This year marks the third year that I walked away from corporate America. I’d spent my whole adult life up to that point bouncing between companies every three years on a quest to find the perfect fit. At the end of 2013, I decided to quit doing that. I had been at that job for three and a half years and I knew it was time for me to find something new. After some heavy consideration, I decided to leave my comfortable yet constricting job in the corporate world.
It wasn’t that my job was bad, but corporate wasn’t the right fit for me. As a creative, it was very difficult for me to fit into the 8-5 world. Sitting at my cubicle was maddening, the fluorescent lights were stifling, and my gifts and talents were getting dusty from not being used. My mental health was weak, and every day at the office debilitated it more.
While it provided me with a steady paycheck and great health benefits, there was little else I could say about the place I spent the majority of my time at. I didn’t dislike what I did but I definitely didn’t love it. It was actually quite soul-sucking because creativity wasn’t encouraged or appreciated.
We were a two income household and we knew there would be sacrifices transitioning to one income but they were nothing compared to the sacrifice I had been making trying to fit into the corporate world like a square peg in a round hole. I was nervous, scared, had my doubts and fears, but I knew I at least had to try. If it didn’t work out I could always find a corporate job.
I had a plan, I was going to start my own business. I knew what I wanted out of a business so I created a business model and moved forward with it. It wasn’t long before I started getting customers and my first business venture got off of the ground. I was so excited, proud, and fulfilled. I was doing something I loved, the days flew by, and I felt so fulfilled.
Since this day three years ago when I first opened my doors as a business, I’ve gone down a path of self-discovery. Though I don’t operate the business I originally started, I’m in the process of building a business that better suits my gifts. I’m more confident in who I am so I don’t have to play it safe by building a business based on what others are used to.
I’m now building a business that encompasses my main gifts and passions. I’m setting myself up to have multiple streams of income so I don’t put pressure on myself that leads to burning out. I’ve created my own hours that best fit my life so that I can make my work part of my life. I’ve identified my ideal clients so I don’t get discouraged or off track.
I made a decision three years ago to follow my heart. It seemed crazy and it wasn’t something I was used to doing at the time but I’m glad I did it anyway. While my bank account hasn’t seen the same stream of deposits, my mental health has never been better, my self-esteem is restored, creativity is a necessity, and I’m in my element.
For anyone that can relate to this, and wants to be more fulfilled with what they do, go for it! It might not be all at once. You might not transition the way I did, but that doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate more of what you love into your life. It might start as a hobby, it might be something you do as you can, you might even start something on the side. I encourage you to think about what it is you’d rather be doing if you don’t already know. How would you like to pass the time? How would you like to give back to the world? What contribution would you like to make? What gifts and talents would you like to put to use? I encourage you to explore your options. You’d be surprised as to how rewarding it will be!
Can you relate? Have you been there? Are you there now? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments ❤