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How Robert B. McGuinness Left His Career to Follow His Calling

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Robert B. McGuinness always knew that the typical career path wasn’t for him. His mom’s side of the family were first-generation immigrants from the Middle East who started with nothing and built spectacular and successful businesses. McGuinness always felt a calling to something greater but didn’t want to leave his career for entrepreneurship just yet. 

He worked as a technology salesman in New York and took an hour and a half commute each way. McGuinness was successful in his job, but emotionally and spiritually drained. This job wasn’t what he wanted to do or who he wanted to be.

“Every day I showed up to work, something deep inside of me was off,” McGuinness said. “My throat would close, and my chest would tighten. Deep down, I knew there was more, and I knew I didn’t belong here.”

As someone who tried and failed as an entrepreneur twice before, McGuinness wasn’t sure that his third time would be a charm. But he knew he wasn’t the only one who felt this way.

A 2013 survey from Salary.com said that only 38.5% of Americans were “personally fulfilled by the work” they do – a steep decline from 59.2% in 2012. During the same year, a Gallup poll found that only 13% of Americans felt “engaged” in their job. In 2019, that figure only rose by 2%, meaning that 85% of Americans still hate going to work.

With so many workers feeling unsatisfied, more of them are wondering if they’re missing out on something more significant. Many want to leave their career for entrepreneurship but don’t where to start.   

Through a great deal of soul-searching and research, McGuinness devised a methodology that helped him leave his career to follow his calling. Now, he leads Soul Venturer, where he teaches these same techniques to other would-be entrepreneurs who want to do the same.

No two journeys are alike,” McGuinness said. “Every one of our clients’ journeys has a unique, pacing, timing, and financial aspect to it where it could not be exactly the same.”

Here’s his innovative methodology:

Finding Your Path 

“The first step is to find your path, believe it or not, most of finding your path is actually just coming to the conclusion and admission that you are lost,” said McGuinness. “We must honor feeling lost before we get to be found. If we are in denial in any way about being lost, we further prolong unwanted emotions that come with being lost. There is so much freedom in acceptance.” 

“I believe your path is the culmination of your vision, mission, and identity learning to all come together. For anyone to make this jump possible, it is a total identity shift, a shift of going from who we think we are to who we remember ourselves to be.”

The first step is to find your mission. Your mission is the reason why you want to leave your career for entrepreneurship. Following your mission means following your calling – something bigger than yourself and your career. Your new journey into entrepreneurship isn’t just about making ends meet; it’s about making a long-lasting impact on the world and society.

Your mission serves yourself and the world around you. You’ll find personal fulfillment not just through doing something you love, but also from knowing that you’re changing the world for the better.

To find your mission, ask these questions:

  • Why does my organization exist? (Or why should it exist?)
  • What is your organization’s purpose?

Clarifying Your Path – Vision

“Typically once we have found our path, what usually happens is we end up coming to see that our path has obstacles in it. Figuratively speaking, it is almost like there are trees that fell down and boulders that are in the way of you seeing your path with clarity. I believe those obstacles that are preventing you from having clarity are the parts of you that might have forgotten who you are and what you stand for. It is when one works through the elements of them that they have forgotten; it is then that they have begun the process of remembering who they have always been. 

In this remembrance, is where we uncover the truth. A truth we feel genuinely strongly about. That truth becomes the hill we would die on, or a bullet we would take. That is when our values become crystal clear, our vision becomes clear, our identity becomes apparent, and this truth gets to be expressed into a clear mission in the world.” 

Next, you must develop your vision. People often confuse the two, so here’s a concise breakdown: A mission is what you want to do and who you want to be. A vision is what you want to achieve.

For example, your mission might be to provide education for underprivileged children. Your vision may be to uplift communities and ensure better futures for their residents through the power of learning.

To find your vision, ask these questions:

  • What problem are you trying to solve?
  • Where is your organization headed?
  • Where will your company be in five or ten years from now?

Values

Your next step is to find clarity on who you are and what you value. Your values are your guiding moral and ethical principles. They should shape your mission and vision. Think of your values as the bedrock to everything else in your organization.  

To find your values, ask these questions:

  • What do you stand for?
  • What qualities do you want your business to represent?
  • What traits do you value in yourself and others?

Typical values include honesty, philanthropy, diversity, customer focus, teamwork, accountability, compassion, innovation, and respect.

Walking Your Path

“Once you have now cleared your path, you now have clarity. What we are then ready to begin is to uncover how to translate the mission into the marketplace. What that looks like is uncovering who the ideal client(s) are who can be served by this mission and who needs the mission to come alive. Then it is about clarifying the right go to market strategy around one’s current career until they are ready and confident enough to leave. Once one has begun to monetize, it will then become clear as to when they are ready actually to leave their career to go full time.”

“I designed the methodology in this particular syntax because I have seen many early entrepreneurs fail and fumble because they do not have the clarity yet or the execution strategy in place for the mission to stabilize in the market place first. It is designed this way to give them confidence and more stability than just leaving your career on a whim. Our clients do it this way so that they can leave their career in a smoother process than going into total instability.” 

Use these three guiding principles to determine your long-term path. Where will you be decades down the line? How will you get there? What steps will you take to ensure success? 

Too many entrepreneurs fail because they’re not clear on their long-term path. That’s what keeps them stuck. They stay in their career instead of following their calling.

Once we have clarified your path, we can talk about monetization and then transitioning into entrepreneurship,” said McGuinness. “I designed the methodology this way because I have seen so many early entrepreneurs that fumble and fail early on and because they are not clear on who they are first. To me, this is the most effective and sustainable plan.” 

Monetization is the key to ensure you can successfully leave your career for entrepreneurship as you’ll have a steady stream of income either way. Of course, you can drop out of your job early, but it’s quite risky if you don’t have a financial safety net.

Entrepreneurship isn’t a path that most people take, but it can be several times more rewarding than a corporate job. You’ll no longer be shackled by a nine-to-five job or beholden to any superior’s whims.

Conclusion

I believe we are living in a time of what is called the great transition,” said McGuinness. “There is a mass consciousness movement happening where more and more people are waking up to see how they are here for something bigger in their life.” 

America is currently undergoing a great awakening where people finally realize that they don’t have to go down the typical corporate pathways anymore. Instead, they can carve out new paths for themselves. Yet, most people are afraid of leaving their steady job for entrepreneurship, which carries a lot of uncertainty.

McGuinness recognized this dilemma in his fellow workers and entrepreneurs. He knew that many others struggled with the same dilemma and didn’t see the way out. He founded Soul Venturer to help his clients leave their careers for entrepreneurship. McGuinness’s revolutionary methodology ensures that clients have a reliable roadmap to follow their dreams and achieve success.

 

Patrick W. Dunne is a freelance writer who covers business, technology, and productivity. He has bylines in Listverse, Psych Central, Digital Privacy News, The Good Men Project, and others. You can follow him on LinkedIn or read his blog.

Patrick W. Dunne is a freelance writer and the Head Journalist for Unstoppable Branding Agency, a PR & media firm that covers disruptive stories of experts, authors, and speakers.

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