Over the last year and a bit, my life has totally changed for the better. I had a little boy called Henry, who is a complete and utter joy. I quit my job. I started my own business, and I simplified my life. I jumped off the hamster wheel and I couldn't be happier.
It's been a steep learning curve with a number of squeaky bum moments along the way. But it's also been a voyage of discovery, which has allowed me to feel more like, the real me and it has been, without question completely empowering. Now I am on a roll and I'm on a mission to help others do the same, to jump off!
So many of us are stuck. We work hard, we get promoted, and we work even harder to impress our boss, and earn more money, and prove ourselves. We're tired, no, were exhausted, but we have to keep going. We don't have any time at home to get home stuff done, we don't sleep well, because we're worried about tomorrows deadline, we drink too much wine, even though we've got a meeting first thing. We commute, we go to meetings, we stress about deadlines. We live for the weekend and can't wait until Friday. Well what if I told you that every day could be your weekend and your life didn't have to be like that anymore.
I decided I just couldn't keep living like that. Life is short and besides I don't want to miss Henrys bed/bath time again because I'm stuck on the M53 trying to get home for the fifth night running. I don't want to kill myself earning money to give straight to a nursery to pay for someone else to bring up my boy who I have waited and hoped for, for a long time. What if you worked hard, but enjoyed every minute and you worked your own hours, with clients you liked, from wherever you wanted, and what if you worked less hours for more money!
Believe me it can be done. From the moment Henry arrived I immediately had a reason to fight to regain control of my life, to work on my terms. I knew one thing, and that was that I didn't want to get back on the hamster wheel, because if I got back on, I would never get off, and that just wasn't an option.
It's not like I didn't need to work. I am certainly no trust fund bunny, kept wife, or someone who has a job just to get out and socialise, and if I'm honest I have always been an entrepreneur, and should have had the guts to go for it ages ago. But now I had a reason and in my mind no other option. It was now or never. Once Id made the decision, it solidified in my stomach like a fist of iron and I knew I'd made the right one. I had given myself permission to live a different life, to go against the grain and to do what I wanted to do. I had three simple rules which were as follows:
1. It had to work around Henry. The hours of work would always have to work around Henry; I wouldn't miss trips to the park, bedtimes, his first steps, his first words. I wanted to be the one to take him to the doctor if he needed me to; I wanted to cuddle him if he fell over. I wanted to be there.
2. I had to be able to work from anywhere. I had long harboured a desire to work from anywhere. There is absolutely no reason why we can't in this day and age with technology at our finger tips. I liked the freedom of working from anywhere and I could plainly see the advantages for all of my clients and it worked for them too.
3. I would only work with people I enjoyed working with. I wasn't expecting to be rolling around with laughter every five minutes, I was more than willing to work damn hard and achieve results for my clients, but I had also worked with enough absolute idiots and egomaniacs over the years, to never want to work with them again.
I looked into many career options, which would afford flexibility, and give me the opportunity to make money for myself as oppose to the company I worked for. I thought about cake baking, catering, photography and many others, but none were realistic mortgage payers. I took council and wine from my friends and family, and went and worked with different people in different professions to decide for myself the direction I wanted to jump, I cogitated and deliberated. Finally coming to the conclusion that of course I should stick with what I know and what I'm good at.
So here I am now. I run two very successful businesses, Moonface Marketing, (a Marketing, PR and Events agency) and Emma Bellis Coaching, (an Executive Business Coaching Company) and I'm well on my way to fulfilling my dream to become a writer and I write for the Huffington Post! I work around Henry who is a happy little chappy, I see more of my family and friends and I work from anywhere. I'm more driven and creative than ever, but for the right reasons and for me and my family. I no longer live for the weekend. Every day is my weekend.
I jumped off the hamster wheel and you can too!