I haven’t shared this with anyone.
A year ago……..
I worked an 8-5 that was ok. It wasn’t great, there had been some situations that made it an incredibly stressful and toxic environment that was inescapable. I did not feel any sense of pride. Getting screamed at on the phone 8 hours a day is not easy. I never felt fulfilled. I never felt valued. It got to the point where I would cry on my way into work because I was so stressed over the situations I knew I would face that day and the fact that there was nothing I could do to make it better. I pushed through it because I didn’t want to update my resume ever again and started to wonder if I could make my own business my “day job”. I set a date in my head of January 1, 2017. That was the date I gave myself, not to necessarily be able to quit but to be able to figure out an exit plan and how to get to a place where I could make my business my “day job”, but I still felt that it wasn’t something that was possible. It was just a stupid day dream that would occasionally be good enough to distract me from the current day to day stress and misery I was facing. I rolled into work barely on time most days and though I did a good job, I felt resentful every single day.
Then, after one particularly bad Friday. I went home in tears and sat down and stared at my business calendar and realized I had more work booked than I thought I did. I looked at my contracts, and quickly made a calendar of when I had scheduled invoice payments and when I had expenses due. I took out a calculator and added up my business income and expenses and realized- I was about to make the same amount of money as in my own business as I was at my day job…I had never stopped to look at the numbers on my own end (because I had a day job so they really didn’t matter) but lo and behold….
I had inadvertently structured my contracts to keep a continuous flow of income…a move that I had made to make things easier on my clients had actually set me up for financial security…YEAR ROUND. WHHHATTT?!
I do NOT pretend to be a super business savvy human. Not at all. Yes, I absolutely did my research and formed a legal business entity, and built my website, and hired people when I needed a logo and advice on a brand, and invested in education, but I definitely do not know IT ALL. Accounting and taxes and what to charge people and all of that scares the living hell out of me. I am a planner, and I over think things, and I prepare for disasters the best that I can but I never thought I would have set myself up for success the way that I did.
So, there it was. I tearfully approached my husband and said…”Look at this.” To which he replied, “You’re quitting your job on Monday.”
He hated how stressed out I was, on top of running a business and working full time we have/had been trying to conceive for 6 years. My health conditions were being compounded by the amount of extreme stress I was under. Every damn specialist I had seen had told me this. This was the easiest decision he had ever made. For me, it was SOOOO NOT THAT EASY. But, it was going to happen. I walked into HR on Monday April 11th, and handed them my resignation at 7:30am, I then went and packed up my belongings, said goodbye to my favorite co-workers (the ones who were in the office anyway), and managed to not flip anyone the bird and was out of the office by 8:00am.
That was it. My #ontheroadtofulltime journey was dunzo.
On Tuesday I cleaned the house top to bottom and made sure I cooked a nice meal for my husband who had to work for “the man” HAHA! Wednesday I discovered that I could drink wine on my deck in the middle of the day. Thursday I cleaned some more. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I don’t even remember.
Then Week 2 came and I panicked and spent the week applying for every job I could find because I had convinced myself this was NOT GOING TO WORK and that I was going to fail and they’d come take my house and my dog away.
I spent week 3 interviewing for all of those jobs I had applied for. Week 4 I turned down FOUR JOBS and accepted the fifth. Here’s the kicker- week 5….I called and rescinded the acceptance of the job. *facepalm*
At that point- I was a total ball of nerves. Being full time self-employed did not feel like some amazing euphoric experience. It was scary as hell, every second.
I didn’t tell a single SOUL that I had quit my job. I SWORE MY HUSBAND TO SECRECY. I beat around the bush with my parents and my in-laws and only told a couple close friends. I was SO SCARED that I was going to fail or that they would be angry with me. I waited MONTHS to tell them. WHAT THE HECK RIGHT?! I was terrified. I felt shame. I wasn’t as financially stable as I wanted to be and I was still reeling a little bit but I was doing it…and no one ever came to repossess my dog.
What I have learned over the last year is that I have always had what I needed to make this work, I just never believed that I did. I worried so much about what other people would think. I worried I wasn’t good enough or I wasn’t “that girl”. Now that I have really embraced my self employed status, I am growing and doing things I really never thought possible. I definitely don’t have everything fine-tuned. There are days I am a ball of nerves and just a hot damn mess and there have been plenty of failures over the last year but…it’s ok, give me some grace…a whole lot of it sometimes. Every single day I sit here and have the power to create my future, to right the wrongs I may make along the way, and to build a life for myself and my family.
I have the honor of creating beauty for my brides, and serving them well.
Here’s to another year.