What if Life has other plans for you than you have for yourself?

I always thought I have it figured out, I know what to do with life and how to make decisions that lead me to the next step. But then I realized I live in two worlds, one world that I hold up for others to see and the other that is growing and whithering under the radar. Which one to follow?

When I decided to quit my job and follow my passion

End of last year, I decided to quit my prestigious job as a Sales Leader in a Tech company to follow my passion. For several months I had this idea in my head – I want to build a Customer Success School, helping people to be successful in building their Customer Success Career. My goal was to teach how to do that. I built a training plan and created 500 slides of content with exercises, case studies, learning materials and more. All ready to be executed when I quit my job.

It sounded great, right? I have experience in that field, people see me as an expert after I have worked at companies like Linkedin, Seismic and Miro. It all fitted to a T. Perfect, smooth, a clear trajectory, the training was laid out, the website perfectly ready. But…

The first thing I did after I quit my job was something else

I did not started working on my business the moment I quit my job. No, I started working on creative projects. I set myself out to create a Poetry Book and two children books with fantastical animals that I had drawn and given funny names.

In December I dived deep into these creative endeavors, totally focused, totally enjoying myself and the work I did. I was standing in my living room, sorting, structuring, writing and re-writing my poems, creating the outline, creating the cover and looking where I could publish it. Shortly after starting the project, the books were ready to be published. I hold them in my hands and the feeling of having finished them was the best thing ever. Something I am deeply proud of.

But then, January hit and then February. And I knew, it was time to go back to work. Back to my Passion. But my excitement did not come back. But hey, “you are good at that, remember, you quit your job for it, so hey, let’s get to work and bring this to life” did I tell myself. Did it work? Again, I did something else:

Diving into business models, design and websites

I thought about joining a startup as a Co-Founder in the field of sales and customer success enablement. After some due diligence I realized that this is not a good fit for me. I started working on selling Customer Success Trainings and Consulting Projects. It kind of worked, I got clients, did workshops and helped build up Customer Success Teams. I enjoyed it, but in my free time, I did something else. Creating and designing websites, learning HTML and CSS and some Javascript, creating logos, and color concepts and building business concepts for communities, and trainings, and website services and more. Busy, hustling, on the go, active, but somehow fractured.

It became my modi operandi – Working on my Customer Success Business during some hours during the day, and all the other hours I worked on side hustles. Creative things. I got super excited about NoCode Tools and how people even if they are no programmers can create web and mobile apps, then I found out about Generative AI and how it shapes our worlds in deep ways. I went all in on Large Language Models, ChatGPT, HuggingFace and how to build AI Bots. I started taking classes on AI and Programming and recorded videos where I shared some of that work.

And yet, to you, to the outside world, I am the Customer Success Expert, the Customer Success Leader that helps people get a career in that field. It is something graspable, something specific, it is relatable to my experience, to what I know. Every business guru tells me that this is the thing I have to do:

There is a clear niche: BDR, SDR, Junior CSMs who want to advance their career and gain access to a job that is more lucrative than their previous one and CS Team Leads that want to train their team members

There is an even clearer niche: Customer Success Trainings for the B2B SaaS Business World

There is a target group that has money: Tech Companies, Sellers and ambitious people normally have more money than others

There is a growing market: We always need people on the market that can help maximize revenue and take care of clients, without clients, no business can exist.

There is so much more potential: I can extend into Career Services, Into Corporate Training, into Consulting projects, so much potential to build something special

And yet, whenever I sit down to do the work, it is so damn hard. I do it for some hours, then my motivation wanes and I work on my creative projects, then someone calls me and asks me if I want to work with them to create something amazing in Customer Success and I am moving back into it to then shortly afterwards moving out of it again and work on my side hustles.

The two sides of the puzzle and how a breakdown helped me to see more clear

At some point it became obvious to me, something is off. Something does not work out as it should be. I just created the website for the CSchool, a Customer Success School and it felt great. I created the Website in a day, put in all the colors, the design, the marketing copy. And once I was done, I was proud of my work. The I was supposed to work on the content and I just couldn’t. I posted on Linkedin that this is my new website and I build this school now, and people congratulated me, but I did not feel great. I felt anxious and as if something was off. Then I offered my first courses. And I got clients. I did not even had to do much, they came from different sources and they were excited about my offering.

But I had a mental breakdown. I was crying for days. I could not stop. And I felt miserable. I had an aversion to offering the classes. I half-heartedly marketed them and send out sales messages. But something was holding me back, I did not feel good. I talked with friends, family and a coach, trying to understand why it was so difficult to me to get going.

Was it me having an issue with being successful and sharing my work? Or was it me clearly and utterly moving in a wrong direction here? Following a path that seems perfect on any terms business and rationality but where my heart decided that it does not like that route?

The whispering voice of intuition and why you should listen to it

I digged deep and looked at all my life. Trying to better understand what was going on. Reviewing my past decisions, how I made them and what the outcome had been. Looking at the situation from different angles, taking into account how my values and who I am as a person shapes how I make decisions.

It took me a while to see trough the clutter of my thoughts and all the rational narrative of “Don’t be stupid and throw your life away”, “Follow the safe route”, “Do something you are passionate about”. All these thoughts were thoughts that guided me in one direction or the other, but I realized they are mainly clutter to make sense of my life, to give me a direction, a safe (or unsafe) narrative I can stick to like a thread I can hang on to. But they don’t tell the story that is simply unfolding in and by itself.

There is no one right route to take, but it is the route to take that most resonates with us

I realized that in the past I often overheard and ignored that little whispering voice within myself. That voice, that somehow knew the answer and tried to tell me over and over again what I should do, but I was not ready to listen. Instead, I listened to all the thoughts in my head that made perfect rational sense and that tried to control life, find a narrative that I could easily tell.

And in the process I burned out. I followed the rational voices and ignored my intuition. The whispering voice deep within that knows the answer: we just need to listen. We need to listen carefully when our thoughts say “Don’t do that, it will ruin your life”, “Don’t do this, you have no idea how it works”, “Don’t do this, you will end up on the streets with no money left”, “Don’t do this, people will think you are crazy”, “Don’t do this, you are throwing away your carefully build followership”, but also “Do this, this is what all the gurus tell you, you have to do to make money fast and build your business successfully”, “Do that, as you already have the perfectly laid out plan and everything ready to get executed”, “Follow the route of your expertise, that’s the only thing people trust you in”, and so on. Narrative after narrative and thought after thought does it take us further away from what really matters. And the deep caring for things important to us wanes in the shadows.

How to overcome that dilematta and find a route that works for you

Is there the perfect answer to that dilematta? I would suggest there is, even though it is hard and doesn’t always work: Simply follow your intuition. Simply listen to that inner voice within that tells you what to do and then take it from there.

Our intuition is not always right, but it is not simply a gut feeling, it is more – it is a mixture of our thoughts and feelings and motivations and values that guide us through life and that knows more about us than we consciously admit to know.

What I started doing is to listen to that voice more often. Whenever I face a decision, I listen to that voice and what it tells me. When it gives me a “wow, that feels good, I really enjoy that”, then I follow through, if it shows me an “oh, something is off, it does not really work for me”, then I say no and if it is neutral, well, then it is simply neutral and I don’t take any specific action.

Will it always work? No, it will not, but it cuts through the clutter and allows us to focus on the more important things. The things that really matter to us and that we want to pursue. And the more you have that nagging feeling inside that pops up not only once, but twice, and a third time, you really should listen. Because it wants to tell you something you happened to have ignored all the time. And the more you ignore it, the more it tries to tell you. Listen to it, as it is something important to you.

But what does that mean to my current business? Any changes?

Yes, there are some changes: It means that I won’t continue with my Customer Success Business. At least not as the main focus. It is not close enough to my heart and I do not care enough about the mission to help people getting a job in Customer Success and succeed in that career. I am happy to do some side-mentoring in it, as I know so much about it, but I won’t pursue this as my main business. It just does not feel right.

But I do something else. It is evolving the moment I write this article. It is developing and growing and I let it unfold one step at a time. It will be about helping all those of you that are stuck in the rat race of life and at the same time ambitious and creative to bring your ideas to life, to help you find your voice and leverage tech tools and AI to help you bring your visions to life. I will do that via writing about my expriences and learnings, share how you can bring your creative endeavors to life and create online courses that you can watch and if you prefer, I create your website, logo and business concept for you. It is all in the making, but I am excited, eager to let it unfold, and jump into all that route has to offer to me.

Is it the right one? I can’t tell. No one can. But that is life, moving forward one step at a time and listening in to our inner voice that tells us if it feels good to be on that track or if it is time to let go and try something else.

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