The Opportunity Cost of Playing Big

Guest Post by Robin Sampson, First Circle Leaders


“A leader must give up to go up” – John Maxwell

Robin Sampson of First Circle LeadersWhen I first decided to become an entrepreneur, I knew that my life would change. My previous career as a teacher afforded me a steady income, a structured schedule, and free time to pursue other interests. At first glance, one may believe that this is the good life; however, my heart felt differently. Teaching Spanish no longer invigorated me as it did ten years ago. As my passion for Spanish waned, I knew that it would be replaced by a love for developing leaders. Starting a leadership coaching business demanded more time than I was able to invest while still teaching. Listening to my heart, I decided to leave teaching to pursue a new career in leadership coaching.

This decision weighed heavy on my conscious; for the fear of venturing on my own scared me! Nonetheless, knowing that this career change rested at the core of my being empowered me to move forward as planned. Of course making a drastic life change such as pursuing a developing business requires faith and planning. I knew that if my heart guided me in this direction, much sacrifice would be required.

Once I left my job, I downsized my life proportionately by cutting my living expenses in half! I gave up my own apartment to share with two other roommates, I sold most of my furniture, I reduced my cell phone bill by 50%, I moved to another city where I didn’t have to rely on my car, I obtained a contracting position that would supplement my income as well as allow me flexible hours to business build, and I budgeted how much time I would have to build my business before money ran out. If there is one discovery I made as a result of such decisions is that the basic economic principle of need vs. want becomes painstakingly clear when one is responsible for generating her own cash flow!

In light of such changes, I began to feel more energized. Fear turned into faith and work became pleasure. At that moment, I trusted that despite whether I met with success or defeat, I made the right decision.

Pursuing one’s passion may not require such drastic changes; still, it will require heart, faith, hard work and personal sacrifice. Though the timetable to materialize financial results may vary, one can immediately experience more joy, energy, and zest for life, thus making the personal sacrifices worth the journey.

Leader Limelight: What personal sacrifices are you making in order to play a bigger game?


Robin Sampson empowers leaders in education and business to interrogate reality when it comes to how they lead themselves and others in their organization. Through core values coaching, Robin reveals how one’s core values impacts his purpose, productivity and quality of life. She may be reached at

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