Today is a big day.
Maggie of Maggie Rose, a longtime MML reader and Midnight Hustler, is starting her own full-time interior design business. She’s been plotting, planning, and growing her business to reach this point and I could not be more proud of her. I’ve followed her progress and seen her become more confident, prepared, and ready for this moment. As a celebration of her Midnight Hustler Alumni status, I asked her to share the feelings she’s facing this morning.
Maggie Rose’s First Day of Self-Employment
Today is my first day as a full-time entrepreneur. Yesterday I gathered up my personal belongings from my cubicle, drove home to Seattle, and cracked open a bottle of champagne. Today I am equal parts terrified, exhilarated, ambitious, unsettled, and wondering.
A bit of back story: I started working my “corporate” (actually non-profit, but the visual remains the same) job five years ago, even before I graduated college. With graduation came a promotion to full-time, and a salary that meant big things to me. At the time, it was so important to me to grow-up fast, have a “real job” and live on my own, without roommates and where I could decorate freely. In my adventure of furnishing my bachelorette apartment, I started a blog about interior design.
I knew almost immediately that the job was not the dream job I had hoped for. I was working in fundraising and development, and while it can be an exciting and innovative field (and I got to use that English degree and NOT teach), after a while it felt wrong. It simply wasn’t the right fit. And when you stay with something that doesn’t fit for too long, well, you get a blister.
It took me a total of five years, a move 40 miles away, and hundreds of hours of self-reflection to finally leave.
I put in my notice five weeks ago and while that was scary and exhilarating, that feeling pales in comparison to what I’m feeling today. On the brink of… what, I’m not sure. Greatness, I hope. Success, I dream of. Happiness, I’m sure of.
You see, my little design blog not only fueled my passion for designing my own home, it brought me my first interior design clients. All while still working 40 hours (and then 32 hours, thanks economy), and commuting 16 hours a week, I grew a blog following, I opened an etsy shop, I wrote an ebook, I designed living rooms and dining rooms and bedrooms and entry ways. I spent every evening huddled over my computer, and every weekend tackling home decor projects to blog about on Monday.
And it all led to today. My first moments as a full-time business owner. With the realization that I can do whatever I want today comes also the realization that my entire paycheck is up to me. ME. No one in payroll cutting a check and calculating my benefits. No one else running budget numbers. But also no one else prioritizing, demanding, or controlling. Just me.
It’s an amazing and nauseating and incredible feeling, and one that I hope all of my fellow Midnight Hustlers get to experience.
When I got home from my last day at work yesterday, I saw that former Midnight Hustler and Dream Reporter Piper shared a quote from Georgia O’Keeffe. And I’m taking a lot of comfort and inspiration from it. I hope it speaks to you on some level too.
“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.”