Right out of college I landed a graphic design job at a small advertising agency in Nashville. It's funny looking back to my college days where I thought the "corporate life" was my dream job. I pictured myself wearing blazers and high heels, commuting to work in exciting city traffic and sitting at a desk working from a cool big building all day.
I quickly realized what I thought was my "dream" wasn't even close. I felt tied to my desk and tied to work I wasn't enjoying. I was just waiting for 5 o'clock to hit so I could get on with my "real life". You know how people say entrepreneurs would rather work 80 hours for themselves than 40 hours for someone else? Well, that was exactly how I felt. Although I was doing graphic design, I wasn't living within my passion.
I always thought that maybe someday I would start my own graphic design agency, but I thought that needed to be at least 5 to 10 years down the road. I had JUST left college after all, what did I know? I was stuck in the mindset that I was too young, too unskilled, and too new to the game to make it on my own.
One day, I officially rejected the long-term job commitment I had been offered at work and put in my 30 days notice. I literally cried as I quit because even in the moment I felt like "what the heck am I doing?!". The day I put in my notice, ended up being my last day of work. I went home that night job-less, but free.
After that, I picked up lots and lots of "odd jobs"…
I started teaching yoga again.
I baby sat.
I dog sat.
I house sat.
(a lot of 'sitting', am I right!?)
My life at the time felt extremelyunglamorous. I was ashamed that I was not using my college degree, and I was embarrassed that I left a stable, well paying job for no apparent "reason". When people asked me what I did for a living, it made me cringe. I was all around CONFUSED. REAL CONFUSED.
Before I knew it, along with my "odd jobs" I had a steady flow of freelance clients (for design and social media marketing) with no official "business" in place. I had landed a big Nashville account and even got to work onsite for a month at a national restaurant chain assisting with their brand marketing. At this point I was still contemplating whether or not I wanted to (or was even ready to) start my own business. But in reality, my business was there and starting whether I made it "official" or not. My husband, Adam, encouraged me to just go for it, and I did! (Thanks, Adam!) I worked tirelessly for a couple months on my own branding, copy and website and eventually launched my business!
The official launch day was scary! I was worried about how I would be perceived by people I knew. Would people think I was crazy? Would anyone at all be interested in my services?
God has me right where he wanted me - humble, nervous, but totally going for it.
The initial launch was successful (I landed a client that first day!) and my business slowly grew and grew. Within 5 months, I was matching my income at my advertising job (and today, 15 months later I have surpassed it!). After about 6 months, I quit my odd jobs and started working full time on my business.
I never would have imagined I would be swapping business attire for yoga pants and a lengthy commute for a walk across the hall. It has almost been almost 2 years since I quit my job and began the process of starting my business. (Can't believe it's been that long!) The journey has been full of ups and down, LOTS of learning (still lots of learning), and blessings that I could not have dreamed of myself.
If you're thinking about following your dream of starting a business, I'd love to hear about it and be a cheerleader for you!