In my early thirties, I went through a crisis.
I was so sad. I'd followed all the rules around my career and was desperately unhappy. Was this really it? I no longer wanted to climb the corporate ladder as the outcome just looked like more stress and worry. A believe me, I didn't need more of that at the time. Think panic attacks before work, using alcohol to make myself feel better, yuck.
Then I did what I highly recommend NOT to do.
I quit my job and jumped into a brand new personal training business. I learned a shed load of things about myself, running a business and my passion for health. I also got myself into debt and failed to find the freedom I so desperately wanted.
Fast forward 9 years to now, and boy o boy have things changed since then. I have transitioned into contract marketing work, created a side hussle around my passion, and nicely working toward financial freedom. Here are some of the things I've learned, and to take note of if entrepreneurship appeals:
1. If you're unhappy with your current job, list out how it can work better for you - eg. drop down to part time, negotiate a day where you work from home, change departments, negotiate a higher salary. Working for yourself is a great dream, but there's no harm in assessing your current position first, to see if it can work for you.
2. Pursue things that interest you on the side - start new hobbies, meet new people, read books, listen to podcasts, go to events. Quitting it all to follow your passion is great in theory, however, the resulting financial struggle is real and dampens the spirit of it all once the novelty wears off.
3. If the side hussle can give you a 2nd income, great, but don't let it be what drives you at the beginning - just having something personal to create can make all the difference to your mental health and overall sense of fulfilment.
4. No matter what anyone says, you need to invest money into making an idea come to life. There are ways to minimise, but there's always a cost. Work out what you are able to comfortably 'give' to this idea of yours and stick to it to avoid too much debt. Adopt the mindset - if you don't make it back, it will be ok.
5. Allow space to reflect. This in turn gives you space to let in inspiration and avoids what happened to me - burnout and losing bigger picture when it came to my life and business goals.
How to 'find' your idea
Here's a little exercise, to help with idea generation around your potential side hussle:
1. Write down 5 ideas that immediately come into your head.
Mine were: self care tools, therapeutic perfumes, ecommerce store around fitness, gym accessories, low tox skincare.
2. What products or services related to these ideas come to mind? Can be physical, online, or a face to face service.
Mine were: gratitude journal (tick!), essential oils, online exercise programs, gym sweat towel with a zip and hood, under eye wrinkle cream.
3. What types of customers would you be interested in helping?
Mine were: over 40's, people looking for a change / to better themselves.
4. What types of industries would you be interested in being part of?
Mine was: Health and Wellness.
5. What are the pain points you'd help with these products?
Mine were: optimise people's health and decrease stress related diseases.
I'd love to hear from those who have started a business and want to connect with a likeminded soul like me. Or if you're just starting out too. firstname.lastname@example.org or follow/tag me on instagram rhoda_happiness
Start your My Happiness Journal self care practise here