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Why did you start your business?
I started mine because I wanted to be at home, so I could care for my kids when they weren’t at school. So I could be home and attend school events without worrying about taking time off work, not worrying about sick days or holidays, and putting myself in a position to show them that 9-5 isn’t everything, and that we can build the life we truly dream of in the most epic of ways, without subscribing to societal norms…
I’ve never liked the ‘prescribed’ way…
I don’t like having a boss, and they don’t like having me all that much.
I’m stubborn, I bend the rules to get shit done in a way that doesn’t involve their prescribed direction. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been hauled into an office for going against the managers say so, only to show them my way worked out better. Sorry, NOT sorry…
I’ve saved time, saved money, saved sanity, and cut out a load of BS along the way. My manager hated it, his manager wasn’t so keen either… their manager was far enough removed to see that it worked and didn’t care to argue with me.
I was trapped in the regular 9-5.
I felt claustrophobic like my hands were tied, my mouth was sewn shut, my ideas trapped inside my own head, ever throttled by the “my way or the highway” mentality of my managers… I hated it to the point, I despised them, despised going to work… I literally became ill.
A near run-in with a truck on the motorway because my mind didn’t want to focus on going to work, almost falling to sleep on the way to work; not good! Zoning out at my desk because I couldn’t focus on the mind-numbing task at hand, drinking upwards of 8 cups of coffee just to keep me going, not being able to sleep at night, constantly feeling like shit about having to go back to that place the next day, and missing out on my kid growing up, and not spending enough time with her.
Stress-related insomnia, and depression
That was the official diagnosis by my GP on the 19th August 2009.
My body was screaming at me to get out. To do what was right for me; my thing; my way.
I quit and never looked back.
I was signed off work with a 2-week sick note, then another, then 4 weeks, then another… it went on until January 2010. Until my contract was terminated. As soon as the contract was terminated, yes, I felt like shit. I sank lower, but it was different. I had no interest in going back, but I knew I needed to do something. Once I’d gone through the emotions and thoughts of being fired (for the first and LAST time) I knew it was time to go a new way.
What makes you happy?
That was a question my GP asked at one of my appointments… I’d struggled to answer it then, it took me a long time to actually answer it, but I eventually found the answer, went back to college; sorted. Went back to University… OK. Then I started sinking again the closer I got to being employed again.
I didn’t want to write a CV, didn’t want to apply for jobs, or go through interviews where shit in a suit would tell me I wasn’t good enough because I didn’t agree with their way… My mental health went backwards, not helped with people close to me saying I was flaking and lazy, they do it that way, just like everyone else, so I should suck it up and get on with it. Not gonna happen!
I did it my way
When I was honest with myself, I stopped doing what wasn’t right for me.
I stopped applying for jobs.
I left the relationship that wasn’t working for me.
I went back to college, then Univerity.
I started my own business to make ends meet.
I’ve still struggled
I’ve struggled to make ends meet… I’ve struggled because I’ve kept myself playing small. I was the girl who bent the rules at work to make progress and changes that made more wins than losses, but I’ve still played to the small level I’ve been told to in my own life… why? Because it’s “the done way”
I had the wrong outlook
Being self-employed is hard.
Earning money is hard, especially without a job…
People like me don’t get to do things like that
I haven’t paid my dues.
I shouldn’t step on anyone’s toes
All the stupid BS I was told when I was employed by people who’s ego’s played a huge part in their managerial style.
I focused on growing a business
I’ve studied, read books, taken courses, followed big names, smaller names, people who seem to have their shit together more than me, people who seem to know the answers, people who were telling me I need to “hustle” 24/7 to build a business, I put myself in a self-employed job, that would need to me work over 40 hours a week to earn a half-decent wage, and that’s not including the behind the scenes work that I’d need to do to actually run the business… I was looking at working 60+ hours minimum for less than I made as an employee…
I trapped myself in a failing business
All because someone somewhere instilled a belief in me that I had to hold back until I’ve “paid my dues” and proven somehow that I’m worth more, or allowed to do more.
I’ve throttled my earning potential, stopped myself from sharing my thoughts and ideas with you, thoughts and ideas that I stand behind 100%, all because I’ve been waiting for some ‘permission’ from somewhere it’s never gonna come from. (There’s no one to actually give me the permission I’ve been waiting for, so I know it’s never going to come)
I’ve resisted it with every fibre of my being
I know deep down in my gut, my heart of hearts, whatever you wanna call it, that that’s not the right thing for me. I don’t want to live that life where I’m shackled to a desk doing low-key stuff… I want to use everything I have inside of me to make something EPIC! That was the idea all along that I’ve gagged, choked, and shut down.
That’s the dream I go to bed with every night, making myself feel bad because I’m telling myself I can’t, I shouldn’t… because no one else would allow that.
I don’t give a shit anymore.
I don’t care that people think I shouldn’t swear because it’s ‘unprofessional’. Get over yourself. Don’t put that on me.
I don’t care that someone who doesn’t really know me thinks I should do x, y, z. That’s not for them to decide.
I don’t care about the “hustle”. It’s not my style, I’m too laid back for that.
I don’t care about what I earn. My focus has never been on wages, it’s been on making changes.
I’ve “paid my dues”
I’ve held myself back, bit my tongue, deleted words from the screen more times than. I dare to count, to appease someone else’s ideas of who I am, who I should be, what I should do or say.
That’s my way of paying my dues… by belittling myself to suit other people.
Does it sound egotistical? Yeah. maybe. But it doesn’t come from that place in my heart. It comes from a place of needing to do and be more than I ever have, by following my heart, my instinct, my own judgement.
It’s time to build my life.
We all have a vision for our lives. I’ve had one for mine that I haven’t been able to shake since I was 18 years old. It’s taken me 14 years to finally talk about it openly to people I know. Has it been shot down? Yes. I learned they’re not the people to talk about it with. Has it been met with excitement and well wishes? You bet your ass it has. By people just like me who want the biggest most badass visions for own lives, who haven’t been afraid of going for it (or have, but are now over it)
Stop focusing on growing a business, and start focusing on growing your life
What are the things you want moving forward?
What do you want for dinner tonight? REALLY want… don’t settle for anything else.
What do you want to wear tomorrow? Wear it… screw what anyone else might think.
How do you want to leave your mark on the world? Start now, even in the smallest of ways.
How do you want to be known to those around you? Start being that way.
What do you want to give out to the world? Start giving.
What do you want in return? Have faith that it will come.
Where do you see yourself in the future? Take the first step to getting there.
Who do you want to have in your life? Start making those connections and nurturing those relationships.
We have one LIFE to live… not one work.
Once you know how you want to live your life, the ‘work’ part will figure itself out. And it won’t turn into something that you hate. It will flourish and grow as a part of you, who you are, what you’re known for, how you will be remembered. Embrace it. Live it. And above all else, LOVE it.