I'm trying to think how long it's been since I sat down to write an update just about “me.” (Looks like the “Emotional Entrepreneur” piece I wrote in January is the last time I really, truly laid stuff bare for my readers, in which case, this post is really long overdue.) Especially since there's something I wanted to update you about personally: in June I quit being an entrepreneur and went back to work full time.
Yes, I'm back in the 9-5 world, and no, I don't really think it's any of your business.
But I'm going to elaborate anyway, since I've basically spent the better part of two years writing and dispensing advice about working for yourself and blogging as an income. I felt I owed….not necessarily an explanation…but an update on the choices I've made and what led me to make them. Maybe someone else will get something out of it.
If you're a long time reader, you've probably guessed that I've been struggling for awhile.
Since the Fall of 2016, it feels like I've struggled in almost every way imaginable: with working from home, with maintaining consistent revenue in my business, with growing readership on this blog. I struggled with the rebrand at the end of last year. I struggled in my personal life, with my family, struggled with weight gain, and with legitimate depression.
The depression wasn't unfamiliar – I've been dealing with off and on since I was 19. No matter what kind of “blues” or “moodiness” came and went, I was always able to go to work, school, whatever and still function, but in April of this year I had the worst bout I've ever had and my productivity (and profitability) tanked.
It's very scary when your entire business depends on you being you – you putting sentences together in your voice, you being happy and upbeat on social media, you running the teams that make it all come together.
I didn't want to write, see friends, or promote myself online. The only thing I wanted to do was sleep…and watch mindless T.V.
Statistically – being self-employed leads to higher levels of stress and a higher risk of depression, and this is can be due to a variety of reasons like the ones I mentioned above: stress, isolation, lack of work-life balance. Being predisposed to the condition from a young age, did I ever really have a chance of being a happy, healthy solopreneur?
Coming to Grips with Going Back to Work
The depth of my depression this year really baffled me because 2017 (objectively speaking) has been one of the best of my life.
Great man, rock steady relationship, great travels, great milestones and accomplishments and great people to share them with. Seriously, I've been blessed in 2017 beyond measure. But despite all that goodness, I found myself spinning out and I wanted relief.
I did consult my GP, and we did decide on the best course of treatment.
And the more I thought about it, the more going back to work made sense. I missed the close relationships I had in my previous office jobs and being a part of a large creative team. (Loved setting my own schedule and sleeping without an alarm though… I do miss that.)
Really, the only thing holding me back from trying it was my own internal guilt, of selling a lifestyle that wasn't really working…even for me.
But I was tired of living my life like I was “supposed to be” something: this blogger, this expert, this person who has it all together, this boss bitch, this…whatever. I wanted to just be myself for a minute. So, I decided to do what I felt like was best for me, and gave myself permission to start looking for an in-house position.
A New Job…and then (Another) New Job
Once I began to look for work, I happily found myself in a multiple offer scenario. While this experience did wonders for my confidence and allowed me to learn about negotiating (which I'd never really had the opportunity to do before), the pressure and timeline of it led me to a company I ultimately ended up not being happy with. At the beginning of June I started out with one job, and then six weeks in realized it was not a great fit and put in my notice.
(Which I could easily do because I have a side hustle and multiple streams of income, btw.)
But – that's not the end of the story.
At the risk of making your eyes roll, a big thing that's helped (in addition to medication) is a new-found spirituality.
After reading Gabrielle Bernstein's, The Universe Has Your Back, I've been doing more to channel positive energy (like I try to do with vision boards) and maintain a positive outlook. Have a spiritual practice has not only made me happier, calmer, and saner, but it's helped infuse a lot of much-needed perspective back into my life.
Anyway, after reading the book, I started to reinforce my own thinking that all of the events in my life are adding up to something good.
It's easier said than done, and miles from where I used to be (incredibly negative) but I've done the hard work and notice a profound difference.
AND GUESS WHAT? Two days after I put in notice at my new job, one of my all-time favorite freelance clients posted an opening for an in-house position for a Content Manager. So I applied, called my contact to tell him I had applied, instantly received an interview invitation, got the job, and I've been at my new-new job about a month.
It's the kind of work I've always wanted to do, and I truly feel like all the experiences of the last few years led me here.
But – a small part of me felt like taking a job, and “announcing to the internet” that I took a job, meant I was a failure.
Or, at least, that people would view me as a failure.
When this happens, I have to remind myself that I didn't have to go back to work, I chose this path and I'm really grateful to be on it. Even though I didn't like the previous job, my life has been dramatically different (in a good way) this summer now that I'm in a new and different routine. I can't explain it, but for me things have become immensely more manageable…both internally and externally.
Let's remember that going back to work doesn't mean your entrepreneurial spirit vanishes.
I'm working on an app and writing fiction and doing all kinds of weird sh*t I don't share here. Who knows what the next 5, 10 years will bring in terms of opportunities and growth? Just because I don't work for myself NOW, doesn't mean it'll always be that way. I've done it, it's always there, and ready for me to go back to it if/when I want or need to. Maybe I'll have kids one day and working from home for myself will be the best thing to ever happen to me.
I have options, and really, that's one of the biggest things I've wanted for myself.
But for right now, for me, in this moment, and in my circumstances …this is what my “best life” looks like:
- I L-O-V-E my new job. No faking. I do. And it helps that I can work from home some too.
- I'm still, (happily) running this (lucrative) blog and catering to a handful of really special freelance clients on the side.
- My blog side hustle that turned into a full-time job is now a side hustle again, and weirdly, I feel more creatively charged by the blog now than before. Perhaps this is because there's less stress to produce and have this blog make a six-figure income.
- I also moved in with my boyfriend, and that's going really well too. <3
- Roo has gained some weight and we put him on a weight management plan, but he doesn't like to talk about it.
Thanks for all your support – it's definitely been a wild two years, but I'm looking forward to what the next chapter holds.