One thing that I'm grateful to my past self for, is journalling my thoughts and feelings at the time. The lessons we learn from the past are so valuable, and looking back on them in retrospect makes us appreciate how much we've grown.
As many of you know, I took a break from my Corporate job five months ago to pursue this venture. Below is the diary entry that I wrote on the first day of Freedom.
Wow! This is it! The first day of self-employment. Mentally, I’ve been preparing for this day for quite some time now. I’m at the point where I’m ready as I’ll ever be to do something like this. True, I don’t have an inventory of stock ready to ship out the door, but I’m in the headspace where I have a vision, I’ve done my proof of concept and I have people who have told me that they want to put in pre-orders. If this isn’t pretty much the definition of ‘ready’, then I don’t know what is.
Now is the time for execution. After I announced my departure from corporate life to my colleagues, I was asked a lot of questions such as ‘what’s the first thing you’re going to do?’, ‘what’s your end goal?’, ‘how will you stay disciplined?’, ‘when will your site be up?’. I had a myriad of replies. The first things, I said, was that I was going to write. I knew I wanted to document my journey to share with you all, especially because I’m more articulate with the written word than with the spoken word. (p.s. I know my grammar structure is pretty terrible, so that says a lot about my speaking skills!). I also said I was going to write down all my ideas and shuffle them into some sort of rough plan. ‘Goal-setting, I know is also important, so I’ll definitely do that early on’, I’d say with enthusiasm, giving off the impression that I’m organised and onto it.
So here I am now, stringing into words the jumbled thoughts inside my head, and attempting to write down a plan. I know that I want to foray into a couple of different market sectors, to see which ones resonate most. I have grand plans (haha!) for breaking into (more haha!) the wedding industry, the home décor market, the personalised gift market and of course the teaching/learning side. I’ve written these down as headings on a new page each, and filled it up with all the ideas relating to that heading. That way, I’ve freed up space inside my head for more nonsense, and I’ve got a reference point for what I want to produce.
Aside from business-related stuff, I also wanted to set personal goals for myself. A few weeks ago, I lamented on Instagram that I’ve never ever stuck to an exercise routine, ever. You guys responded so warmly and constructively that it’s somehow changed my life. I’ve actually been doing 20-25 mins of yoga at home every day, 5 days a week! Plus I go for random runs around the block! I’m planning to increase the length and the frequency of these yoga sessions over time (and do classes at the gym), but seriously, I cannot believe that I’ve actually stuck with it for this long. There’s something about the Instagram community that inspires…
So yes, that was pretty much how I spent my first day of freedom. I didn’t pump out any new products or anything, nor did I make any revenue, but that’s not my goal at this stage. My goal is to take one step closer to bringing my vision to life than I was yesterday, whilst maintaining and improving my physical, mental and spiritual well-being. No one wants to run out of steam too quickly.
My first reaction when reading over the words just now, was a sense that so much has changed yet so much has stayed the same. I think I've grown a lot as a person in these last few months (have more self-confidence, an understanding of my own strengths & shortcomings), but my business is not as far along as I had assumed it would be (I had assumed that it would take much less time to build a site, learn the Adobe suite etc). I think it's similar to when you notice things about someone who you haven't seen in a while, but don't notice it when you see them every day. It's hard to be a judge of your own progress.