The image above is a great tool to help you make a hard decision. In this example, the decision to make is do i leave my corporate job and become my own boss…

Take some time and write out the answers to each of these questions. The act of getting your thoughts out of your head and on to paper is a powerful tool to help you begin to transform your mindset.  In the following sections I am going to break down each question so it’s easy to understand.

If I DO take this risk what could I gain?

This one’s pretty simple. When you leave the corporate world and become an entrepreneur,  your gain is achieving your goals and the rewards you’ve been going after. It’s the life you really want for yourself, on your own terms. It’s the freedom to be your own boss, make your own schedule, choose your own clients, and work where and when you want to work, rather than having to answer to someone else’s agenda all of the time.   

If I DO take this risk what could I lose?

This is the question that can stop you in your tracks. If you’ve spent most of your life in the mindset of an employee, then the biggest loss is going to be the security a corporate job provides. Maybe it’s the comfort of a steady job, a regular paycheck, or benefits.

Write down the real risks here — don’t sugar coat it. Be focused on your own situation and how this decision will impact your life and your family. This is your first step toward planning for the pitfalls that will inevitably pop up.

If I DON’T take this risk what do I have to gain?

If you don’t leave that job you hate what do you have to gain? Most people don’t ever really consider this question — at least not fully. They spend time thinking about the dangers of leaving, but it’s important to consider any benefits there might be to staying in your corporate job as well. Writing this list helps you evaluate all of your options, but my guess is, you won’t have much to cling to. 

After all, if you avoid taking the risk, you might get that 2% raise this year.  You might build a solid network of work “friends.”  But you can’t put “a stable job” in this list, because you already have that. Remember that your focus is to identify the things you gain, not what you already have.

If I DON’T take this risk what do I have to lose?

Now, here’s a big one.  If you don’t take the risk — if you decide to stay in your corporate job — are you giving up your dreams? What is that worth? Many people get so caught up in what they could lose if they forget what is possible to gain.

Final questions

Now, take your answers to each of the above questions and weigh them against each other. You should have a clearer picture of everything that may be at stake.