The day had finally come, January 15 2015 my very last day as a corporate career climber, and in the final hour my boss walks into my office, closes the door with a proposition, $25 more an hour to work 1-2 days as a consultant.
I accept, but only for 3 months, because going from 8.5k a month to something was better than going to zero…
I left the office that day with a plane ticket in hand ready to go to Puerto Rico to celebrate, but was there really a celebration if I just accepted an additional 3 months of consulting? My golden handcuffs weren’t really off completely, I just shortened the number of days per week I had to wear them! I felt like I had compromised. Either way all my self talk was cut short by the time I made it home. 3 people I know died that day while I was at work. One of whom was the husband of one of my second mothers. Her vacation home was where I was supposed to be staying once I arrived in Puerto Rico. How can I go by her house for the keys knowing her husband literally just passed, his body still in her house? I couldn’t. I dropped everything at the door and cancelled my trip to go just be with her.
The way the day ended just wasn’t a good sign, maybe I was making a terrible terrible mistake.
During my time consulting I dreaded going to the office even for the 1-2 days, the 3 months couldn’t come fast enough and I decided not to renew.
It was April when my official official last day came and I felt so free. I had finally made the leap fully, way ahead of my original schedule and just knew there was no place to go from here but up. Except the trajectory didn’t happen as smoothly as I expected and I made tons of mistakes after my transition that I want to share with you here.
I changed up the kids routines too soon.
My reason for leaving my job was to put my family first, but it was also to leap into entrepreneurship which I was only moonlighting in before. Summer was 2 at the time and knew I was coming back home everyday instead of going to work so one day she woke up and just refused to go to daycare anymore… and I kinda let her.
What I should have done was dropped her down to part time first so that I still would have the time I needed to plan and build, while still letting her get in some extra time in with me.
I didn’t cut back our expenses enough.
While I was working I was a 6 figure earner and had cut our expenses to be able to save well over $1000 a month towards my exit. When I left my job I had about $97,000 saved but kept living like I was a working woman…
What I should have done was made another significant budget cut after I quit so the money I had could stretch further and longer.
I didn’t create a clear plan of how I was going to ramp up my business.
Running a successful coaching business means relying on successful systems that you just duplicate over and over. I hadn’t figured out my system of systemically bringing in new clients consistently yet, nor had I considered how much of an investment it was going to take to get everything up and keep it running with no revenue. If you think your idea is going to make money within 3 months of going full time think again, and even if it does it typically isn’t enough to live on AND reinvest back into the business. You may be good one month and then go dry again for 2-3 months. I needed advertising money, operational costs, promotions. So using the same pot of money to live on and grow my business without significantly cutting my expenses to the bare bones and having a clear revenue generation plan was a huge huge mistake.
I didn’t pay off my student loans.
I didn’t have any other consumer or credit card debt, I didn’t have a car loan either, so I poured all my money into savings. However when you no longer have an income, coming up with $200-500 a month for a student loan payment almost seems counter productive, if there is one thing I wish I could go back and do it would be this.
I didn’t expect the unexpected.
Life happens, we make plans, God laughs at our plans. People get sick, accidents happen, or like me you get pregnant. Less than a month after my consulting stint finished I found out I was expecting Baby Cinco! I was also so sick with him I didn’t do any work for almost 3 months.
So now I really am going to be a stay at home mom, because there is a baby on the way. Can you build a business and take care of a newborn?! Welp I was going to try and find out !
When the morning sickness subsided I was finally able to get back to business. I worked on my systems and pulled back on everything so I could pour more money into my business. I also created my first online ads. Then I landed a freelance contract with Black Enterprise but here came the dilemma, was I a freelancer or a business owner? Having been a blogger first, then creating my coaching business identifying myself was difficult. I found myself chasing more after personal finance freelance gigs instead of attracting new clients.
I realized that although I achieved some small wins I was literally in mourning.
I missed the structure my job had because what needed to be done was no longer dictated by someone else. My brain was on 1000 with all these things that needed to be done and no one to tell me which needed to be done first. I had to decide all alone.
I missed interaction with other adults. I was home all day every day with a now 3 year old and newborn. I needed some time at the water cooler! Although I had a loose routine in place. I was kinda lonely.
I missed PAYCHECKS and hated watching my savings dwindle. I considered returning to work many many times. I even went to see my old boss at one point .
Making the leap is a very scary scary thing
But on the flip side my relationship with my children thrived. They loved coming straight home and no longer going to after school. They loved being able to tell me about their day right away and not waiting hours for me to come home and being half asleep by the time I would get in from work. I even was able to find out things they were doing that they weren’t supposed to.
It’s been 2 years since I stopped working and my kids hope I never go back. They still love having me at their disposal as soon as they walk in the door and all summer long.
The mourning I had for my career comes and goes, but the bonds I have built with my children I’m praying those last forever.
Next week I’ll be sharing all my recommendations for anyone considering making the leap from their 9-5 to life on the home front or into entrepreneurship.