Who has a stake in your success? 

If you have big dreams that are going to impact others, inviting those people that have a vested interest into your big life choices is one of the most important and empowering things you can do – both in terms of your success and your happiness. Let’s call these allies, your stakeholders. 

Stakeholders are those people whose lives will be most affected by you going after your dream. The most common stakeholders are people such as your spouse or partner, your immediate family, closest friends, children and business partners.

To clarify this for yourself ask yourself: 

  • Who will be most affected by you going after your dreams wholeheartedly? 
  • How will they be affected? 

"inviting people that have a vested interest into your big life choices is one of the most important and empowering things you can do"

HONORING YOUR STAKEHOLDERS

When you’ve clarified the questions above, here’s some suggestions for how to honor your stakeholders.

1. Include them in the process

Once you’re clear that you are ready for a profound change, share your vision with your stakeholders. They have skin in the game too as going after your Big Games will directly impact them.  

It is important to give them as much insight into what you are doing and why. Be aware that some may meet your desire for change with enthusiasm while others are could be more circumspect or downright against it. 

Stakeholders can be a passionate bunch. When I was at a crossroads a few years ago I had some key stakeholders broadcast their concerns loud and clear. For a period of time their fears lodged themselves in my mind. It took real commitment and strength for me to own what I wanted and to let them know I was going to follow through. But once I was 100% they joined me and became some of my most supportive champions. 

 

2. Ask them for support

Assuming your stakeholders will support you each step of the way is misguided. They have their own concerns they are dealing with and, in certain instances, they may be against what you are trying to achieve. If you include them at each step of the way, ask for specific support and explain why, the chances of you having your stakeholders do their best to contribute to your career transformation skyrockets. 

Support can come in many forms. Some people may be able to help you create time, others may be great at helping you problem solve, while others may be able to lend a financial helping hand. Think about what your various stakeholders can contribute to your quest and then be forthright. 

 Just remember, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. 

"Ask for specific help and explain why."

3. Offer them support

Your stakeholders will always have their own trials, desires and needs. Make sure you don’t fall into oblivion throughout your career quest. Come up for air. Ask how you can be there for them? This is both the kind and the wise thing to do. It is kind because you are extending a helping hand. It is wise because the generous person is also more likely to receive!  

 

4Express your gratitude

A career quest can be very challenging and the harder it is on you the harder it will be on your stakeholders too. You may get a little self-absorbed at times and you may need to take time away to take care of business. In fact, I’m writing this from a campground where I’ve lodged myself for a few days for just this reason. I’m so grateful to my wife for giving me the space to pour myself into our business. I have and will continue to let her know how grateful I am. 

Expressing gratitude to your stakeholders for their active support and for their understanding when you are absorbed in what you’re up to is an essential part of any wholehearted career transformation. It gives those that are more important to you a sense of the contribution they’re making to your life and ensures they feel like they are with you on the journey. 

“Expressing gratitude to your stakeholders for their active support and for their understanding...is an essential part of any wholehearted career transformation”

LIVE YOUR DREAMS WITHOUT SACRIFICING LOVE

A lot of people go after their dreams but do not honor the people that are most important to them in the process. This is a recipe for inevitable drama. To truly live your hero’s journey you are challenged to heed your calling while honoring your fellowship at every step. 

There are no more important people in your fellowship than those that are closest to you and there is no better way to honor them than to communicate with them openly and honestly – over and over again. Consistency of communication builds trust and emotional capital while ensuring you are not battling the demons of isolation as an added layer of challenge as you go after your dreams. 

At the end of the day all our big aspirations are just games. The real stuff is the relationships that make up our ongoing experience of life and love. In fact, for many of us, going after what you want while honoring those that you love is perhaps the best measure of success that there is.