I've always dreamt of full-time entrepreneurship. But if I'm honest, the thought of losing structure and stepping out on my own would have probably prevented that for a really long time.
For years, I was balancing life responsibilities, a full-time job, being in school part-time, and my business fit in wherever it fit in. My passion for building a brand continued to grow deep, but it was limited in growing wide because I was stretched too thin.
Since the pandemic hit in March, I had been working from home for my full-time corporate job. As much as people hated being locked up at home, I was actually grateful to let go of my daily commute into New York City.
The days of waking up at 6 am and rushing for the train by 7 am were no more. For the first few weeks, I literally woke up in enough time to say thank you Jesus for a new day, put water on my face, and send an email to my boss to let him know I was getting started for the day. It was the life!
After the first few weeks of working in my PJs and rolling out of bed just in time, I started to create a little more structure for my days at home. I was still finishing up my Master's program at the time and trying to grow my Poshmark business. I gained hours back in commute time, and I needed to start making good use of them...other than sleep.
Months into working from home, I got serious about what I wanted from entrepreneurship and began building my personal brand. I launched my blog, dove deep into learning the influencer industry, and told myself that I would push myself to be in a position to one day be a full-time entrepreneur. On my days off from my corporate job, I would structure my day to mimic a workday as a full-time entrepreneur. Who knew that practice would come in handy so soon.
THE PLAN WAS TO LEAVE MY JOB EVENTUALLY...I JUST NEVER KNEW WHEN
I remember it like it was yesterday. My supervisor texted me and asked if we could hop on a quick zoom call. We were in the midst of a busy season, and I figured we'd be meeting for a strategy session or something related to that. We got on the call, and he immediately said, "I don't know how to say this, but effective November 4th, your position is being eliminated".
Everything that came after that was a blur. He talked with me as best he could for a while and then asked me if I had any questions. I had a million questions, but my brain was still trying to process his initial words...so I just sat there.
It was the day after my 6th work anniversary, and I was told that my last day of employment would be the day before my 33rd birthday. "God, what is happening. This cannot be real", is all I could think.
After the shock, I started looking for jobs and thinking about what my next move would be. Every job I stumbled on, something in my spirit said, "NO." I didn't have a concrete plan in place, but I was becoming confident that the practice that I'd done in the past would be enough to step out where I believed God was leading me. And at that point, I decided to take ItsJessicaLindsay full-time.
To date, it's been about two months since I've been full-time, and so far, so good. It has been a lot of trial and error, developing workflow systems, creating budgets and strategies, reaching out to brands for partnerships, and creating tons of content! I wouldn't be honest if I said it wasn't scary, but having full-time energy to dedicate to my brand, makes me excited for what is to come.
Photography // Thalia Nino
THERE ARE A FEW THINGS I WANT YOU TO KNOW
A part of my original plan was to leave my job once I was matching my income. That didn't happen. But, I had been actively chipping away at debt and putting funds away to cushion myself if I ever needed it. I also have several income streams, so though the income from my brand has not yet matched my previous corporate income, financially, I am stable.
Mental and Emotional Support
My family and my friends are incredibly supportive of me and my decision to take my brand full-time. It's one thing to believe you're walking in purpose. It's another to have a support system that will keep you anchored and remind you that they will be there to catch you if ever you fall.
Being a solopreneur is lonely. There are no coworkers sitting with you in the office. There is no boss to remind you to take a break. There's not even a company handbook to tell if what you're doing is on track. You are creating the blueprint as you go. Before I got to this point, I started building a community of fellow bloggers and influencers, mentors, and other entrepreneurs that have encouraged me, helped to guide me, and hold me accountable along the way.
There are maybe a hundred things that I would have done before deciding to leave the corporate world for full-time entrepreneurship. And because God knows me so well, I have to wonder if I ever would've thought I was "ready" without the push.
I don't have all the answers and am in no way advising you to leave your job. I know the road will be hard work, and I'm sure they'll be days that I second-guess myself, but I'm glad you're with me for the journey! As always, thank you for your support.