Do I Step Up or Step Back?

Dear Shi, 

My plate has been so full lately between balancing my full-time job at a large non-profit, my side hustle as a photographer, and I’m also engaged to be married in the Fall!  I have big leadership responsibilities in each of these areas, and everything in my life is good, but not necessarily great.  I’ve been feeling the desire to take a step back in my leadership position at my job, but there’s no one to step up if I leave.  I like my side hustle, but it’s not enough to bring in the income I need.  My relationship is important and stepping into a new season and am not sure how to best prepare for that either.  I’d love your thoughts on my situation! 


Dear Katie, 

Sounds like you do have a lot on your plate, but all very exciting things happening at one time.  I love that your desire is not just to be good, but you have the standard to be great.  In order to pursue that kind of excellence, we can’t really do everything at the same time, but choose to focus on growing or changing one area and channeling our energy in that. 

So today, we’re going to talk about when to step up to move forward in this area as a leader, and when to step back to let this area go so you can refocus on something else. 

When to Step Up

  • When you’re facing a new season of change that will challenge you to grow 
  • When it’s important aspect of your life where you need to focus to set a new normal or firm foundation 
  • When there are people who have a need that you know you’re meant to fill 

When to Step Back

  • When you sense the need to prune: cutting down the leaves that are taking up energy but not producing fruit.
  • When you know there’s someone else that may be better equipped for the job, look for those emerging leaders! 
  • When you need to take a time of rest and rejuvenation so you’re refreshed with a renewed perspective 

Ultimately, it’s your decision to decide what you’d like to focus on in this season, and then the rest go.  You’ll be surprised that you’ll get stronger in the areas you choose to step up, and allow others to shine in the areas you choose you step back. 

If you choose to step up, what kind of support do you need to set yourself up for success? 

If you need to step back, who can you pass the torch to in order to set them up for success?  

Throughout this time, discern what may be the next best step for you, and go do it!  The changes may not happen overnight, but be okay with just taking baby steps to lead an intentional life. 

Your Action Step: 

  1. Decide which area of your business or life you’d like to focus on.  
  2. Choose whether to step up or step back. 
  3. Create a plan of action to get the support you need to so you can set yourself (and others) up for success.  

I’d love to know — what transition are you facing in your business and life?  How are you preparing for it?  Join the Authentic Brand Leaders Facebook Group and let us know! 

If you found this letter helpful, please share it with your friends.  If you’d like more insight into turning your ideas into action so you can create a successful business and intentional life, then subscribe to the “Letters For Leaders” and receive your free “Vision Into Action” workbook.  

With Joy,

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