62 days ago, I turned in my two-week notice.
Two months early.
After a lot of internal debates and family discussions.
But I finally made a decision. I had to. Something had to change.
My company was moving to a hybrid work schedule in a few months, and I don’t have adequate childcare to remain WFH — even if I had the option.
Not to mention, I’m done with the daily 8.5 hours of stress, the jolt of anxiety when my alarm goes off at 4:30am, and the constant barrage of angry callers I deal with in the call center. (Being an empath sucks sometimes.)
Nine months ago, I FINALLY discovered my purpose and mission in this lifetime, an idea I had been desperately searching for since April 2018 when I almost died on the operating table.
I thought about being a paramedic or a 911 operator or even a guidance counselor, along with some other careers I can’t recall now that I toyed with over the years. I just knew I wanted to help people. And If I could also get paid to write, read, take photos, and adventure, then count me in. I’d sell my soul if I had to.
So when I learned about the world of copywriting and content creation back in September, I knew. My soul knew. My body knew. My brain knew.
As I started reading article after article about the writer’s life, I was consumed with shiny object syndrome (SOS). Definitely not a new feeling in this ADHD household.
But this time, something felt different. Every square inch of my body — inside and out — vibrated into unison.
A month went by and I was still vibrating. Two months later, I started taking courses. Three months went by and then four.
Every single day, I took another baby step.
Until I fell…
I live in the Pacific Northwest, so I should be used to seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It creeps in during the winter, leaving me no break from depression. I battle it every day in the other 3 “seasons” as well.
History (and a little bit of math) should have clued me in to what would be next on my Adventures in SolopreneurshipTM.
But because Depression + SAD = Depresad… no, desad, sadd… depresssionsad…. OK, this isn’t working out.
Basically, when I fell back into depression, I fell into a bed of quicksand. And I did what I’ve always done: drown in all the things and justify giving up on my mission for half a second.
Long story short (that ship has sailed, hasn’t it), quicksand is a constant obstacle in our everyday lives. There is a way out.
Umm… where was I?
In 6 days and 10 hours (as of Fri, June 18th, 2021, at 2:30pm PST), I will be taking a leap of faith — a leap of faith that could either catapult me straight into the caves under the Grand Canyon floor…
…Or a leap of faith that will bring my dreams to life.
Am I scared? Heck yes I am.
Going from a steady paycheck to building a freelance business with 100% cash flow uncertainty should be scary. Because when we’re scared, we plan.
At least I do.
I have to chart all the potential outcomes — good, bad, ugly. And I can come up with some pretty insane outcomes the longer I stew.
In fact, being scared has motivated me to make sure I cross all of my i’s and dot all my t’s over and over again.
If it weren’t scary, I wouldn’t have the contingency plans in place just in case. I would feel safe. I wouldn’t feel the need to grow.
According to Investopedia.com, 90% of all startups failed in 2019. That’s pre-pandemic!
Am I scared? Yes.
But I am not letting that stop me from moving forward in the pursuit of my dreams. And you shouldn’t either.
I need to do this. Not just to prove to myself that I can.
Ok yeah, a teeny tiny part of me is totally needing to prove to myself that I can do something this insane and pull it off. Go big or go home. And I’ve been stuck at home for 463 days, self quarantining as much as humanly possible. So let’s do this.
Ahhhh, if only it were that easy. Amirite?
I am freaking out inside.
I am excited to finally escape this soul sucking 9-5 corporate call center job. Its been a psychological torture chamber for six years.
I’m going to miss talking to all my co-workers and sharing random laughs. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about our financials.
I’ve raised my hopes so high, they’re about to cross from this universe to the next. I’ve planned out my dreams so many times, I can almost transport myself there with a snap of my fingers.
But it would be childish for me to trust that nothing is going to go wrong. I am a worst-case-scenario planner by nature. I learned LONG ago to look for the silver linings and the flow to go with.
While these last couple weeks have felt like I’m a mashup between an extroverted social butterfly the night before the first day of school and a high school senior taking full advantage of the last week of High School, it’s been a fight to get here.
I’ve had to fight imposter syndrome, reminding myself that babies don’t know how to walk when they’re first born. (Jeeze Kelly, you’ve been reminding your kids this since they were three. Get it together girl!)
I’ve learned how to lean in to my super power of being able to see a problem and instinctively know the solution.
I’ve adjusted my depression medication and learned how to reach out for help when I feel like I’m drowning.
I’ve read article after article about how to NOT take life so personally, accepting that not everything is an attack on who I am.
I’ve consumed stories from other copywriters about what NOT to do.
I’ve dealt with fear.
You see, I actually let Fear take the steering wheel for a while. Again. It started after my best friend passed away last April. But this time was worse. This time, he came with a lil’ buddy named Anti-Mojo. (Watching an insurrection unfold on live TV may have also been a contributing factor.)
And then I made a decision for once in my life. I turned in my letter of resignation, strapped in, and buckled up.
The past 62 days have been some of the longest days of my life. But also some of the most amazing.
In the past 62 days, every internal fight I battled brought me one step closer to healing. One stop closer to putting myself first. One step closer to living instead of just surviving.
And in 6 days and 10ish odd hours, I will be on my way to thriving.
It’s easy to stop fighting. But my purpose is bigger than just me.
Am I scared? Yes. And that’s OK.
Will I be successful? I hope so.
And if I’m not? Well, this adventure has taught me an impressive number of things about who I am. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. (Between you and me, I know I’m good at this. And I know I’m right where I’m supposed to be.)
62 days ago, I made a pinky promise to myself that I would give it a year. I would work my butt off for a year. And then re-evaluate.
But right now, I am here for a reason. And that reason is you.
When was the last time you made a pinky promise to yourself? The last time you let fear take control and stop you from doing something you are curious about?
Whatever you are feeling right now is valid. A quick “afraid of trying something new” Google search will bring you back 589M results in less than 0.5 seconds.
Which means you aren’t alone.
Being a solopreneur isn’t for everyone. I know I haven’t launched yet, but making decisions for… drumroll please… my OWN business, makes you second-guess everything. And that’s because of a little thing called fear.
I want to issue you a Pinky Promise Challenge. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to conquering, overcoming, battling, slaying, demolishing, or becoming friends with Fear.
Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to make a list of 5 things you’d like to do or learn but — for whatever reason — have been scared to accomplish.
The level of difficulty is totally up to you.
Pick 1 thing off your list and make a Pinky Promise with yourself to let the fear go.
Here I’ll start:
- Ride my bike by myself to the park and back (Yes, I know I am a grown adult, but this is my list and there’s nothing wrong with that)
- Advertise my new freelancing business
- Lose 100 pounds
- Pitch my first prospect
- Make a TikTok video that is not just my dogs
Which one will I do first? Let me sit with that and I’ll get back to you.
Tag… you’re it!