What It's Really Like to Leave Your 9 to 5

by Betsy cardenas


 

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to leave your 9 to 5? Have you ever wondered what it's like to take on something new and unfamiliar? I used to wonder too. Except now I did it! In fact, it's been 6 months already! Before you make the leap read about the top lessons I learned in my first months as a solopreneur.  

While these focus on my post 9 to 5 life, they really apply to any massive transformation we undertake. 

1) Learning New Things Takes Time: Don't measure yourself against your old self. Whether it's a new job, a new career or a new baby. Learning means that you might work a little slower, you might have to stop and research things. I am teaching myself a bunch of new skill sets. 

2) If You Don't Know, Ask or Google It: The most important piece of career and life advice. How much time do we waste trying to figure stuff out ourselves? I asked my friend how she started her LLC and she told me she used Legal Zoom and so then this gave me a place to start my research. I ended up using Legal Zoom (btw) 

3: Read, Read then Read Some More: The truth is education shouldn't stop at any age. Bill Gates dropped out because he was learning a ton of stuff on his own and was at the forefront of a revolution. Being self-employed for the first time at 33 feels like I'm going to IRL college. I spend a lot of time reading, researching and then doing some more of that. (Note: I still think everyone should go to college unless you won the genetic lottery. Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard because he already knew what he was going to do.) 

4. You Will Be Uncomfortable: Oh yeah, every week I'm in a new situation or in a room with a new person. I'm doing new things or feeling new things. It's a bit terrifying and exhilarating all at once. Again, this is like jumping off a plane with no parachute. There will be weird, awkward days and then there will be days when you will remember why you did this in the first place. I feel like when I first graduated school with a degree in Political Science and everything was new and exciting, but my boss made me cry and I wanted to vomit because I was nervous about things. 9 years later I was managing people and discussing politics in front of room's full of strangers with ease on a regular. New things are scary, just own it.  Because of my experience, I also know that eventually we master things and it gets easier. 

5. Enjoy the Ride: If you think of this as an adventure then the stakes will seem less scary. Often times we focus on those who have "made it" and ignore the trajectory that happens before. The parts of the biggest growth are the ones that happen in between. The people we become in the process of reaching goals. Something I'm working on is focusing on the things I want and not on the things I'm terrified about. I try to prevent myself frompunishing thoughts like," I should have done this by now."

That's why I wrote this piece because the moment I realized I had been living my dream for 6 months and literally thought, " I have accomplished nothing." 

But then I remember I walked on fire, started an LLC, co-produced a major event, radically changed my diet, did a full wardrobe transformation and of course continued to produce my newsletter!