If you’ve ever dreamed about quitting your job to follow your dreams but have kept this fantasy in your head rather than taking action, it’s time for a reality check.
I personally believe there is nothing worst than just mulling something over in our mind while life continues to move forward. I find that the best way to see if a desire is actually possible is to look at it from a concrete point of view and this is where my story comes in.
Two years ago, I quit a lucrative job in the fashion world to build my own little empire. There have been major ups and downs and the journey is quite comparable to a wild rollercoaster ride. In order to help you determine if you have enough of a solid stomach for this adventure I’ll walk you through the phases I’ve been through so far (because my ride is far from over).
Waiting in line to get on the ride
When you are close to the moment of quitting your job and you know that you’ll be saying sayonara to your boss and colleagues, you feel a mixture of nervousness and excitement. The possibilities ahead are endless but there is also a lot of fear of the unknown.
The adventure begins!
The thrill you experience when taking the leap and saying those magical words “I quit” is like that first dip on the roller coaster. There is no turning back and the adrenaline rush is intense. People congratulate you with envy wishing they had the courage to do what you are doing and you’re pretty damn proud about actually having the guts to get on this crazy ride.
After the exciting dip downhill the uphill work begins. You might have to deal with family and friends that wonder why the hell you’ve chosen to risk “everything” which can create major doubt in yourself regarding the decision you made. My advice is to build a protective psychological barrier that will shield you from the negative Nellys. Be careful who you share this adventure with as it’s not for the faint of heart and you want to surround yourself with positive energy and support.
There is a lot of work involved in this phase as well because you have to set-up your life considering your new reality. Ex: planning your finances (although hopefully you’ve done this beforehand), building your business if that’s what you quit your job for, maybe moving somewhere new, etc.
And down we go again!
So you’ve done the work of setting everything into place, letting the news sink in with others and there is a moment of calm just as you get to the top of the hill. All of a sudden, there is a clear view point of what’s ahead in your new “dream life”. It’s at that exact moment of peace and clarity that a million thoughts will probably start racing through your mind: “Why the hell did I decide to do this?! This is crazy! I don’t have what it takes to survive! Get me outta here!”.
At this point you can only do one thing: breathe and realize that the voice in your head is just that: a voice in your head. Whatever comes up isn’t necessarily true and you don’t have to listen or believe it. Learning to detach from these thoughts is key if you want to stay sane on this journey.
I’m probably sounding dramatic in how I am describing the experience so far but really, it’s an intense ride and it will throw you for a lot of loops. Of course, it will be different for each person but one big lesson I learned is that you have to be realistic in what to expect. Following your dreams is often painted as something exciting, glamourous and courageous but it’s also scary, messy and really uncomfortable.There are plenty of people selling the dream out there so I just want to counterbalance that with a healthy dose of realism.
Do I regret my decision?
Some days I do (when I am tired, when the cash flow is less abundant, when the work gets overwhelming) but most days I don’t. In fact, I am grateful pretty much all the time for having decided to live my life to the fullest and follow my authentic path. I’ve traveled to amazing destinations because of the freedom my online business allows me but I’ve also had darker moments when I just crave the stability of a regular paycheck. “Living the dream” is not black or white. It’s more like shades of grey in addition to pretty pastels on the days where everything just flows.
Want more realness?
I did a super fun podcast with two other fabulous female entrepreneurs with whom I have a candid conversation about what it takes to succeed in business and the lessons learned along our journey. This podcast is filled with funny, authentic and vulnerable moments shared in the hopes that it will serve others who are on their own path to making their dreams a reality. Listen to it here or on iTunes (title: “3 expat-preneurs sharing the realities of building their dream life”).
Curious about my business? Head to redfairyproject.com to get a daily dose of inspiration on how to live healthy + happy. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Instagram and my latest obsession, Snapchat (username: redfairyproject).
See you over there!