I broke up with Corporate America by literally running out of the building on my last day, I’m not kidding.
I had already cleaned out my desk and took home all my personal items about a week before I was leaving the company. On my last day, I said my goodbyes and ran out of the building. It was like I could get caught and have to go back to my desk if I didn’t run. I had been working for large global companies for many years and the politics and bureaucracy were slowly sucking the life out of me.
I describe myself as an introverted extrovert, and it would take me a whole weekend to recover from the chaos that was happening every day in the workplace. I was always exhausted, continually missing my favorite gym classes, and my personal life was suffering. At this time, I didn’t know I would become a business coach, co-author the Small Biz Start Up Guide (SBSUG), and create a weekly Facebook Live series. But I knew there was something better than the hell I was living.
I used to park on the top of the parking structure, or ride around in circles pretending to look for a parking space. I would put on my favorite “pump up” song and jam out on repeat as long as it took for me to feel ready to go into the building and face another day of bullshit.
I know I can’t be the only one who felt this way, there’s a mass exodus of people leaving the corporate world these days, and the stats show that over 30% of the workforce will be freelance by 2020. I don’t mind being one in that statistic.
I didn’t leave my job with the idea of starting my own small business. I actually went without a plan, only that I needed to take a break to support my mental and physical health. I moved to San Diego, CA and sat on a beach for about four months. My friends teased me that I was living Lauren’s life of leisure, which was entirely accurate. I slowed down. Oprah starts all of her Super Soul Sunday interviews with the phrase “the greatest gift you can give yourself is space and time.” It never made sense to me until I was sitting in my unhealthy work environment praying that I could take some time and space to figure out the next step in my career.
I interviewed for a few full-time Project Manager positions during my break. Each time I arrived at the interview location, I found that I had to do the whole driving around the parking garage thing again, and I knew immediately this was not going to work for me any longer. It also didn’t help that the hiring manager told me he’d hire me even though I was a woman. Umm...no thank you!
Putting the Right (Hand)
in Front of the Other...
I describe how Right Hand Business Coach began on my website, and you can read more about that here. Becoming a business coach wasn't initially on my radar, but once I started exploring starting my own small business, it felt natural and most like my true self. I've probably been practicing being a coach for many years; I took all the business acumen and skills I honed in the corporate world and turned it into something I believe in and something I loved.
I no longer drive around in circles and no longer need to feel “pumped up” for work. Talking with my clients is the highlight of my day, hearing their progress and success keeps me energized. I have become a better coach by working with each one. Everyone brings a unique perspective to a situation and learning how to keep people moving forward takes creativity and trial and error. What works for one person may not work for the next, so you guy’s keep me on my toes. I LOVE IT!
Do you ever sit at your cubicle desk daydreaming about what your ideal life would look like?
I did! I dreamed about my working environment down to the chairs and lighting. I was reading all about the new shift to co-working, and I was jealous of all the people meeting in coffee shops. I knew I wanted the flexibility to work anywhere, create my own schedule, and be in control of how much money I made. I wrote all my daydreams down and kept dreaming about all the things I wanted in my life. I was a manifesting maniac. Sure I miss having co-workers, but I’ve found that connection and camaraderie with members of my co-working space and my partnership on the SBSUB. (Learn more about building a support system in Phase 1 of the SBSUG.)
Entrepreneurism is an infectious state of being. I think everyone around me is a badass, we are bucking the system, creating amazing businesses, and saying NO to the societal norm of getting up, go to work, go to bed, repeat. There are other ways to support your personal and professional life, and we created the SBSUG to get you started in the direction of turning your idea into something real. Do you want to run out of the building one day with joy and excitement of starting your own business? Of course you do, the SBSUG will get you there!