I have expanded and shifted the focus of my career. Where previously I had been an agent of The Company, who sold The Product as well as doing a little problem solving for clients on the side, I am now a professional problem solver. This change has occurred for two reasons.
I had found in all my networking that the world is full of fantastic opportunities, and by being with The Company, I was forced to let them pass unnoticed. In a more freelance problem solver capacity, I would still be able to independently sell The Product, but I would have the option to seize other opportunities as they came along as well.
The first reason is a good one, but, on its own would not have been enough to convince me to make that shift. The other issue is that The Company does not pay commissions until one has reached a certain level of sales and fulfilled some other requirements to "trigger full time." One of these requirements for me was wrapping up some issues with a previous business I used to run. Unfortunately, said wrapping would cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars. This is quite difficult to do if it is the condition for receiving my commissions.
This condition had been mentioned when I first started with The Company, but I was told that it would all work out, so I should not worry about it. As time went on, and things became more challenging in terms of personal finance, I remembered that little obstacle that I had been told not to worry about. When I spoke to my manager about it again and pressed him a bit, it became clear that this was not merely a small obstacle, but an insurmountable one.
At that point, the choice became very clear. It was time to go. Then I wondered, how many other people are in that same position. Not precisely the same place, but something comparable. We often advise people to give something their all and focus on success, but how many people are giving 110% to a project in which they will never be able to trigger.
Not every dead end is a failure. My work with The Company was a fantastic opportunity which led me to everything else I am now doing. All the networking I have done so far was because I was developing my career with The Company. They taught me a great deal about sales, time management, goal setting and many other things, and I look forward to working with The Company in a freelance capacity. Had I stayed on what had been a highly productive path, however, I would have found myself in a dead end.
It is important to focus on success, but, every now and then, raise your eyes to the horizon and make sure that the road you are running so hard on actually goes somewhere.
Now, take your road out into the world and meet someone interesting today!