You're Not Ready to Be Your Own Boss
I typed up my resignation letter for what would be the third time in the last five years. I was a mix of emotions—on one hand, I felt a little crazy for once again leaving the secure for the unknown. It was different than before when I lived in a city where the cost of living was low, and this time I didn’t have the option to just break my lease and move back home. No, quitting a job in L.A. was a little different, a little more risqué.
I was barely covering my bills as is, and yet I was leaving a steady paycheck behind to go back to the work that had me desperately scratching at the door of temp agencies just months before.
But on the other hand, I felt abnormally calm. I had a plan, but not a solid one. I had what I would hope would be a source of income before next month’s rent was due, but no guarantee that I would get paid on time. I had debt piling up and no savings, but the decision to leave my 9 to 5 and pursue my purpose and utilize my gift of writing became a daily battle. I knew what I had to do, and despite the circumstances, I was at peace—I knew I’d be okay.
“God got me,” I said repeatedly during my 45-minute commute to work.
The truth is that I needed to go back to a full-time job because I wasn’t ready for what it would take to be my own boss. I’m amused at the many who want to up and quit their jobs just because they don’t like working for another. That reason alone shows that you’re not ready.
It’s easy to get caught up in the fallacy of working for yourself. It looks something like waking up late, no alarm clock, no snooze button.
It’s ice cream for breakfast as you prance around in your pajamas all day.
It’s daytime trips to the beach or to the park, or maybe even working from a whole new city altogether, if you so desire.
Your schedule is your own; your life is your own. But what they don’t tell you is that life comes at a price. Freedom is never quite free, and once you realize that, then perhaps you’re ready for the plunge, or perhaps you’ll appreciate the steady nine-to-five just a little bit more.
Where I went wrong wasn’t my inability to produce, pitch and get paid. I failed in my perspective before I failed in securing the bag. I relied on one source of income, despite its volatility, because I fought against the idea of being a “journalist.” I undervalued myself, taking on additional assignments that didn’t pay my worth because when you’re desperate you take whatever you can get. I managed my time poorly, I spent more time stressing and worrying about the next payment than I did ensuring that I was doing the work to get paid. I spent money unnecessarily, went out without reason, and then cried out to God in frustration that He wasn’t providing what I needed to give me the peace of mind. Backwards as fuck.
I went to a temp agency thinking I was only going to get something to hold me to the next month, and landed a one-year contract. Over the next few months I took the time to slow down, evaluate, and rid myself of false perceptions about what my life was supposed to be. I wasn’t in a position to save up money, so instead I spent my time on reprogramming my mind so that when I took the leap again, it would be without doubt or questions.
I get the idea of wanting to escape the cubicle to build a life that you love. I understand not wanting to settle or feel like you’re living a life of mediocrity, but I also know that true success first starts in the mind. I know that everything that glitters ain’t gold, and if you don’t have your mind right, you’ll be chasing iron pyrite instead.
Timing is everything, and there’s often a reason why we’re not where we want to be. Maybe it’s fear of now knowing the outcome if you take a leap. Maybe it’s circumstances that make it difficult to move without impacting the life of another. Or maybe you’re just not ready, as I once was, and you need the kind of wake-up call that will shift your perspective and change your attitude.