Today, I want to introduce you to someone. Her name is Hannah and I'm lucky enough to have her as a real-life friend. Hannah is gorgeous and insanely talented and has recently made the HUGE leap to starting her own business and leaving the corporate world behind. (Not only that, but she moved to a completely new city all on her own- GUTS.) Pommel Lane is a blog and graphic design shop that features custom lettering and designs, and paper goods. And let me tell you, girl is GOOD. And I'm not just saying that because I adore her. I was curious about her life post-corporate and I thought I'd share what she told me.
1. You recently stopped working in the corporate world to follow your dreams. How did you plan for that?
- It feels like I've been planning for this for years. I think the first time I heard my gut whispering to me that I wasn't meant for corporate life was 5 years ago. I've had 3 side-hustles in that time and last fall/early 2014 I starting actively planning to leave my job. So much of the planning for me revolved around finances. Security was what kept me in the corporate world but there is a point where the money cannot replace the unfulfilling nature of the work. So in January of this year I started outlining what I needed to pay off (my car), how much money I needed to live for 4-6 months and how long it would take to save up for this. Once I had that outline I was able to save and make plans to live in a state with a more appropriate cost of living than DC.
2. What was the scariest part about leaving the corporate world behind?
- I'm sure this has been said a hundred times but it's so true. It's so scary to not have the safety net of a steady paycheck. From the creative side there is always a fear that I won't be successful and I won't have clients or purchases but I got to a point where being mentally prepared to take the leap outweighed that fear. I'm so thankful to have a small but beyond-amazing support group of family, friends and fans of my work that help keep me on the right path when fear or self-doubt creeps in. It makes the hard times worth getting through.
3. Is there anything you wish you had been better prepared for before starting your own business?
- Everything, haha. In a perfect world I would have had a year's worth of living expenses plus a decent savings account beyond that. Sometimes I think that in the perfect scenario I would have had at least 6 months to work without any concern about money and that would have been better. Though being in the thick of it now, I'm comfortable with the route I've chosen. It suited my situation the way I needed and that is all I could ask for.
4. What have your days been like now that you own your own business?
- A huge part of working for myself is ensuring that I take time for self-care. I am making myself a priority everyday after coming from a career that always required me to be last in line for my own attention. These days I'm up around to take the dog out and feed us both breakfast. This is my unplugged time to read or watch my favorite show without interruptions. Shortly after we go out for our morning walk - sometimes it's a mile or two and others it's three, depends on the day. Once we get back, I get to work. I'm still trying to find my groove working for myself but I'm loving the flexibility to find that process naturally. The atmosphere has been the biggest change from corporate life, it's helping foster some of my best work. It's all about the mental space for me.
5. What advice do you have for those who are looking to leave the corporate world and start their own business?
- Know deep down in your gut that it's your path. Know that you are looking for fulfillment and joy from doing what you love instead of the Instagram and Pinterest worthy side with white desks, flexible schedules, lots of likes and freedom. The grass is ALWAYS greener and yes that part is awesome, it shouldn't be the driving motivation. Being an entrepreneur has pros and cons just like everything else. I knew the moment when I admitted that I would rather live a small and budgeted life working for myself than working in a corporate environment with a great, steady paycheck that I had to make this path happen. If it isn't a smashing success, I'm okay with getting a part-time job because I have the chance to do something that makes my soul sing. Whether it's corporate or entrepreneurial, do what makes your soul sing! That is my advice.