Why I left my corporate job for my own business

I went to college to get a degree in Business and Marketing. As soon as I graduated I started a marketing internship at a communications company that eventually turned into a permanent position. I loved it! I loved learning new things, being part of the company and growing my skills.

After I had a couple years to adjust to the corporate world and get settled into this new ‘adult life’, I began exploring my interests and hobbies outside of work. For years my main focus and most of my time was dedicated to doing well in school to get a good job after college.

Once I achieved that, it opened up a door for self-discovery. Who am I, what do I enjoy and what do I stand for? I dedicated more time to my hobbies, like photography, even taking a class at the community college. I dove into subjects that interested me most like Wellness, Self-Development and Happiness. The research and teachable skills from these subjects fascinated me as well as the opportunity to share these learnings. One thing that became really clear to me during this self-discovery phase, was that there were a lot of projects I was extremely passionate about and dreamt I could spend my days working on, and marketing for a technology company wasn’t one of them.

As years past, I started to get more and more frustrated that I was spending so many hours, meetings, agonizing conversations, tears and stress each week for something that didn’t mean anything to me anymore other than a paycheck. If I were to say it bluntly, I felt like I was wasting years off my life – a life that I value so much. (Or course, those years were certainly not a waste and brought me to where I am today.)

It took me awhile to accept that I wasn’t stuck in this field. I had the power to make a change. Despite the fact that I had a good job at one of the few large companies in our town, and that I made a reliable decent income with great benefits, and that I got a degree to work in this industry, I didn’t have to continue feeling like I was stuck and it was ok for me to explore other options. I knew deep down that leaving was the right thing to do and that I had the strength to do it, despite the fear of how others might judge me or the fear of losing my comfortable paycheck.

So I made the first move. I invested in a Health Coaching Certification training course.

I loved the content, the mission behind it and all the opportunity that came with this career. This was it. I always said my job needs to help other people. The program and skills I learned, not only help people become healthier, but can be life changing. I made the decision that this will be my new career and I wanted to own my own business as a Health Coach.

The next year was dedicated to working through my training, practicing with clients and building my new business, while keeping my current job, and paycheck.

I had an end date in sight that I worked towards every day. And let me assure you that I doubted myself almost all of those days. Fear can hold you back from the most ‘right’ decision because the present is known and the future isn’t. I gave myself pep talks constantly, reminding myself that I could do this, that I had the strength, the work ethic, the skills and the passion. And more than anything, I knew it was the right decision for me at this point in my life.

That doesn’t mean that it was easy to explain this to the skeptical friends, family and coworkers who want to support you, but can’t understand how you can walk away from a solid career and income for uncertainty. I found myself giving a lot of the cliché responses: “If not now, when? I have to try. We only have one life. I want to spend my years doing something that I am passionate about”. But these clichés were the truth. It’s exactly how I felt. The only other factors that were missing were: “I belief in myself. I have worked hard my whole life to provide a foundation that allows me to do this. I know I am a hard worker and will do what’s needed to stand on my own two feet. I refuse to feel like I’m ‘wasting’ my years and potential. And I have tremendous support from my family”.

One year later I’m in the thick of it, working from home everyday building my business . Do I miss my steady paycheck? Yes, absolutely. Is it hard to be self-employed? Yes. But I’ve never felt more alive than I have in the past couple months. I love being my own boss. I love all the opportunity that sits in from of me. And I love working and learning from my clients. I still have a long way to go, but the best part is that I’m having so much fun figuring it out.