I remember it like it was yesterday…
I sat on the sofa shaking. I couldn’t breath and felt a sense of panic surrounding me. Yet at the same time, I felt happier than I had ever felt before.
How could I be feeling such a sinking feeling of fear and such a liberating feeling of freedom at the same time?
You see I knew I was starting my little creative business. Luckily the very act of getting clear on my business, while I held down my 9-5, lifted me out of a deep depression BUT I was going to build the business slowly. I did not have funds built up to support me or any real experience so was going to do it little bit by little bit. So I decided to go down to part time and build my new business in the other half of my time.
Obviously you can have these plans, BUT sometimes things take a different route. And while it feels like a complete disaster it can often turn out to be the best thing EVER.
You see my boss at the time hadn’t cleared with his boss my request to be part time! So I was all set to drop half of my hours from January and the day before we broke up for the Christmas Holidays, he announced I couldn’t be part time and had to continue in January with Full Time hours. I had committed onto some Silver Clay Tutor training (it was brand new in the UK and was super exciting as I was training in Silver Smithing and this new method totally transformed the way you could make jewellery. It was the first time I had been away on my own and had paid a lot of money to go away for a week in London to train to be a tutor.
Really this revelation left me with two choices:
– Keep my secure job and carry on having my life dictated to by an incompetent boss who had screwed everything up, without a care in the world for what I wanted. I would be desperately unhappy but would have good money coming in.
– Leave. Be thrown into chaos as I had no money saved up, a mortgage and bills to pay and nothing to fall back on. But be free and able to chase my dreams and find my own way in life without being dictated to by some *&£$@$@
As you may have guessed… I took option 2. Like there was really any choice? In-fact when I started typing I typed “ I had no choice but to…” and then realised I really did have a choice? We ALWAYS have a choice. But sometimes the choice is a hard one and the options we desperately want to take is just too scary. So, we opt for security over our happiness. It feels like the sensible thing to do, but is it really?
In my case, while I shook with fear about being penniless and not being able to afford the mortgage, I knew that now I HAD to make it work! This was because I never EVER wanted to go and work for such a *&@£ again.
If someone was willing to pay me £35K a year after only a few years experience then surely I can use those skills to make more than that myself. I mean if my skills can make a profit on £35k a year, then I could have that profit myself.
In my experience a special sort of magic happens when you HAVE to make something work. The energy is totally different, as I know in my heart that if I had gone part time I would have only played at my creative business. I wouldn’t have forced myself to make the calls which I shook through or attend the events which made me feel sick with nerves. When you COMMIT 100% to make something work then the world has a funny way of making sure your commitment pays off.
So, let’s look at how my life would be now if I hadn’t been BRAVE and had gone for option 1.
I would be still working for a boss. Probably a male with an ego who thought he was the Dogs B’s. He probably would tell me when I can and can’t take holidays and make sure I know in total certainty who is in charge. He wouldn’t have had management training, so would be winging it as much as me. Except if he told me to jump, I would have to ask how high through fear of loosing my job. I would be wasting a large proportion of my salary in “Retail Therapy” to help me feel better about my soul destroying job. I would be wasting money on dressing the part, paying for lunch out so I can get out of the office, paying to keep up with the Jones’s, paying for travel in and out of town…
In all honesty, if I look back I would be working hard so I could pay to feel better about working hard… They don’t call it the rat race for nothing. I truly believe that the system is broken. Surely life is not about living to work and yet if you work 9-5 (and let’s face it, the new world seems to be dictating that we never really switch off!) you don’t really have much time to live.
Because I took that ONE BRAVE COMMITMENT, my life is now radically different. It would NEVER have been like this, if I hadn’t have found the courage to break out of that rat race when I did. I want to assure you that I had NO ANSWERS… In-fact I didn’t even have the questions when I left. And I can hand on heart say, I have found the questions and then the answers along the way and nothing has been that scary when I got going. Have you ever noticed that things seem scary.. until you start… and then fear goes away almost as quickly as it came? Nerves are good as they keep you focused and moving but they never stay long if you keep moving. It is a really beautiful cycle..
I would like to invite you to do a little exercise, to see what you need to do, to move towards the life you dream about. …
I would like you to go somewhere quiet for 10 mins (please don’t give up at this point.. I know 10 mins quiet seems like an impossible task, BUT please try and give yourself this gift as you are worth every single second (and then some!)
I want you to get comfy, close your eyes and then picture yourself in a rocking chair at the beautiful age of 80. Full of wisdom having already lived your life. You have a smile on your face as your life has been wonderful and you want to feed back some advice to you NOW. The you who is sat down looking forward. What does this wise future self want you to know about your current situation and what advice can she give you? Does she want you to stay where you are now or does she want you to take some form of action? What does she advise? Allow her to talk to you without fear, as she is all knowing and has the benefit of having moved through the fear to the other side. She simply wants to guide you towards that happy 80 year old self who has lived a wonderful life.
PLEASE don’t dismiss this advise just because it feels too hard or too risky. I am not saying to do anything which will put you in difficulty or make rash decisions but start to look AROUND the problem. Start to think of ALL THE WAYS you can make those changes.
So for me in the first month or two, while I was building my business from scratch, I took temping jobs to pay the bills and then as my business took off I started to turn the jobs down and then I unsubscribed. I have never had to temp again in the past 15 years and have been fully supported by my business… The one which I threw myself into all those years ago, but had no clue what I was doing. Imagine if I had never taken the jump and had opted to stick with that boss of mine?
It isn’t just the money though. The pride I have when I think of everything I have achieved because of ME, when I meet people who know MY business and the people I have been able to help mean so so much more than the money. And that feeling is totally priceless. That feeling would be almost impossible to achieve when working for someone else and I believe it is a feeling that most people should have the chance to feel… if it is what they want.
If you have a dream then you really need to start something TODAY. For me it started with a course to make jewellery, and then a website and then studying how to get that website found and then literally following the path which has unraveled in front of me as I took steps forward. There has ALWAYS been a path to follow, but you just can’t see what is around the next corner until you are going around it. So, just don’t worry about it. It will come and you WILL handle it… so don’t spend time worrying about it until you are there 🙂
In total and utter honesty. If I can build a profitable six-figure creative business and keep it going for 16 years, then you absolutely can too. There is nothing hard about what I have done. Nothing which you could not follow step by step (while adding a bit of sparkle which only you could). That is why I LOVE helping people get started in their own business. Helping them to set it up right (I got it sooooo wrong and and then sooo right so can show people what not to do based on my muck-ups!) Help them get their set up out of the way ASAP (because we have helped hundreds of people start their own creative business. Because of this, we have naturally created a very quick and easy set of steps which we take people through, so they can avoid the pits which most people fall into). So they can enjoy building the most wonderful business, which will grow into something truly amazing.
I remember it like it was yesterday…