They say life isn’t about the things that happen to you, but about the decisions you make. There’s a ton of coverage about the best decisions people have made, but not nearly enough conversation about the tough decisions.  We asked folks we admire to tell us about the most difficult decision they’ve ever had to make and have shared some of those responses below.

Michele Hanson Pahan | Owner and Creator of Riley’s Natural Pet Supply

In 2014, my husband and I left other careers outside of the pet industry to open our small business in my home town of Littleton, Colorado, that I have grown up in for 58 years. Nine months after opening our store, I tragically and unexpectedly lost my husband. The most difficult decision I’ve ever had to make was deciding to walk away from our dreams and all we had created, or keep the store open and navigate my way through our shared business where we had very specific skillsets. Read more>>

Dr. Dave Gordon | Integrative Medicine Physician and Educator

Closing my long-time primary care practice in 2017. I started a private practice in 2003, just out of residency. It grew over the years and took on various forms as my medical philosophies evolved and I adapted the practice business model to meet those needs. However, despite the various iterations, I still had a single private primary care practice for my entire career. Beyond that, having a small private practice was always what I envisioned my medical career to be so in reality, I was living the singular vision I had since even being a kid. I have dealt with emotional health issues for most of my life; more often than not they have been managed adequately. In no way did I look at my practice as a cause for my issues; however, there were aspects of my professional situation that were certainly exacerbating my issues. There were also new experiences and challenges that I wanted to have but couldn’t find ways to incorporate them into my world. Read more>>

Jaiya Ellis | Steamboat Babysitting Company Owner

Being a small business owner is a challenge in its self and I had always worked another full-time job at the same time of owning and managing the business. But in December 2019 I took a chance and left a full-time job to solely run the business and work for the business itself. That was a hard decision not knowing if I could make enough income to sustain myself and just taking a chance. We were having the best winter thus far but then obviously Covid set in which sent my world upside down with little to no income for 8 months. That was the hardest decision I’ve ever made but glad I took the leap of faith and it paid off at the end of the day. I got to spend more time with my children while also growing the business. Read more>>