When to Say No to the Money and Yes to Yourself
"Happiness is the state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one's values" - Ayn Rand

It is often the case that people find themselves in the dilemma of either choosing to stay at a job because it is a guaranteed pay check or leaving to pursue their passion and lose their income - at least for a while - and worse, and uncertain amount of time.

In my experience this is one of the most difficult decisions to make. You are unhappy in your work, you dread Monday mornings, you know you are better suited for something else and that the only way to really go after what you truly want is to let go of the job that demands all of your time and take that risk. But, as usual, easier said than done.

We have all heard those stories of people who have risked everything to pursue their dreams. For example, what about the high-powered New York couple who was earning 7-figures and left it all to open their own pie shop in a small norther Michigan town? And, these people had never made pies before! Or the couple who spent years losing their money on various entrepreneurial ventures and finally found outrageous success baking bread.

The problem is, for every one who is successful, many more fail to reach their objective and many end up right back where they started....and often nearly broke.

So, how do you do what is right for you, go after your passion, and make sure you end up on the side of outrageous success?

Here are 5 Keys to Transitioning Intelligently and Achieving Career/Life Satisfaction and Success.

1. Learn About Yourself

This takes time. I have worked with several clients who come to me in this exact situation and want to get out of their current situation so desperately that they decide to go after the first thing that peaks their interest. These are often ventures that sound exciting or romantic but either have no teeth or aren't their true passion. So, take the time and do the work involved in getting to know yourself and what you really want. Identify your core values, those values that you are not willing to compromise on and that your work must allow you to express. When you have an idea, try imagining yourself in that role all day, day after day and see how that feels. If you are truly uniting who you are with what you do, it will feel effortless.

2. Research

Once you narrow your options down, research. Get out there and talk to people. Spend a day with someone who does what you would like to do. Seek out a mentor. Find out everything you can - the good and the bad - and then see where you want to go.

3. Set Goals - Make a Plan

This is perhaps the most critical step. Setting clear, measurable, and time-specific goals and then committing to achieving them will be the difference between your success and failure. You must set goals and you must commit to achieve them. Clarify them and make sure they are your goals and not the goals of a parent or husband/wife or friend. Create short term goals to help you get there and spend a minimum of 10 minutes every day focusing on what you want to achieve and how you are going to do it.

4. Take a Step

Taking one step in the direction of your goals can have a dramatic affect on how quickly you achieve them. It is very often the case that as soon as you move in the direction of your goals, no matter how small a step, you will begin to feel happier and more successful. Goals create a vision and a direction and they help your mind to focus and pay attention to what really matters to you. Make a movement every day in the direction of your dreams.

5. Go For It and Be Willing to Accept the Consequences

What are you willing to live with? Before you make any radical life change you have to anticipate the consequences of it not going exactly how you want. This is not to deter you but rather to help you plan for the obstacles - because there will be plenty in front of you. Decide what you are willing to live with, determine the price you are willing to pay to achieve your dreams and get busy paying. There comes a time when you just have to lay it all out there and go for it. When you find yourself hesitating ask yourself "what is the worst that can happen?" It is usually not enough to stop successful people form taking the leap. Remember, you have endured a lot and you can bounce back from anything but if you don't give it a try, you will be saying yes to mediocrity when you could be embracing unlimited success.