Why I quit my job and started my own Business
I’ve shared my story behind starting Get Social YEG from a professional standpoint before. Still, today I wanted to dive a little bit deeper and share some of the personal reasons behind starting the company.
WARNING: This blog post will get personal, so if that’s not your thing, you might want to sit this one out. I won’t be offended.
From Employee to Entrepreneur
My journey to entrepreneurship began in 2015. I was a single mom of three boys, aged 14, 10, and 4, working full-time as a project manager for a design agency in downtown Edmonton. At the time, I needed to figure out how to make more money and support my family.
I felt stuck creatively and financially. Yet, in my heart, I knew that something was missing.
Around this same time, my eldest son started to experience severe anxiety and was having problems at school, or should I say trouble going to school.
I struggled to work full time at my job, leave my house at 6:45 am to get my little guy to daycare, and hope and pray that my two older sons would get on the bus. Seven out of ten times, only one of them got on.
I received frequent calls from the school and witnessed my son struggling more and more as time went on. As a result, my stress level was constantly through the roof.
On top of that, my work suffered. I felt stuck between a rock and a hard place. If I left my home early to make my 8 am start time, I ran the risk of my son skipping school. But if I drove him to school, I would be late for work.
I’M SURE YOU CAN SEE THE PERSONAL STRUGGLE.
As a single mom of 3, it was all up to me. I didn’t have anyone to depend on to take care of them when they were sick. There were days when I’d have to leave one of them at home alone when they were ill. I knew I couldn’t miss any more work, so I started work early in case I received another dreaded call from the school.
I knew that this current lifestyle of fumbling between my family and work priorities wouldn’t end well in the long run. So, I had to make a change. The seed was planted.
SOCIAL MEDIA – A WHOLE NEW WORLD
My 10+ years of experience at the design agency allowed me to recognize that social media was a potent tool that I could harness for my business. My journey started quietly. I read, studied, watched and learned all I could after my kids went to bed.
I attended my first conference in 2015 (shoutout to @imedia) and instantly felt like I had found my people. They didn’t judge me for grabbing my phone and taking a shot of the swag (or my coffee)!
My mind was blown! The speakers were so in-tune with what was going on in the world of social media marketing. The experience was so positive. I was able to meet tons of talented professionals. Witnessing this thriving group of creators and marketers in Edmonton made me feel like I could do it too!
The conference gave me the push I needed to decide to launch my business finally.
Get Social YEG was my Christmas baby, launching on December 27, 2016.
FYI – I launched my Instagram even before I had a website! (Pro Tip – make sure you confirm your username is available BEFORE you purchase your domain)
BEFORE LONG, I TOOK ON MY FIRST CLIENT, THEN MY SECOND, AND THEN MY THIRD.
Entrepreneurship gave me so much adrenaline that I swear I lived off it for those first six months on business. During the day, I still worked full-time at the design agency job and night, I took on a full-time workload for my own business. Coffee was my fuel and saving grace.
After months of wearing myself thin, I finally hit a breaking point. I realized I couldn’t keep up at this pace. My kids were suffering, my relationship was suffering, and my work was suffering.
So, I decided to go on a short holiday and do some soul searching. I asked myself: “10 years from now, would you wish you had stayed at your agency job or would you wish that you followed your dreams and started your business?”
A few weeks after I returned home from my holiday, I knew I had to make a decision. My son’s anxiety was getting worse, and I was called home more and more.
My business had started to pick up, I was taking on new clients, and I found that my income from my “side hustle” was overtaking my pay from my full-time job.
It wasn’t until someone asked me, “When will you be getting back to your regular work schedule?” that I knew I couldn’t. My employers had so much patience with me and tried to support me, but at some point, when an employee can’t take on their regular workload anymore, it becomes too much to handle.
So, I handed in my two weeks notice and did my best to help support the agency in my transition out. It was emotionally draining because I genuinely cared about the agency. After all, I had been working there for many years. My colleagues felt like family, but I knew that I couldn’t provide them with the attention they deserved.
SO ON JUNE 15, 2017, I WAS OFFICIALLY UNEMPLOYED.
It was terrifying, exhilarating, and honestly overwhelming.
Could I do this? Was I cut out for entrepreneurship?
I jumped off the cliff and built my wings on the way down. (Hitting a few rocks along the way).
But, with the support of my partner Shawn – I was able to push through these first few years of business, and starting my business has been the best decision I have ever made.
I’ve learned more about myself over these past few years (the good, the bad and the ugly) than I have ever learned before.
Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. There is a tremendous amount of risk and chance. But, for me, the payoff has been more than worth it.
I am at home when my children need me; Shawn and I have built our businesses together, making our relationship stronger than ever. (I may write a future article about working with your spouse – let me know if you’re interested in the comments below)