My Difficult Decision

Have you ever been in the situation where you have needed to make a painfully difficult decision? You know… the type of decision that develops into a power struggle of competing desires deep inside you. It’s a battle like no other, and in all honesty, it’s not one that you want to experience too often. Well… I can tell you, I’ve been there.

In an earlier article, I talked about how I ‘changed things up’ with a move from Brisbane to Adelaide (if you missed it, you can read it here). I mentioned how I had formed an emotional and geographical bond with Brisbane that was hard to break, which included my friendships, as well as the promise of a great future for us as a family, in a city that we had come to call our home.

And YET… suddenly, the concept of returning to our hometown of Adelaide, was on the table. What?! I remember feeling quite astonished by my own thinking, to even consider this as an option. From a personal perspective, life in Brisbane was great.

BUT… something had changed. We were running a company that was building momentum very quickly. When you run your own business, it’s very different to working a job. We knew all too well that momentum doesn’t just happen on its own; it comes about as the result of your own time and effort. We knew that we needed to keep up with the momentum we had generated; not just in the immediate term but also in the medium to long term.

In Brisbane, we were operating without any wider family support. We were trying to be parents and trying to run a business at the same time. Not an easy thing to do! The balance was getting harder to strike as more and more business obligations ensued. It was also getting more difficult for us to plan and make time to visit Adelaide, in order to maintain relationships with our wider family.

At this critical phase of our business, we needed complete focus. We needed things to be ‘easy’ as far as our personal circumstances went, and that included having family close by rather than having to fly 2 hours to reach them. Even having family stay with us at our own home in Brisbane took time away from our progress, despite the fact that we loved having them there. We needed to create a lifestyle that would be sustainable; one that would maintain momentum, our energy and our flow.

“This might sound crazy,” I said to my husband. “But what if we relocate to Adelaide?”.

I remember all too well how I felt when the words came out of my mouth. It was like an ‘out of body’ experience because here I was saying this; yet, from a personal perspective, I had a strong personal preference to remain in the city I had come to love and identify with – the city I had learned to call home.

So there it was … the difficult decision we were suddenly faced with. Given the nature of the business and the fact it was developing momentum very quickly, we didn’t have much time to waste. For an outsider looking in, a decision like this would be a no-brainer: it would make complete sense to move. However, for us, making that decision was far more complicated.

For a start, we had some fantastic friendships that we didn’t want to lose. Breaking friendships, especially close ones, isn’t something either of us felt good about. I didn’t want this for myself; but I also didn’t want to hurt our good friends. The last thing I wanted was to cause them any pain.

Then, there was the lifestyle and weather. Oh, the weather! It’s sunny nearly every day in Queensland. You can spend most of your life outdoors in QLD, enjoying the sunshine. We cherished picnics all through winter; our drives to Surfers Paradise and Noosa; and the easy commute by ferry from our home, along the Brisbane River to South Bank.

Despite it being a complicated decision, time was ticking and we had to make a bold choice about whether to remain in Brisbane or return to Adelaide, just so that we could progress! I was getting tired of being stuck in limbo-land; that place where you feel indecision and confusion about what to do.

We weighed up the pros and cons of each, and they were neck-to-neck. It wasn’t getting us anywhere! Have you ever heard of the saying, “paralysis by analysis?” Well, this was a classic example of how over thinking a decision can cause you way too much confusion and distraction and lead you to take no action at all. It is better to make any decision, even if it’s the wrong one, than procrastinate. Trust me!

It was at this point that I said “Let’s just do it”. Why not.

So…the decision was finally made. While on one hand we felt quite excited about returning and spending more time with our family, we felt some sadness about leaving our beloved Brisbane. However we realised that it was OK to feel this way while still initiating the move. We accepted it and carried on. Then, we did what we had to do, to initiate the change.

Telling my friends was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Seeing them hurt and knowing it was a result of my actions, was tough. However, I knew deep in my heart, that we had to do it this way. There was no time to lose. Our business was getting its own legs and we needed to act swiftly so we could remain focused on what we were achieving without losing much momentum. We had to keep going. Onward and upward!

When we commenced this company, we didn’t think for a moment that it would involve us returning to our hometown of Adelaide. It really wasn’t part of the plan. It can be funny how life pans out. Having now made the move, I see that it was meant to be. At this stage in our lives, we were meant to return to our hometown. Adelaide is a great place, and there is much to return for. I’ve talked to many Adelaide people who say that there is no other place like it. And they’re right.

It’s just that when you’ve developed strong friendships with wonderful people; it’s just that when you wake up every day to beautiful sunny days that you love; and it’s when you’re integrated in a lovely, friendly community, that it can be hard to turn your back and give it all up. It sure was complicated. It’s no wonder why some of life’s decisions can be so incredibly difficult.

As of today, it’s been 12 weeks since arriving in our new city, and without a doubt, it has definitely been worth it. Things are simple and easy. Our new abode is compact and easy to maintain (hence much more time to focus on our business priorities); our location has everything within 5 minutes walking distance including family; school; the doctor; the supermarket; cafes and restaurants where we can work from whenever we feel like it. We don’t have to think about and plan that next trip to see wider family. Things are simple. We are in flow. We are productive. We are happy. Momentum is constantly building and being maintained.

It’s ideal for where we are at right at this moment.

When I look back, I remember knowing deep down that we were making the right decision to move back to Adelaide; even though it went in direct opposition to how I personally felt about leaving the city (and friends) I loved so much. A great take-home lesson in all this is to listen closely to your gut instinct. Sometimes, with so many competing feelings, it can be hard to fathom what your gut instinct is actually saying! But if you listen closely, you’ll eventually hear it. Your gut is normally right.

Being faced with these types of decisions is one of the ‘side effects’ of being an entrepreneur. You have to do whatever it takes to reach your goals. If it means moving city; leaving friends behind; taking yourself out of your comfort zone; returning to a city you haven’t lived in for nearly a decade… then, you do it! This is what it means to be an entrepreneur. All aspects of your life are interconnected. Just remember to be easy on yourself and others in the process. Forgive yourself; forgive others. Do whatever it takes. Making bold, brave decisions are what will bring you ultimate success.

Alana Huxtable is founder of Australia’s most exciting holiday accommodation and travel platform, Holiday House Deals. Her wholly Australian owned company is shaking up the holiday accommodation industry by helping holiday-makers and holiday rental owners alike. Holiday House Deals runs regular giveaways, competitions, travel stories, accommodation deals and travel-related experiences all over Australia. Alana is also an author and blogger on entrepreneurship and is the founder of this website. You can read her book HERE.