The best way to get a new wardrobe is to burn all of your clothes.
I remember the first time I heard that. It was several years ago at a PSI Leadership Training Course I was taking. It has stuck with me for all this time. And it really is so true, the best way to succeed is to go all in.
This is hard for a Jane-of-all-Trades to hear. I want to do it all. I want to pursue a million different businesses. Trust me, I am a serial entrepreneur! In the past, I’ve done Mary Kay, Beachbody, Virtual Assistant work, and started a Networking company. I’ve worked freelance, I’ve worked as a model, and I’ve also been a nanny. Most of these jobs were held while also holding a full-time job for a corporation, going to school, and also probably pursuing music or songwriting.
So what happens when you are doing all of these things??
You don’t really truly succeed at any of them.
That was a really hard lesson for me to learn. I didn’t want to give up any of these things. I didn’t want to slow down on meeting up with friends or write fewer blogs or stop practicing music as much, but eventually, I had the most epic burn out of my life. Seriously. I have not written a song in 3 years. 3 years!. As a musician and songwriter, I can’t tell you how devastating that feels to write that down. But, when you push yourself for years in a million different directions, your brain/heart/creativity start begging for a break – and if you don’t give it to them, they will start a mutiny. And that is what happened to me.
So, I started to slow down. I gradually cut things out that I could afford to lose. I quit being a Beachbody coach. Not because I didn’t LOVE it (I did), but because that wasn’t my ultimate goal. I stopped going out as much. I stopped saying yes to so many things. I started confining things like cleaning and homework to after Nova goes to bed or on weekends when it’s not interfering with work or family time. I had to really sit down and think about what I was truly after in my life. What was the big goal? What were my real priorities? If it didn’t fit in with my priorities, it got cut.
On the music side, the more I cut out, the more I can feel that joy of music and songwriting reawakening, which is super exciting….
But what I’m really writing this blog about is the truly exciting and terrifying decision that I made…
After much debate, feedback from some trusted sources, and advice from other entrepreneurs, we have decided that now is the time to go for it. Now is the time to really go full steam ahead and put everything into our photography business! So, ladies and gents, you are now talking to a FULL-TIME self-employed business owner!
We had been going back and forth for several weeks since I lost my full-time job. Should I go full time in our business now? Should we build up some more savings first? Should we wait until I have a little more cushion? Is it the best time with a 9-month-old at home? etc. The back and forth was enough to leave me in a few total emotional and mental breakdowns. The pressure was unreal. Seriously. This has been one of the hardest and scariest decisions we’ve/I’ve ever had to make.
Do you want to know what the deciding event was? (of course you do, otherwise, why are you still reading?!)
It was at an interview I had last week. I had gone in and was actually pretty excited about this interview. When I sat down the interviewer said that she was very excited to meet me and launched into a conversation about my education. There had been a misunderstanding about my graduation date. When I explained that I was actually graduation this coming December, her face fell. “I’m sorry, that means you are disqualified for this job,” she said. I was totally surprised. I thought I had made it clear on my LinkedIn, but it never came up in the phone interview. There was obviously a misunderstanding. Taking deep breaths so as to keep my composure and maintain a pleasant conversation while she walked me out, I walked quickly to my car and bawled as I called Daniel and told him what happened.
Here’s the thing… while I was excited about the interview, I didn’t really even know that much about the job, pay or benefits. It theoretically could have been a great opportunity. And this was one of several interviews that seemed like a great fit, but the door of opportunity slammed in my face. So, there has to be a reason right? All these seemingly “perfect” opportunities were not working out. I had been praying for years that we would be able to run our business full time. We have been working towards that goal on late night, weekends, and with financial planning. So, why was I just not getting it through my thick head that there is probably a reason why all these doors were slamming? Because it is SCARY, that’s why! But that interview was a big wake-up call. Interviews make me feel desperate. The thing I hate most about looking for work/interviewing is that I feel like I have no control. I feel like I have to sell myself to these companies and it makes me feel like a dog begging for scraps. Maybe I’m being overly dramatic, or maybe I just have too much rebellious blood running through my system… but that interview got me thinking about a few things…
- Between Daniel and I we have been laid off 3 times due to poor management decisions or a bad economy, none due to poor performance (in fact, we both were getting very high reviews at all of our jobs)
- I’m tired of being underpaid and hitting a salary cap. In reality, no matter what the starting salary, it’s unlikely that I will ever make more than 30% (if I’m lucky) than my starting salary – and that’s factoring in yearly raises and promotions.
- I’m tired of unfair wages. It doesn’t matter how hard I work (or don’t), I’m not going to break out of that glass ceiling and most likely, someone is going to be hired for more money because of a flashier resume or a better college degree… regardless of our actual experience or performance.
- I am tired of leaving my financial security, and my family’s financial security, in someone else’s hands… when I know that I have the knowledge, and more importantly, the persistence, support, and motivation to become tremendously successful.
So… there you have it. I burned my wardrobe and I’m going ALL IN. I am totally terrified, excited, and insane. But, you know, all the most successful people are.