In 2010 I had a stress-induced heart attack due to a horrible corporate environment. People do NOT realize how dangerous stress can be, and how close they are to dying when they allow themselves to exist in a life that doesn’t fit them. It’s not just about being an entrepreneur and living the dream. Becoming an entrepreneur literally saved my life.
I had a 15-month-old son, a husband I loved dearly, and I felt that I wasn’t giving them the best of me. Heck, I wasn’t even giving myself the best of me back then. We all deserved better than that.
In March of 2012, heart pounding and feeling like it was a huge leap into the unknown, I used my bonus money to pay for B-School. It was the best thing I ever did. I spent the next two years building my web design business while working full time. By November of 2013 I had five contractors working for me and had brought in $30,000 over six months while working a 6-figure corporate job. I volunteered for a layoff and was severanced out in Feb 2014. I had been a corporate trainer for 20 years and realized that the “right business” for me was combining my passion for teaching and my obsession for WordPress and make THAT my business. While I designed online courses for a living, I find that the magic happens for me when I’m live in a room with my students. So I’m largely building my business through live in-person trainings and speaking gigs.
When I worked my corporate job we lived paycheck to paycheck – at the 6-figure level. Now that I own my own business, I consistently have several months cushion in the bank. Looking back, it astounds me how I was unable to save money simply because I knew that paycheck was coming. I’m the breadwinner of my family and the thought of losing our home and not being able to meet our financial obligations was the biggest barrier to my leaving my job. It turns out that the biggest obstacle became one of the biggest blessings in my switch to entrepreneurship.
Another goal I had in mind that day I purchased B-School was to be working for myself by the time my son started kindergarten. I didn’t want him to do before and after school care. I wanted to be able to go on field trips and be there to get him off the bus. I met that goal 7 months early! While there are many rewards to living the entrepreneurial life, that has to be my favorite one.