What an insane year this has been! When I was in middle and high school, it felt like each year took forever. I remember being excited for it to end so I could enjoy the summer and sleep in.
I was never a huge fan of school. I liked college more because I could choose my own schedule, and I didn’t have to go to every class. But, I remember college more for the friends I made, and the trouble I got into. I still wasn’t a huge fan of the schoolwork, and just like high school, I was excited for it to be over so I could finally focus on my life.
When I was writing that last paragraph, it dawned on me that we’ve been conditioned our whole life to live like that, but in smaller chunks?
- We go to work to pay the bills, but we’re just excited when 5pm rolls around.
- We work all week just to enjoy the weekend.
- We work all our lives just to finally retire and never work again.
I decided last year I didn’t want to live like that anymore. I want to enjoy every day, and live for the present moment. I used to say, “Hope today’s busy so that the day goes by fast!” Now, I cherish each second in the day, and make the most of it!
Ever since I left my nine-to-fiver I’ve been loving my life. It hasn’t been easy, but even the tough times are exciting to me. Someone asked me if I’ve been enjoying the journey since I left my job, and I could feel my heart light up and eyes open wide.
I shouted a huge “YES!”
If someone would have asked me that question at my last job, I think I would have just cried.
It’s only been one year since I left, but it feels like five. There’s been lots of growth experiences, changes, failures, mistakes, successes, exciting decisions, and tough ones. I’ve worked harder, faster, and learned more about business, life, and relationships than I did during my eight years in the corporate world.
It’s been a truly spiritual experience, so I’d like to pass on life lessons from my first year transitioning from corporate life to #GirlBoss …
1. You can’t do it alone. You only have so much bandwidth, and it takes a lot of work to create and run a business. Trying to do everything from creating a website, writing and automating emails, getting the word out, and creating products will burn you out.
It might mean that you cut out some things until you can hire someone, find some other entrepreneurs to collaborate with, or create trade deals. If not, you’ll find out soon that going solo will feel lonely and you’ll get burnt out.
2. Join communities and ask for help. One of the best things I did was joined a few really amazing Facebook communities for entrepreneurs.
By joining these communities, I felt comfortable asking for help, and everyone was so supportive. You have to be active and supportive too. You might find clients in these communities, but mostly they’ll help you find simple solutions to your problems.
Also, many of these people are trying to grow their businesses, so you might find people who are willing to give away some things to help you for a testimonial.
Groups I suggest:
- Smart Passive Income
- Freedom Hackers
- The Yoga Freedom Facebook Fam (my group of course!)
3. You’re gonna lose some friends & make some new ones: Here’s the deal , this transition is going to change you drastically. You’ll find people aren’t so supportive, don’t want to see you succeed, and you’re going to need to lose those people. Anyone that doesn’t light you up inside and drains your energy needs to go.
If you feel like no one understands you, then you need to build a support group. I was in this position, so I created a local mastermind that meets once a month. You can also find local groups on meetup or create one yourself!
4. You’re gonna have to get really comfortable not caring what other people think: Leaving your job to start your own business is a huge leap out of your comfort zone, and for some reason this scares other people. Get really clear on what you want and why you’re doing it because everyone has an opinion. Follow your heart and intuition.
5. You’re gonna have to learn to say NO to the things that don’t light you up: Some people have what’s called FOMO (fear of missing out), and you need to get over that real quick! If you say yes to everything, then you’re setting yourself up for failure.
When you say yes to things that you don’t want to do, then you say no to a ton of other things. If something is causing you stress or doesn’t light you up, say no. A new door will open with something even more amazing. You’ll see!
6. You’re gonna have to get used to people saying NO: You’re going to get way more no’s than yes’s, but that’s totally normal. Every successful entrepreneur I’ve studied said that they were turned down over and over, but just never gave up.
It’s nothing that you need to take personally, which I know is difficult. When your job is your passion project, it does feel very personal because you’re putting your heart and soul into your work.
The truth is, you have no idea why people are saying no. Maybe they don’t have enough time, money, or resources to invest to help you. Maybe your collaboration idea is great, but your audiences don’t mesh. Maybe it’s just not the right time. Whatever it is – it just means something else amazing is right around the corner.
7. You’re going to make mistakes, so you mine as well make them now and fast so you can move forward: I heard a great quote from an interview with Ryan Moran where he said, “You have to go into everything that you do knowing mistakes are going to happen.” He said, “These mistakes need to be discovered, so you mine as well make them now and fast.” Those aren’t exact quotes, but basically the same.
So many people are scared of failure and mistakes, but they’re only failures if you don’t learn from them and give up. How can you change your mindset and be excited about crushing these mistakes so you can power forward?
8. You need to change your mindset to ‘look how far I’ve come’ vs. ‘How far I have to go’: If you’re super hard on yourself, and look at this as a chase, then you’re always going to struggle. This goes along with #7. Once you change your mindset to being excited about learning from your mistakes, then you know you’ve made forward movement.
9. You need to start before you’re ready: We tend to freak out over making the wrong decisions, and making sure we’re doing everything right. For the longest time I spent so much time consuming information, studying, and trying to make things perfect. This was a waste of time, and was an excuse to not move forward. Eventually you just need to start.
10. Don’t ever do things just for money: One of the biggest mistakes I made was taking on jobs just for money while I was building by business. I decided to do an MLM, but I wasn’t passionate about it, so I actually lost money.
Nothing wrong with MLM’s, but you have to do it because you love it – not to hold you over while you’re working towards your main business.
11. There’s not a formula for anything: you’re going to have to experiment: I’ve fallen for all of those…. how I reached gazillion followers in three months, or how I quadrupled my income in one year kind of deals.
Turns out there’s no formula. Everyone’s business is different. Everyone’s audience is different. Everyone’s time frame is different. There’s no beginning, middle or end either. It’s just where you are, and you’re going to have to experiment with what works for you.
12. Having a bridge job makes things so much easier: I know I just talked about not doing things just for money, but if you can’t pay the bills, then you need to find a way to bring in revenue.
I quit my job without one, so I was constantly chasing the next client or freelance gig. This brought me in revenue, but it caused stress and I had to spend a lot of my time away from building my business.
Once I got a stress free part time job where I didn’t have to work overtime – it took the pressure off.
My mind cleared and I was finally able to focus on my business rather than praying and wishing something would come through so I could pay rent! Nothing worse than that!
13. The power in success and making money is truly in serving others: It sounds backwards (and I know it’s hard to give things away for free), but when you’re not making money, and you’re struggling, or when you’re feeling stuck – the best thing to do is just serve others. Just start to reach out, and see how you can help someone.
There’s no better feeling than using your gifts to make someone’s life easier. This starts the law of circulation, and the universe will reward you.
14. You can’t sell a secret: I received an email from Nikki Elledge Brown about how to sell online products. The big lesson was that you can’t sell a secret. If you haven’t sent out an email, collaborated with other bloggers, posted it on social media, or picked up the phone – then don’t be disappointed if you’re not making money!
Right after I received that email, I ran a Facebook ad and sent an email for my Ashtanga Yoga course and sold 5 in three days! That was a pretty big win for me. Don’t be scared to shout it from the rooftops!
15. You have to trust the process just like Steve Jobs said: I saw this great speech that Steve Jobs did at Stanford University where he says something like: You can’t see progress or where things will lead in the moment. You can only see progress by looking backwards. Everything you are doing is leading you down the path to success, so you have to have trust and faith that you are exactly where you need to be.
16. I never truly understood the It’s not the destination, but the journey until recently: You know how we all go through life wondering if we’re living to our potential, or trying to discover our purpose? Until you let go of this notion of trying to get somewhere, you’ll never be free.
I finally realized that my purpose is right now. My purpose is following my heart. My purpose is learning from each moment and following my path. This world is forever fluid and changing. Our purpose and path will change too.
Are you scared to take that next step because you’re not sure if it’s your purpose, and you don’t want to take the wrong path? Reality check: You can’t!
At one point I thought I was on the path to marriage and a career in a corporate job. Then, I called off my engagement, and decided I didn’t want half the things I was planning. Then, I fell in love with yoga, and decided I wanted to leave my job. Then, I thought teaching people how to build their business through blogging was my path. Then, I got called back to yoga. Now, I feel confident that my path is helping creative lady boss types with overactive minds end the crazy and find balance, which is awesome because it’s a combination of my passions . I’ll do that until the next thing jumps in front of me.
Free yourself by knowing your purpose is NOW!
What insight did you take away from this? Tell me one thing below that you can do to move forward. Maybe it’s making a list of everything you’re doing, and crossing off what doesn’t light you up. Or, maybe it’s finding communities to join. I’d love to hear from you in the comments!