It was ten years ago this month that I walked away from what I refer to as my last real job. I was in charge of strategic marketing for House of Blues and for the nearly four years I was there it was a great job. After surviving several rounds of layoffs during what seemed like the demise of the music industry, I was proud to be leaving on my terms, bound for life as an independent contractor. I had no idea where this new path would take me and I was nervous as hell, but I knew I was headed in the right direction.
The first year on my own was filled with challenges and apologies to clients (I quickly discovered the pitfalls of selling services) but I persevered and found my groove. That year I made significantly less money (less than I’d made in a very long time) yet it was the happiest I’d been in years…maybe ever.
I no longer had to ask permission to arrive late, leave early or take the day off. I was the boss, in charge of my destiny. When I needed more income, I had to chase new leads and close new clients. I also had to learn about accounting. I learned quickly that for every day you don’t bill your clients, you’re delaying how quickly you get paid. Accounting is not my strong suit, but thankfully there is software for the mathematically challenged like myself.
Working at House of Blues was one of the highlights of my career and I still have incredibly strong friendships, which began there. But the past ten years as an entrepreneur have not only made me a better businesswoman, they have taught me a great deal about myself. I never believed in myself like I do now. Since childhood, I’ve had very little direction in my life, so I find it remarkable that I have been able to make a living based on my advising clients on how to best build their business. And I am incredibly grateful to the amazing clients who put their trust in me everyday. The best part of all this is I truly love what I am doing! Everyday is a creative journey of storytelling and problem solving.
Ten years ago when I visualized where I’d be by now, I was happily running my own agency, I was traveling the world and I was driving my dream car. All of which has come true. Now it’s time to visualize what the next ten years will bring.
How do you visualize your future? Do you have a dream? Do you wish to be in charge of your own destiny? What’s stopping you?