It’s been 23 days.
Wait WHAT?!?! Only 23 days?
Time simultaneously feels like it stopped, yet also feels like it’s flying by.
Maybe it’s because I have no need to know what day of the week it is. (That’s probably why I missed 2 appointments.)
And… um… now that I think about it, THAT is going to become a problem real quick. I better find a calendar that I will inevitably forget about until February 2022.
Guess it’s time to get into a routine.
Uughhhhhhhhhhhh fine. If I must.
Transitioning to My New Normal
23 days ago, I left my stable-paying job to pursue my dreams with zero guarantees of an income. Zero guarantees that I am going to be a successful business owner. But a 150% guarantee that I am going to put my all into this.
Even if my all looks different. Being a business owner looks different for everyone. For instance, today I played in the pool with my 9-year-old for an hour before editing this post. BECAUSE I COULD!
I knew I was going to get this done, but I decided to have dessert before the hard work. And I will have a second dessert as soon as I’m done.
If you had told me 24 days ago that I would have the freedom to dictate how my day unfolds, I would have laughed and figured it was just a dream.
Transitioning out of the corporate world has been enlightening.
I may only be on Day 23 of being untethered from a stationary work desk, but already I understand why researchers have found that when employees have more control over their schedule, they tend to have higher overall job satisfaction and well-being (source). My new non-standard schedule is having a huge impact on my own attitude.
So what does that all mean for a solopreneur?
We have full control over our schedules. But it’s up to us to actually get shit done. No one is going to save you except yourself.
Sounds scary. But we can have it all. That’s why many of us became solopreneurs to begin with.
The corporate anti-flexible-schedule world does not work for many. It definitely didn’t work for me.
I tried. But I just kept spiraling out of control. Because ironically, I had no control. I did have boat-loads of stress though.
We’re Teaching by Example, Like It or Not
Taking a leap of faith was the scariest thing I have ever done. But it was the right thing to do. I wasn’t proud of who I was becoming. And I definitely didn’t want our kids thinking this was all there is to life after school.
We teach our kids to live freely and openly…
How to love one another and be proud of themselves…
That they can do whatever they put their mind to…
That they don’t have to do things the way they’ve always been done…
That it’s OK to be a circle in a square box…
That they actually DO have control.
A 9-5 schedule forced me into a square hole with little room for movement. Confined by 7:30pm bedtimes and screeching 4am alarms, I dreaded every M-F morning.
Except on Fridays. Because Fridays are no-cry days. Dontcha know? If you didn’t, happy Friday no Cry Day in advance.
When I was a kid, I don’t remember what I wanted to be, but this much I do remember — it wasn’t to be stuck in a cubicle for 10 hours a day.
Every once in a while, I ask our girls what they want to be when they grow up. Their answers change often. Right now, Thing 2 wants to own a cat rescue. Thing 1 wants to be a vet for exotic animals like lions and cheetahs and sloths.
I will support them no matter what. It’s just fun to see their journey develop. But as a parent, I have to teach them perseverance and confidence, goal setting, and how to visualize the future. I also have to teach them the art of failure.
I wasn’t teaching them any of that at my 9-5.
Monkey see… monkey do.
Author Mike Blankenship hit the nail on the head when he said, “pursuing your own passions will make you a better parent” because “it will help inspire [kids] to do the same.” (source)
And isn’t that the whole goal? Inspiring our children, our friends, our community, and even our world to reach their full potential?
23 days ago, I knew that whatever transpires over this next year, my girls are going to learn the importance of chasing their dreams, of not giving up. Kids learn by example.
I am right where I am supposed to be today: drying off from the pool, listening to the Island Reggae playlist on Spotify, my little table fan trying its hardest to keep me cool because I really don’t want to go inside.
I just need a slight breeze and life is beautiful.
I got my first rejection from one of the 29 pitches I sent this week. Two were returned undeliverable.
My friends, Sally the Imposter Syndrome Monster and Howard the Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria Goblin, came for a visit when the first rejection popped up.
And you know what happened?
I didn’t die. I didn’t burst into flames. I wasn’t sad. In fact, I was proud.
I put a lot of work into crafting a pitch that wasn’t perfect, and I sent it out — even though it was perfect.
Resiliency for the win! And our girls are going to get front-row tickets to watch their Mama not skip a beat because of it.
The past 23 days felt more like 46. But those 46, ahem, 23 days have been just one new experience after another, after one new adventure after another…
Honestly, I feel like I have whiplash from everything that has happened. I never in a bazillion-gajillion years thought this moment would ever happen (or COULD ever happen).
Out of the past 23 days, I have woken up to an alarm clock about three times, maybe four. One of those times, I set the alarm too late and missed the horsey-horse appointment time for my girls. (I still feel awful about that.)
But IT FEELS GLORIOUS.
Not to mention the fact that I can go to the bathroom whenever I darn well want to.
I may not have any paying clients yet BUT I feel more optimistic about our future than I have ever felt in my life.
Oh, and did I mention I can go to bed ANYTIME I want. Which is so weird.
I feel like I have strangely too much daytime and yet oddly not enough. This gets frustrating because I am quickly learning the beauty of spending every moment how I WANT TO SPEND IT. Because I am in control of my day.
And it is breathtaking.
Surprisingly, I want to spend my day working on making my dreams come true. Which means working on the nitty and the gritty.
Which is probably why 23 days has felt like 46.
Working on the nitty-gritty of starting a business means looking deep inside to make sure you believe in your company AND yourself.
No one is going to buy from someone who isn’t confident in their services.
I hired a coach two weeks ago now.
I see the BIG picture and sometimes it is really hard for me to tie everything together. I still trudge along until something resembles the BIG picture. But I rarely am YAY-OMG-I-DID-IT levels of excited.
Since I knew Spirited Wolf Media is my purpose, I decided to invest in myself right out of the gate.
I am so glad I did.
The first 19ish days, I spent floating from moment to moment, kind of sort of marking things off the to-do list. But not really. It just feels so good not being tied to a desk or a chair or a headset or a toxic corporate culture.
Some would say I have been procrastinating. And maybe I am a little. But I don’t see it that way.
I needed the past 23 days.
I needed the time to adjust. I needed time to just remember who I am as a human, as a parent, as a wife, and especially as a writer.
I needed the past 22 days to let my body detox from the constant stress. I’ve taken a few guilt-free naps because I wanted to.
More importantly, my soul needed the past 22 days to recharge.
So much has transpired the past 23 days. I think I might slow-mo whiplash (which isn’t a thing but I just said it so now it is, logically).
Just to name a few:
- Paid for my business licenses on my birthday as a birthday present to myself!
- Our pool was finally installed.
- Our dishwasher finally arrived.
- Costco has missed 2 deliveries for our fridge so we have been without a fridge for 29 days.
- 1st “last minute” family vacation in 4 years, just because we could.
- Oh, oh, oh: discovered my soloprenuership strengths.
- AND I figured out what services I am niching down in!!!
- Pitched to 29 companies and got my 1st rejection!!!!!!
- Read 3 books in 1 series, working on the 4th! Woah, I can read for fun now?
- Watched my girls conquer social anxiety for a day to ride some horses.
- Preparing for my very first professional headshots and figuring out how to love my body.
- Stayed awake past midnight more times in the past 23 days than in the past 6 years. P.S. I am not young anymore. I miss my 7:30pm bedtime a lil’.
- Came up with a list of blog post subjects I NEED to write about. Now I just NEED to actually write them.
- It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, though. I can’t drink alcohol without an instant migraine, so no poolside margaritas for me😞 just poolside dutch bros.
This list isn’t complete, but it includes the most memorable moments of the past 22 days. Wait no…
- Splurged and got myself a GoPro Hero9 and have fallen in love.
Ok perfect. Still not a complete list, but definitely a full 23 days.
Last night as I was wrapping up the first draft at 11:11pm (on a Saturday night), and as my eyes finally felt heavy, I realized I was riding an adrenaline high all day. Everything just feels like it’s falling into place, even the muscles I forgot existed after spending the weekend in the pool.
And yes, even that 1st rejection.
I am pretty sure I have a perma-smile right now.
Last night, as my eyelids hung heavier, as I watched our girls begin to fall asleep at 11pm, I finally understood why I am right where I am supposed to be.
Now, I am questioning if I am a night owl. CAN I be a night owl? What does a night owl do? Is there a ritual to make it official? Can I be a night owl AND an early bird?
My Challenge to You
I have a 10-minute task for you. I want you to set a timer for 5 minutes and write down your dreams (some people create vision boards). Even if they seem insane.
When that phase is done, set another 5-minute timer and start listing out the steps you need to take to follow your dream. Break the big ones down.
And then take one baby step each and every single day. You can’t soar until you take consistent action.
If you want more inspiration or ideas or reasons why you should follow your dreams, here is a starting spot: Google.
Adventure on with Curiosity my friends,
~ Kelly Steele, MBA (she/her)