This article is authored by Gavin Sequeira, Author, Speaker and Managing Director of Break Free From Corporate, part of the Career Money Life Supplier Community.
So you’ve arrived at a crossroad in your career. Now you face the daunting task of
choosing a path forward. A path that may be different and looks uncertain at best.
What do you do? Where do you turn to for help and advice? Do you play it safe
knowing that you’ll probably be at a similar crossroads in the not too distant future?
Do you try your hand at something perhaps a little different to test the water? How
do you make these decisions in a safe and rational manner?
These questions have plagued us all at one point or another and if you’re at this
point now, well, you need to take stock of everything and make some good decisions
to ensure you put your best foot forward.
So where should you start?
In my experience having worked personally with hundreds of people in similar
situations, and having gone through this scenario myself a few times, the first place I
would recommend is to look at the big picture and work out what it is you want to
- Do you have a vision for your life over the next 5 years?
- Have you got things you want to do and accomplish?
- Is it written down with some sort of roadmap to get there?
- What provisions and support system have you got in place to navigate the
rough challenges ahead so that you don’t get derailed?
- Are there skills you need to develop and strengthen for you to move from
where you are to where you want to be?
It sounds like a lot to take in at once, especially if you’ve never done this type of
introspective work before on yourself, however this is precisely the type of mindset
that entrepreneurs harness in order to succeed in life.
Thinking like an entrepreneur opens up doors to possibilities. It doesn’t necessarily
mean you have to be in business, however, being entrepreneurial allows you to take
advantage of triggers in the marketplace so that you can share your unique skills and
talent in ways that will separate you from 99% of the crowd, or your competitors,
even in an unstable market.
Having come from a strong corporate background over 10 years and having a fixed
mindset for many years and then doing the 180 as an entrepreneur and having been
in business for over 12 years working with hundreds of other entrepreneurs, here’s
what I discovered.
Entrepreneurs look at the world in a very different way to most people. For a start,
they are forever optimistic about the future and have a strong self-belief. This is a
critical trait for success no matter what you do.
Entrepreneurs are always looking for better ways to improve and do things, move
ahead and are never satisfied with settling for the status quo. It’s just not good
enough to be average. They are always looking to learn and grow.
When faced with overwhelming odds and uncertainty, entrepreneurs look for
inspiration in other successful entrepreneurs or leaders and maintain a solution-
oriented attitude, similar to that of Thomas Edison for example, who reportedly
failed 10,000 times before he succeeded at the light bulb. It’s this ‘never say die’
attitude that often sees them push further in life, than the average person.
Why is this relevant to you? Well, whether or not you intend to go into business one
day, or are looking to change paths as you face that crossroads in your career, the
mindset you adopt will play a crucial role in determining your level of success.
Albert Einstein famously said the definition of insanity was doing the same thing
over and over again expecting a different result. And he was spot on. We get caught
up in our daily lives playing rinse and repeat, week after week, month after month
and unfortunately in many cases, year after year. It’s no wonder many of us never
seem to get ahead in life, when we operate well within our comfort zone.
Mahatma Gandhi famously once suggested that we need to BE the change we wish
to see in the world. So in order for change to happen in our life, WE need to change
It’s imperative that we think and act differently to how we have in the past, if we are
to have a different outcome in our career, business and life in general.
Here are 3 simple ways you can put this change into motion today:
- Develop your own vision over the next 3-5 years and set some goals over the
next 90 days leading up to 12 months, so you can track your progress. It’s
important to ensure your long-term plan is carefully aligned to your short-
term goals. Design a vision board and have these goals written down where
you can review them regularly. Your future should inspire you and get you
emotionally charged every time you look at it.
- Discuss your plans with a trusted mentor, i.e. someone who has been down
the path you are going and is further along the path you wish to travel. If you
don’t have a mentor, then find one. They will help you clarify what is
important to you in life and chart out the best path for you to travel to
achieve your goals. This type of advice is invaluable, as you can leverage a
mentors’ experience, which will help you avoid flying blind into the unknown.
A good mentor or coach can also hold you accountable for your actions,
which will dramatically increase your chance of achieving your goals and
- Dedicate time in your busy schedule to work on your personal development
by making a conscious effort to filter through information that will help you
move forward. Reading the right books, listening to the relevant podcasts,
watching inspiring and educational videos and attending the seminars and
courses that will develop your skills can help you achieve this. Ignorance is
not bliss and simply not knowing the answer is not an excuse in this day and
age where information is all around you and technology is making it more
accessible than ever before. Take advantage of the times we live in and skill
up in your downtime, so that you can become more valuable to the
marketplace in the future.
These steps will help you develop the mindset and fortitude of a successful
entrepreneur, which will open up opportunities you may not be aware of right now
both in your career, or in business or both – it’s entirely up to you.