How did you know when it was time to leave your 9 to 5 to focus on your business full-time?
This is a continuation of the previous post Leaving Your 9 to 5. If you are thinking about taking that leap, here are nine things to consider beforehand.
- Create a realistic plan with multiple versions. I seriously wrote out a plan A- E. I considered all my what if situations. My plan E involves going back to corporate full time. It’s only a few months in and I’m still on plan A.
- Create a financial plan. My financial plan is similar to my realistic plan but it focuses solely on money. I looked at all my savings, IRA and 401K plan. My savings would get me started. I also decided I was willing to tap into my IRA and 401K if needed. I feel that strongly about what I’m doing. Consider both your business expenses and your personal living expenses. I made the conscious decision not to downgrade my life at this time. I believe that my future earning will allow me to maintain my same lifestyle. Of course, I have to cut back on shopping and dining out but I’m ok with that.
- Create a spiritual and/or self-care plan. Consider how will you connect with your inner self when times get tough. Entrepreneurship requires courage and self-motivation. Start to surround yourself with the things that will feed your spirituality. We all have different belief systems so there is no one size fits all. Even if you do not believe in a higher power, surround yourself with things that motivate you. Keep handy anything that brings you peace and allows you to find clarity.
- Put yourself in the rooms with other entrepreneurs. You need to surround yourself with like-minded people. In my experience entrepreneurs are the most supportive. It’s like you are joining a community and they are all giving you that nod of approval. You will learn from some and others you will teach. Know that at some point it will be your turn to pass the torch to the ones coming behind you so learn all you can.
- Ask questions about other people’s journeys. I personally do not want to learn the hard way on every aspect of entrepreneurship. There will be some challenges that are specific to you, your energy and your industry. For everything else learn quickly from other people’ mistakes. Find inspiration in their journey’s.
- Identify your support team. There are people who will support you to the ends of the earth with no questions asked. There are people in your life that will challenge you to be the best version of yourself. Then there is everyone else. Identify who is who and if for any reason you are lacking a support team this is your opportunity to create one. We are born into a family but we all come here with a tribe. It’s time to find your tribe.
- Become aware of your inner critic and be able to identify it when it shows up. Your inner critic can take many forms get to know him or her. Be vigilant and wary of the messages he/she brings. Find the tools to face your inner critic.
- Know that at any time, you can make another decision. We are never stuck and we have choices. At any point in this journey, it is your right to make another decision. Usually, the only people questioning your decision-making are the people sitting on the sidelines anyway so why are you listening to them? Thank them for their service and send them on their way. Then refer back to your plan A- E and adjust it according to what’s in your own best interest.
- Trust your process. Your experience is unique to you and will be determined by the summation of your thoughts, words, and actions. On your journey, others on similar journeys will be revealed to you. We are always in the right place at the right time.
It’s a lot of planning but it’s necessary to think of all areas that might impact you on the front end. This is my list but evaluate and add to it as you see fit. Good luck.
Peace and Blessings
How did you know when it was time to leave your 9 to 5 to focus on your business full-time?
I hear this question very often. It’s amazing to me to hear entrepreneurs tell prospective entrepreneurs not to leave their job. Maybe I’m too new in the game to understand. However, I don’t think there is a one size fits all response. The decision to leave your 9 to 5 is very personal and each person’s journey will be different. To date, I’ve only heard one entrepreneur say trust your instincts. This lady was one of five panelists at an event I attended. The other four warned against it but she smiled and shrugged then shared her story. She worked in corporate for nine months then one day fate stepped in and she never looked back.
I understand why entrepreneurs warn against it. Starting a business requires money and often times the first five years may require out-of-pocket funding. In addition to funding your business, you have to be able to maintain your lifestyle and keep a roof over your head. It might be a little hard to concentrate and allow your creativity to flow if you don’t know when your next check will come. Your other option is to trust completely and tap into your spirituality which is a feat in itself.
Trusting requires courage, knowledge, and patience. It is no cake walk. There are days when my inner critic steps forward and I have to regroup physically, mentally and spiritually. I’m getting pretty good at confronting my inner critic but it too is a learning process. Every time I hear her, I entrench myself in positive affirmations to that all is possible through prayer and meditation. I’ve pulled out all the tools that got me here. The road is not always easy but it is my job to feed my mind and surround my life with the things that empower me. I attend a lot of empowerment events and each time I gain more inspiration which drives me to stay the course. Some days you can’t see the light st the end of the tunnel or hear your higher guidance. Those are the days you have to seek what you need and remind yourself why you chose this path. No one can really tell you when is the perfect time especially without knowing your journey. Some entrepreneurs will make your question about them. It might have taken them years to take that step or get their business off the ground but only you and the power you believe in can guide you on what’s best for you.
This is a two-part series so stay tuned for my follow-up a list of 9 Things to Consider Before Leaving Your 9 to 5.
Peace and Blessings
In one of the many events I’ve attended over the last few days I met a former yoga instructor. She spent a lot of time talking about how she transitioned from yoga to specializing in pain management. She also spent a lot of time explaining to me why she was no longer a yoga instructor most of it centered around how it was somewhat beneath her now. She’s advanced her career so much that now she was a paid speaker. Listening to her rant didn’t have me convinced enough to go look for her events. Clearly we talked about what we do but she was set on tell me how their was no money in my industry because people didn’t value the service. Much like any uninterested party I began to tune out her message. It didn’t apply to me and I had no need.
The next morning her words began to echo in my head. Then it came to me that maybe the people who came to her didn’t value her as an instructor because she didn’t value her own service. It’s also possible that she started down a path to get her somewhere else. Meaning her experience was part of the journey but not the destination. Instead of having an awareness, she was projecting on to me her unsuccessful experience. Projecting ones’ experience is an unconscious coping mechanism used to deal with unhealed emotions and unresolved experiences. Rather than acknowledging our own fears, feelings and wounds we make them someone else’s problem. Or we provide them with a platform on how that person should expect to a similar outcome, uncertainty or fate.
We are the sum of our experiences. It seems to me she changed vocations but hadn’t changed her mindset. In fact her message of empowering others through awareness of the body was similar to my own. The only difference is I value what I do. I find purpose in my message. I find purpose in helping other people create a purposeful life. I find purpose in hearing other creators’ stories. We are all creating something whether we are conscious of it or not. I find purpose in being supportive and positive. When I learned to myself and my experiences, I found purpose in my thoughts, words and actions. I learned to value my gifts and experiences. Therefore the people attracted to me will have the same qualities.
When someone is projecting their experiences, fears and uncertainty pay attention. As you hear the message determine if it’s positive and uplifting or negative and unuseful. Become the observer and listen for the underline message. Notice the messengers’ body movements and facial expressions. Think about the following
- Does the person seem to be a subject matter expert?
- Is the focus on their view of their experience? Did they have a positive outcome?
- Does the person seem comfortable with their experience?
- Is the person self-absorbed? Is the person even listening to you?
- How is that message tied into the messengers experience?
- Is the person explaining what you should expect?
- Is the message about protecting you from harm or preventing you from making a mistake?
- Are you being offered unsolicited advice on how to run your life and/or business?
- Does the message seem logical or anyway tied into what you have already experienced?
- If still in doubt after you leave the person does any part of their message resonate with you?
- Did it inspire you forward or bring you to your knees in fear of the what ifs?
If you are still unsure find a quiet place and ask your inner self if this was a projection of the speakers fears and how can you learn from the experience. Then send love to and thank the messenger. That person provided a crash course in how to deal with unsolicited projections from other people.
Peace and Blessings
I’m learning how to work effectively on the go. I spend a lot of time in my car going from class to appointment to an event. My hours get sketchy based on my schedule but the in between work still needs to be done. My in between work includes everything from checking emails, recording expenses, returning calls, following up on leads or looking for creative spaces to host my classes. I’m actually writing this while sitting in traffic.
I’m a fan of 90s hip hop and I never fully understood the concept of selling CDs out the trunk until now. This was an artistic way of describing the life of a mobile entrepreneur. These entrepreneurs had to travel to be heard. They couldn’t wait for an opportunity to show up at their door. They had to go out and find opportunity. Their vehicle became their office or an extension of their workspace. Symbolically your car is a natural extension of who you are at the moment. It is a reflection of how you get from place to place. Metaphorically not only does it reveal how you are moving through life but it also reveals the direction you are taking. Ironically I like my car I feel like it represents agility, strength, and power. I started to put in the car everything I would essentially need to run my business from behind the wheel. I have yoga supplies, extra heels, suit jackets, workout clothes, car snacks, water, extra phone chargers, plenty of books, pens, and paper. There is nothing worse than getting across town and realizing you have to head back before intended. Also, some appointments end early or get canceled but it might not be feasible to travel from the area if you have other appointments in that same vicinity. It’s easier just to park somewhere and work on what you can from where you are. My car is not only my workspace but also my central access point. I can unplug from the world and take a few moments to meditate.
What I learned is your workplace is where ever you are. Working in my car is no different than working from the office or working remotely. I find my solace in my mini office. My life can exist from the trunk of my car. I create my life where I need to. I am a mobile entrepreneur.
Peace and Blessings
I attended a series of events on Day 7. The first was the Atlanta Women’s Expo and the second was Quiet Thoughts on a Canvas. The expo was a big event with rows and rows of vendors. I wasn’t a fan of the crowd. Everyone seemed to be walking on top of each other. The overall flow of the event was ok but half of the vendors seemed disengaged and just sat at stared back into the crowds. It took about an hour to get from one end to the next. I didn’t spend much time checking in with myself I was mainly trying to get from one end to the other to get a feel for if this could be a potential avenue for me to use at a later date. The only thing I could think to say when asked was that it was clean. Needless to say I probably won’t be back to the event. It didn’t leave any kind of impression for me to reflect on.
The second event was a mental health awareness event which I thought was a great topic. This was a live painting event where five local artist created a canvas in reference to a mental health issue many people face today. The artists focused on a specific topic and worked to create their version of it on canvas. The topics ranged from depression to schizophrenia. I honestly thought it would be a great event to network at because there are a series of mindfulness techniques that deal with depression, anxiety and stress reduction. What I teach is definitely not meant to replace anyone’s medical needs but rather to enhance and complement. There was also a live singer and vendors. The vibration of the room was very laid back. There seemed to be a little cloud and not everyone looked upbeat. The hostess was great, she walked around consistently to chat with people. However, the actual attendees seemed a lot more reserved and just kind of there. I loved the concept but just couldn’t get a good feel for the room so I left within the first hour.
What I learned was that a great concept means nothing if the crowd isn’t that into it. I struggle with critiquing other people’s ideas and events because I never want to be that person. I feel like people get enough negative responses in everyday life so I’d like to be the one to bring a little light to the subject or find the good in the experience. I think it takes a lot of courage to create and host these events so to flip things around in the coming weeks I’ll be asking organizers and host for feedback on their events. I think this will give a little more insight into how it works on the other side.
Peace and Blessings
The fifth and sixth days consisted of an intimate follow up meetings and a new networking genre. Lately I’ve come across quite a few people who want to hear my story. They want to know how I got started and how I made my final decision to walk in my purpose. I thought it would be pretty cool to create a book about my story and the lives of several other people who have walked this path before me. I’ve strategically chosen a list of people and stories that inspire and motivate me. I had my first meeting with an individual that falls in this category. She has an amazing story and talked a lot about the legacy she is creating for her family. She was warm and very transparent. Her authenticity became apparent from her first words and smile. I agreed with her philosophy on life, relationships and entrepreneurship. Our meeting went very well.
My time as a panelists from last weeks networking event actually sparked what is now another new chapter in my life. For the first time in my life I want to talk and I want others to hear what I have to say. I’ve always been reserved and in the background but I think I discovered a new element in my purpose.
The new element is directly related to the throat chakra of speaking my truth. The throat chakra is one of seven subtle energy portals that exist around the body. This chakra in throat area directly impacts our communication. An open throat chakra means you are able to communicate effectively without fear of judgment or fear of being misunderstood. A blocked chakra means we are unable to express our true thoughts or we are holding back from telling others are true needs and desires. I spent a lot of time working on my throat chakra over the last few years because I grew up in a ‘child should be seen and not heard’ house. Therefore writing and journalizing was my outlet. Public speaking not only pushes me out of my comfort zone but it also creates new possibilities. No longer would I have to only express my thoughts though writing. I now want to shout them to the world. I now have something to say.
I decided to join a group geared toward public speaking to get me prepared. The members in the room come from various backgrounds. Some had specific events they want to focus on while others attended to just increase their overall confidence and technical skills. The group was fun and energetic. We started with icebreakers and finished with listening to a variety of interesting topics. Everyone was warm and inviting. I walked away knowing I would return because there was much for me to learn.
I learned that since I have more time to be creative, people and opportunities to further my purpose seem to be appearing much quicker. I am developing and improving what already lived inside of me. When you are following your purpose you are also a vessel that spirit can use to reach others. It takes more than one day or one person to change the world, rather it takes a collective consciousness to move all things forward.
Peace and Blessings
I was a bit ambitous with my inital schedule in thinking I could handle seven events in seven days. There is a part of me that still requires me to shut down and regroup in between all these new interactions. It’s a draining feeling. Not that these experiences are draining but they are eye opening. Anytime you are open spiritually and sensitive to other people’s frequency there is a certain amount of time you need to get back into your own space and body. I geniunely did not feel like attending what I had planned. I didn’t think it would have been the best use of my time. So I decided to extend my timeline into next week. Since I usually have three to four events planned a week I can still share those experiences.
At any rate my fourth networking event was an empowerment expo in Washington DC. I volunteered because I wanted to see the inner workings of the how it was being organized and executed. This was one of the best events I’ve attended so far and it has so far out ranked any other expo I’ve attended in 2017. We were paired with another person throughout the event. Divine connections occurred fluently throughout the eight hours I was there. The lady felt familiar and it felt like I was geniuenly catching up with a friend I’d known all my life. We talked about everything our backgrounds, careers, relationships and even other people. She even went so far as to grab my business cards to share them with passing attendees. Of course I brought them with plans of networking but she went above and beyond. I could only laugh as I watched her bring person after person over to meet me. I was so impressed I asked if she could train my future marketing team on her tactics. I don’t know if it was her sense of humor or delirium that kept her going. She arrived at the expo at the end of her ten hour shift. I had the best time of my life with this complete stranger.
We were in charge of handling one of the break out sessions. While waiting for our sessions to began we were able to attend other session, meet vendors, speakers, attendees and other volunteers. The vibe of the conference was very spiritual and empowering. The beings attracted to the conference were a geniune reflection of this in speech, mannerism and action. Our backgrounds were very diverse yet our energy was all in one accord. I felt mutually drawn to certain individuals and every conversation was something I needed to fill up my tank to continue on my path of entrepreneurship. It was like walking with hundreds of men and women who either had found their passion or were on the brink of their break through. That commonality was feeding ground for my spirit. In eight hours I can’t say that I had one bad experience. At the end I felt energerized as opposed to drained. I met mentors, physical therapist, spiritual mediums, authors, entrepreneurs, public speakers and a pilot.
What I learned from this experience is that you can find your passion in any vocation that you choose. One of the speakers said passion is what creates an emotion in you. It can be an experience that lead you to perserve and conquer or it can be something you draw inspiriation from. She suggested that listening to your emotions was the key to finding your passion. When I thought back on my experience I had to agree. I personally was looking for a solution to stress, grief and other inflexibilities that existed in my life and body at the time. This search lead me to yoga and meditation. Yoga and meditiation lead me to my authentic self. The impact is what I want to share with others. In the quietness of your being exist the life you were destined to live or you can choose to live according to the streotypes that were provided. This event was about remembering me what lead me here.
Peace and Blessings
Location made this event worth a peak. It was hosted by a new group and it was five minutes from my house. I love how this place is decorated and I’ve been here quite a few times. The space however always seems empty. I would put this on my list of places to go to read a good book. You can sit for hours undisturbed. It was the same with this event. However, I did like the host. He was very personable and took time to make me feel welcomed. The welcomes stopped there.
The other attendees kind of had a low vibe going. There was no eye contact and not many people seemed friendly. I immediately scanned the room and b-lined to my spot. Which basically meant I found a corner and blank stared at the other attendees. I started to do my typical body scan. I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. So I started to body scan other people. We have the ability to listen to and/or read the energy of other people in the room. It will seem as if your imagination is running wild and you are making up a story about a stranger. However know there is a lot of truth in what you intuition and imagination are providing to you.
I could tell the lady in front of me had some insecurities. The guy to my left seemed angry. A couple of people were chatting but it felt very inauthentic to me. I shifted my attention to the bar. A lady approached me she was upbeat but blunt about why she was there. She was looking for customers and steadfast on getting to the point. I decided to listen to her spill at least she was talking. When she got done the angry guy let us know that he thought this event sucked. It was a small group and he felt like he was wasting his time. He was beyond annoyed and said he was leaving. I turned back to the bar and they both drifted off.
Hunger kept me in place so I ordered food. Ordering food also meant I would be stuck at this event for a while longer. A couple of people arrived and a few others departed. The few people I met had the same ‘I’m just here to get customers’ vibration. I received about four cards in total and expended absolutely no effort toward getting them. I can’t remember a name or face. I turned my attention inward and toward the other people at the bar.
What I learned
- Eat before you leave home that way you aren’t tied into a waiting game.
- I observed more of what not to do. I didn’t like the “I’m just here for clients” vibe so I decided to spend more time focusing on my approach.
- It is also time for me to set some realistic goals and objectives to my networking plan. The host mentioned how he read books to learn how. I believe shifting will create better results for me.
Peace and Blessings
The event was a class on how to use Linkedin to market to more people. Classes and seminars are also a great networking tool because they tend to bring people together for a specific topic. This means you already have something in common with the person beside you. There is no real need for an icebreaker and you can really start the conversation with “so what brings you here?” Lately that has been my phrase of choice. It seems so much gentler than “so what do you do”. Somehow the latter phrase feels so rude and blunt to me therefore I avoid asking it first when I meet people.
The flip side to a complimentary class or seminar is most the time the host is trying to sell you a service. I have no issue with that. If I attend it means I am in search of a subject matter expert. The presenters approach will determine if the event was worth the effort. Clearly I like subtle and I’m prone to stay open when a presenter just suggest or make you feel like you have an option. This was not one of those events. I could tell from the onset that the host was going to be pushy about signing you up for something. I kept doing a body scan. I kept feeling like I needed to check my emotional and mental barometer. I was waiting for the ball to drop. It felt like the presenter was trying to push the listener into a fearful state so that you would then conclude that you had a need for the service. The other people seemed to be eating this up. However, I started to check out. I felt uninterested in the subject but I wanted to stay long enough in case anything key popped up. I think became obsessed with my phone. Where the presentation was heading left me on the sidelines. I can say in retrospect I didn’t walk away with much. I didn’t have any new contacts. I didn’t feel connected to the group or message. I believe the approach turned the tides on what I went there for and I was never able to regain focus. I exited the event after about forty five minutes.
What I learned
- If an event does not hold your attention its better to count your loses early and leave to find a more productive use of your time. It’s best to make the assessment early on. I was giving the presenter the benefit of the doubt and probably stayed beyond my limit. If your intution nods no, then it probably is a no. Honor your initial feelings and move on.
- Sometimes a speaker can give off and awkward vibe. This can be due to nervousness, fear and even just not believing in themselves. When someone is passionate about what they are doing you can sense it. This class was more about making a sell and not really about creating a connection that might eventually lead to a sell. There is a difference so start to pay attention the two aspects.
Peace and Blessing