up so I could replace the business I had resigned. I finally relaxed and felt at peace — for all of ONE week.
The message and “feeling” continued to pester me in the morning. Then it started to pop into my head and gut at lunch. At dinner. At 2:00 A.M. I could not rid myself of the “downsize” message. It was driving me crazy. If I did downsize, what would I do?
The risk of taking that step was huge! Would I be one of those people who had to buy Ramen Noodles by the case to feed my family because we were broke? Would I have to just walk in one day and say “You’re Fired” to my employees because there was no work for them? I was a wreck.
I finally made the decision that I had to downsize my company. I sat down with each client and explained I felt it was time to downsize my business and would like for them to hire my employees who worked with their account. All of my clients did just that. They were all too kind to tell me they thought I had lost my mind...and for that I’m grateful.
Over a two year period I risked all I had done over the previous 15 years because of a “gut feeling” and discernment I needed to downsize my business. I had no idea what I was supposed to do, but apparently God did. Through many ways that had to come from a higher authority than myself, I was directed to one of the first Christian Life Coaching Schools in the world. I learned how to coach men and women to find and live a passionate life of purpose.
Over the years, I had other opportunities that seemed to come from no where to learn business coaching, leadership coaching and now to teach others how to grow a business or become a life coach and open their own practice.
Was the risk of downsizing worth it? Yes! Was it a painful, crazy, and unpredictable journey? Yes! Would I do it again.....Absolutely! However, my hope now is that I would be more willing to obey knowing that the “nudge” and “stirring” was as an opportunity to discover “what’s next” in perfect timing!
Oh yes......I never had to buy Ramen Noodles by the case. But, it was a close call.
So when was a time you were getting that “gut” feeling that a major change was needed? How did you respond to the risk involved?
Leave a comment - we’d love to read about your experience.