Maybe this seems familiar to you: sitting down at your desk on a Saturday afternoon. That’s pretty normal over here, in our two-entrepreneur household, the weekends being such a great quiet time to deal with the overflow of the week. Crazy as it may sound, I’ve actually started to look forward to it. This Saturday was no different, I thought. I sat down, ran through my in-box, thought about I’d actually accomplished, thought about the week to come. And then got back up again. And walked out
Nope, not this time. Today, instead, I baked myself a cake to mark the milestone of 4 years of working for myself. I stood in the kitchen in my favorite apron, sifting cocoa and cracking fresh-laid eggs from our hens, and thought about the journey from way-back-then to right-now. Wow.
A little over four years ago, I quit the worst job ever without a plan, without a clear sense of what would come next but a whole lot of clarity about what I didn’t want, what was not good for me, what I was absolutely not going to put myself through. I had years and years of working for other people, inside of other people’s companies and organizations and had just hit a wall (thank you, menopause) of no longer being able to tolerate what once had been tolerable. I’d changed. Thank goodness for a strong support system. Thank goodness for the economy at that time, and the work I’d done with my husband to build his business over the years, so that I could take this flyer and just see what came next.
So I jumped. I jumped and created something, which has not ceased evolving over the last four years. A business which gets clearer and stronger and more impactful with every passing day.
Was I nervous and scared at the beginning? Of course! I can remember driving to a new client’s house (haha, back when I made house calls) and worrying about whether I looked professional enough (right?!) and whether I knew enough (the heck?!) to pull this off. I had never worked for myself, though I’d longed to, had never hung out my own shingle and tried to make it by my own wits. Hell yes, I was scared.
And I loved it.
I loved the feeling of making it up, learning as I went. I loved the control, the higher risk, the greater reward.
I loved it.
And I love it still.
Sure, there are times when it’s really super-challenging. When it feels actually painful, like this quote from Ben Chestnut of Mail Chimp in a recent issue of Inc Magazine. Yes, painful.
But when I look back and consider where I started, wow, that does absolutely seem worthy of cake. I have learned so much from DOING in this business, from working with an evolving cast of great people, affiliating myself with great brands (eyes: Intuit, Profit First, Hubdoc, Gusto), learning from the very best teachers, coaches and thinkers in the business. And honestly, I don’t know about you, but it is SUPER easy to forget to celebrate the wins, to get caught up in the quest for MORE & BETTER. So I am taking this moment to really let it sink in.
With the glass of champagne I’m planning before dinner, with that first big slice of chocolate cake for dessert, I’ll be toasting and savoring my courage, my confidence, my competence & creativity. Here’s to making a business and a life on your own terms!
Happy Birthday, Do Your Thing!