This Week In Business

This Week In Business: The Sensation Of Stabilization

Week three my new business venture is going well. My energy level is higher, in part because it finally stopped raining in my corner of the world, and my anxiety level is lower, in part because I am in the process of securing regular work with a large client. Besides taking a mental deep breath, here’s what I have been up to:

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This Week In Business: A Few Small Touches

In week two of self-employment, it has become clear that the honeymoon is over. My dog and I are officially sick of each other. The papers, for which a filing system was created last week, are in a small pile on the couch. Creating systems was one thing, and this week the challenge was to not only keep up with them but to improve them.

In order to hold myself accountable and entertain you at the same time, here is some of what I did/learned this week:

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This Week In Business: Week One

Sadie loves my new self employment, if only because now she can lie outside all day.

The other day, I had lunch with the great business blogger Carl Natale. Since I am just starting a new business venture, Carl that I ought to do some kind of reporting out on a regular basis about how it’s going and what I’m learning on the blog.

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How I Quit My Job: Part III

After securing part time employment for the transition and crunching the numbers, that's when the reality that this is possible really sunk in. It was time to tell my employer what was going on.

The Letter of Resignation

Rejection sucks. I once read somewhere though that while it is a necessary part of life, it is good that we feel bad when we do it. It means we are human and not heartless.

This letter was the hardest thing I've had to write in a long time. I really like and respect my boss and he was the one of course I had to address this to. It was a few sentences I worked on for a few hours.

I found some online examples and added some sincere thoughts about the position. I kept it short and to the point.

A letter of resignation is not where you complain or go on and on. It is for your employer to know what's going on. (If you want to get detailed, maybe wait for your exit interview, and consider if you want to burn any bridges, chosing words accordingly.)

I tried to give a month's notice for the position rather than the traditional two weeks. My boss said he appreciated that. I have also made it clear in a follow up email that I am happy to help with this transition in any way I can. It's true; I like the company and I don't want to leave anyone in the lurch by leaving. That said, everyone is replaceable and I'm not self-absorbed enough to think otherwise.

My boss and I I'm sure will have a sit down when I get back from my vacation.

After I turned in my letter, the whole thing felt really surreal. There was no going back. I had done it. I then had a rush of emotions that I wasn't expecting. Sadness, excitement, happiness, disappointment, terror… what followed though was an overwhelming feeling of relief.

I am sure I'll probably cry like a baby on my last day but I hope the newspaper is rooting for my success because I'll continue to root for theirs long after I get my last paycheck.

How I Quit My Job: Part I

While it seems that I've quit my job all of a sudden, there was some planning before I finally turned in my resignation.

Part I of this series is how I got my part time job. I timed this perfectly with tourist season so I would be more likely to find part time local work. If you think of doing this, I would suggest looking at your local economy and getting your timing right to increase your odds for success.

The Seasonal Job Fair
I am currently living in a town that will be filled tourists in approximately 3 weeks. Most local businesses are hiring for summer help and I know that many of my friends work multiple jobs this summer to be able to make the money while it's here to be made. I heard about this job fair that was going on across the street from my house this past weekend and I decided to brush up my resume and go. I made the rounds at the tables, filling out applications and talking to people about different possibilities. As I was about to leave, a woman pulled me aside. "I've seen how you've been walking around this room and talking to people, and I would like to offer you a position with at my inn." I was pretty excited about this idea because I'm working late nights did not seem like the best idea when I was trying to grow a business and I also wanted something that could potentially do longer then August if I needed to.

The most random job I got offered with a bouncer position at a local club. Apparently, irate drunk people give girls less hard time than they do big burly guys. (What makes this hilarious: I am about 5' 6" and what I would describe as a medium build, not all the bouncer type!)

But I did walk away with a few possibilities to follow up on, both for the part-time job and a possible business clients. Filling out job applications that asked me about what high school I went to did initially feel a little disheartening but I found the whole job fair experience a good way to meet local business owners and brush up on my interviewing, resume writing, and other job hunting skills.

Tomorrow's Post: Number Crunching

Why I Quit My Job

A summary of the last few days in my life: Holy. Crap.

Monday, I did something absolutely shocking for the mild-mannered newspaper personality I cultivate at work. I turned in my resignation. My last day of work is May 15.

The biggest question I've gotten is why. That's both simple and complicated:

I want to grow my online business. If you've been reading this blog or even if you just know me, you've been watching me try to grow my business for about a year now, in true earnest these last six months. I believe I've reached a saturation point where I can't work any harder in my spare time without blowing a gasket. Someone I met the other day asked me what my hobbies were and I thought long and hard when I said "Well I have this online business, and I sleep." That's pretty much how it's been going for a while. Even in exhaustion, the desire to do this hasn't waned. I actually want it more then I ever have. That's a pretty clear sign to me that I really do want to do this.

If I'm going to do it, I can't think of a better time in my life. Yes we are in the middle of a recession, and maybe there have been better times economically to do this. But, in my life, this is prime time. I have no kids, no debt, and nothing to lose by trying this now. Worst case scenario is I fail and have to get another job, which I know I am capable of. Best case scenario, I get to do what I love every day.

I have secured a steady part-time income. A steady but part-time check will keep me on an even keel as I ramp up my work to full-time. (More on this in another post)

I love my business. I took a day off last Friday to meet with the client. I spent a few hours with her I had a great time, she had a great time, and she left saying "I feel it had been riding a tricycle all this time and you just gave me a motorcycle lesson". I realize that I had just made money and really enjoyed it. The sun was filtering into my apartment and as I got truly excited about working on this woman's project. In that moment of clarity, I thought why am I not trying to do this full-time?

I am the best thing I've bet on in a while. I was talking to my friend Jen about this and she had a really good point. She said that every employer that has ever hired me has taken a chance on me, and now I'm taking that same chance for myself. She says that I've never disappointed an employer before so why would I disappoint myself.

Along those same lines, I was thinking about what I would advise a friend to do if they were in this position. I would tell my friend to go for it. Why not put that same confidence in myself, when I know that I've been working really hard and love it? I think I am worth the risk.

I have savings if I need them. Being the practical gal that I am, I have managed to save up a little cushion of money these last few months (yeah three jobs!), and I have some money I got when my father died that I haven't even touched. My goal is to not have to use any of the money I have saved up but knowing it's there gave me the confidence to finally do this.

I will really miss all of my coworkers because I truly do enjoy working with them, but I'm really excited about this move toward the career I want. And I hope that you are too!