My Day Job Quit On Me and It Was The Best Step Forward
I’m sure for many of you can relate to what my life looked like until recently. I was working full time but had a dream to start my own business. So I did. After working with my hands for eight hours a day, I would get home and start making all over again, slowly building my business and creating something I loved and was proud of. Countless hours a week added up quickly on top of my full time day job. Add all of life's responsibilities into the mix and it was a surefire way to feel drained and exhausted, which eventually became the norm. But in the back of your mind, you hope and dream that one day you will be your own boss, and that all your hard work will pay off.
I’m certain that many of you can relate to this way of life. And mine looked the same way for a while, until it suddenly didn’t. I was not expecting to wake up one day and find out that I was going to be left unemployed, with no warning, from I job I thought was totally secure. I felt completely blindsided and had to deal with a lot of feelings of confusion and anger. After the initial shock and hurt slowly subsided, I knew I had two choices; take a job that probably wouldn’t be in my field (jobs as a jeweler/goldsmith are hard to come by) or dive head first and put all my time, energy and money into my own business.
So with little to no hesitation I chose the second option! Suddenly, I was my own boss, and my dreams of running my own business full-time were a reality. I believe everything happens for a reason, and it turns out getting let go was a blessing in disguise, even if it didn’t feel like it at the time. I know it would have been the safer option to get the first part or full-time job I could find and to continue working on my business on the side, until I felt comfortable and my business was profitable enough to go full-time. The stress of bills, our mortgage and living was very real. But I felt that the timing was right and that if I didn’t take a leap I would continue to be exhausted and not be able to put enough of myself into my business. So I decided to turn a devastating situation into a push in the right direction that I probably wouldn’t have taken until a long way down the road. I understand not everyone would be in a position to choose the second option, and I feel blessed and grateful for having a loving and supportive husband who helped me to do so.
So here I am, almost three months later and couldn’t be happier with my decision. I am working from home (the dream), for myself (also the dream) surrounded by my three kitties--is this a dream?! I spend my days creating, making, teaching workshops, experimenting and volunteering locally; all things I wouldn’t have been able to do before in the capacity that I am now.
There is of course a learning curve going from a '9-5' job, to being your own boss and controlling your own time and decisions and the amount of work you get done. Am I all of a sudden making a bunch of money and reaching all of my goals? Of course not, but I am so proud of what I have achieved the last few months and I am continually taking steps forward, no matter how small. I’ve hosted and booked more macrame workshops that are selling better than ever before, I received my first large international wholesale order from a shop that wants to sell my work, made my largest custom order to date, and I am finally volunteering with an organization that I’ve wanted to work with for a long time!
Those are some things I’m very proud of, but because of my creative and entrepreneurial spirit I have so much more that I want to accomplish! It can get overwhelming, and at times discouraging, but I have to continually take a step back and evaluate how much I’ve done and give myself grace and remember that it’s ok to rest! Less than 3 months ago I was so exhausted and close to completely burning out. Even after transitioning to working for myself I’m still searching for my ideal work life balance. It might be something I’ll always be seeking since I genuinely love making and am fortunate enough to work out of my home studio.
I think it's important to remember that we can be our hardest critics, especially when running our own business. Completing those endless to-do lists is gratifying and essential to getting work done, but how we spend our days is how we spend our lives, and it should be meaningful. Getting this opportunity to choose what I want my life to look like has been so empowering and has given me the perspective that any step forward, whether it’s just a check mark off the list or a giant leap of faith, is a movement in the right direction.
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