Embracing Change: The Key to Achieving Meaningful Success

Success comes at a cost.

As you conquer obstacles and overcome challenges in your path, a profound personal transformation takes place beneath the surface.

The investments you make in yourself to clear hurdles, persevere through failures, and stay resilient — that’s the price you pay for success.

You accept that pursuing exceptional goals requires exceptional effort and personal investment. If the destination is important enough, you willingly pay the cost, even without a guarantee of reaching it.

But last fall, everything changed. I encountered a cost I wasn’t willing to pay as an entrepreneur — and it led me to an important pivot

Adapting to Changing Circumstances

At the time, my family was preparing for a new baby. As the due date neared, we realized our family dynamics would change, with new roles and responsibilities for everyone. Things would be different, but it was hard to anticipate how much.

My two older kids, aged 9 and 11, were year-round athletes, which meant juggling new sports seasons. Even simple things like morning routines shifted with a newborn in my bedroom.

I needed to be more efficient with my time. More specifically, I needed to become more effective; doing less, better to create more impact. This meant building capacity and availability, not only in my work schedule, but also in my mental, spiritual, and emotional well-being.

Recalibrating Priorities

During that time, I faced an ongoing internal battle while trying to establish an executive coaching, training, and public speaking business. The business pushed me far beyond my comfort zone, leading to constant resistance.

While I saw the potential for a successful coaching and speaking business, I knew deep down that achieving that success required personal growth as well as professional development. Speaking engagements didn’t align with my natural strengths as an introvert who preferred action over talking. Each presentation highlighted this misalignment, leaving me drained. As the misalignment grew wider, I realized I was becoming the bottleneck in my own business.

This internal conflict, along with upcoming changes in my family, forced me to face a crucial decision. Should I fully commit or step back and reassess?

Going all-in on this business now, especially with a new arrival, had consequences. Financially, it meant maintaining a team despite my internal conflict hindering their success. But the true cost was the personal growth required. As I contemplated leading this business during my family’s transition, questions demanded introspection:

  • Do I have enough bandwidth to pay the true cost of the personal grow this business requires right now?
  • Does the transition in my family make room for me to invest myself in this business in the same way?
  • Am I prioritizing the right things for the right reasons?

As I contemplated these answers, I landed on a humbling truth:

This current version of Marques isn’t in a position to succeed in this business.

The cost was too high. It became clear that I needed to take a different approach; one that would embrace the new season my family was stepping into.

In these situations, there’s no definitive ‘right’ choice. It felt like living at the fulcrum for a seesaw, trying to strike the right balance. While there may not have been a “right choice,” I couldn’t let comfort or pride lead me into a ‘wrong’ decision that would harm my family. With that in mind, I decided to wind down that iteration of the business and recalibrate.

Looking inside to find clarity

A few months later, my daughter was born and I decided to go off the grid. I gave myself six months to step back from business and be fully present with my family.

I scheduled my work around their needs, choosing to invest quality time with them rather than giving them whatever energy was left after work. I also made the same conscious effort to invest in myself to build the capacity needed for the next phase of my business journey.

I read more. I ate healthier. I established a morning routine with exercise, mindfulness training, reading, and writing.

After six months, I noticed a major difference. I gained a new balance and fresh perspective on life and business; I found a new equilibrium.

Stepping away from the daily grind allowed me to focus on building capacity, rather than exhausting it, hoping not to burn out.

The time off the grid reshaped my perspective of the coaching and speaking business. It made me realize how information has become a commodity; a race to the bottom with everyone selling and repurposing the same content across different platforms.

Competing in this saturated market was a volume game. To truly succeed, I needed to create scalable content creation systems, focusing on high volumes of distribution and engagement.

Impossible? No.

But I wanted to create my own lane — my own Blue Ocean. In order to do that, I had to dig deeper.

Embracing a new approach

Success isn’t binary. It’s a function of creating spaces for your skills, experiences, and strengths to shine. In order to think create that space, I leaned into Self Scouting, a process that helped me get prepared for the unique challenges that each of my ten NFL seasons would bring. The process helped me visualize what I wanted to accomplish. And, with clarity around the destination, I was able to choose where to invest to bring the vision to life.

Leveraging Self Scouting in my business empowered me to unlock creativity and insights that were hidden in plain sight, right in front of me.

I began reimagining everything I built or aspired to build for the business with the new focus on creating a Blue Ocean. The process centered on these questions:

Who are the specific audiences I can impact? What are they seeking? What valuable support and insight can I offer?

These answers provided a broader understanding of the value and impact I can create for specific audiences. It became clear that repositioning myself and my business within this new context was crucial.

Instead of providing information to the masses, my focus shifted to finding scalable ways to serve the right audience; those looking for the unique value, context, and insights I can provide.

As I navigate this transformative season of my life and prepare for the future, I’m sharing my journey because I know many of us invest our entire beings into our professional pursuits. We often feel the need to compete with others in areas that aren’t our strengths.

Making the pivotal decision to focus your energy in ways that are more effective and aligned with your vision demands self-awareness, courage, and a willingness to embrace the discomfort of the unknown.

But through these experiences, we uncover our true potential and unlock new pathways to a fulfilling and purpose-driven life.

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