As I was tossing and turning sleepless in bed thanks to an afternoon cup of coffee, I got annoyed and thought I should do something useful with my time. So, totally knowing that getting the computer is NOT the right thing to do, I did it anyway because I felt like writing.
Because writing is one thing I love to do….
just putting down whatever is in my head without worrying about the grammar, spelling, content, pictures and so forth….just writing. Since I wrote, My Story, I haven’t really done much liberating writing (I guess similar to ‘journaling’).
You see, back in August, when I resigned my corporate job,
I envisioned having those extra 40-60 hours a week free to do what my heart desires without stressing out.
Ha! What was I thinking? Thinking back, I have no idea how I handled a corporate job on top of everything else. Well, no, wait, I know.
The extra 20 pounds and the adrenal fatigue shed light into it.
First of all, if you are with me in a late afternoon, and I tell you I want coffee, smack me! I don’t even drink coffee regularly but for some reason associate coffee with relaxation. So, as we were driving back from the beach today, I decided that I want a cup of coffee. Congrats now! Enjoy the effects of that cup of coffee at 2 AM.
Now, I haven’t really written much on the topic of what it feels like being an entrepreneur. From some reactions, I can tell people envision my day as chilling out. I texted a friend saying: “TGIF!”. The response back was: “Why do you care?”. Hm, I wonder. Probably because I spend the week working my arse off and do get excited when the weekend is here. Actually, sometimes I work without a weekend. Saturday morning is usually working morning, and then, if there are events, I work again. I work whenever I have to. Sometimes weeks go without weekends. My days don’t end at 5 PM because many of my clients are working folks who can’t come during the day. So I work 3 evenings out of the week too. And depending on how I invest my time, sometimes the paycheck at the end of the month is good or not good.
Doing my own thing has also shaken things quite a bit on a personal perspective too.
Hubby is still dealing with the change, some days better than others. He is still puzzled why I would leave a career behind. “I just love what I do now and don’t want to have regrets that I haven’t given it a chance” is not a sufficient enough explanation. He also can’t comprehend why I work so hard even though he is an entrepreneur himself and knows what he had to do to get his business started and to now to keep it going. In fairness, he has stepped it up with our daughter’s activities, homework and so forth, for which I am so grateful. But there is tension. He also loves to pull the (under the belt) didn’t-you-quit-to-spend-more-time-with-our-daughter card; nothing like guilting a mom! I had to sit down my 6-year old and have a conversation.
Me: Do you like mommy not working in the office?
Her: Yes, I do!
Me: Well, mommy needs to make Rebellious Intl successful to not have to go back to the office. So, when mommy needs to work late or go to a meeting, it is because mommy is working hard to make things happen. If Rebellious Intl doesn’t work, mommy needs to get a job in the office again.
I think she understands. She actually tells me she wants to help me. And she does. She is the best sample maker! And she does it with excitement and desire.
My mom – ah, would be lost without her. While she was gone in the fall for a visit back home, I don’t know how I managed to do everything she helps with now. I guess when we have to, we do! Yes, I am spoiled because she helps with anything and everything.
Sometimes I wonder if she thinks I am a terrible mom.
I don’t want to ask probably because I am afraid to hear an answer I won’t like. She acknowledges I work a lot. Just last week she told me I work a lot more now than with my corporate job. It’s true. But you see, it’s different now. I have always worked a lot, probably have workaholic tendencies, but now it is different.
This is MY venture, my vision, my passion!
If I could give so much effort and hours to a company, why wouldn’t I give even more to my gig?
In my first month of Rebellious Intl, I was looking at my empty inbox wondering if the emails would start pinging. Well, should have enjoyed that quiet time because now I am behind – nope, not complaining, I appreciate this problem!
Some days, when I am running 100 miles an hour, I think of my days back in corporate. That time seems relaxing now. Lol, it is always greener on the other side.
People ask me if I regret quitting. Not for a minute! Is it hard? Yes! Is it stressful? Yes! Do you love it? Yes!
Another frequently asked question is how did you pick the time to quit? Weren’t you scared?
I was horrified. There were so many what-if scenarios. But when was the perfect time? Well, it was NOW.
No, I didn’t hate my boss. Ironically, I loved my boss. She was unique – a successful female who supported other women’s growth, who was personable and always asked for my opinion and gave me so much freedom and flexibility to do my work; she trusted me and pushed me gently to my uncomfortable zone to grow. She is actually one of the reasons I stayed for as long as I did. I also loved working with most of my team members. While the company had its chaotic moments – well, that’s everywhere.
It was just the my time to set sail. Walking everyday into the office felt like walking into prison because it kept me away from what I loved doing. It became unbearable. And I refused to bear it for the sake of a paycheck. I had to at least try…..
This just made me think of a long-time favorite quote by Henry David Thoreau. I somehow find it analogous to what I am trying to say. I bolded my fav statements….even if I just read these, I get goose bumps. So spot on!
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms…”
Do I still experience fear of the unknown? Yes, certainly do, some days more than others.
It is not fun getting ‘no’s. But growing and learning this is part of the game. Business 101 real life!
What I remind myself is that this work is the path to a future where I will have more flexibility and financial freedom than any corporate job could ever offer me. And what better way than doing it by positively impacting the lives of others! Eyes on the prize!
Do you feel excited about your job? I didn’t before. I do now.
What is this journey teaching me? Boy, so many things. Where do I start? This has truly been a start to a personal transformation. Yes, I know, peachy transformation, right? No, it has been the beginning of a personal journey in so many different ways.
First, I have found out I have to deal with my own demons. What I mean is the many things I have found out I personally have to resolve and improve to be the best version of me.
Starting with the simplest, yet hardest, habits to break like sleeping and sugar. The sugar part doesn’t surprise me. The sleeping part does because who doesn’t want to go to bed at a reasonable time? Me! But my adrenal tests did show I have a spike of cortisol at 10 PM. You see, it makes sense. Only problem is that this is not the right way the body should function and could have serious health implications.
Relationships – this one has hit hard. Before I quit my job, someone told me that I should not count on my friends during my time of change. Uh! “He doesn’t know my friends and my relationships” is what I thought. I always thought of myself as that friend you can call at 2 AM if you need to talk. So, certainly, my friends would be there for me as well. Well, yeah, that’s didn’t turn out exactly as expected. There are very few friends who actually ask how things are going. There are those that ask in by-the-way type of way. Few are those who really care to know. I won’t lie – it has been disappointing. The bright spot is that some acquaintances and even strangers have totally blown me away with their support. I am completely humbled and appreciative and…. I don’t even know what the right words are….it’s just beyond overwhelming when someone you don’t know well asks you what they can do to help and then follows through with it. Then I am also meeting many people who are small business owners and on my wavelength and relate. This always makes me think of the saying:
“People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.”
Now I offer the above words of wisdom to fellow small business owners who are disheartened. I am sure friends come around at some point of time. I wonder of the psychology of this…. I am sure there is an explanation. But for now, I can be honest and say that there are moments when it feels lonely and it does suck.
That’s when I remind myself that this is not about anyone else but me and my dreams and I can’t let anyone or anything get in the way!
Another real story that took place a week before my last day in corporate comes to mind. Someone who is a very close friend told me, with not so nice tone, I was delusional to quit my job and think my plan would work. So I did what was easiest to do.
I went home, got in bed and started crying.
About 10-15 minutes into my self-pity party, it hit me: “What on earth?!? I have stuff to do! If I will crumble and cry at the first mean thing said to me, I better go ask for my job back!” I got mad at myself. “It’s time to rough it up, girl. Get your butt out of bed, wipe those tears and get going! Because building a business will require a tough bone and you better start growing it right now!”. I got out of bed, attempted to cover up the swollen eyes and took on the day. Well, I was a mess but pushed through the things I had to get done. I actually have a video from that day…..will share it some day.
I have quickly learned that I need to devote sparse time to those relationships that help me grow and nurture me and encourage me and give me energy to do all that I have to accomplish.
Speaking of energy, that’s another area that I am working on. I am upbeat and compassionate but I tend to carry other people’s burdens with me. So now I am onto a mission to find creative ways (cool topic for another blog!) to let the negative energy go and let the positive energy flow!
Another favorite aspect of being a business owner – creating and nurturing new relationships! This is where I am spending most of my time. I truly believe this is key for growing a successful business long term. I meet new people with intriguing stories and inspirational journeys all the time. I love getting to know the person behind the business and his/ her why. It is exhilarating. I am learning so much about myself through others. There are so many relatable topics, experiences, there is so much learning and growth happening through this part of building a business. More to come on this topic!
Social media – holy cow! Who knew there was so much I don’t know; so many apps, so little time! However, iMovie and I are getting friendlier. I can’t wait till my little one takes over my social media content management :-).
The hardest part of all – working on changing my type A++ perfectionist self to someone who enjoys the moment and lets things go easier if they don’t go along with plan. Just last week, I literally shocked myself with the way I responded to a situation which would have gotten my old self all worked up for hours, if not days. Going along with the comments on energy above, I am learning where my energy expenditures should be allowed.
To sum it all,
I am truly working on letting go of the past and the future and focusing on today!
I was totally oblivious that I was so thoroughly not in the present and was going through my days without smelling the roses. Much more work to be done but now also having the awareness to move forward.
……I can keep going and going but the coffee effect is starting to dissipate…..let me know if you enjoyed this random blog. Enjoyed sharing my thoughts and hope content was relatable to someone else out there……nighty!