Bye, Corporate America!
Updated: Nov 4, 2019
Let’s back up for a minute. Let me bring you up to speed on what led me to walk into my boss’s office last week and put in my notice…
1. Graduated with degree in Journalism from UGA in 2012.
2. Internship at real estate closing attorney in marketing department.
3. Accepted full time position.
4. Wasn't sure about it at first. Then, loved it. Really excelled at it. Found my strengths.
5. I did this for a long time. Great boss. Great leadership. Great growth.
6. Soon, my contacts were asking me to help with their marketing on the side.
7. I said no. They persisted. I said yes. (Story of my life. I’m getting better about this!)
8. I did it for cheap. I did it at night. I was exploring a 2nd stream of income.
9. I learned how to do whatever was asked whether I knew how to or not. I figured it out.
10. I formed Edge Marketing Company, LLC and continued building my portfolio.
11. I stayed in this place for a while…lots of late nights and a maxed out bandwidth.
At this point in my life, I was working full time at the law firm, working on my side business, mom of two (one was a newborn) and I was navigating a divorce with my soon to be ex husband. (Dream come true, I know.)
I was researching divorce attorneys and reached out to an old friend from high school for a reference: Enter Lauren.
Her husband was a family law attorney and I was #askingforarfriend.
Lauren and I met when I was a sophomore in high school.
Over the years, we celebrated birthdays and followed each other on social media, keeping up with each others’ lives from a distance.
When I was ready to confess that the “friend” I was asking for was actually me…We went to breakfast.
We swapped stories about shitty ex husbands and she poured into me that I would get through this tough season. She had already walked down the path I was facing. Her strength was exactly what I needed when I didn’t have much left.
As our convo continued, it moved from shitty ex’s to business.
We both thrived in marketing and had grown quickly in our careers.
We soon began plotting, planning and dreaming how we could grow together.
We began partnering together on projects.
Within 6 months, we formed a new LLC: The Edge Agency.
Lauren and I found a mutual respect for our different strengths and weaknesses.
We saw that we filled the gaps and holes for each other.
She loves systems and processes. I love people. She’s a type A. I’m a type B.
She’s organized. I give her something to organize.
We had a deep commonality and that was our desire to go wherever God leads.
This foundation has served us well in making decisions together, navigating conflict and learning as we go.
We updated the website, created a formal operating agreement, divided roles into marketing (me) and account management (her)…And then, we were off to the races!
We stayed in this place of steady growth for about 2 years.
Slowly growing month by month. One successful project after another.
As business grew, we knew we needed help.
We agreed to take less money in the short term to invest in hiring so that we could grow.
We hired 2 people. One for sales. One for account management.
Suddenly, we had a real company.
Our growing revenue brought us into the world of department of labor and revenue, payroll services, W2 employees, taxes, quickbooks, formal business agreements, clients in other states and countries, offer letters, job descriptions, bonus systems, employee handbooks, vendor management……BIG PROJECTS.
As we moved into 2019 with a heavy case load and 2 people relying on us for their income…There was no room for error. EXCELLENCE became more important than ever. Excellence in internal management, excellence in project management, excellence in every client meeting…
The pressure was on.
And I was up for the challenge. But Edge was going to require my full bandwidth if I was going to give it the attention it deserved. It was time to make a choice. It was time to jump. I was scared.
Side note about me: I was not raised in an entrepreneurial family. I did not grow up with dreams of being a business owner. The idea of leaving my steady paycheck, especially as a single mom, was absolutely terrifying and if I could have talked God out of it, I would have.
Trust me, I tried. I did not win.
As I wrestled through the internal struggle with leaving corporate America and taking a huge leap of faith, I began to notice that I had spent the last 7 years working with business owners: realtors and lenders. These people were making a living on 100% commission. They were makin a damn good livin, too. I had been soaking in their thought processes, mottos, strategies and hunter mentalities without realizing it. Between client and networking meetings, I was listening to motivational and/or entrepreneurial speakers 5 times a month every month for 7 years.
I guess somewhere along the way, I bought in.
So, there I was.
I've gotten one very similar question from a lot of people lately:
How did you know this was the right move?
How did you know this was the right time to jump?
Did you feel certain? Or did you just push through?
These are all things that I struggled with A LOT leading up to finally pulling the trigger.
And it almost paralyzed me.
Little do people know -- the night before I put in my notice, I thought I was having a panic attack. (And I am not an anxious person. Like, at all.)
FEAR IS A LIAR
However, this fear was different.
It didn’t feel like something I should run from or protect myself from.
It felt like something I should walk through.
Which may be the even scarier kind of fear!
Here's the thing: Fear is a natural part of life. It would be weird for someone to move through life making major decisions without any fear. It wouldn’t be human.
It’s what you do with that fear that matters.
So, I did what I always do.
I read scripture, sought wise counsel and spent time with the Lord in prayer.
And as usual: When I seek him fervently, he carries me right on through.
(Y'all know how he does...)
I heard him say "Breathe."
I heard him say "Open Door."
I heard him say "Gideon."
I heard him say "Without hesitation."
Once I got still long enough to soak in his words…they were exactly what I needed and filled me with peace.
I walked out of that office after putting in my notice feeling proud of who I am.
The fear was gone.
The decision was a choice. You may not feel like taking a risk or feel like listening to God. I didn't. & you can wrestle with him all you need to. He loves that we fight with him because it bring us to the end of ourselves. And to the beginning of surrender. The beginning of trust. The beginning of HIM. It’s about stepping out in obedience against what your flesh finds comfortable…Because let's be honest...
God loves to make us uncomfortable.
I learned the hard way that working for someone else doesn't always promise long term security when the $80 million company I worked for (and loved) went bankrupt.
I was devastated, along with 1,000 other employees.
But the experience taught me something invaluable.
Sometimes, things don't work out the way you thought they would.
So, which is the riskier choice???
I’ve got news for you: Your life probably won’t work out exactly the way you think it will.
No matter how much you plan for it.
& I’m learning to love not knowing how the roads will turn. #jesustakethewheel #reallythough
This is what John Maxwell has to say about Intentional living:
"Dive in! You never know how well you can swim until you're in over your head."
Let’s pray that he’s right!!
So here I sit. A business owner. A single mom. A provider to my family. I’m surrounded by truly beautiful, God fearing women who pray with me, hold me accountable, love me, support me and keep me laughing. I can’t thank God enough for the covering and cushion that he’s creating around my life. I have flexibility for my kids. For my blog. For my ministry. For my fitness. For myself.