Today marks the second week I’ve been working as a full-time coach and consultant. Just typing that statement makes me feel as though I should be incredibly happy and proud of making the leap as an entrepreneur, and while I’m sure I feel that somewhere in my being, instead I’m anxious, stressed, and impatient. This change has been hard. Very hard. I thought since I had been doing coaching and consulting on the side for almost eight years that transitioning to full-time would’ve been straightforward and simple. Cute, right? I’m sure if there are any entrepreneurs or business owners reading this they are shaking their heads, and in all honesty, I’m doing a little bit of that myself. Suffice it to say when you’re doing a side, passion hustle with the safety of a full-time, steady paycheck it can skew your view on the level of energy it will take to launch and sustain a successful business on your own.
The last two weeks have been productive. I’ve gotten my legal affairs in order, scheduled (and had) several networking meetings, began two adjunct faculty roles, and successfully managed to complete my double load of graduate work and spend time with my family. Sadly, only one of those things between the commas got me paid. My entrepreneur journey wasn’t about the money–it was about time and impact. I need freedom from a standard 9-5, in-office schedule and make a significant impact in the world. I realize money puts food on the table and pays the mortgage. My hope is that my cup overflows so much I can continually give back (in massive amounts) to others with less; now that makes my heart happy.
Today I felt like there was a dark cloud above me and I struggled to even get the smallest items on my to-do list checked off. For those of you who know me, know how much I love a fully checked-off to-do list! In hopes of a little motivation, I put iTunes on shuffle. The first few upbeat songs got me through emptying the dishwasher, finishing laundry, and writing thank-you notes. Then, Matchbox 20’s Hand Me Down played. I stopped and intently listened to the words and found myself whispering, “I don’t fit in the box. I will never fit in the box.”
Earlier this week, I fell into bed exhausted from trying to get my business off the ground. In the dark, I found my usual resting place in Dave’s arms and began to cry. “I wish I was different,” I said. “I didn’t fall in love with you because you were just like everybody else,” he responded. At that moment I didn’t believe my own words, but I did believe how seemingly easy it would be to settle into a regular j-o-b, cash a steady paycheck, and forget about the rest. That’s never been me though. Never. I tried to fit that exact mold my entire career. I pushed my way through and climbed the ladder and won awards. I did just that and found I wasn’t happy staying at a company for more than a year or two. I wanted more. More flexibility, more work on my terms, more impact, more of my authentic self. I’ve learned enough about myself thus far to know that I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. I’m not dainty. I still have a lot of small-town tomboy in me and I can be aggressive and I have grit. And while I can’t stand others who think they live above the rest of us, Jesus says I still have to love those people, so I do…often with an eye roll, cuss word, and repentance prayer. I know my strengths are empowering others to see the world differently and maximize their potential and integrating into a company (short-term) to find and fix a problem, set a sustainable maintenance plan, and get out. All of that doesn’t fit into a nice and neat title with a plush corner office and a set paycheck. Rather it feels more I’m stumbling through the desert alone searching for any signs of life. I’m not sure where this current journey will lead, but I know I desperately try to listen and follow God’s voice and plan (which is a new experience for me since I’m typically a control freak but that hasn’t gotten me to where I want to be so I’m finally decided to concede!) and trust that somehow out of nothing something will grow and flourish.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2, New International Version