Before I retrained as a therapist, I worked in London as a magazine editor. It was a great job, with great colleagues and good pay. The hours could be long when deadlines loomed, and I always felt the pressure of performing. But I loved the “idea” of what I did, I loved the question at parties or meeting new people: “So, what do you do?”
I left that job because the magazine I was working on – which I adored – folded, and I was transferred to another one – which I couldn’t muster any enthusiasm for.
I’d harboured plans to travel in South America for years, so took the opportunity and quit.
My intention was to come back to England in three months, and find another editor job.
But I came back three years later, with a baby, and no desire to return to full-time work.
The thing is, before I went away, that’s all I knew. I never once considered starting my own business, or working for myself. I went to a great school, but they mostly espoused the dream of becoming a teacher, or a doctor or lawyer, or finding another “good job”. We weren’t given any entrepreneurial training.
“Isn’t it easier just to go to a job and get paid for it?”
So when I met the father of my son, who was opening his own restaurant, had plans for a brewery and was consistently coming up with crazy business ideas, I was impressed – but it seemed like madness to me. I remember saying to him, “but it’s so much easier to just go to a job for the day and get paid at the end of it!”
On reflection though, that really hadn’t ever been easy for me. I never gelled well with bosses. I’ve never liked being told what to do. I resented colleagues who had better positions than me, or whose projects looked more exciting, because they’d worked their way up the ranks. I’ve always hated being tied to fixed hours and days, and pulled sickies or negotiated “working from home” days, when I had other plans come up.
I wanted my life to be my own.
When I came back to England, I needed work that would fit around raising a child. He was my number one priority, and I knew that I wanted to be around as much as possible for him until he was old enough to not want me to be.
Luckily, after almost three years with an entrepreneurial partner, some of his optimism, enthusiasm and motivation for being his own boss had rubbed off on me.
I retrained and jumped in with both feet. I had my therapy website up and collecting google juice half way through my training, so that when I was qualified I could take on clients from day one.
I am willing to put in the long hours, the blood, sweat and frustration it takes to learn the way to do this, if it means that I can keep on being my own boss.
Nothing compares to it.
What would stoke your fire?
If your dream is to be free from your 9-5, then you’ve got to find the escape hatch. It’s an incredible, thrilling ride.
It isn’t for everyone… but it could be for you.
You need to find the way to stoke that internal fire, as this takes passion and grit, determination and the ability to bounce back up every time you fall.
For me, I keep going because I am fueled by the desire to never put my hard-earned money into the pockets of someone else’s business. My money is mine. My time is mine.
If the only thing holding you back is confidence, then we can work on that.
Xx V xX