starting a dream fast, slow, or kinda slow

Earlier this week I announced the three chosen to work with me one-on-one in Life with Intention consulting. Though I wasn’t able to work with everyone who reached out, below is a brief summary of one of the stories I heard and my response. I hope it is helpful for others in similar shoes as well.

I taught for three months before realizing that teaching wasn’t the career for me.  This was a devastating realization as being a teacher was a big part of my identity. I’ve been trying to figure out what to do for work since then.

My current big dream is to start my own life-coaching business that helps women go after their dreams.

I’m not sure how to get from here to there.  I think my biggest obstacle is lack of time.  I feel like I’m chained to a desk all day and can’t be on top of my personal things because my creativity is stifled when I’m sitting in a florescent box for 40 hours a week. I also have a little bit of anxiety related to this, wondering how hard it will be, how much courage it will take, how much failure there will be along the way. While I don’t think I lack creativity, passion, or drive in making this happen, I think I may lack financial resources and time necessary to get this off the ground.

I want to make a difference in people’s lives, I want to have an income. And I want to be really good at what I do.

So that’s where I’m at.  Trying to figure it all out and find a path and a purpose while enjoying everything I have in the present.

That is the first step, and the one that progress can now stem from. So that’s great, give yourself a pat on the back.

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Okay, and because you know what you’d like to do, it’s now time to get to doing it. You have a continuum of choice here: you can take this fast, slow, kinda slow, you name it. If you want to make this all happen “as soon as freaking possible,” that may require you to release the excuses about the day job stifling your energy (it may be true, but you can use your willpower to overcome the urge to relax after the workday is over, or devote Saturday or Sunday to coaching work). To get fired up about the “just go do it and be a midnight hustler” I’d suggest watching some of Gary Vaynerchuk’s keynote speeches. He is a fire starter when it comes to working on a business after work.

By starting to see progress on your coaching after hours, you might get a renewed energy and eventually get some revenue. Which over time, could allow you to take a part-time job to make ends meet as you navigate your way to full-time coaching. Michelle from When I Grow Up Coach is a great example of doing just this and talks about it in her archives in video form. She could be a great source of inspiration as she’s someone who has navigated what you are seeking to do yourself. (Plus, she’s awesome.) : )

Or, if you are looking to take a more gradual approach to the business, you could start by creating a blog and devoting your off time to putting content there and generating a community that could eventually become potential clients. This will still obviously require your time after work, but you could do it at whatever pace you’d like and eventually ramp up to the other steps mentioned above. And the good thing about this is it doesn’t require much investment. In the process of blogging you can keep working your day job and lower your lifestyle so that you can start stashing some of your paycheck to go towards business expenses when you are ready to invest there.

Whatever your choice, fast or slow, making sure you can create the habit of working on your business or blog after work will be the next stepping stone to get where you want to be.

I have watched friends go from jobs to full-time self-employment and I feel like there is some kind of crazy energy that takes them far beyond their normal abilities and helps them push through to get the business started. Perhaps it’s momentum that builds on excitement, but eventually they hit a point where they have just enough financial stability to take the leap and cut the cord to their day or part-time job. Some it took many months, others a few years. But each one did it and you can too, if you just keep going.

: ) So I hope this is helpful and has you fired up to start taking the first baby steps (start a blog, or look into creating a website for the business) to make this happen for you!

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. SJM

    Sharing your consultations is an AWESOME idea, so thank you!

    I can totally relate to this woman – I taught for three years and desperately tried to make it work (much to the chagrin of my health, my inspiration, and my relationships). I have been in the private sector for a year now and even with the flourescent lights, it is like heaven compared to working a job that doesnt work for you!

    I would recommend she reflect on what it was about teaching that didn’t work for her – that is great motivation for when you want to sit on the couch or relax instead of working towards your dream goal.

  2. Thank you for sharing this with us Jess. I agree with SJM that she should reflect about her teaching experience and what it was about it that she didn’t enjoy. Teaching is a tough job (I was a teacher for 5 years). But the fact that she knows what she wants to do is HUGE! It takes many people years and years to get to that point.

  3. Melissa

    You are awesome, Jess! I can relate to the “crazy energy” needed to start a business. I sleep a lot less these days, but in your words, I just keep going 🙂

    And to A Friend: you CAN do it! One step at a time…

  4. You’re awesome Jess. I particularly like the choosing to take the “fast, slow or kinda slow” approach. I had to make that decision for my self in my freelance writing business.

    After looking at my financial state, my life and my dreams, I decided slow might be a good option for me (I did not realized that was what I decided until I read your post today). I tell myself each day…day by day, step by step, lil by lil, poco a poco Rome was built.

    I might even be on the kinda slow approach for all you…I am just glad i started.:)

  5. Lisa

    If someone had told me this time last year how much I would be handling now, I never would have thought I could do it. But it’s true, the more you keep going, the more you figure things out as you go along.

  6. Fabulous post! Love love love it. I love that this applies to everyone wanting to try and start their own business or work from home, which is a *lot* of people in the blogosphere. Which makes your point about starting to blog to gain potential clients even more valid!

    I also like the “fast, slow or kinda slow” idea, makes it seem manageable and achievable. Starting slow is a great way to test the waters, and prove to yourself that you CAN do it. As you go along, you’ll just gain more and more confidence!

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