March 1st 2016. I was at a metaphorical crossroads.
Sitting in the bedroom, working on a freelance brand design job on my laptop (which was literally on my lap), I knew; I had a decision to make. One that probably resonates with you. Let me take you on that journey!
My boyfriend and I live with my parents, and we were in a place where we could finally look at buying a house - in theory.
We had the deposit. The sticking point was, could we afford the monthly mortgage repayments?
After a period of ill-health, I had been a freelancing graphic designer and brand stylist for two years. Now, with such a huge step to take, I was faced with two paths: give up my passion and get a regular nine-to-five to pay the bills, or take a leap of faith and give everything to building a thriving business.
I took the latter. Despite the logical weighing-up, the pros and cons debate, I don’t think there was ever really a choice. Not really. Not deep down. I couldn’t walk away from the passion that set my soul alight, at least without giving it everything first. So I picked up my phone, and opened Instagram (as it was back in the good ol’ days), and thought, ‘what could it hurt to try this again, wholeheartedly?’.
It developed quickly from there. Suddenly I was spending money, and I would pause and wonder if I was crazy (still do, by the way). Wasn’t this the opposite of what I wanted to achieve? Well, you know the saying. You’ve gotta spend money to make money. True, to a certain extent. I invested in professional photos, web development, courses, groups and learning as much as I could. I had taken the leap; now I needed to put as much as I could (and then some) into building my wings.
The adventure is still just getting started. I work longer than if I was clocking in and out at regular hours, but the difference is I’m not counting down the seconds until I can finish and go home. I feel empowered, exhilarated, inspired and motivated.
When fear grips me about my decision, that nine-to-five job with the regular monthly income doesn’t seem so bad anymore. Because I like comfort. I like safety. There’s a reason I’ve found my passion in an industry that lets me hide behind a screen, after all.
I soon snap myself out of those thoughts, however. The fact is there is no security nowadays, neither in employment or in any other aspect of our lives. I believe an entrepreneur has an instinctive drive to break free. We simply have to follow that path when it presents itself to us.
And when I catch myself freaking out over something that feels one step too far out of my comfort zone, one leap of faith too far, my head reminds me … I’ve already made the biggest jump of all.