As I assess this question, I realize I’ve had complex decisions to make in my life, yet most of these are personal. The tough professional decisions I’ve made pale in comparison to the experiences in my personal life.
The posed questions beg another question, “What is a difficult decision? Sometimes the easiest decisions can be swarmed with the harrowing taxing aftermath. Yet, there are decisions we carefully weigh out the cons and pros, alternatives and associated outcomes, with reluctance and caution, as no outcome is quite right, and the decision seems not just costly but irreversible. What is the difference between the former and the latter? Perhaps, is it the lack of evidential choice in the matter? I would like to believe I always have a choice in life. Yet, regardless of how difficult and taxing the aftermath might be, sometimes the choice may be clear due to a moral or ethical dilemma – drastically simplifying the decision-making process, even though it may be engulfed with life-changing ramifications or negative ROIs.
While I know that decisions that involve downsizing a team or firing people are always the most difficult to execute, these decisions must be made without reluctance for a business to accomplish its financial objectives. Therefore, they are easy decisions requiring an enormous amount of courage. I look at decisions made as a CFO on Demand, the incredible accomplishments, and the high-impact recommendations I’ve made for my clients. I do not see these decisions as complex. They involved an objective and a plan to accomplish a specific business or financial goal. For this essay, I would like to define a difficult decision as one requiring an insurmountable amount of uncertainty (more questions than answers), significant preparation, thought, effort, and plenty of courage.
Here is a decision that fits this definition. I would like to stop doing what I do professionally and engage my effort, time, and experience to start an even more impactful, fulfilling, and equally lucrative enterprise than the one I have now. This would not be the first time that I decide to pursue this exact goal. Sixteen years ago, in June, I made the same decision to pivot my CFO on Demand business (120 people) to engage instead in helping families accomplish their goals, dreams, expectations for a lucrative return (3-12 people). The thought of building a Financial Planning and Wealth Management practice was very attractive to me. Here is the difficulty of the decision – (1) the path was not clear, and I had more questions than answers, (2) it felt like I was turning the Titanic, but I was not equipped to do so, and (3) as a single mom, my family’s livelihood depended on my success (a total understatement).
My thirteen-year-old son and I took a year sabbatical from the business and professional world to be a missionary in La Plata, Argentina. Instead of being a CFO on Demand, I became a friend to strangers, talked to them about God, started a soup kitchen and a community garden, earned their trust, coached and helped women start micro-enterprises so that they could earn an honest living for their families, instead of stealing or seeking out handouts from others. While this was completely fulfilling, it was never meant to be lucrative – just fulfilling, for a year. So coming back to the U.S. from this year in Argentina made a difficult decision very easy. I pivoted my business from serving businesses to mostly helping families accomplish their goals for a more lucrative payout.
If this decision was great, why am I finding myself again, sixteen years later, hoping to do the same? Was this a steppingstone? Perhaps. I have reached an incredible level of expertise, making my current job not so challenging. And while I have influenced over 1000 families through the years, of which 150 are now accredited investors currently active in my client base – I would like to accomplish a greater level of fulfillment, make an impact of more significant global magnitude, for the same or more current financial returns. This decision has brought me to start a program like TRIUM and desire to get a legal degree. Here is the difficulty. Just like last time, (1) the path is not clear, and I have more questions than answers, (2) it feels like I will be turning the Titanic (just twice as large as the first time around), and (3) as the breadwinner in the household, my family’s livelihood depended on my success