I was recently faced with a very difficult decision regarding the direction of a new business venture. Alfred and I have been working toward opening a coffee shop near our home. The idea grew and evolved into more of a health-conscious coffee shop/restaurant combo. I wanted to create a trendy yet warm, welcoming space where people could come connect over great coffee and fresh, delicious food. I was going to have a meeting room where I could host workshops and masterminds. We had the space all picked out. The layout drawn out.
We had support from so many people. It was unbelievable. The collaborative spirit of the local Kansas City restaurant industry is phenomenal. This business idea had been in the works for several months. We invested A LOT of time and energy and of course some money as well.
And then some very significant concerns were brought to our attention by our attorney. I didn’t want to quit because it was hard. Or because I was afraid of failure. I never doubted that with enough passion, this concept was destined for success.
I’ve done enough personal development work to know that fear is an essential ingredient for growth and expansion. And over the course of those few months, fear came up A LOT. But my mantra was: as long as I’m equal parts excited and terrified, I know I’m on the right path. And then the scales tipped.
After hearing from our attorney, I think I got really honest with myself about the time and energetic commitment this new adventure would require of both of us. Alfred and I value our free time, possibly more than anything. And I knew this additional business would take a toll on our relationship…with each other and with our family. So we took some time to reflect on our priorities and ultimately decided not to move forward with the coffee shop.
At first I had a hard time distinguishing whether we were making this decision from a place of fear or if something else was driving us. But what I came to realize was that LOVE was the driving force. Love for each other and the life we want to create together. And I can always come to terms with a decision made from love.
It would’ve been easy to chalk this whole thing up as a failure, as a waste of time and resources. But that’s not how I roll. Instead, I looked for the lessons (and there were many!). I also recognized there were things about the process that excited me…the creative energy of making something out of nothing. The project management aspects. The attention to detail. And once I identified those things, I decided to look for ways to infuse them into my current coaching business. And I’m excited to say, the unfolding has already begun…and it’s beautiful. I’m designing and decorating a home office where I can meet with clients and I’m putting more energy into planning a retreat that will be held this spring.
When you’re faced with a difficult decision, I challenge you to look for the driving force. Is it fear or is it love?