On my desk, I have a cute little calendar, nestled snuggly between a coffee mug full of brightly colored pens and my trusty ten-key calculator (I’m a CPA). In addition to displaying the date, this cute little calendar also provides me with exactly one motivational quote per day. Most of the quotes give me a nice inspirational boost every morning, but a recent quote really got my attention:

“Old ways won’t open new doors.”

Ooh, that’s a good one! I thought. That one’s going on my list of favorites!

You see, I recently started a new chapter in my career. I left my employer of nearly 15 years to start my own business. So, lately I’ve been throwing all my old ways out the window and opening new doors here, there, and everywhere! Basically, this quote felt like it was put in that calendar just for me!

The shedding of my old ways started before I even knew that I was going to start my own practice. I knew I was looking for a change, but I was unsure exactly what direction to take. The old me would have never done this, but I mustered up the courage and reached out to a few acquaintances, fellow CPAs, whose guidance I thought would be helpful. Not only did I receive the warmest responses from these women, but the advice and insights that they gave was invaluable. New door opened? Check!

Having such great success with these initial meetings, I requested a few more meetings with others. Not just with CPAs, but with friends who’d recently made career changes themselves. I had never been the type to seek career advice from friends, but I was so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone to do this.

In some of these meetings, the idea of starting my own practice was thrown out there. I immediately said, “Oh, no, that’s not for me!” But I had to admit that the idea was intriguing. Eventually, it was during a chat with a friend that a lightbulb went off. I was encouraging her to take a leap of faith and start her own business. Suddenly, I realized in that moment that I should give myself the same love and encouragement that I was giving to my friend. It became clear that I needed to let go of my fears and start my own practice.

After making the big decision to leave my firm and go out on my own, well, let’s just say it’s been a nonstop flow of stepping out of my comfort zone! I’ve had to come out of my shell a bit more at networking events, making sure to promote my new business. I’ve had to get comfortable making every single business decision on my own, from small things like which envelope to purchase to big things like which services to provide. (Seriously, have you seen how many options there are for purchasing a plain, white envelope?!) 

More than anything, though, I’ve had to step into each new day with a resolve to fight through my fears, push through the challenges, and believe in my ability to succeed.

So, if you are looking to make a change in your life – whether it’s losing weight, starting a new business, improving your finances – I have these six words to offer as motivation. “Old ways won’t open new doors.”

Get out there, ladies, and open those doors!