I had a great conversation with a friend of mine recently. She bravely hit the pause-button on her corporate life to evaluate her next steps, goals, and development. As we talked about the options that were now available to her (and there are many), she asked me, “How did you know Wake was right for your next step? How do you move through making your decisions at that point in your life?”
I responded, “I started with the End Game.”
The End Game is what I want my life to look like.
What were the larger goals and aspirations of my husband, and our family? I was specifically evaluating things like:
- How flexible did I want my own schedule to be?
- How did we want to live?
- What did we want for our children? (At the time we had a nearly 1-year-old son)
- What kind of company did we want to create?
This isn’t to say that the End Game never changes or evolves. You will always see new possibilities as you reach different phases of your life such as marriage or kids, shifts with your extended family, life events, achieving goals, and seeing possibilities that have newly presented themselves. The End Game is not etched in stone, it evolves. But it helps tremendously to set the intention and then work towards that each day.
When you decide your own End Game it becomes easier to say no to things that don’t align with your goals. That is sometimes the easiest place to start.
When presented with a new opportunity, does it align with what you want your daily or weekly involvement to be? Does it align with how you want to live? For example: do you want to travel, own a home, move to a new place? What considerations are important to you if you have children? And what type of company do you want to be a part of or do you want to create yourself?
I mention this last question because it very specifically ties back to all the other questions you likely have about your End Game. Since we all spend so much time at work, if you are miserable or if things are misaligned, it will end up getting the best of you. I know too many people who make a good deal of money who are also pretty damn miserable. They call it the “Golden Handcuffs” and I don’t think that’s any way to live.
It’s the fear of taking that leap that keeps most people stuck and unable to release those golden handcuffs. But I would argue that if you are unhappy, not shifting, not changing, and not evaluating your End Game then you are doing a great disservice to your life’s work if you leave it unchecked. Even if you’re not ready to act on it, take some steps towards thinking about or journaling about your End Game. You might be surprised by where it takes you.
I make no apologies for saying that I love my job, our companies, our employees, and our franchisees. I wanted to create a profitable business in Wake Foot Sanctuary that served others and that allowed me the flexibility to be with my husband and kids. I took the risk. And if you have heard me talk about it or write about it before, you know it was the scariest thing I have ever done. Bar none. But it was the best leap of faith that I ever took. I challenge you to ponder your own End Game and see the shift in perspective for what lies ahead.
This article was written by Melissa Long, CEO and Founder of Wake Foot Sanctuary.