Warning: this content contains honesty, emotion and passion. If any of these things offend you, then do yourself a favor and don’t read it. After all, it is 2015. #theyeareveryonehasaspaz
Ever since I put my notice in at work and announced my new adventure I have been asked many times a couple of questions from a lot of different people. The questions come from people very close to me, some are acquaintances that I have only met a couple of times and others are just random people that come in my store that I have never even met before.
These questions are along the lines of:
Why did you decide to do this?
Did you hate your job?
Are you nervous?
I can’t help but crack a smile every time I hear these questions. My response is usually “I am 29 years old and I know that if I don’t do this now I will never do it.” Or “I went to a few young professionals conferences earlier this year and was motivated to follow my dreams by the speaker.”
These are the conservative responses that I found myself coming back with each time these questions were asked. While they are both true, deep down my passion lies with complete and genuine happiness and I was determined to find it no matter what it is. Scooping ice cream, tending bar, investment banking, or whatever the hell it was that deep down truly made me wake up every morning excited to live this short life is what I was looking for.
A few months ago, I read an article written by a young guy that just finished up an internship at a large media company in Florida. The title of the article is “Why I’m Setting Myself Back in My Career In Favor of a Happier Life.” The title initially grabbed my attention and by the time I had gotten to the part about how the internship had landed him in the emergency room twice with chest pains I literally could not look away.
Holy shit, this is me… minus the emergency room part (er, I think?) I have chest pains, headaches, and stomachaches over tight deadlines, sales funnels and astronomical sales goals. I wake up in the middle of the night because I can’t remember if I sent a client an email about some menial thing that could’ve waited until the next day. I was constantly feeling over-worked and never feeling good enough about myself.
This article made me realize it has to change, and fast. Working in an environment where revenue is more important than people had literally sucked life out of me and turned me into a bitter, angry person. I had to make a choice for both myself and my family so that I could end this horrible, unhappy attitude I had developed in the past 3 years.
But the real answer is, jobs like this are like a bad relationship and it’s not worth it. The pain, the stress and the drama of being a workaholic and never truly believing that the work you are doing is for the right reasons is just plain awful. The empty feeling that management is never genuinely proud of you no matter how hard you work is scary. I said it once and I’ll say it again – IT’S NOT WORTH IT!
So, figure out what it is you truly love to do and DO it. Brainstorm with some friends or family members that have non-biased opinions. Think about what would actually make you happy every single day with an open mind. Taking a chance and actually trying it out is the first and hardest step to take, but once you get over that hump it will feel like a giant weight has been lifted off of your shoulders. I know this whole thing sounds completely ridiculous and corny but trust me, if you want to be happy you have to follow your heart.
If you’re still reading this long-winded story and you care about the real answers to the 3 questions I started with, you’re in luck!
The real answers to the 3 burning questions…
I decided to do this because I want to fill a void we have in the Great Lakes Bay Region in Michigan, which is a huge lack of places for young women to shop. I want to give women a place to shop where they can have a good experience and feel good about themselves. I want to truly make a difference in our community and help people!
To say I hated my job is a bold statement. Even though I didn’t actually end up in the emergency room, I did realize that what I was doing was never going to help me completely feel fulfilled. It didn’t matter how much money I was making, how many contracts I signed, how many years in a row I hit my goal. None of that mattered to me because deep down I knew it wasn’t right for me long term. I had had enough with cutthroat, back-stabbing, competitive drama and I wasn’t going to live that way any more.
The last question is my favorite! I am nervous as hell, but guess what? That doesn’t matter because if you don’t try something you love you will never know how it works out. If I wake up in 25 years regretting that at age 29 I didn’t follow my heart, I could never go back to that point and change it.
I found my passion and have never been happier… what’s yours?