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A decision that will change my life

I’m in a tough spot. I need to make a hard decision. The decision will most likely change my life. I’m looking at the two pumpkins on the table, they’re part of my progress, and they’re going to be part of my decision.


I always cherish every tiny detail of my progress. Now, I’m smiling when I’m looking back at what things used to be like and where I am today. I feel that I have accomplished a lot, it might not look like a lot for people who don’t know me and my story. But, believe me, I’ve come a long way.

I’m usually satisfied if the feeling I am left with is a good feeling. That’s regarding clients, the projects I’m working on, and the vegetables I’ve been growing. When I’m looking at the vegetables, I’ve come to understand that I can look at them as part of my progress as a person and what life has to offer. I planted a tiny seed, and weeks, and sometimes months later, I’m witnessing massive growth. And right now, I’m looking at two wonderful orange pumpkins that weighs more than 10 lbs.

When I’m looking at the pumpkins, I’m also looking at the future. And sometimes when I’m looking at the future, it’s either filled with bright colors, or it’s black and white.

pumpkin - black and white

You might already know this, but I want to tell you the details all over again. I started my marketing business on 1 April in 2012, and I probably don’t need to tell you this, but I am having an awesome time doing what I love to do. I am meeting brilliant business owners every week, and I’m doing my best to help them get more customers by creating marketing strategies and helping them understand what marketing is all about. On the other hand, what I probably haven’t told you, is that I am still employed by the University.

I have to decide if I’m going back to the job as head of marketing on 1 January 2013. I need to notify the University, and I don’t have much time.

I’m struggling with the decision. The reason why it’s hard is mostly because I’m looking at two completely different situations.

I’m thinking:

And, I’ll probably get more questions during the next weeks. I just hope I’ll end up with some answers before Christmas. I’m thinking that if I can figure out what to do, it will end up being my best Christmas gift ever.

47 responses to “A decision that will change my life”

  1. Hi Jens,
    This is a difficult decision! I like how you say, “Iā€™m thinking that if I can figure out what to do, it will end up being my best Christmas gift ever.” This tells me you will figure it out as you’re starting with a happy feeling about a happy resolution. All the best with it!

  2. Lisa says:

    Wow Jens, difficult decision indeed. Sometimes you need to take chances to succeed. No one ever succeeds doing the same thing for a long period of time, you must have change and grow too. Love to know what you do decide to do and how you got there. Good luck!

    • That’s a great point Lisa. I have been working at the University for close to 10 years, and it was time to try something different, and what I’m doing now is great. It’s just hard to know what to do next, especially when it’s going to have such a big impact on my life.

      Thank you.

  3. Jens, if you’d like to chat about it with a business coach (me:), I’d be happy to Skype with you, no charge, no obligation…just a chat providing you with another perspective, food for thought and support. You can contact me via email if you’re interested. Regardless, follow your heart but listen also to your head. Cheers! Kaarina

  4. Mark says:

    Dig deep and make the decision that’s best for you and your family…

    I get the feeling you already know what your decision is going to be..?

    Either way, you get to eat lots of pizza, so you really can’t go wrong : )

    Cheers to an awesome 2013!

  5. Ruth Zive says:

    Wow, that’s tough Jens. I would never, ever go back to a salaried job (unless I literally had NO choice), so it’s hard for me to imagine struggling with that decision. But only YOU know what will work best for you and your family. Good luck!

  6. Adil Javed says:

    Hey Jens, I just landed on your website searching for the difference between CTR vs Unique CTR (funny). If you have a business, and if you are enjoying it and it puts bread on your table and clothes on your body…… dont go back to a job. Even if the job is paying you a bit more. There maybe short term benefits with the job…… but the long term fruit of owning and properly running/managing a business are far far greater than a couple extra dollars and short term security that job has to offer. I started my career in 2001, quit my last job in 2009 and to this date own a running and growing business. I cant say I have less headache and more peace of mind than someone who holds a job…… but i sure can say I have a better lifestyle. Small example…. I hate rain. When it rains, i hate to go out. So rainy days…. i work from my bedroom, and now most of the time, I just dont work. Play xbox with my 8 year old son. It boils down to whats more important to you in life. One thing I have witnessed, at any given job, you reach a peak level of position and income and you cant go any further. With a business…… sky is the beginning (not limit). Steer in any direction, steer towards more $$, or more peace of mind, or time with family or more time in bed….. whatever you prefer. At a job, I just remember always not having the option to steer. I always had to adhere to “company policy” and chase the path that would mean more $$ to the company. Hah…. i could NEVER go stand in line 12:00am midnight to get a copy of Black Ops 2, at age 34 and father of 2, I didnt have to do it, did it for the heck of it, im not even a COD fan. But I felt like doing something fun and different and I did it. I didnt have to worry about waking up early morning and being at the office or anything šŸ™‚ I love to fish, there are mondays that I wanna do something I like in the morning. So while everyone is heading to their offices in the morning rush, I am heading to the lake. They do that because they have to, and I do it because I can. Just my 2 cents. All the best in your decision.

    • Hi Adil,

      It’s great that you found my blog, and thank you so much for the feedback. It’s going to be a hard decision, but what you’re saying makes a lot of sense. I love what I’m doing, but there are certain things I miss at the University. On the other hand, I can decide what I want to do doing with my life by being a solo entrepreneur.

      One of the reasons that it’s a hard decision is that what I’m doing now is not a secure job, I have no idea what will happen the next month and how much money I will be earning, and if I’ll be getting some new clients or what will happen. On the other hand, that’s also the exciting part šŸ™‚

  7. Josh says:

    Hi Jens,

    I don’t have any deep word of wisdom other than to figure out what serves your soul and your passion and if that is enough to also feed your family.

    • That’s deep enough words of wisdom Josh. I’m having a hard time with the decision, but I’m going to spend a lot of time thinking about what to do, so hopefully I’ll end up with the best possible decision.

      Thank you.

  8. Bell says:

    I get what you’re saying, Jens, but my feeling is that as a marketer, you never really work alone. — Unless you want to keep all your interactions limited to the online world, which I don’t think is your goal.

    If you enjoy the company of others as you work, there’s always the option of co-working, i.e., shared office space. I’ve heard from some people who swear by it, and it strikes me as a good way to make connections with professionals in different fields. Also, rent on co-work space tends to be more affordable than getting an individual office for yourself alone.

    • That’s a great idea. I have an office at the moment, and I’m not entirely alone, but I’m working alone. The other people who are in the same building are doing completely different work. And there’s not as many people here as I am used to at the University šŸ™‚

      Great feedback. Thank you.

  9. Carolyn says:

    Hi Jens,

    I look forward to learning of your decision. I know that whatever you decide, you will make it work. I have confidence that you will be successful whatever you do. You have experienced both positions and know which one makes you the happiest. Since you value happiness, the decision shouldn’t be a terribly difficult one.

  10. Hmm, that is a tough one. I hope you make a powerful decision for YOU Jens.
    But let me just add one food for thought. If you choose the lifestyle of an entrepreneur make it your Plan A with no Plan B. That is, burn the boats. Go full force and don’t look back my dear. It’s only through commitment, persistence and perseverance that you will find success.
    Best of luck!

    • Hi Michele,

      Yes, I’ve been thinking a lot about what to do, and I’m still not sure. What you’re saying is what I’m planning to do, if I go with plan A or plan B, that’s what I’m going to do, and I won’t start thinking about if I made the wrong choice or not.

      Thank you!

  11. Jayme Soulati says:

    Coming from someone who has been in and out of employment vs. self employment I always knew my best opportunity was working for myself. But I took all the learnings from Inside to apply Outside.

    When I realized I had a dead end Inside I saw massive opportunity Outside. Is your personality one of a self starter and always being able to find inspiration on your own? Yes? You may be ready!

    And you can always go back Inside if it does not work out!

    • That’s very interesting Jayme. I’ve been employed from day 1 since I graduated from the University. And some of the challenge in how I am thinking is probably due to the secure job at a University, and having a family to feed. But, I love working as a solo entrepreneur šŸ™‚

  12. Hi Jens,

    Not sure if I could ever work for someone else again, but sometimes we have little choice in the matter. Regardless, I would do everything in my power to keep my own ship sailing, as I can’t work for others, something faulty in my wiring maybe šŸ˜‰

    It’s sometimes hard to deal with the uncertainty of being a small business owner yes, but that can be an issue with any job, even at University, right?

    I imagine you’ve already made up your mind and you know what is best for you and your family though.

    Have a slice of pizza and think on it šŸ˜‰ Good luck with your decision, Sir!

    • I am doing my best to keep my own ship sailing and I’m loving every minute of it, but the decision will also be based upon what’s best for my family and for the future. And, right now, with two kids and a baby, I am not sure what’s best for the future šŸ™‚

      But, I’m working hard to make the right decision. Thanks a lot for your input Craig.

  13. Greg Marcus says:

    Jens – I think you know exactly what you want to do, and fear is holding you back. It is impossible to know what will happen in the future. For example, I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met who have avoided working for a startup because they were afraid the job would not be secure. and what happened? they were laid off from the larger company.

    So my recommendation is not to worry about anything longer than a year away. Can you make enough money in the next year to support the family? Will the job require too much of your time and energy over the next year?

    Don’t be afraid. If you make the family your top priority, you are very likely to have a happy and fulfilled life, whatever you do in your career.

    I understand the people thing too. I went from a corporate marketing job to stay at home dad and writer. It does get a bit lonely some time, and it requires extra effort to connect with adults, but on balance a great plus.

    • Hi Greg,

      Thank you so much for the feedback. Yes, you are right. Fear is holding me back. It’s hard to know exactly what to do in a situation like this, and especially since I’ve been working there for the past 10 years. On the other hand, I’m very satisfied with what I’m doing right now šŸ™‚

  14. Adam Johnson says:

    Hi Jens,
    Seb Paquet nudged your post my way. I guess that’s because I’ve recently been through the exact same decision.

    I am CEO of a Council, and had to make a decision to renew my contract or go out on my own and start my own business. I blogged about it, but to make a short story even shorter, I decided not to renew. It hasn’t yet come to pass, as the contract ends at the end of May (6 months notice period of intent to renew), but it is as good as done. I can’t go back.

    For all that, it’s still a terrifying decision. I swing between highs and lows, walking away from a solid salary in a field that will not go away (although Councils are currently being amalgamated here and so it actually isn’t as secure as it seems).

    At the end, I keep coming back to the fact that I don’t particularly enjoy my current role, and feel I must have a crack at my dreams now if I’m to ever do it. It feels high risk, but also the right thing to do. I’d love to stay in touch if it helps to have another who has been through the same recently.


    • Hi Adam,

      Wow. This is awesome. I feel that we’re going through this together. I’m thinking about my decision every single day. On the other hand, I feel that I’ve made up my mind. I want to do exciting things with my life and I want to be part of something great.

      We need to keep in touch, I want to follow your journey Adam.

      Thank you.

      • Adam Johnson says:

        Funny isn’t it. You kind of know what you are going to do long before you do it. It just takes a long time to get yourself across the line.

        I look forward to also following your journey Jens.

  15. Adrienne says:

    Hey Jens,

    Wow, what a touch decision to make but here is what I would do.

    Write all the reasons you should return to the University on one side of the paper and all the reasons you shouldn’t on the other side. Weigh the pros and cons and see which direction your heart pulls you. Most people would say if the list is longer on one side then go with that. I think listing them out puts them into perspective for you.

    Whatever you decide to do I have no doubt it will be the right decisions and that’s what will make it a great Christmas gift.

    Good luck!


    • I haven’t written down all the reasons yet, but I have a gut feeling. I love working as a solo entrepreneur, but it’s hard to go from working at a University to be responsible for everything. But, I am enjoying every minute of it šŸ™‚

      I have to think about my family as well, and I’m talking to my wife (and my friends) about the decision. This way they’ll help me to do what’s best for everyone and not just for me šŸ™‚

  16. Veronica says:

    Some decisions are always tough to make, Working from home for long now, i can imagine how difficult it will be for me to again work under someone else. But I am sure you will sort this out. Good luck šŸ™‚

  17. Maja says:

    Difficult decision. Just concentrate on the voice of your heart and move forward. Also keep in mind your experience of life before decision.

  18. Joy says:

    Hello Jens! Comparing success with vegetables? That’s a whole new perspective and I find it very inspiring. Thank you for every empowering post you make.

  19. Kristine says:

    You have a very inspiring blog. You don’t hesitate to tell the world about your success strategies so I thank you so much for sharing these valuable things.

  20. Emilia says:

    Keep it going. Your progress and success in your endeavor continue to aspire so many readers and bloggers who follow your blog.

  21. Sandra says:

    Very valuable blog post you have there. I hope you’ll keep inspiring your readers to think, do wonderful things and keep their success going.

  22. Hello Jens,
    If you are clear to your conscience you are with no problem to make the decision.

  23. Chadrack says:

    Sometimes when we are faced with this situation it just dawn on us that it is not really that easy. But the truth be told, this is really something we will need to decide on after careful consideration. But if I may ask, does taking up that position stop you from carrying on your marketing business? Is there no way you can combine the two.

    Ultimately, what should determine your decision should be what you truly want to known for tomorrow. And I’m sure you can take that decision with much ease.

  24. Andrew says:

    Very nice article. I would also like to advice that before taking any decisions, you should try to understand whether it is profitable or not. A decision can change your life only when you apply it with full intellect and imagination thinking about the consequences.

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