The Jumping Off Point
How do you decide you’re ready? You’ve given up your career because children are important but they are in school so you want to do something while there is time in the day? You’re tired of having a boss and want to strike out on your own? You’re newly retired and want to spread your wings? You know you have a great idea and just want the world to know too?
Recently I read: “Has anyone ever just said to heck with it, quit your job, taken out a loan and started your own business?”.
Yes. I have. That’s exactly what I did without the loan. It was me and Visa. Well maybe it was a bit more because I had a spouse who paid the mortgage but I was still responsible for my own bills. In 1991 I had a 3 & 5 year old and I was working for a lumber yard. I got a call from my daycare provider one night who told me they wouldn’t be providing daycare for us anymore. No notice, they were done and thus we were done. I took a day off sick to pull things together and this is what happened. I spoke to my employer honestly. They said if I could scrape by for 2 months while they found a replacement they would do whatever it took to help me – and that included referring clients to me. I spoke to a girlfriend who had just had a baby. We came to an arrangement for the two months as long as I could do all the pickup and delivery of children. And at the end of two months, I became self-employed.
First, the two months weren’t easy. But what in life is? I am eternally grateful for those angels in my life who were there and I try to remember to pay it forward. I always keep in mind that I want to be someone’s hand up.
Second, I made a list of everything I could possible do from home. So I had about 50 items on that list. In the 25+ years since I made that list, I only ever did about 5. They took off with hard work and lots of hustle. I made about $3000 that first year. But that’s the last time my income was that low.
But I want to talk about the takeaway. I saw all my kids sports days. I volunteered in the classroom and got to help kids learn to read. I spent summers with them at parks and pools and watched them grow into the amazing young women they are now. And the children all worked for me at some point and now have an extra skill to add to their résumés. I now have the ability to be incredibly organized if I want and the reward is not monetary but that I get to set my own daily schedule. And that I’m still around and transitioning into a new “life role” is amazing to me. I work to pay it forward because so many have been there for me.
Look for your angels.