Updated: Dec 15, 2021
*Forewarning: Just so you know, this isn't a post about how you can do the same in your business.*
As a therapist, I felt like a fraud. I was helping others with unearth and overcome their internal setbacks so that they could have happier lives, but I wasn't doing the same.
I was drained, unmotivated and felt like I was going through the motions of life.
For context purposes, I'm a licensed social worker/therapist, certified school social worker who has worked in a multitude of environments from nonprofits to education to private practice to adjunct teaching.
I spent years bouncing around from job to job, each time thinking "This is it!" only to end up with the same unfulfilled feeling months/years later.
I also found myself in not the best mental health space and I couldn't figure out what was going on. I was doing work I thought I wanted to do, but would burn myself out at work (which landed me in urgent care once) or just had no motivation to even do the things I loved.
Each time I ended up in this unfulfilled space, the negative self-talk would creep in.
"Why can't I be happy?"
"Why can't I figure this out?"
"Isn't this what I wanted?"
"I'm just so stressed and tired of this."
Then one day, I came across a black, female entrepreneur living the life I didn't know was possible. She had an online company and was making money helping others, while she traveled abundantly, living in different places and exploring life on her own terms.
Since college, I was always intrigued by the idea of working from anywhere. Having a job and life that allowed me to not only experience parts of the country/world but spend extended time away to really immerse myself in new environments. I would even google, "traveling doctor" as a pre-med student to see if this was even a thing.
However, once I graduated, all the jobs I kept taking didn't allow for more than the standard 2 weeks off all year (and when working in education, the time off is limited to the school calendar aka you're traveling during the most expensive times of the year).
So after coming across that social media account and seeing what was possible for my life, I finally was ready to make a change and start living life I always dreamed.
"You can't be what you can't see"
But I also knew I needed to be a realist to pay bills and not be homeless. I had already started my first company a year prior and got *some* traction from clients but nothing more than $2,000 total for the entire 2019!
So I took a step back and turned inward.
"You cannot find clarity in chaos", my therapist said.
I was trying to make my dream life come true but meanwhile was in a very chaotic work environment, as well as dealing with chaotic thoughts. Once I took the intentional time and guidance from my therapist, to figure out what my true values, wants and desires were for my life, I took action.
I gave myself a one whole school year. I wrote my resignation letter in September and dated it June 30th, 2020.
Was I scared? Of course.
Was I afraid of failure? Absolutely!
Was it EXTREMELY hard? Yup.
But I have a self-motto. Not to be led by fear, but rather use it as fuel.
I made a plan and invested in guidance/support since again, I'm a trained therapist, not businesswomen. I knew I needed to learn the business strategy and have more direct help to get to where I needed to be.
If you're really curious, I invested in two programs simultaneously (because I'm a Virgo) that cost me over $3,000. Thank goodness for payment plans.
I spent the 9 months working my ass off to learn and gain traction in my business. While it would have been great to have made my salary in sales by that time, what I really needed was confidence and proof.
Proof that this could really work.
Proof that if my time and energy wasn't split, that I could gain much more traction.
Proof that my life could be different.
That was the blessing of the pandemic for me. It gave me the time to get the proof I needed.
In the time, I not only focused on my business (while working full-time as a school social worker), but I also focused on me. I used practices and strategies that allowed me to continuously check in with myself, reassess my plan, and be intentional with my decisions.
I gained clarity on my purpose, my needs, my network, my plan, and so much more over the course of this time.
And on June 30, 2020, I officially resigned.
Now, here I am 18 months later, having generated almost $1000,000 in my business and worked from Miami, Jamaica, Tennessee, Costa Rica and more to come.
To be clear, this does not mean I profited $100,000 in my personal bank account (yet) because it takes money to make money. But I'll be damned if that's an amazing feat that even my business itself has generated that much money and even better, has made such an impact on people's lives.
And here's the thing. This can happen for you too.
And it doesn't have to be running a business (note: again I am not a business coach and I don't believe entrepreneurship is for everyone).
It can be *finally* entering into the job/career of your dreams or having a strong plan for financial freedom or implementing sustainable mental health practices.
Over the past 18 months, I've had COUNTLESS calls, podcast episodes, blog articles galore about my journey. People just like you wondering "How can I do the same?"
You don't have to settle on your dreams or fumble around to find out how life can be better for you.
My ask for you is to take some time today, pull out a journal (or your Notes app) and answer the questions,
- If all the barriers were removed (money, kids, etc.), what do I really want for my life?
- What is my big dream?
- What are the big and small hopes and wishes for my life?
- How do I want to feel every day when I wake up and go throughout my day?
If you'd like to pick my brain for 20-minutes, click here
If you'd like to set up a time for a full 60-minute 1:1 Strategy Session with me, click here
Until next time,
Your Mental Health and Life Strategist