My heart still races when I remember the scene. I was cheerfully talking with former workmates in the teacher’s lounge when I sensed two imposing presences on either side of escorts in karachi me. Looking up, I recognized them to be the Head of Operations and the Head of School towering over me in bouncer-type stances.
“You’re not allowed to be here,” I was coldly informed. As I quickly gathered my things, wildly embarrassed, with both of them still in place, waiting to escort me out, I tried to make sense of the situation. I should not have entered the school. I should not have come back. I had quit. I should have stayed gone.
I asked for a moment in private with both of them, in the same room where these very two men had hired me only a few weeks prior. My one question: “Why would you do that to someone who’s here trying to help you?” I had hid nothing. I only returned to help finish up the last of the paperwork I was turning over to the teacher who had taken over my classes.
But I broke the rules. And so I paid with the most humiliating exit I had ever experienced.
Their cold, exaggerated eye-rolls and looks of disgust were amazing to me. Had we not all been laughing and warmly conversing here only days earlier? And it was at this moment that I saw my entire 14 year attempt to be a traditional corporate employee in perfect clarity.
I should never have been there. I felt it almost immediately. Me and an institution in the same sentence? Um, no. I think not. As I left the school building that day, palpitations so intense I found it difficult to hear, I made a vow to myself to never look for a traditional job again. Never go to another interview.
It wasn’t that I never wanted to have a job again. I just would never play this silly corporate game where, no matter how hard I tried to play by the rules, I would lose miserably every time. Because I don’t see rules. I see people.
And so it began. The career I should have had from the start: seeing, loving, and inspiring people. My way. As me. That horrendous exit from the corporate world was one of the best things that ever happened to me.
While I didn’t know it at the time, my father was in the last months of his life, and my new freedom gave me the opportunity to travel to spend time with him and my mother. I was able to coordinate his funeral. I was there for my family during that painful time.
I was able to start spending real time with my daughter. I found a community of people on a similar path to soul-centered entrepreneurship and forged deeply meaningful relationships that have helped me blossom in every way! I began to take much better care of my mind and body, in unprecedented ways and levels.
All thanks to getting escorted out. I honestly doubt I would have had the guts to push forward on my entrepreneurial vision had my exit been less traumatizing. I think I would have yet again succumbed to fear and ‘played it safe’, finding another unfulfilling job that paid some bills and left me drained of energy, purpose and joy. Hence, I am so thankful I had that awful experience.
After much reflection, I have come to identify the difference between this last break from the corporate world and my previous breaks (there were several) when I didn’t successfully follow through on the idea of working for myself. I want to share these with you in the hopes that you can pursue your dream of working for yourself now and not waste any more time (in my case, over a decade)!
In my experience, there are only four things you need to quit your job and start on your path to your dream life:
1. Training: If phrases like lead magnets, autoresponders, list building, enrollment conversations, core story, or conversion rates are foreign to you, you probably need to get some training. I invested in a six month program a week after my harrowing experience, and can honestly say it made a world of difference in understanding exactly what it was going to take to make my business successful. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but if you’re just starting out, you’ll need something comprehensive to help you fully map out your process, and the saying holds true that you get what you pay for.
2. Mentorship: After you’ve learned the basics and understand what you need to do and why, you’re going to need help implementing what you’ve learned, the how and when to do it. Every great teacher and leader I know had, and still has (if they’re alive) a mentor. Especially in the beginning, even the most diligent of us falter with how to prioritize, make effective use of our time, and conquer the inner demons that show up from time to time as stretching ourselves to establish and grow a business tasks us in every way. A mentor who has already traveled the road many times before is essential for us to minimize the chances that we give up. Our mentor could be a public figure, the author of our favorite business book, a coach, etc.
3. Community: One person as a guide is essential, but not enough. Again, great leaders do not work in isolation, they work in community. They have a network of close friends, colleagues, and contemporaries with whom they are constantly exchanging ideas. You need a strong network to help you grow by helping you stay accountable, by giving you valuable feedback, and by giving you opportunities to provide them constructive support.
4. Faith: This is the most important factor. Faith in yourself: that you have a good idea, that you can and will be able to see this through, that you are enough just as you are, and that not everyone will reject you! Faith in your purpose: that you are here at this specific time for a reason, and that only you can activate and actualize that specific purpose. No one else can do that for you. This kind of faith is essential to build if you are to successfully overcome all of the challenges ahead.
That’s it. That’s all you need. Were you expecting things like venture capital, business partners or a legal team? All of those things may or may not apply to your specific situation, but in my humble opinion, the above 4 factors are the only things that are crucial to successfully make the transition from employee to entrepreneur.
When I signed up for my 6-month training program, I received help with all four of these, and I believe that that was what made the difference in my outcome. However, I’m so excited to share with you an upcoming opportunity that involves an even more in-depth comprehensive support system in each of these four areas for soulpreneurs like you! It only happens once a year, so don’t miss out!