How I Took the Leap from Corporate to My Dream Business


What I notice in my first generation corporate clients is that they are very risk averse. The reason for that is because you grew up in a life that was a little bit chaotic.

When my parents took the risk to move from Trinidad to the US, we moved 6 times. I was introduced to eviction notices, the electric company turning off the lights, and radiators that blew up in the middle of the night.

Prior to that, we had a very cushy life in an up and coming neighborhood in Trinidad. My dad belonged to a famous band there. Our life was stable.

The message I got from my parents’ risk was that I must preserve my stability at all costs.

That’s exactly what I did!

I got stable. I had the house, the husband, the good job. Everything was calm and comfortable.

My risk aversion served me well, UNTIL…

I wanted more. Specifically, I wanted financial freedom.

To do that, I needed to take risks – not very different from the risks my parents took in my childhood in moving our family to New York. My dad decided that he wanted a bigger life for his children and himself. So, he made that leap.

I just didn’t want the same results. That’s when my risk aversion started working against me.

I realized that I had to increase my risk tolerance. I needed to take different actions so that I could achieve different results (being financially free versus financially stable).

Build Your Confidence by Taking Little Risks
One of those things included not staying in a job for 30 years. I learned that if I wanted to increase my income rapidly, I needed to change job positions frequently (every 1-2 years).

That took a lot of risk.

Every time, I had to learn something new, get acquainted with new co-workers, and demonstrate my abilities to management. Most of all, I had to leave a comfortable situation to step into the unknown.

Hella scary!!!

Over time, though, I found that my stability was not threatened. The key was to build my confidence by taking small risks and getting solid in my footing, then making the risks bigger and bigger.

By the time the decision came to stay in my corporate job or fully step into my business, I was a risk taking pro.

Mitigate Your Risk with Preparation
I am NOT a leap and the net will appear type of person. Most of my clients aren’t either.

Growing up, I heard sayings like this one from my Uncle Tony: “Proper preparation prevents piss poor performance.”

And, as a project manager, one of my key responsibilities was to mitigate risk. That meant making sure that we knew what the risk was and having some alternatives to address it should that risk occur.

Take note: I didn’t say worry about the risk and do nothing.

Risk mitigation is about being aware of a possibility and preparing in such a way that you can work around that possibility should it occur. It should not jeopardize the happy path, but enhance it. In other words, when you take actions to mitigate a risk, those actions should enhance what you are already doing along the way.

Most times, just awareness is enough to mitigate a risk.

For example, when you are taking the leap from the corporate world to your dream business, it’s enough to know that you won’t be able to chat around the water cooler any more. That’s probably not a risk that’s worth much attention. It’s just something that can happen and you can cross that bridge when you get to it.

On the other hand, being aware of a risk to your income may require more preparation. For that, you may decide that you need to save a particular amount of money, or earn a certain amount of money in your business before you make the leap.

In the Pack Your Parachute webinar, I share with you the 3 things you need in order to prepare to leap from your corporate job to your dream business (only one of them has anything to do with money).

Risk mitigation isn’t sexy. For some, it seems downright dreadful and BORING.

BUT – together with taking confidence building risks – it works!!!!

Especially if you are risk averse.

Nneka Kelly is the mentor to brilliant, passionate professionals who want more freedom and joy in their lives. Whether it means continuing in your chosen profession, changing careers, or starting a business, she is dedicated to helping you live one whole, integrated life where work is a form of creative expression. Nneka provides practical tools, transformational advice , and other resources to subscribers around the world in her Working Mystic eZine. Sign up for a FREE subscription at

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