So…what next? Answering the Tough Question About Life After the 9 to 5

“So…what next?” is a question I’ve come to dread. It’s often the first reaction I get when I tell someone that I’ve resigned and will be doing my own thing. For some reason, I think an image of Robin Hood pops up in their heads. Somehow I’ve become a vigilante who has gone completely bonkers!

How dare I believe that I can grow my business and sustain myself? How dare I believe in the beauty of my passion and what I have to offer to the world? How dare I desire to be free of the restrictions and captivity of a full time job? Clearly I need to check myself into Bellevue!

I’ve realised some truths about finding the answer to this dreadful question. Some may think I’m crazy, but these are important realities that separate people who are average from those who are exceptional.

Truth #1: Believing in yourself is more important than what others think.

People won’t understand what you’re building. That’s the truth. Opinions are often derived from experience and perception. Many of the people you interact with have never made such a bold move. They don’t know what it’s like to stare fear in the face and say, “Watch me win!”

Here’s another thing. There are people who won’t understand your business. Some of us are operating in niches that are unfamiliar to the average Jamaican. Take PetitSquares, Jamaica’s first matcha-oriented business. Most Jamaicans know nothing about matcha. “Matcha, a wah dat?”

However, Monique, the founder of Petit Squares, has pushed through that resistance and now sells her product in more than 3 supermarkets in Kingston. She also puts in the work to increase brand exposure by visiting pop up shops and expos. I believe that there will be a matcha wave across Jamaica pretty soon.

Monique’s journey reminds me so much of my own. Few Jamaican entrepreneurs understand the value of content marketing. So, I know that it will take work to build my CEM Writing Services brand locally. However, I also am passionate about helping Jamaicans create their own legitimate businesses and I have some things in the pipeline to transform this passion into a viable business.

We aren’t fools. We know that there will be rough patches and a lot of hard work. At least we aren’t afraid to face this reality and make our businesses succeed. Remember this because the moment you give into the realities naysayers present, your strength and willpower will disintegrate. Believe in yourself.

Truth #2: Finding a support network of like-minded entrepreneurs helps.

I have been extremely blessed to meet highly creative and passionate entrepreneurs through Success Lifestyle Magazine. I have learnt a lot from them; their bold moves have given me the courage to make the leap.

One of these entrepreneurs has been very supportive. She is my classmate and owner of Toddler Care Jamaica. You can check out her story in the third issue of our magazine by clicking here. I told her while we were in class on Sunday that I had made the leap. She was so excited! Frankly, I didn’t expect that reaction; I was waiting to hear every reason why I shouldn’t do it.

Instead, she was very supportive. She recently made the leap and has been finding her way. It has been challenging but her business is growing and it can only get better from here.

She had said something to me a few weeks ago that really stood out. It seems pretty obvious and simple but it’s crucial. Her 9 to 5 placed too many restrictions on her time, not giving her enough time to focus on growing her business. This jump has increased her investment in one of her most valuable assets- time. Making the best use of this newfound freedom is important so that there is renewed focus on making the business succeed.

Truth #3: It helps to have a supportive partner.

I met Odane last year and our relationship started quickly. We just gelled together well almost instantly. He’s the first man I’ve met with such great ambition and drive that he isn’t afraid to pursue his entrepreneurial dreams. I admire his fortitude especially given his background.

Odane has been my rock. He probably doesn’t even realise this but his support has helped me develop more self-confidence and gave me an additional push to make things work. He has been a blessing – extremely supportive, kind, caring, helpful and loving. What more could a girl want?

It really helps to have a cheerleader in your corner. Your partner’s support will give you the additional push you need to make your business work. Don’t be afraid to open up and let him or her help you in whatever way possible.

What’s next is up to you.

Ultimately, the answer to this dreadful question rests on your shoulders. You know the potential you have to make this business work. Believe in yourself, accept constructive criticism, find a support network and lean on your partner. Don’t take your wonderful idea with you to the graveyard.

Published by Christine McLean

Christine is a passionate writer who is committed to the success of Jamaican businesses. She loves dancing and writing. Her aspirations include become one of the leading content marketing professionals and financial advisers in Jamaica.

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