It’s funny really, when I quit my corporate job I assumed a lot of things. I literally thought that being free from my J-O-B would make it feel like an endless summer. Remember those days when you were a kid? Going to bed at all hours and no alarm clock screaming your name to get up. Then lounging in your PJ’s till you felt like getting dressed, the radio playing your favourite tunes in the background while you planned the fun activities for the day ahead. I have to tell you that it is kinda like that now. One big difference is that I plan what I have to do the night before, but other than that…its kinda like the endless summer.
When I first started out, thats how I thought it would always be…but there are things I have learned over the years that no one prepared me for. There was no book or manual, no online course that prepared me for this life. So I am writing this to hopefully prepare you if you are on the road to quitting that corporate gig, or ready to go full time.
Yes that’s right. Gone are the days of the 10:30 ” Hey Ruth let’s run out and grab a coffee” with my corporate gals or the ” where are we going for lunch today?” Your dog will become more that your best friend ( or your cat or your bird) yup…they will get to hear all your victories and defeats and struggles and see your wall kicking moments. Even if you are online with thousands following you on social media you may feel very alone.
Ok so think about it. You will go from running around all day ( me in high heels) to sitting most of the day in stretchy workout pants. If your kitchen is nearby you may find yourself snacking for a break. See the problem here is the gym pants stretch and you may not even realize what’s happening. Then one day you have to go OUT someplace more special than that which requires stretchy pants and you put on that dress and find yourself horrified that you can’t do it up ….ummmm…real story here. Take my advice. Start an exercise routine as soon as you quit your job. Even better join a gym for some real social interaction.
Lightbulb moment here guys. Entrepreneurship takes some grind. Especially in the beginning when things are getting rockin’. A 40-50 hour work week job can easily turn into a 60-80 hour business building binge. The one good thing is that you are going to love what you’re doing and you’re doing it for you.
This one really got me in the beginning. I use to LOVE the office stuff around Christmas time. The lunches out, the secret santa’s giving naughty gifts, the Christmas party where everyone dressed up and brought out their spouses. There was always a way to socialize and make the holidays special with the office crew. My first year away I really missed that. I remember taking my two daughters out to dinner during the holidays and I called it my business party. They had no idea what I was talking about at the time. You do what you have to.
Looking back, corporate was pretty easy. You go to work, you do a good job, you come home and live your life. You get paid bi-weekly and you always know how much you have coming in so you can plan for what goes out. It’s got it’s pitfalls too though. You’re chained to someone else’s clock meaning there’s little freedom other than vacation and weekend and you’re building someone else’s dream. I always liked my jobs for the most part. They were stimulating and challenging. I hated being stuck inside on someone else’s time clock.
When things get tough as an entrepreneur…and trust me they will. Even now that things are really rollin’ I still have challenging days. It is in those quietest moments that you will ask yourself. Is it all really worth it. Was life easier when I just went to work and most of the issues were someone else’s problems.
If you are an entrepreneur at heart then you will know that you made the right decision.
I remember when I first left corporate. I was accustomed to a pretty sweet lifestyle. I had a great job. My company car was a well known expensive German make. I had a company cell phone, a top notch computer, an office with a view and work clothes made by my favourite designers ( more because they lasted a long time and didn’t fall apart..yes I am practical).
When I quit, my income dropped big time. That first year and a bit it fluctuated all over the map. Plus I had my own expenses. I now had to have my own cell phone and car and computer that I paid for. There were no more business lunches. It drove me crazy to have credit card debt racking up as I refused to pull money out of my retirement savings. I was stressed and found myself think about anything I could do to make money to fill the gap.
Going back to corporate was non negotiable. If I did I would have felt a failure. Crazy right? Not really. So I did side gigs. Personal training ( I’m a certified crossfit trainer). Personal tax returns at tax time. Life coaching women coming out of bad relationships. I considered waitressing one month to cover Christmas but a promotion that my Network Marketing company was doing got my team excited and some extra cash came in just in time.
If you’re a true entrepreneur you’ll do what you need to to stay in the game long enough to win because you will get to do what you love.
Speaking of what you love, you are blessed my dear friend, to have the guts to be here and do what makes you happy. Remember on those tough days that there will be light. Enjoy every minute of the journey my dear friend. It will build character, you’ll have stories to share and you will revel in the glory and satisfaction that YOU have created this life for you and your family.
Let me know in the comments if you are an entrepreneur who is in it to win it! Have an amazing week.