Educational. Inspiring. Service
This is my 3 word brand – the words I try to live into here on Teach Good Stuff.
I love sharing information with you each week about how you can use your ideas to create and sell digital products.
Woven throughout my blog posts and emails, I share bits and pieces of my story, but not the whole thing.
I’m more of the quiet and private type.
However, this past weekend, I attended the Happy Black Woman Launch your Business Conference where I shared my story of how I quit my job and the wins I’ve had over the past year on stage at the Inspiration Panel (see video below!).
One of the biggest ah-has I had during the conference was that I really need to start sharing MORE of my story to connect with you, my reader!
But, it really hit me when I had a few awesome women who were in my community come up to me during the conference and shared how much they enjoyed my content AND hearing more about me and my life.
Rebecca was one of those ladies who was excited to share how much she appreciated my Workshop on Worksheets that helped her to create materials for her workshops!!
That was such an eye-opener for me. People actually want to hear about my journey! I know people tell you to share your story, but that just doesn’t come naturally to me.
But, I’m here. I’m listening. And, I hear ya.
I Made the Decision To Leave My Job
A year ago, I had the desire to do something more with my life.
I had never wanted to become an entrepreneur. It was never a desire or even a thought. I don’t even think I heard anyone in my circle even toss around the word entrepreneur.
Matter of fact, I got an undergraduate degree in International Studies because I wanted to become a translator or ambassador.
Now, that I look back..I realize the universe has a funny way of putting you exactly where you need to be.
I graduated college and instead of traveling the world as a diplomat, I became a teacher.
And, that was the starting point of my love of teaching and education.
I taught elementary school for 8 years. Then I earned a Master’s Degree in Education (Curriculum and Instruction).
After earning my degree, I landed my first ever “corporate” job as a software trainer putting on workshops, webinars, and mini-trainings.
It was a regular job, probably similar to what you may have now…
I woke up at the crack of dawn. Drove an hour to work. Worked 8 hours at my cubicle. Gobbled down my lunch at my 30 minute lunch break. Hopped back into my car for another hour drive home. Tried to squeeze in 30 minutes of exercise. Ate dinner. Went to sleep. Woke up and did it all over again.
After two years of doing this (yeah..it only took that long!), the entrepreneur bug hit.
I remember it like it was yesterday…
I was riding to work one day and all of a sudden the magnitude of my monotonous life hit me. While I sat in bumper to bumper traffic, I began to ball my eyes out.
“Surely, there’s something more to life than this!” I thought to myself.
That was a pivotal moment.
In that moment, sitting in my car, I realized that my time and energy was spent helping someone else pursue their goals and dreams (and get rich). And, instead of doing that, I wanted to spend my energy pursing my OWN goals and dreams.
From then on, I had a burning fire to quit my job and do what I love.
I began waking up super duper early to go to the coffee shop to work on my business before going into work. I’d write blog posts at the library during my lunch break. I’d even head back to the library after work to work some more.
One day, I had an online buddy ask me the question that made my stomach queasy: “So, what date are you actually going to quit?”
You see..I had been saying I was going to quit for FOREVER, but I never made a move to make it happen.
So, I stuck a stake in the ground: July 2014 would be the day!!
When June 2014 came around, I ended up negotiating with my boss to work part-time (instead of fully leaving my job).
Working part-time allowed me to still get paid and work more on my business!! (It also allowed me to test drive a kick-butt weekly schedule before becoming my own boss.)
After a year of working part-time, my Freedom Friday was May 30, 2015.
I used that year to put in place things that would make me comfortable to quit my job. I…
- upped my savings game (I believe I saved about 9 months of income!)
- had a process/source/way to make an income from my business
- created a budget and outlined how much money I would need to live
- cut my expenses
- created and tweaked my weekly schedule
- got support
- researched health insurance options
- set up my business bank account
- developed a morning routine/ritual
- worked on saying NO to things (I quit my Toastmasters club, said no to volunteer positions, etc.) and saying YES to me and my business
- invested in a business coaching program and course
Essentially, I made a plan for diving full-time into my business AND used the year to test and tweak my new business workings.
My last day on my job was bittersweet. I was super excited, but also question whether I’d make the right decision. I was also worried what would happen on Monday, the first day going at my business full-time.
Since quitting, the journey has had it’s ups and downs.
There were times I was ecstatic to enroll some awesome women in my Create a Course That Matters program. And, then there were other times when my boyfriend literally had to encourage me to get out of bed after having a meltdown and feeling like I was a failure.
I’ve realized that on this journey there are both valleys and mountains. You cannot have one without the other.
But, it has all been worthwhile. In March, I was able to fulfill a goal that I’ve had for a long time: a road trip with my boyfriend and dog, Majic, in our van (Yes, all 3 of us slept in there!).
I finally was able to take my business on the road and live that location independent lifestyle!
I’ll be honest and say that I still have a long ways to go to grow my business to where I want it to be. But, previously when I was upset and anxious about not being where I wanted to be, now I have gratitude and celebrate how far I’ve come.
The Lessons I’ve Learned Over the Past Year
I’m sharing this with you because I want to encourage you with these lessons that I’ve learned over the past year…
- keep going even if you think no one is reading or no one is buying yet (you could be impacting someone and not even know it!!)
- infuse YOU into all that you do
- pick yourself up when you think things are falling apart and you’re going to fail
- work on your mindset so that you can tap into the spiritual side of yourself to help you keep going (this has been absolutely HUGE for me!)
- work towards your version of freedom and not someone else’s
- work towards your version of your business and not someone else’s
- celebrate both the big AND little wins
- get support to help you move forward (accountability buddies, mastermind, etc.)
- find time to enjoy the journey that you’re on
- make the time to build your business!
- get used to saying no to the things and people that don’t support your dreams
- have faith
- be consistent
So, whether or not you want to travel the world….
- work at home in your pajamas…
- call your own shots…
- have more time with your kiddos…
- or, just make money on the side to help you earn extra income..
…define your own version of freedom and work to achieve that.
I’m still working to get my business where I want it to be. I’ve launched a few digital courses and programs including the latest, Create, Market, and Sell, to show you how to create and sell digital products to make passive income for your business (using this process is exactly how I was able to make money while on the road!)
But, I’m also feeling called to do more. I’m feeling called to do more to help women with a heart for teaching share their expertise online so that they can live their own version of freedom WHILE helping the people they’re meant to serve.
I’m honored that you read my blog posts and newsletters each week.
You’re the reason why I keep going. And, I give you my girl scouts honor to share more of my story with you as we move forward.
I believe you have a light to share, and I want to help you do just that. And, I’d love to do it together.
It’s your turn, in the comments below, what is your WHY for creating a business? What does freedom look like to you?