When dreams change
A few years ago, if you’d asked me where I saw myself in 5 years time, I’d have told you running an NGO dedicated to empowering women to find work and get employed or start their own businesses. I had no idea that my life would take a different turn. Sometimes you just have to follow your heart and see where you end up. Helping women has always been my calling – it just seems to have manifested itself in a different way throughout my life.
A few years before that, my answer was Human Rights Law. I was going to without a doubt become a lawyer. That was the only plan.
I was so certain in the direction my life was taking and everything I did was geared towards that life plan.
But then something in me changed.
I started feeling burnt out and it felt like what I was doing didn’t matter.
I felt this burning desire to focus more on being creative and when the job I was in at the time made me dread waking up every morning – I decided to just listen to my inner voice and follow this new path.
I’m very typically Type-A so this change was a little bit of a shock even to myself.
I found myself realigning my life plans to better suit who I am now instead of who I used to be and that was HUGE to me. So I put in my notice and left without a real plan for what I would be doing next. All I knew was that it had to happen and it had to happen immediately.
Would I advise you to just quit your job to chase your dreams?
The honest answer is HELL NO! At least not without a real plan.
[bctt tweet=”Should you quit your job to follow your dreams? HELL NO! Here’s why! ” username=”tyrannyofpink”]
Yes, I up and quit my job but that was because I had contingency plans and alternative sources of income available to me and life has still been a struggle. I had enough money to cover my bills but there was NO money for anything that wasn’t a necessity. Spending money on clothing and dinner in fancy restaurants went out the window. Without the income from my job, I was forced to realign my wants and my needs.
I see a lot of entrepreneurs who are so eager to leave their jobs and go on their own that they don’t have a back up plan in place.
They go into online support groups and ask strangers “should I quit my job even though I have no other income” and my honest answer is “THAT IS CRAZY.” You can’t ask complete strangers to answer this HUGE question about your life. They don’t know what’s going on in your life.
You also need to be able to pay your bills, how will you do that without a job? You need a plan, you need a back up plan and you need to make sure that your life won’t overwhelm you so much so that you end up desperately taking whatever paying job you can get.
A lot of people argue that it forces you to hustle your ass off but I don’t think that you’re guaranteed success right from day one. Sure you will be hustling but what if it doesn’t go as planned?
[bctt tweet=”Things you need to know before you quit your job #DesignYourLife” username=”tyrannyofpink”]
Things you should probably know before you quit
- A new business takes time to build up a reliable income that can actually support you. In spite of what a lot of people out there tell you, starting up ANY business including a digital one takes time and effort and requires money to get going. It’s not free to have your own website, unless you get one of those crappy ones with “.Idontownmywebsite.com” attached to it. You need money to make money. unless you’re really skilled, you might need to hire a designer or web developer before things are up and running. If you’re starting a product based business you will need capital to buy the initial products before you start making any profits.
- Your new venture may NEVER be successful. Though that depends on what your definition of success is. If you’re looking at financial success, can your savings cover your bills indefinitely? Probably not. Make sure you have an idea of what your back up plan would be if things take longer than you planned. Consider that you might go back into the working world if your dream doesn’t work out. You may want to be sure you don’t burn any bridges on the way out.
- You’re probably going to turn into a Jack/Jill of all trades. You’re going to have to handle every part of your new business with little or no support. You’re going to be developing your product, fine tuning it, working on your website and juggling marketing and social media all at once. You will probably learn a whole new set of skills and be an expert at juggling deadlines. It will probably be worth it and really rewarding personally but you will also sleep a lot less. You will work longer hours and you will be exhausted.
- You will more than likely love your life a lot more. You will probably feel a lot happier on a day-to-day basis because even though you’re probably working longer hours than before, you’re doing it for something you believe in. You’re dedicating your life to something you love. It’s much easier to push through the pain when you see your hard work coming to life and becoming successful.
- Before you take that leap, have a clear idea of where you’re heading. Know what a life of value means to you so that you can take all the steps, intentionally towards that ideal life instead of just fumbling around and hoping for the best. If you know where you want to end up, you have a much higher success rate of actually getting there.
Before you leap, think about it long and hard and be prepared
I would never tell you not to follow your dreams. In fact, I completely support you doing just that. It is so rewarding to spend every day doing something that you love. I honestly think it’s so important to feel fulfilled in your life. in fact, my entire blog is based on the premise that you need to live a life you love and be authentically yourself. You need to wake up each day and fulfil your intentions in order to be truly happy so I’m NOT saying don’t quit your job and follow your heart.
What I am saying is, make sure that you have a real plan for what happens next. Make sure you have a back up plan for if things don’t work out and take the leap knowing that it’s going to be hard. It’s going to be so damn hard but it’s possible that it’s also going to be the best damn thing you’ve ever done too!
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Enricoh Alfonzo says
Such brilliant insight and wisdom shared! hahha i admit to having done this in the past without any real contingency plans. it was a horrible struggle to get out of the hole i dug myself in and i know it will continue to be one until i achieve my dreams but very true it’s so important to only quit once you have a stable plan to support you while you go after your dream.
Thanks Enricoh! I must admit, bumping my head did teach me a few lessons hehe It was worth it because things are starting to go as I hoped but it took me almost two years to get here. If I didn’t have a back up plan, life would not have been peachy! Well done to you for actually digging yourself out that hole! It does often seem so much easier to just stay there! Going after your dreams is the most amazing feeling BUT you can’t let your dreams ruin your life!
Great post! Thank you, Jonelle!
Thank you so much Aida xx
Amanda Nel says
So true Jonelle! I am a year into blogging and am only now starting to get the confidence to share by work publicly!
Thanks Amanda! It has also taken over a year for my blog to finally start making money. I read so many articles about making 6 figures in the first 6 months and I honestly feel sad for people that believe that blogging is a quick get rich quick solution to all your problems. Instead, it’s a long and hard journey and may never pay the bills. I’m glad you’re finally sharing your work. Well done!