Can I be transparent?
For a strong two years, I whined about not wanting to work in corporate America anymore. Seriously. I whined like a toddler as bedtime approached. Like, serious whining. Of course, I didn't think I was whining when I was doing it. I thought I was just venting and releasing how I felt. Negative. I was whining. And honestly, it was negative so that's an appropriate word to use in this moment.
I literally felt like I couldn't breathe on Sundays. Even though I worked at home, I was dreading Monday morning's 7 am. Waking up to log into my laptop was suffocating on any day, but that Monday had a wow factor. Plus, corporate felt like an itch in the middle of my back that I couldn't reach no matter what tool I used. It wasn't my team or leadership but rather the system and how it functions. Plus, I was simply not where I needed to be to live out my purpose. I'm a heart-centered, small business, community organization, underdog cheerleader kind of woman. I had no real place in corporate because it's not designed to be heart-centered but rather to prioritize the bottom line. I don't hate it. I was grateful for it, but I didn't belong there. I was uncomfortable.
At one point, I was completely overwhelmed and stressed to another level of infinity. And let's not talk about Covid. Covid came in so disrespectfully and "left" like a thief in the night. It came in with a bang and then tiptoed out of the room. What it left me with was brain fog. I'm not sure if you've ever experienced brain fog but your brain is in a fog. Picture that. That's what it is. Not to mention, my taste and smell never completely found their way back home. Along with other life cycle circumstances, things were tornadic and all over the place internally. I was uncomfortable. I knew I should be doing more in my business but I was right in the middle of that and being grateful for employment. I was confused.
I had this grand dream of being an entrepreneur since I was in high school. Entrepreneur. You know, that buzzword that's been heating up the internet for a few years now. There's even a magazine named after this coveted role in the business society. The idea of owning your time and making the rules sounded like freedom to me. No more same-day meetings popping up on my calendar. Divine. No more collaborations that I didn't choose. No more reporting my days off to anyone. No more.
And then it happened.
When corporate broke up with me first (because I was scheduled to break up with them), it took a few days for the fog to lift. Not the brain fog Covid left behind, but the fog of relying on a check to hit my account every two weeks. The fog of health insurance with a $20 copay. The fog of being issued a new laptop or getting it fixed for free when the laptop decided not to work. The fog of operating in one role and executing those responsibilities. The fog of "security". Once the fog started to lift, clarity started making its way into the season. The vision I used to see for myself as a writer and entrepreneur started to return. I felt good, I had joy, and I was ready to start my new adventure as a boss-free entrepreneur boss.
Everybody wants to be the boss until they are one. - Me
Now, I'm not sure if somebody has been super honest with the aspiring entrepreneurs who are reading this blog but if you haven't had the truth, open up and brace yourself.
Warnings: This doze of an entrepreneur's reality may cause drowsiness and fatigue. It's possible. Late nights. Early mornings. Anxiety. Scheduling meetings. Canceling meetings. Overwhelm. A one-person sales department, customer service, shipping, delivery, and operations. It can get lonely. Your endurance, patience, and multi-tasking skills will be tested. Your gangsta might even be tested, I don't know.
Should I keep going before you realize that it's uncomfortable too?
Let's switch it up.
Let me get to the real reason I'm writing this blog.
Working for someone else was uncomfortable but I stayed year after year. Transitioning from the 9-5 mindset to an entrepreneur's mindset is uncomfortable too. Getting up every day to work your business can also cause discomfort. So, either way, you're going to be uncomfortable. As an entrepreneur, you will have moments where you want to give up and you will question your skills, abilities, experience, or purpose. But, doesn't that happen when you work for others too?
Pause. Who is this for? This blog was written with the uncomfortable people in heart and mind. The people who are uncomfortable working for someone else and afraid of being uncomfortable working for themselves. It is for the person who has had their two-week notice in their draft folder for days or even months. It's for the person who is afraid of shifting financial expectations because they are accustomed to the financial foundation they built. It's for the person who can't breathe on Sundays and is in cruise control every other day. The person that feels out of alignment in every meeting, this is for you. If you feel empty and uninspired in your current job, I'm talking to you. It's for those of you who are resentful, unhappy, overwhelmed, or stressed because you KNOW it's time for you to take that leap. It's for the person who is ready but questioning whether or not they are ready. Even though they know they are ready, fear makes them question themselves and they feel crazy. Yeah, it's for them. It's for you.
I'm not telling you to quit your job immediately. That is NOT what I'm saying. What I am saying is, if you know it's time, start moving like it's time.
Pick your uncomfortable, friend. It's your choice so choose wisely.
What I suggest you do is find a moment to slow down and have some time with yourself. Find a quiet space, by any means necessary, and sit there. Write down your thoughts and how you feel and then write down how you want to think and want to feel. Write down what you want to see and want to hear. If you allow your writing to flow freely, you'll discover or explore something about yourself and what you are capable of, while building up the courage to walk in it.
You've been dishonest with yourself because you're afraid. I get it. The "security" of a job is hard to let go of when you know your check is protected by HR laws. The "security" of climbing the ladder in your career is tough to part ways with because it provides a stable life you never envisioned for yourself. The time you've invested in waiting for what you do to fulfill and satisfy who you are is hard to accept and acknowledge because the truth can hurt.
Here is some unsolicited self-advice through questions that I want you to answer honestly.
You didn't ask for your own advice, therefore, it is unsolicited. However, we want to work with what you know. Because you don't think you know what to do, but you KNOW you do.
In addition to writing, even though I can't hear you, I'm encouraging you to answer these questions out loud so that your ears can be in agreement with your heart and what you speak.
Answer these and draw your own conclusion based on your honesty. These questions can be answered in any order. My only request is that you answer the gratitude question last.
Is what you "do" in alignment with who you are? In other words, is your job, career, volunteer position, or current business aligning with who you are or is it still connected to who you used to be? Or, is it connected to who others expected you to be?
Which uncomfortable would you prefer? Are you okay with working for someone? Listen, if you are, that's awesome! There's absolutely nothing wrong with not resonating with any of this. I'm happy for you! But if you felt something when I told you who this blog is for, you owe yourself an answer.
What are you afraid of? Is it rejection, success, or failure? Sometimes it's a fear of what other people will say. Are you afraid of dropping the ball? Spend time with this one. Take time to unravel the uncertainty you feel.
What are you grateful for? This is a question that seems unrelated but gratitude is going to be your superpower as you transition from letting go to moving forward.