After my last post, Why I will never work more than 40 hours a week, I thought I should clarify some things and give you a bit of inspiration. I may only work 40 hours a week and have a lot of flexibility in my schedule, but it wasn’t always like that…
- I spent 8 years working a J.O.B…I clocked in at 8am and out at 5pm, every day, like clockwork. I was a chronic clock-watcher; I hated my job.
- There were a couple of occasions I almost left those full time jobs to pursue photography and web design, but fear held me back.
- Fear, REALLY held me back. It also stopped me from even pursuing better 9-5 jobs that were a better fit for me.
- Dan Miller of 48Days.net inspired me through his books, 48 Days to the Work you love and No More Dreaded Monday’s, to step out and start doing something I was truly passionate about.
- I went through career coaching with Kent Jullian. Kent helped me realize where I was gifted, what my strengths where, and how to pursue jobs that would really matter to me.
- I hit the ground running hard. I had a dream of moving to Colorado. I put my house on the market and got a contract on it. I took days off work to travel to Colorado on my own dime and look for work, a place to live, and interview for a job, as well as knock on doors of other companies I wanted to work for.
- Keep in mind all this job hunting, career coaching, and book reading I was doing was on top of my full time job, but it was paying off! I even got a job offer in Colorado, but then things took a really interesting turn…my ex-girlfriend made a surprise visit to Denton to let me know she had a change of heart and loved me. As you might imagine, this shook things up, especially since this was coming from the mouth of a woman I had been chasing for over two years.
- While the location I ended up living in changed, I still was determined to pursue work I was truly passionate about. Austin was also on my list of places I wanted to live, so I felt like there was really no compromise on that end, plus I got to be with the most amazing woman in the world. Rather than fall into a rut and pursue the typical job in the same field I had been working in, I put in my two weeks notice as soon as I found a renter for my house, and moved to Austin, without a job and only about $4k in savings.
- Once I got to Austin I began to hustle even more. I emailed every person I knew in Austin in the design and photography industry, looking for work. I scheduled appointments with old friends to network. But, as hard as I worked on that, nothing was happening, I wasn’t getting work, savings was running out, and I was getting scared.
- Moving to Austin was also the aha moment for me with Bearded Brothers. I had the idea for the energy bar business in the back of my head for quite some time, and my brother-in-law and I had toyed around with the idea of starting a business together. Both of us wanted more freedom in our lives, and wanted to do work we were truly passionate about.
- Seeing how Austin was the perfect place to launch the business (athletic people, healthy-minded individuals, lots of vegans and vegetarians) we began to work, and hit the ground running hard.
- My wife and I decided to make a huge sacrifice and live off just her income while we got the business off the ground. Keep in mind my wife also made considerably less than I did when I was single, but yet we still made it work. We had originally thought I would at least start pulling in some income at the 6-month mark, but it really wasn’t until we hit 2 years that we were able to pay me anything.
- We grinded it out and worked hard. We recruited friends to help us, we had late nights packaging tiny samples into little green foil bags, we had “labeling parties” where we slapped labels on the bar wrappers during family time, or when we had friends over – I’m sure they loved getting put to work. There were plenty of days during our formative years over 40 hours a week, but even then I strived to keep overtime to a minimum.
- Chris and I visited every store in those early days, and still do a majority of the sales. Every account we have gained has been from hard work and pure hustle. The accounts didn’t start coming to us until we had close to 200 stores carrying our products.
- Even now, 3 years into running Bearded Brothers, we are busting our tails. We work hard, so we can enjoy time with our family and friends, and do other things we love. Our work isn’t a cakewalk; there are plenty of aspects about our business we don’t enjoy. Being a small business means you have to wear MANY hats and do pretty much a little bit of everything.
Running your own business and being your own boss is amazing, especially when you really believe in the work you are doing, and that it truly matters. But it takes hard work and hustle to get there. It takes letting go of fear and believing that you are truly capable of great things.
For me, it took letting go of fear. Fear of how I would survive on a smaller income, how I would go without insurance… fear of succeeding was even plaguing my mind. I had always been an underling, how would I possibly be able to start a business from the ground up and manage people? The idea of doing something great, or even working for myself and setting my own schedule was paralyzing in a lot of ways, but when I finally decided to leap – the freedom I experienced was amazing. The burden I felt lifted off my shoulders was heavier than I thought, and the feeling of freedom was, and still is intoxicating!
Maybe you are somebody stuck in a traditional 9-5 job and want out. Maybe it’s because you just want work that is a better fit for you, or to work less hours, or maybe you have the entrepreneur bug like me and want to start your own business. Well, I’m here to tell you today, that you probably think it’s impossible, but It’s NOT.
Below are a few motivational resources that were VERY beneficial to me when it came to figuring out the next steps and how to make my dream a reality. Heck, it even helped me find my dream. When I first started the career coaching process I only wanted to find a better 9-5 job, but by the end I was almost in tears at times because I realized just how much I wanted to work for myself, and serve others in the way I was gifted to.
Books and other resources to help advance your dream
- Dan Miller – 48 Days.net (listen to the Podcast and join the community forum)
- Dan Miller – 48 Days to the Work You Love (book)
- Dan Miller – No More Mondays (book)
- Jon Acuff – Start – (Although I read this recently It’s highly encouraging)
- Kent Jullian – Career Coaching (really helped me to know how to find jobs, and ultimately how to find what I really want to do). It doesn’t have to be Kent, but I’m a firm believer in the power of Career Coaching.
- Strengths Finder 2.0 – Helps you find your strengths so you know good job fits, and just know yourself better
- DISC Assesment – Another great and more detailed tool to help you find you strengths and work you are best suited for
- Dave Ramsey – The Total Money Makeover – I include him on here because debt may be hindering you from pursuing your dream, also check out his book EntreLeadership as well. It provides great wisdom for business owners, based on his 20 years of experience.