As I mentioned when last we met, I spent nearly one year as a full time employee. This slowed down the building of my business, but it was worth it. Not only did I buy my home, but it provided income as I continued to plan, strategize, and build my business. i was part of the Side Hustle Nation. You see, many, many entrepreneurs have to start out with a full time job, while getting started in their own business on the side. It’s almost unheard of to launch a new business and immediately have enough revenue to live. So there I was working this job and building things on the side. Was it exhausting? Of course. Was it worth it? ABSOLUTELY!
Then, as so often happens on this journey of mine, a golden opportunity was dropped in my lap. A chance encounter brought an offer to work with a major software company’s restructuring; assisting the thousands of employees who were impacted and lost their jobs. I took the position for three reasons: 1) I used to work for this company both as an employee and later a consultant, and had retained an immense fondness and admiration for it, 2) it afforded me the opportunity to help people at a critical point in their lives doing the work I loved to do, and 3) yes, it would provide me access to a large local client base that would be active across the Puget Sound region. The project was huge; 17 coaches, 9 months of work, and every day was fabulous. I loved this opportunity and eagerly went to work each day, waiting for what would unfold. I never knew who I’d encounter or how I might change a life. Then something wonderful happened. I won the top coach award for the project! Knowing who my colleagues were, it stunned me. And as my reputation grew among the impacted employees who were quickly landing jobs, I found my name being passed out to others. Soon, I had friends and family of these clients contacting me to work with them on their job search!
As the project came to its normal closure and people were all now in new jobs, I had a full plate of private clients. I was able to step away from the project and focus my energies on my business. The transition from full time employment to full time entrepreneurship came to fruition! My dream was finally realized!
Looking back, I learned three lessons. First, take those golden opportunities when they present themselves. They could be a great stepping stone. Second, expect the unexpected. Some are good, some are bad, but both provide opportunities to learn and grow and will pay off. And third, don’t quit your day job, but don’t quit your dream. It will take extra hours, nights when you can’t sleep and jump back on the computer to work on a business plan or some marketing material, but remember who you’re doing it for. Remember your dream. You CAN and you WILL make it happen!