Last August I left my full-time job in marketing. I didn't know if I was totally ready or if I'd be able to support myself with just art and freelance graphic design, but I convinced myself it would all work out because what I wanted more than anything is to be my own boss and be a full-time artist, and needed to start making a serious effort to reach that goal. I sat down with my financial advisor (my dad) and we came up with a new budget and a plan.
Here is a corny lesson I've learned and one we've all heard: there is never a perfect time to pursue your dream. It's now or never is what I had to tell myself, because life is short, we are all going to die, and no one should wake up on Monday mornings miserable about the coming week. To convince myself I was doing the right thing I attended some creative seminars led by local business founders, read #GIRLBOSS, read tons of female entrepreneurial blogs, sat down with other Nashville artists, and researched successful, young artists around the country. Here's something they all have in common, none of them claimed that it was the "right time" to venture out on their own. Prior to doing this I was always so envious of these people. I came up with a million excuses why I couldn't create my own career path just like they did: "but I have a mortgage, but I have a lot of bills, but I need health insurance, but I have a hypochondriacal dog who racks up an absurd amount of vet bills, but a girl's gotta eat", and the worst one, "but success is measured by your income". Nope. The Book of Joy helped me destroy that terrible theory (READ IT, it's so awesome). I had to completely stop comparing what I was making to what others' were making. I had to stop comparing myself to other people altogether. This is really hard to do today, and I blame social media. Instagram, is literally a platform to make you jealous of other peoples' talents and lives. (I ain't gonna get rid of my insta though, I need that for business.)
Anyways, once I stopped doing that, and stopped worrying if I was wasting my time or doing the wrong thing and channeling that into "I need to do what I love every day and fully believe in what I am doing if I ever want anyone else to believe in what I'm doing too", things started coming together and my financial stress went away. I stopped trying to justify myself to people who looked concerned or started giving me job ideas when I told them what I did for a living, as if what I do isn't actually a job. I left a full-time job for which I was not right, that asked me to work on my weaknesses everyday, instead of playing to my strengths, which is why I was unhappy, and I decided to do what made me happy.
I am in no way bragging or pretending to have anything figured out. I don't want to preach to anyone either, but from a millennial who has some financial responsibilities (granted, not a lot- it's not like I have a family to support), not a ton of career experience, wasn't happy with their own job or feeling "fulfilled", with a dream to be my own boss, I just wanted to share with anyone who might be in my same boat what I've learned thus far. (The following blogs are coming soon)
2. Making Your Own Deadlines
3. Keeping An Open Mind
4. Play To Your Strengths
5. Stay On Track
6. What to Do When You Are Out of Ideas
7. The Power of Pretending
8. Handling Insecurities & Self Doubt