Are you doing what you REALLY want to be doing with your life? 6 months ago, I wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I liked my job. I valued the experience I was getting at the large and prestigious company I was working for… but I wasn’t REALLY doing what I wanted to be doing.
For me, it took a rather large kick in the booty to get my life going in the direction I wanted: a layoff.
I’ll tell you something that’s weird. The second I got laid off, I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude. I knew I was ready to start working for myself, but I ALSO knew that I didn’t have the strength and courage to walk away from my paycheck. More importantly, I don’t think I REALLY TRUSTED that I could run my own business. After all, wasn’t that kind of activity for seasoned experts? You know, people that have worked for the “man” for 20+ years?
So I took the leap. I started my own consulting company. But the biggest challenge for me as been as follows:
Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do. -Benjamin Spock
I imagine most entrepreneurs jump out of the corporate world because they DO believe in themselves. And because they believe they can do the work better than anyone else. Don’t get me wrong, I started my business for the same exact reasons.
But is there something called entrepreneurial doubt?
Here’s what I’ve learned in the last 6 months:
1) Ignore everything anyone has ever said to you that was negative, and non-constructive about your business performance or dreams.
I used to talk about starting my own business with some of my peers prior to my new venture. I would hear comments such as: “Really? I wouldn’t do that. You need like 15 years of experience.” OR “Who would hire someone for social media related PR?” Usually negative comments aren’t about you. They are usually about fear- because you might know something they don’t. (This past conversation in particular was re-sparked when I read this post this week: here.) Ignore naysayers and move on.
2) Consider every piece of constructive criticism you’ve ever received and strive to improve in those areas.
I’ve often been told that timeliness is not one of my strengths. Now that I am working on my own, I find that I WANT to be on time. In fact, I have shown up to work before 7 every day this week.
3) Consider you personal strengths, and figure out how to apply them to your daily tasks.
When working at my prior job, I found myself going home, having fun with social networking, and trying to determine how to apply it to public relations (my job). I am now running a business where I have the opportunity to combine my skills (public relations) with my passions (social media). Fun!
4) Consider your personal weaknesses and make improvement of them priorities.
I dislike anything administrative, and I will put it off to the last second, often to the detriment of my other work. I am now rewarding myself for applying the same enthusiasm to these tasks that I give my more meaty tasks. I am my boss AND the worker. Rewarding myself is important!
So here I am, 6 months since being laid off and I have a healthy roster of clients. I feel VERY blessed to be where I am today, working for myself and doing what I LOVE. Today I TRUST that not only CAN I run my own business, but I WILL do a great job.
How about you? Share your stories! Are you working for yourself, or do you want to? What made you take the leap? If you haven’t, what’s stopping you?
As always, thanks for stopping by.