Ask Ken Coleman
“Do what you have to do,
so you can do
what you want to do”
QUESTION: I have a degree in nutrition science, but for the last 10 years I’ve worked as the food service manager in a hospital. I’m really burned out in this job, but I still want to help people. Ideally, I’d like to pursue an internship that would allow me to become a registered dietician, then open my own practice. However, the idea of having my own business terrifies me. My mom and dad run a small business, and they barely break even. Can you help me with these feelings?
ANSWER: It’s normal to have a certain amount of trepidation about opening a small business. But don’t let fear alone – whether it’s the fear of failure, or the fear of being more successful than your parents – overwhelm you and dictate your decisions.
There are two things you need to consider when thinking about your dream job. One is how much it will cost in terms of dollars and cents. The other is how much time it will take. I would encourage you not to take on debt to make this happen, but some thorough research in these two areas might go a long way in making you a little less fearful. Knowledge is power, and a detailed plan is essential for success.
Think about this, too. I’m sure you have connections in your current job that would be very beneficial in your dream job. Talk to some of the doctors at the hospital. Tell them your dream. Some of them may be willing to refer patients or offer advice in other areas.
Once you’ve crunched some numbers, and your dream has progressed to the point where you have a practical plan, start your business slowly on the side. Then, be patient while it grows to the point where you can make the jump to full-time.
“Attitude is often a choice”
QUESTION: I’m a dentist, and I own a successful practice that is debt-free. I have a great office manager and staff, and I love what I do, but I can’t stop thinking about losing team members to other practices and keeping the business successful. I feel stressed out all the time, and I’m starting to develop health issues as a result. Recently, I received an offer with another practice. It pays less than I make now, but it offers more benefits and much more time off. What do you think I should do?
ANSWER: I’m not a doctor, but it sounds like you’re suffering from two things — comparison and worry. You just told me you have a great office manager and staff, you’re doing work you love, and you have no debt on your business. Outside forces should not be dragging you down, man. Life is good.
I think it’s your mindset, not your business or career, that needs a change. And this kind of thing starts with gratitude. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else. What does winning look like in your reality? What makes you feel happy and satisfied? What is your definition of success?
Perhaps you could sit down and talk to a close friend or even a professional counselor. Often, an unbiased opinion can make us realize things that had gotten lost in the hectic, day-to-day grind. Sometimes those opinions, especially coming from people we respect and care about, can open our eyes.
* Ken Coleman is host of The Ken Coleman Show and the top-rated EntreLeadership Podcast, and author of One Question: Life-Changing Answers from Today’s Leading Voices. An acclaimed interviewer and broadcaster, Coleman equips, encourages and entertains listeners through thought-provoking interviews, helping them grow their businesses, pursue their passions, and move toward a fulfilled purpose. You can follow him on Twitter at @KenColeman, on Instagram at @ KenColemanShow, and online at kencolemanshow.com or facebook.com/ KenColemanShow.