Jumping ship. Making the big decisions.


This week, I begin a whole new chapter in my life. It’s a very exciting time, but also nerve wracking. I have made countless transitions in my life. Each time, each one, all meant letting go of the old and familiar to jump into the new and unfamiliar.

I was offered a position on the editorial staff for ProSoundWeb.com and Live Sound International magazine. These were the guys who first promoted, published and printed my work. It is truly an honor. These are great guys and an amazing resource for the pro audio industry. Very excited.

With any transition, there’s always a lot to consider.

In my young and foolish days, like last week, I was notorious for jumping ship without really considering all the implications. Changing careers, moving, starting a business, getting married, agreeing to take in an adult cat with a psychotic side… All imply major changes to daily life. Without really considering the commitment and impact, we can often end up with a serious mixed blessing.

Even though I have been writing for a while, now it is going to be a full time job. Up to now, I have written whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. No real pressure. No real responsibility to produce any specific amount of work. No real deadlines except the ones I choose. All that changes this week.

In the past, I have made these kind of transitions without doing my homework.

My background has been in audio, maintenance and mechanical work. All stuff I enjoy doing. Mostly. One of the worst job changes ever, was in maintenance. After a year with a nice hotel I worked for, I screwed up.

I took the job during the construction process. Worked with the contractors, setup the property, helped with the hiring process for new staff, established the maintenance routines and eventually settled into a pretty cozy position. Next door, the same thing was happening.

Another hotel had been under construction since before ours began. They were way behind schedule. They recruited a few of our staff members, since we had all done so well with the other property. They wanted a crew that could make things happen. Eventually, they talked me into making the jump by offering me twice the salary I was making.

Sounded like a no-brainier.

I took the job. Worked the same magic, got the place open, hired a full staff, passed all inspections starting making the big money. What I didn’t realize, was how these guys did business. They had a massive backlog of contractors that they ripped off. Once the work was done, they refused to pay them. The number of lawsuits and liens was overwhelming.

Then they got me.

Once all the hard work of opening, staffing and training everyone to operate a hotel was done… They canned me and dropped one of my guys into my spot. The $8 an hour guy was glad to take over a well oiled machine. All he had to do was keep my systems and routines up.

Three months after making the jump, I was unemployed again. They refused to even pay me my final check. Felt pretty stupid for not seeing that coming.

It wasn’t the first time I did something like that.

Over the years, I have started businesses and made major life decisions without giving it enough though or getting enough advice. Each time, it caused problems for my family, left us broke or took me away from them. So, it probably makes sense that this transition came with a lot to consider.

My dad is a newspaper publisher, I made sure to get his input first. My wife has to live with my decisions, her advice and opinions were critical. I didn’t want to burn bridges, so I even talked to my current employer about the opportunity first. I made sure to ask the magazine guys as many questions about the job as possible. All of that eased my mind and made me see this with my eyes wide open.

It turned it into something I was moving towards, and not like I was running away from another situation. That was how a lot of the previous decisions happened. Running away or escaping something I hated, to jump towards anything that seemed better.

Not the way to work through life.

Working through life like that is pretty much just drifting. No plan, no direction, just living at the mercy of what everyday brings. That might be fine, if you are twenty years old and have no family responsibilities. It’s a whole different ball game when people depend on you.

Honestly, I have spent most of my life like this. Even with the family.

In December of 2012, I talked with my wife and made a plan. We agreed that I would work the blogging and writing for two years, and see how far I could take it. Almost three hundred articles and six books later, here we are. Book sales are picking up every month. My readers are increasing every month. The number of families impacted by these sites are growing every month. The new job puts me back into the pro audio world again and I am very excited about it.

All of this came about by humbling myself, admitting that all I knew had gotten me where I was, shutting my mouth and learning to listen to the people who were trying to help me. Pushing so hard, to get everything I wanted and be in control, got me nowhere. Listening to my wife’s needs, taking advice from our counselors and making decisions that weren’t totally selfish changed my life.

Not telling you how to make your big decisions. Only offering my perspective from a better place than ever before.
Just think about it.

Maybe even pick up one of my books. They are full of those lessons I learned the hard way.
Click the “my store” link up top.

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