the thing i can finally talk about
or, how i’ve learned to cope with saying “i’m leaving my full time job and focusing all of my time and energy on my business.”
MY. BUSINESS. those are actual words i say and they MEAN SOMETHING. whuuuuuuuuuut.
so, here’s a thing. i’m leaving my full time job, one that i’ve enjoyed a solid 90% of the time, and striking out on my own. i’m growing my own small business, starglass media, specializing in website builds, social media strategy and management, and email marketing for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and nonprofits. yes. that is the thing i’m doing.
you wouldn’t think a sentence carries so much weight but whoa, you’re wrong. it’s so many things. let’s start with some history.
a year and a half ago, maybe longer, i got an itch. i thought that maybe it was time for a change. i looked around at other positions and some of them seemed awesome, but i couldn’t get excited about them. the thought of trudging into an office on someone else’s time for the rest of forever felt stifling, even for a job i might love doing.
and i remembered of all of the inspiring people i know who have made a self-employed life work for them, and i thought of how i had always felt leagues behind them, different from them, and i thought about why. was i really so different? (no) did my skills translate to freelance and consulting work? (yes) what was stopping me? (fear)
i was fortunate enough to begin these conversations with two amazing entrepreneurial friends, a married couple for whom I’d sign on to be a sister wife if we were all into that. they were my own incubator, my encouragers, my first clients, and my teachers and mentors. last year, i took on 5 clients and made an extra $5k, working on top of my full time job – one month, it was two separate projects and 25 hours, including a week’s vacation with no work. it was exhausting, and though i originally envisioned doing it for at least a year, i burnt out quickly. some will tell you you have to run yourself until midnight every day and all weekend and i’ll be totally real; i could not do that without completely mentally cracking. so i took a break, in the fall of 2013, with an intention to re-evaluate in the new year.
sure enough, early on in 2014, the itch came back and i decided it had to be time. i’d just gotten myself out of debt, i was in a great position to save, and i finally felt like I had to try. like the risk of going splat was worth jumping off the cliff. i put my feelers out for clients again, i started swimming in new opportunities (not all of which were a good fit. learning to have uncomfortable conversations, check!), i fired myself back up and got back in the game. i slowly told the people who mattered most and have always been trusted advisors to me. i drank up their encouragement, and it sustained me. i set a date. i took care of medical concerns while i still have health insurance. i socked away money like it was penicillin before the apocalypse.
and here i am, three-ish months after that decision (it feels longer). i’ve told my co-workers and turned in a resignation letter and set an end date (july 31st). i sat down with the HR department and tied up my loose ends.
this is happening, this is real. i waver every day between thinking i’m going to be living in a cardboard box by the end of the year and imagining my jetsetter, world traveler life, working in quaint coffee shops and by hotel pools. i know i’ll probably land somewhere in the middle of that. i’m happy that i can finally share this – it’s been the most inspiring thing, creatively, that i’ve encountered in a very long time. i hope with all of me that it stays that way, and that you stick around for the rest of the ride.