When I left corporate life almost a month ago, I didn’t realize how different going on my own would be. I did not know for example, how freeing it would be or how I would suddenly feel alive again. I also didn’t know how emotionally challenging and financially straining it could be. I remember a friend telling me something similar about having a baby. She said she knew it would be hard, but was surprised at how hard. In this way, creating your own business or going for your dream job are a lot like having your own baby. It’s a creative endeavor that requires courage, strength, and perseverance. You love it. It’s yours but no one likes to talk about the hard part. So here’s the realistic side of going for your dreams.
- It will test every ounce of courage you have. It will test your faith. And it will force you to face every insecurity and self-doubt you have about your abilities, intentions and passion. Is this REALLY what you want to do? Be prepared because life will ask you this question over and over again with every challenge that comes your way. Think about this every time, you receive a letter of rejection. Think about how much you want it.
- There are a lot of wolves out there. Not everyone out in the world is nice and friendly. When you work at a regular 9 to 5, you deal with difficult people but you know who they are and what to expect. When you go out on your own, the wolves sometimes are disguised and you never know who you’re getting-the nice old lady or the money hungry wolf. Be kind and courteous to everyone and if you don’t receive that in return, look for the nearest exit.
- You’ll lose sight of your goals. It’s so easy to get caught up in all of the emotional stuff that comes with following your dreams. The reason? Because it’s personal. What’s not personal are the negative reactions of others, critiques you get, and any seemingly misstep along the way. Remember who you are, why you’re doing this and you will remember what you are doing here in the first place. Use that to counterattack any negativity that comes your way.
- You will question your abilities. When life is good, things seem easy. Smooth sailing doesn’t always last, however. And that’s a good thing. Challenges and bumps in the road are there to force us to grow and get out of our comfort zone. In the corporate world I often thought, “This is too easy and I’m bored!” When you start asking yourself, “Am I really good enough?” You know you’re in the right place.
- You will wonder if you made the right decision to leave. No matter how bad the situation was, you’ll begin to question whether you made the right decision by leaving. The fear of the unknown is often the culprit. All it should take is a trip down memory lane to remind you why you left in the first place. Keep your eyes looking forward and don’t look back. Remember that the grass is always greener on the other side.
Growth exists somewhere between being too comfortable and being uncomfortable. Here’s hoping that no matter where you are, you find a bit of good in the bad and beauty in the ugly.