I’ve been having so many conversations lately with folks who want to quit their jobs and become their own bosses but making the leap can be not just hard, but it can be scary as hell. Entrepreneurship is 90% a faith walk, but there are usually some telltale signs that will let you know that it’s time to quit your job and become your own boss (or finally start that side hustle):
10) You get physically sick: When I was working full time I used to catch a cold literally every few weeks. I chalked it up to having a weak immune system and thought that it was just normal for me, but now I know that it was the stress of the job. On a recent Facebook post where I asked people how they knew it was time to leave their jobs China Cochran commented, “I kept getting sick. My skin broke out. I had tummy aches all the time. Once I drove up to my [job] I just wanted to go home. I knew I needed to leave. Then I passed out and I knew it was time to go. Working for myself saved my life.” Jacquise A. Purifoy Esq. shared, “When I drove to work and I physically hated getting out of the car. Then I just quit. I’ll never work in an environment that makes me ill again.”
9) You can barely get out of bed (or can’t wait to get back in it): When things were at their worst, most days I could barely get out of bed and my favorite part of the day was crawling back in it. If you’re struggling to get out of bed there might be a deeper underlying problem such as depression going on, but if you can’t get out of bed and dread the idea of going to work, it might be time to leave.
8) You count down to quitting time: At one job I used to find anything I could to pass the time including taking laps around the block and I even started drinking coffee just to stay awake. I got really good at making myself “look” busy and was bored to tears. AJ Springer shared that he knew it was time to make a change when he “Hated waking up and loved 5pm.” If you’re dragging your feet to work everyday it might be time to quit.
7) You aren’t being utilized: During one job I’d just sit at my desk looking crazy. I wasn’t being utilized and the majority of my ideas about how I could do more were always shot down. Loryn Wilson Carter shared “I had to work on my own to figure out what I really wanted for the next phase of my career. My last job was a large union and where I was way underutilized. It taught me that A) I wanted to be on the consulting side and never wanted to work in house again and that B) a smaller place was where I would thrive. Plus I was bored to tears at my last gig.”
6) You feel more valued outside of work: Allen Kwabena Frimpong shared “When I realized how much money I was making for the company I worked for and then seeing how much I was able to bring in on my own as a consultant. When you see how people value your gifts and contributions outside of your job it is a huge incentive and motivator – even if your job is paying you a decent salary.”
5) Everything and everybody gets on your nerves: I knew it was time to go when everything and everybody got on my nerves. People talked too much, too loudly, and if I had to hear one woman talk about her boyfriend one more time I was going to explode. I knew I’d reached my breaking point when I snapped on a co-worker and cussed her out in front of other people (which is wayyyyy out of character for me).
Ursula Adams shared, “I thought about it for about six months (after being with the organization for 15+ years), but what finally pushed me over the edge was sitting in a meeting with five VPs, 15 Directors and a CEO discussing, FOR AN HOUR, who now had authority to email the All Staff mailing list. After the meeting, I walked back to my desk thinking, ‘My life is worth so much more than this. I have so much more to offer.’ I put in my notice that day.”
4) You’re in a constant state of anxiety (or are depressed): I had no idea how bad my anxiety was until months after leaving a job when I saw an email from my former employer. My body was filled with anxiety and I realized that I thought those feelings were normal. Christopher Huff shared, “I knew it was time [to leave] when my mind, body, and spirit told me the external pressures from work were producing too much anxiety and stress”.
3) You’re considering waiting tables (or in my case, working at Michael’s): I knew things were bad when the idea of working at Michael’s (and getting discounts on my yarn) was more appealing than getting another job. Kate Bagoy shared, “I started thinking that I’d be a lot happier waiting tables and I seriously considered retail too. And I have an MBA”. Anastasia Petal Christman shared that she “Dreams of working at REI and going camping every weekend”.
2) You aren’t earning what you’re worth: While it’s not always about money, not making what you’re worth is a sure-fire sign that it’s time to quit your job and become your own boss. It didn’t even occur to me until I became my own boss that for more than 20 years there had been a ceiling on how much money I could make. Chances are, you’re probably using your magic to breathe life into other people’s dreams and are watching them be successful from afar.
1) You’re being abused verbally or emotionally: Celina shared, “My last day at a job was when my ED used profanity towards me in leaders meeting. I heard something so clearly inside say NO. I told that fool, ‘You got me twisted. And this interaction has reached a level that is below my worth.’ After getting my ish from my office and walking out, I got in my car I said to myself, ‘How in the world can I look him in the face tomorrow?’ and I literally heard out loud the universe say, ‘Guuurl, we out!’ For the first time in life I gave immediate notice and walked away. 37 days later I started my dream job and celebrated a year in April. When spirit talks, don’t be foolish. I learned to listen and trust my inner self above all things and all people.” Hailey Snow also shared that it was the “Abuse of my last job [that motivated her to quit]” and the biggest challenge she struggled with was “Lining up enough work to pay the bills before I actually quit. I’ve been at it a year and a half and love it.”
Do any of these sound familiar? One of the reasons why I shared so many other stories beyond my own is so that you can see that it’s possible to not just survive, but even thrive as your own boss. While entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone, your mental health and sanity isn’t worth a paycheck – no matter how much they are paying.
If you’re feeling called to play bigger and be your own boss join me on Saturday, September 21st for the inaugural Live In Your Light Summit in Silver Spring, MD. We’re planning all kinds of magic and I want you in the room. If you’re a Black woman in the DC/MD/VA area I’m offering a special registration rate just for you. But there’s a catch – I’m only making this offer available for women who schedule a free 30-minute Clarity Call with me by this Friday, September 13th to make sure it’s a great fit.