The truth is that every few years I get "The Itch." You know the one. "The Itch" that makes you question where you are, where is your career going and where to go next? The one that motivates you to make a big move—usually "The Itch" pushed me into a new role, new industry, new company and sometimes even a new city.
Last year "The Itch" was stronger than ever. After 19 years of working at either an agency or brand, I needed time to figure out who I was professionally outside of an organization. So, after five great years, I ended my full-time relationship with my employer and started my marketing consultancy.
At the time, I was nervous about paying for health insurance, chasing checks and getting new business, not to mention, networking full time and figuring out how to be independently motivated. Fear of the unknown! Not knowing what's around the corner is both scary and exhilarating at the same time.
It's no wonder one of my favorite books as a kid was "The Monster at the End of This Book: Starring Lovable, Furry Old Grover." That's right Grover! Grover is terrified that there is a monster at the end of the book. He begs you not to finish the book to avoid meeting the scary monster. He constructs obstacles to keep you from turning the page, but nothing works as you turn the page with ease, smashing each obstacle. Finally, at the end of the book, we learn that the monster is none other than Grover himself!
In fact, the unknown has been what has motivated me throughout my life, not knowing what is at the end of the book has forced me to turn the page and find out. And what I found over the past few months, after starting my own consultancy, has been incredible.
Being able to focus on the things that are most important to me— family, friends and personal relationships. I mean there is nothing better than being able to chaperon my son Miles field trip or picking him up from school instead of hiring a full-time babysitter. Not to mention, time to understand what I'm passionate about, time to network and time to further master this shifting industry landscape. Being fully present and connecting with every new opportunity at any moment is life changing. Having the time to reconnect with old and new friends, while facing the fear of the unknown with quiet strength and an open mind is the best thing I could have ever done for myself. It's not easy, but it is inspiring.
So for anyone who is on the fence and afraid to turn the page and start your own thing, remember that the monster at the end of the book is none other than your lovable, furry old pal Grover!