For as long as I can remember, I was going to “start a business someday.” I’m a big dreamer so I honestly enjoyed thinking about someday with none of the pressure of actually figuring any of it out. Unlike the Alan Jackson song “sometimes someday never comes,” someday definitely did come. However, it happened much differently than I ever expected.
By the middle of 2019, I had been working in advertising for several years. My roles were always digital marketing focused but I’d made the switch from a primarily print media company over to a local television station about a year prior. I’d been chasing promotions for a while and looking back, I know I was searching for something I wasn’t going to find in the corporate world. I wanted freedom to create a life and business I loved. When I think about what caused me to stop daydreaming and start chasing after it, these are the things that come to mind.
It’s in my genes. When I was growing up, my dad was an avid reader and so was I. If it was about personal development or making money, he was into it. I remember seeing Zig Ziglar sales books, listicle style books filled with business ideas, and titles like “Rich Dad, Poor Dad.” He also got involved with several direct sales opportunities, including selling Rainbow vacuum systems. Despite his interest in entrepreneurship, Dad was the breadwinner for the most part and he had a family to feed. I believe some of our dreams are in our hearts specifically for the people we are meant to inspire. My Dad always asks me about my business and his eyes light up when I share the latest and greatest.
I wanted to find new and innovative ways to serve people. I always knew I could start with what I knew and add on new services as time progressed. From the very beginning, I knew I wanted to have some sort of online product, course, membership, or program one day. The coolest thing about owning a business is knowing that you are truly free to provide new offerings to your clients as you grow professionally.
A sales career prepares you for business ownership. While I considered myself more of a teacher and consultant, I was technically in sales roles for the last few years of my corporate career. I’ve found that business ownership actually isn’t terribly different from a sales career. I already knew a thing or two about tax write offs, mileage, measuring cost against profit, setting goals, managing my own time, and the balance between risk and reward.
My body told me something had to change. Right before I left my job, I’d already seen a myriad of doctors to try to resolve my daily debilitating headaches. I still have them today but through less work stress, daily exercise, and other tactics, they are better managed. I also knew I had some mental health struggles I wanted to tackle and the anxiety caused by the pressure I put on myself had gotten too high. See, our bodies are really a reflection of our heads and hearts. This vehicle we travel around in really knows when something is wrong and we need to shift.
Enough people believed in me to tip the scales…just enough…to make me believe in myself. Most of us don’t really need someone to tell us how…we need someone to simply tell us that we can. To be honest, self-doubt continued to plague me once I made the jump and just like everyone else, I continue to battle it today. However, something crazy happens after you’ve been in business for a little while. You start to step out of the fear, leave perfection behind, and just try things.
If you are considering starting a new business, side hustle, passion project, or even an empire, I wrote this specifically for you. Go hard after one big next step. Be consistent. Celebrate. Repeat.