People always told me, “Don’t quit your day job”. No matter how many times I said, this is not what I went to school for. I didn’t think it was going to be like this…I am miserable and the stress makes me ill (side note, it literally did make me ill, but probably the black mold and asbestos tiles didn’t help either). I was a classroom teacher who only ever dreamed of being a writer.
I actually loved the thought of teaching without strings attached and the children if that makes sense…I did not love lots of other things. So I started thinking to myself, if people don’t 100% love what they are doing every single day, then why not dream bigger?
So what happened when I finally decided to leave teaching and started secretly planning my escape?
3 Dream Killers…and how to handle them:
- Everyone will give you constructive criticism, but it’s not really constructive. It’s what they would do. People talk from their place of fear. I did not have another job lined up. Had no idea how I was going to make it if we dropped my salary. I did not have a large savings. There was no safety net. I am a kind of jump person think later…soooo. I get told how others would have done x,y,z. The only thing that mattered to me was am I currently happy in my job? No. That was all I needed to know. So people tried to break down my dream, or give me safety net options…like just take leave for a while. So I told people that’s what I was doing finally. But I honestly was not coming back because I believed that strongly in my dream.
- Losing friends, status, or ending up an outcast. I didn’t worry so much about this the first year, because they all thought I might be taking a year off on one of those awesome things called a “sabbatical”. If you tell people using special jargon, they are okay with it for some reason. Ohh, hmm. Okay, it’s a sabbatical. However, eventually people started saying things like “Are you ever coming back?” or “Are you really making money?” See, I had been teaching long enough to get a pin for being there a while, and then I left. I sacrificed the next level of pin. I was totally okay with this. We sacrificed a few things that were wants not needs at home. My family was okay with this. And if I lost friends because of this, then they really weren’t my friends to begin with and I was equally okay with this as well. I made new friends and forged new relationships in this new world of writing.
- Fear of failure, being laughed at or making mistakes. I left 3 years ago, and the first year was the most exciting; however, it was also the year I had to remember to calm down and not go overboard with trying to fit everything I wanted to accomplish in 1 year. Overnight success might seem like a thing, but I knew it was not the case. I had to get more established and build trust. I wasn’t going to find the next viral blog post in a year. Or year two either…it took year three, but I was learning and I was growing. I was teaching myself how to think like a business woman and to stop treating my dream like a hobby. There was no other option in my mind by this point except to succeed at what I was doing.
What helped me turn the dream into a reality?
It was not a hobby. It was a job. I finally learned that lesson and took back my old office instead of writing on the sofa with my laptop. I set up appointments, collaborations, and meetings internationally on Skype. I said yes to things that scared the hell out of me…like meeting some of my new friends face-to-face overseas by accepting the offer of speaking internationally. I created workshops with my local friend who really treated her business like a business, and I was grateful to be able to watch her say yes only to things that would propel her in the direction she wanted to go (P.S. she made the free meditation for you guys on my newsletter). I read books from women I admired who did scary things…like Danielle LaPorte, and I breathed in her style.
I did not create the safety net for myself because I didn’t want to fall back on it. I wanted to keep going and try new paths should the one I was on not work out. Some way, some how, I was going to make this new business work. I could actually be a writer, yoga teacher, wellness advocate, entrepreneur mom and follow my heart. Start thinking of your dream daily and journal how it would feel to make it a reality.