Take the Leap- It Will Be Well Worth It!
Full disclosure, I was tired of reading motivational quotes like this. Whoever came up with “whatever catchy quote” didn’t know my situation.
“I can’t take a leap right now. I have a two year old, a pregnant wife and a mortgage…We are in the midst of a global pandemic and people are out of work. Of all times in my life to ‘take the leap,’ now was definitely not the right time.”
A few months ago, I was head football coach at a private school in Florida, and humility aside, I loved it, and I was pretty good at it. For over 10 years, I worked with student-athletes and poured countless hours into becoming a successful coach and influential mentor. As a program, we won championships and sent several kids to play at the collegiate level.
Then, I had my first son and everything changed. I didn’t realize how much time I was spending away from home until he was born. It killed me to miss so many major milestones because I was at practice, a banquet, a workout or a parent meeting. And then, COVID hit. Suddenly, I was able to spend time at home, and I loved it. It dawned on me that before COVID, I was actually spending more time with other people’s kids than my own.
Focus on What You Got
And so, I was stuck - how can a football coach find a new job and career path? Sure, I had a finance degree, but I hadn’t used it for a decade! Naturally, several thoughts ran through my mind.
Do I have to start completely over? How am I going to convince a new company to take a risk and hire me? I’m pretty sure that my years of training a quarterback’s eyes was not going to come up in an interview with a finance company.
So, instead of thinking about what I couldn’t do, I made a list of the things I knew I’d be good at. I knew I was not going to get hired on what I didn’t know, so I focused on the things that I did know, and that gave me a huge confidence boost in the job search process.
Focus on Your Why
I used to tell my players to “focus on your why.” Rather than lounging by the pool with their friends, they’re out on a football field running sprints in 90 degree heat. In those moments, they needed to be focused on why they made the choice to play.
Why do you want a career change? Why do you want to take the leap? And it’s okay to be selfish here. It’s okay to choose a career to provide your family with a stable environment and pursue your passion. Your “why” is what drives you. But before you can make the jump, you need to understand why you’re even considering it.
Know What You’re Looking For
I knew I could add value to a company or organization who was willing to take a risk, but I wasn’t sure what I was looking for. So, I looked back at my list:
I enjoy helping people. I loved working with student-athletes to achieve their goals or better yet, conquer things they didn’t think were possible. I had coached several players who went on to play in college who never thought they could even play football to begin with.
I know I can sell. I had spent the last decade convincing parents to let their most precious possessions play a hard-hitting sport like football, so I knew I had the “sales gene” in me.
I am well-versed in the education industry. I had worked in a school setting for several years, developed meaningful connections and enjoyed being in that industry.
With this list in hand and knowing “my why,” I narrowed my focus into what I was looking for in my next career. I wanted to help people in the education industry and have the opportunity to flex my sales muscles while being present for my family. And sure enough, I landed here at Mia Share where I work with schools and students to provide financial solutions to make education accessible and help people find success.
If we all really take the time to reflect, we can figure out what we want to do. The problem is that we are often too scared to go after it, or we don’t take the time to recognize our skill set and find a career to utilize it. Here are are a few examples:
You like to work with your hands, be outside and be your own boss. I hear this all the time from folks who are applying to our welding schools. And sure enough, in six short months, they learn a trade that makes them great money, and they are able travel the world working when they want!
I also connect with people who want to work from home. They don’t want to be in an office, but would rather work behind the scenes building websites. A simple search, and they find an online coding bootcamp that changes their lives in just a few months.
Dollars and Sense
Now, obviously, we need to address the biggest elephant in the room - money. To take the leap means addressing any financial burdens. The “experts” say you need 6 months of savings, no debt and a retirement account. In other words, do not even think about a new career until you are “financially stable.” For those of us in the real world, we know that financial security is difficult to achieve, especially when you have previous debt, a family, a mortgage, you name it.
Admittedly, although I am a bit of a penny pincher, I almost missed out on a life-changing career opportunity because I didn’t think I could afford a career change. But, I knew if I took the leap, I could bet on myself that it would pay off (literally).
In today’s climate, there are several ways to earn a little extra - car services like Uber or Lyft, grocery delivery, Airbnb, resume writing, consulting, etc. And more substantially, if you’re looking to return to the classroom, particularly to a trade school, there are several ways you can pay for your education without breaking the bank.
At Mia Share, we work with schools that offer an Income Share Agreement (ISA), meaning you only pay for tuition once you get a job earning a certain amount. This innovative financial tool can change your life if used correctly. Let’s break it down so it makes sense:
You want to attend a crane operating school for four weeks, and tuition costs $7,000. That’s quite a bit of money upfront!
With an Income Share Agreement, the school feels so confident that you will land a job earning $50,000+ after completing the four week program, they only have you pay $500 upfront and the rest after you land a job.
With an ISA, you pay back a set percentage of your monthly income, so it’s always affordable. If your income goes up or down, the percentage remains the same.
So, Take the Leap
Clearly, I took the leap. It was a tough decision, but ultimately it changed my life and my family. I know football isn’t going anywhere, and I can always jump back in and start coaching again at a later date. For now, I am focused on strengthening my skill set while building new skills, continuing to help people find success, and I get to spend quality time with my growing family (we are about to have another boy to chase after!).
Although I’m still a little tired of reading motivational quotes, these words of wisdom actually ring true - dig deep, focus, rely on the skills you have, know what you’re looking for and have a bit more courage to take the leap. I assure you - it will be well worth it.
And at Mia Share, we’re here to help! Contact us today to find (and fund!) the new career you’ve been looking for!