Transitioning from a full-time job into entrepreneurship is often a goal that creatives list out when I’m talking to them about their business growth. It’s one of the dreams that can be so big that once you reach this massive goal, at times the experience can be underwhelming. The ability to sleep in and live in yoga pants can actually be more than a struggle—it can be a trigger for lack of motivation or loneliness, if you let it. One of the first things that I did for myself when I quit my job and after going full-time as a creative was make a “love list” that I’ve posted on my office wall. I went into self-employment knowing that there would be difficult days ahead.
Once I started to build a team, the stress actually became stronger, because now I was responsible for the success of others and not just myself. On my panicky days, I need to step back and reread my list and be thankful for the unique perks around entrepreneurship.
If you’ve recently quit a job (or even not so recently), think back to what you did before. Did you ever have a miserable client or coworker interaction there? Have you ever missed a target or a metric? Have you ever had a negative experience with a manager or a staff member? Was there anything at your last job that you didn’t love?
See. Some things won’t change just because you are self-employed and riding the business adventure for yourself. In fact, if we’re being honest, tax time sucks way more and, in my case, my new boss (me!) can be an even bigger jerk than my old one.
But for me, so many things have gotten better. Hopefully you can check off some of these things and build your own “love list”, so that next time you are feeling uninspired this can help.
Things I love about life since I quit my job that I didn’t have as an employee:
- I can watch Game of Thrones while I do 90% of my tasks (maybe I’m less productive, but I’m happier).
- I can rearrange my schedule to take a lunch to connect with a friend or professional without having to let anyone know or being penalized.
- I can work remotely if I need to travel for business or family–a situation I never fully appreciated until my father was in the hospital last year (he’s fine now).
- I have the option to take unlimited vacation rather than a set number of days, I can choose not to take a contract/client if it interferes with family events, and I can set my own hours for 80% of my work (It’s hard to change a wedding date, so those hours are set).
- I can change and adjust my pricing and offerings when I am ready or feel it is necessary.
- I can work in yoga pants. And I do. A lot.
- Unlimited coffee, snacks, potty breaks, etc.
- I can take my dogs to my studio (if I don’t have clients in) and can work with them on my feet when it is cold.
- The commute from my bedroom to my office is never too bad (although the dogs like to trip me on the stairs)
- I’m in control of policy, standards, customer recovery, and decision making.
- I can pursue as many new ventures and adventures in business as my capacity can handle—so I’m able to collaborate and grow with my friends in ways that my former career limited.
This is just a small list of things that are pretty cool since I quit my job. I am a creative solo entrepreneur, so I understand that many of you may still have to go into an office, answer to a board, or discuss strategy with a business partner (all of which may require pants, in most cases), but I’m sure we could all make a list of our own own empowerment pieces to post on the wall by our desk.
Next time you want to roll your eyes, blow steam out of your ears, and scream “I quit my job for this?!?!?,” feel empowered to walk to the nearest freezer or convenience store, treat yourself to an ice cream, and savor the moment. It doesn’t matter if it is only 9am, you deserve a treat. You never know who you might run into there.
Yes. “I quit my job for this.”