The 3-Year Review
About 4 years ago I found myself unemployed due to layoffs so I sat home and taught myself graphic design with a $50 piece of software purchased off craigslist! Soon thereafter, I was offered a position as the administrator to a very busy CEO. For three years, I was truly dragged and driven through a pile of mud. I stayed loyal and worked my tail off to collect a paycheck, ensure my family had insurance and for whatever other reasons, I do not know and do not wish to re-live. Although today I wish I had never taken that job, I am grateful because it ultimately led me to true entrepreneurship.
At years (three to be exact) and a few days passed, I found myself frozen in an absolute state of confusion. I could not believe that I allowed myself to be treated in such a way by an authority figure. My boss berated me on a regular and continual basis, he embarrassed me in staff meetings, he often called me out on having minimal amounts of common sense, told me I hadn’t done a thing since I started there three years prior except design ‘pretty well’, told me I was easily replaceable, told me he would surely find someone that would do my job and do it better, told me I helped others on my team too much, told me I took on too many responsibilities, he told me I didn’t even deserve the ‘cost of living’ adjustment on my three year review.
The Weekend After and all those “Why” Questions
The weekend after the big ‘3-year review day’ situation I could not explain to others why I remained loyal to this situation for as long as I did. I talked to many friends and family re-visiting the situation over and over to seek their input on whether or not I was the crazy one. I repeatedly told friends that I could not envision one more day on earth if I had to go to that job yet one more time. I could not wait for my escape day and decided that time would come very quickly. I was so happy that I finally realized that it was time to ‘unlock the treasure of my artistic gifts and become an entrepreneur full time’. I had heard it was the most amazing career anyone could ask for!
That day, my children played the Wii downstairs with my husband laughing and giggling while I sat upstairs in the “office” of JMH Art + Design Studio and cried silently for hours. Puddles of tears watered my shirt and sweat from my hands rested “frozen” on my keyboard. I needed someone to push me over the edge and say – go on, go forth with this decision that you have already made up in your mind.
As I sat there debilitated for hours at my desk with the intent to write a 10-page paper for my marketing course, I asked myself these questions: How did I get here? How did I get this far off the artistic track? Why is it that when I quit art school the year after high school, did I not pursue a career in the ‘arts’. Why, for years was I able to sell my paintings to family and friends, but never step into an art gallery and have them peep my work? Why have I designed hundreds of logos for ‘other people’s’ dreams, while not fully and whole-heartedly pursuing my own? Why, after teaching myself graphic design four years ago while sitting on unemployment did I not pursue that business full time, instead of taking another dreaded administrative support role? Why, while working a full time job, was I able to freelance as a designer and make a 50% increase in revenue for three years, was I not able to do this creative thing full time? Why did I have to find out after nearly feeling ‘dead’ inside?
In the midst of an absolute panic attack, I was finally able to answer all those questions. I was afraid. I realized at that very moment that the answer to all of these “why” questions was this: “only I have the key to unlock that treasure of mine called “the entrepreneur within”. Don’t get me wrong, I had just re-read through for the third time Unlock the Treasure and Discover the Princess Within by one of my BFF’s and life coaching friends, Bernada Baker however that book is for young girls and teens! That lil book truly had an inspiring effect on my soul that morning. The moment I realized and truly understood this concept of ‘unlocking’ all that stuff inside of you that you were meant to be when one is born I realized now was that time for me. So, what next? Prayer.
#TEW2012 – coming soon!