Building a company from the ground up is both exhilliarating and frightening. For years I’ve been used to the stability of knowing just how much money is coming into the account and when it’s coming in. Now all of that stability is gone – I have no idea where my next “salary” will come from or even when it’ll come in.
The minute I took that first step towards being independant I became hyper-defensive whenever someone came up with a good idea for my business. It took me a week or so to notice it, and then I had to chuckle at how I’d started behaving just as arrogantly and closed-minded as many of the bosses I’ve had in the past. I think I realise now why they reacted they way they did. So many people want to help, and they’re ful of advice and suggestions for what I could do (or, what I *should* do). Everytime someone came up with a new idea I was mentally trying to schedule how I would get it done on top of everything else I wanted to do. I got overwhelmed with “too many things to do” very quickly! I get grumpy (seriously grumpy!) when I’ve got more things that need to be done than time to do them in, so it didn’t take long for me to turn into Medusa whenever someone came up with a helpful suggestion.
In hindsight, I was also trying to “balance” everything – building a lifestyle where I feel alive for a change versus the long thankless hours of a traditional job. It wasn’t until a friend mentioned taking a career break until the new year that I realised how badly I wanted that. However I’m not a “sit and chill” person – I’m slightly more “go and get it”, so now I’m going out to get it.
I love working. I love being busy, and I really enjoy getting up and getting things sorted out, however I’d lost my mojo. Having being out of the 9-5 grind for a little while now, I’ve got more inspiration and enthusiasm than I’ve had in years. I’m quite happily getting work done at 5am, or at 1am (though rarely both on the same day!) I can get my work done in and around my life – I can prepare my marketing material almost anywhere, and my work is something that I’m really skilled at and something that I enjoy doing.
The end result is that I seem to have swopped one form of stress for another. I no longer have the stress of being seen to be a good employee, and the stress of watching bad management get it wrong and hurt friends and colleagues in the process, and the stress of investin long hours in something that doesn’t inspire me. I no longer have the stress of worrying whether an approach I’ve taken will be reviewed with praise or with criticism, or trying to second-guess what the boss is thinking. I do, however, have the stress of not knowing where the next paycheque will come from.
Who knows. This may well work or it may not work. But one thing’s for certain – it’s going to be one hellva ride, and at least now I’ll never look back and regret that I didn’t even try!