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I've always dreamed about running my own business and being my own boss. When I was a little girl, the other kids my age wanted to be nurses, fashion designers, and one even wanted to be a cowgirl, but not me. No, I had my change purse full of Monopoly money, my coffee cup filled up with some type of imaginary caffeinated beverage, and my clipboard handy, complete with pink glitter pen that my grandpa gave me. I was going to take over the world by storm.
As I grew older (and wanted to fit in more), I decided I was going to be a teacher or a nurse, and started studying really hard in school, always making the honor roll. I just had to get into a good college so I could kill it in my career. But something happened in senior year of high school, a mindset shift I guess. I decided that I was going to go to college for business with the secret hope of becoming a #bosslady. But that didn't happen right away.
I graduated form my local community college with a two year degree in Business Administration in 2014, where I focused mainly on finance because others had convinced me that a bank job was where it was at. Two weeks later, I was not at a bank, but working as a secretary for an up-and-coming lawyer in my small town. This is where the real story begins. I did many different, and sometimes strange, things there, but my favorite thing to do was handle real estate transactions. It was so fascinating to me. I met a lady there (who I won't name), but she lived my dream life basically. She was a real estate agent who drove a Hummer, wore comfortable clothes, and got to sleep in when she liked... She was just down to earth, and we instantly became friends.
A year and a half later, I was still at the lawyer's office. But one day, my parents' neighbor (who just so happened to be a bank manager whom I had worked with recently on a real estate transaction) called me. "Would you consider working for us?" They had a teller position open, and while that is not a glamorous job, they promised to double my income (I was making minimum wage with the lawyer), and provide health insurance. I was totally onboard. I turned in my two weeks notice and said goodbye.
At first, I loved my job as a teller, but that good feeling was over within six months. Dealing with the not-so-nice public all day was exhausting. Constantly being cursed and shouted at by my customers was not my ideal way of spending my life. "But this is the only way," I thought. I was still wanting to start my own business at that time, but never thought I could or would.
I was miserable, let me tell you. I also lived completely alone at this time, so other than my boyfriend and my mom, I had no one. I had fallen out of touch with my realtor friend, not that I meant to, but life gets busy and you begin neglecting things you shouldn't. The bank was sending me back to school to get a bachelors degree, which was required if I wanted to move up in the company any further. I was getting three to four hours of sleep a night, my diet consisted of frozen pizza and vanilla Coke, and I was not getting nearly enough physical exercise. My life had become going to work, taking on extra work that I was bringing home, doing homework, going to bed at 3 AM and getting up at 6 AM to do more work before I actually went in to work at 8:30 AM. And I felt like I was just spinning my tires, you know?
After another year of living in my misery, I waited on my realtor buddy at work... We exchanged pleasantries, I ran her transaction, noticing how happy and glowing she looked, wished her a nice day, and waited on the next customer in line.
I sent her a text that night. "It was great seeing you today. I just have to tell someone, I am miserable." She sent a text back, "Come over after work. I will help you figure something out."
After getting out of work after 6 PM, I drove my wretched self out to her house on the other side of the county. She made her proposal almost immediately. "Become a Realtor."
I decided right then and there, I was making a change. I said yes. I dropped my job at the bank, left my insurance and benefits behind, and took a GIANT leap of faith.
Now I live my life as an adventure. I work from my laptop from wherever I want. I've made more money than I ever have before. I am happier than I have ever been before. I have made many lifelong friends. I make my own schedule. I live my own life. And I'm proud of myself and my work for the first time in my whole career. As cliche as this will sound, it is so true: "It won't be easy, but it will be worth it."
My point is that you should follow your arrow. A corporate 9 to 5 (or for me 8:30 to 6) was not for me. If you have a job like that and you love it, good for you! But if you were like me, take the chance. Sure, you may make mistakes. I've made many of them. But if you are passionate about your work and love what you do, you can only succeed.