Helping content marketers more confidently navigate the world of brand storytelling.
July 7, 2020

Power Of The Third Choice

Power Of The Third Choice

How I learned about the power of the "third choice" to help with decision making, and nix limiting beliefs to get ahead at work and in life.

I was running a 7-person Social team for a billion-dollar retailer, responsible for ~$10 million budget. I accomplished what I had worked so hard to achieve. But, after 9-years of this, I got burnt out. I wasn't as present as I wanted to be with my young kids and husband. I wanted to work from home so I could be there when my son got out of school.  My dream had changed.

Decision: should i stay or go?

Should I find a new job, or stay and see if I can change the role? I decided to have a vulnerable discussion with my boss and long story short, I was able to step into a brand new role for the company, helping drive content strategy, while working from home and being able to pick my son up after school and have more mindful time with my family!!!  And, another person from my team was able to step into my old role and advance her career in the process. #winwin

Decision: should i start my own biz or stay?

Three years later: I'm rocking my remote content strategy role, proving remote work is possible for others in the org. But, after being with the same employer for more than a decade, my creative side is screaming at me to help other brands, collaborate with other people. However, I really like my job. I like what I do. But, I want to diversify a bit.  Should I quit and start my own consulting biz, or stay since I like what I do?  A friend wisely asked me why I couldn't do BOTH. I assumed my employer wouldn’t be o.k. with me having a consulting side hustle. But, I hadn’t asked them, so how did I really know? She’s right! Why couldn't I do both as long as it didn't negatively impact my full-time role?!?! So, I confirmed that my current employer was o.k. with me doing this (they were), started my Kindred Speak consulting biz as a side hustle, and dabbled in the consulting world, joining the ever-growing side-hustle community.


What do both of these examples have in common?  The THIRD CHOICE!! Both times, I had narrowed my choices down to two best options, only to realize there was a third option that blended the two and would be the best of both worlds! Looking back it was my own limiting beliefs that held me back in making those decisions initially. Limiting beliefs that told me my employer wouldn't go for it. Doubt about whether I could do it.  Fear about it not working.  Yup--- even me, Mrs. Positivity, has doubts now and then.

Now, when I think I have my options all laid out before me, I ask myself what's the third choice I'm not thinking of, or holding back on because of a limiting belief?

Now, when i think i have all my options laid out before me, i ask myself "what's the third choice i'm not thinking of, or holding back on because of a limiting belief?

Sarah Panus of Kindred Speak LLC

How have your own limiting beliefs stopped you from seeing a great solution, or made your decisions harder? Can you benefit from asking yourself "what's the third choice?" Try it and drop me a line on my insta page to let me know how it's going.


Sarah Panus is a content marketing strategist, Minnesota mom, and owner of Kindred Speak, LLC, a remote consultancy that helps brands with digital content marketing, influencer marketing, and brainstorming. She’s spent 17 years helping brands including Sleep Number, Starbucks, Nestle Waters, Christos Bridal, Game Crazy, Cone Inc, etc. speak a kindred language with their audiences, driving brand advocacy and millions in revenue and brand engagements. Email Sarah at to book a free 30-minute consultation to discuss your brand storytelling questions and needs. Follow Sarah on Instagram or LinkedIn as she helps parents working in content marketing-type roles who struggle with overwhelm or confusion at work. Learn more at