Before you take on that new job, relationship or even pet, ask yourself these questions to make sure you're really ready for it.

by Ryan Paugh


On Monday, I finally did something I’ve been thinking about doing for over a year: I bought a puppy. His name is Charlie, and he’s awesome.

Finally doing something that you’ve wanted to do for a long time is an amazing feeling. And it makes me realize that putting it off was worth the wait. I couldn’t have handled the responsibility until now.

Taking on new responsibilities has never been something I take lightly. If I’m going to do a job, I want to make sure I do it right. Here are a few questions that helped me know I was ready to take on more responsibility:

How will it affect the relationships in my life?

I have a hard time taking on a new responsibility if I know it’s going to have a negative impact on the important people in my life. Whether it’s friends, family or the people I work with, it’s hard to make a decision without thinking about how it will affect them.

When you work as closely as Penelope, Ryan Healy and I do, there’s no question that our personal and professional lives get mixed together. So before I picked up Charlie, I asked them what they thought. I’m glad that they both thought it would be a lot of fun to have a Brazen Careerist mascot.

Who’s going to support me when things get tough?

It doesn’t matter who you are. Everybody needs backup. And if you don’t think you need backup, you’re just not thinking.

Between Healy, Penelope and my three awesome neighbors, I knew I’d have enough support to handle Charlie when times get tough. Considering my upcoming travels, my workload and the other important relationships in my life, I’d be lost without a little backup. Right now, Healy is watching the little man so I can sit down, focus and write this post. Thanks, Healy.

Will I do a good job?

Anything worth doing is worth doing right. So when I know I can’t do something to best of my ability, I just won’t start at all.

Having a startup career is what makes my new responsibility possible. If I was still sitting in a cubicle from 9 to 5, there would be no Charlie. It wouldn’t be fair to me or him.

What do my parents think?

All right, in all honesty, I didn’t even call them until two hours into my drive to pick up Charlie. I was scared that they’d think I wasn’t ready. But when I told my mom and dad, they laughed and said congratulations.

Say what you will about my generation being overly dependent on our parents, because I really don’t care. If you’re as lucky as I am, you have parents who know you better than anyone. Show me a better place to go for advice, and I’ll reevaluate my life.

Do I have enough passion to make it work?

Let’s face it, life is all about things changing. And when that happens, am I still going to want to take care of Charlie? I know the answer is yes, absolutely. Because the bottom line is that you couldn’t take my dog away from me with an army behind you. And if you’re that passionate, you know you’re ready.

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