Follow the Rainbow: 5 Steps to Smooth Life Transitions

Posted on: Apr 08, 2014

Jump off the cliff. Just do it. Take a leap of faith. Don’t think, just act.

We’ve all heard these inspirational slogans — I say them all the time.

But while it’s necessary to take a leap of faith from time to time, to fling yourself freely off that cliff, we all wonder — can I do it? What happens next?

A couple of weeks ago, I hosted my third Pink Chandelier Party at CAVU Coffee, where the owner Emily Schanie shared her own story of “skydiving” from her career as a flight attendant to coffee shop owner.

Emily talked about how she and her husband had always dreamed of owning their own coffee shop, and now, they are living that dream. But Emily shared something important about her transition: she didn’t wake up one day, quit her job, and start hunting for a storefront to rent. Rather, the transition took her five years. Five years!

As I was pondering Emily’s journey and the idea of life’s transitions, I kept coming back to the image of a rainbow. The rainbow effect occurs because light is reflected inside a droplet of rain and then refracted out again into the air. It struck me: it has to rain before you can see a rainbow.

Imagine a rainstorm, a dark cloudy side facing a steep incline, but if you can navigate the uphill journey, you will find that each step toward the top brings you to a higher level of clarity — the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is in sight. Once you reach the peak of your rainbow, you’ll find that the terrain gets easier as you descend towards your goal.

I think of transitions as having 5 parts

1.    SPARK: This is the Idea, the passion, the dream, or the need
Example: Emily’s dream to own her own business

2.    VISION: or the “rainbow”
Emily wanted to open a coffee shop, a business where she could be a part of people’s daily lives.

3.    REFLECTION: stewing, noodling, finding support, researching, or do something just for experience
Emily worked as a manager at a chain coffee shop, worked at a hotel, and a major retail chain.

4.    STRATEGY: the plan, the tracks up the steep side of the rainbow to take you from here to there
Emily decided to buy the closing coffee shop where she had worked as a manager and drew up design plans for an interior that fit her sense of style, she found a coffee distributor, and she began experimenting with extracting her own vanilla.

5.   GOLD: the tangible “goal” at end of rainbow
CAVU has been open for six months (as of April 1, 2014) and has become a thriving business in her community.

The journey up the dark side of the rainbow is not easy, but if you work hard, are patient and embrace all five of these steps, you’ll set yourself up for success and a much easier transition from the life you live to the life you want to live.

We are all constantly transitioning, though some life changes feel bigger than others. What transition are you going through, and can you identify the five steps? Comment or email me to tell me about the transitions in your life right now!

*Image courtesy Steve Jurvetson