By Emma Ward.
I believe one of the best ways to ensure we are happy and healthy is to get paid to do what we love.
Some find happiness in a job and others - like you and me - actually create that role in the form of a business. For us it’s a way to experience true joy in our lives.
I'm on a mission to inspire as many women as possible to turn their dream business into reality and to dispel the myth that:
Having a job = security
Running a business = risk
I learnt the hard way that the opposite is in fact true for me.
Most of my family and friends found their 'thing' in the form of a job and are very happy and definitely in their zone of genius. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case for me.
I thought there must be something wrong with me. I wondered why my job was making me so ill and unhappy. I couldn't understand why I had this longing for something else and why a black cloud hovered over the weekdays but would lift at the weekends.
I worked in a primary school, and although I was graded an outstanding teacher and loved being with the children, I couldn't help but wish for something else. Most of the other teachers were exhausted too so I thought that was just what happened when you grew up and got a job.
I'd crawl to the weekends and count down the days to the next holiday.
I started considering alternatives, but fear and doubt took over. I'd only studied teaching at university. I couldn't think how else I could use my skills. I didn't think I even HAD any other skills.
Plus I thought starting a business was a 'risk'. So I ignored the quiet whisper telling me there was something else out there.
As the months went by, crippling fatigue consumed me and much of my salary was spent trying to regain my health. In 2004, my body decided enough was enough and I ended up in hospital. I came out in a wheelchair diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome.
Even after all that, I STILL continued to ignore that voice. I did all I could to regain my health and managed to build myself up to working full-time again and then... BAM.
I lost my job.
Then my boyfriend dumped me (10 weeks after buying me an engagement ring!).
I had to move back in with my parents - not what I was hoping for at 28.
With nothing left to lose, I started a business.
What I didn’t expect was how much my health would improve as I started doing more of what I loved. It felt like I had a new lease of life.
When all of those things happened I thought life must really hate me. What I now realise is that if we go down the wrong path, our body will do whatever it can to make us aware. Gut-feelings are there to guide us and if we don’t listen, the clues get much louder.
I dread to think where I'd be now if life hadn’t taken over like that. I wouldn’t be running an international coaching business that fills me with energy and excitement or dating the man of my dreams.
While it’s not easy running a business, it’s certainly not as risky as people make it out to be. You know what’s riskier? Remaining in a job that sucks the life and soul out of you.
Along the way I’ve learn to listen to trust and follow my gut, even if I don’t know what it has in store for me.
IF YOU HAVE THE DESIRE TO START A BUSINESS THEN YOU OWE IT TO YOURSELF (AND THOSE YOU LOVE) TO LISTEN AND MAKE THAT HAPPEN.
"Musicians must make music, artists must paint, poets must write if they are to be ultimately at peace with themselves. What human beings can be, they must be." Abraham Maslow.
Just like introverts need to have their own space to recharge, some people NEED to become an entrepreneur in order to express themselves fully. Otherwise we wilt.
A lot of fear comes up when we think about running our own business. Whether you have a business dream you'd love to make a reality, or own a business and want to quit your 9-5, here are 5 reasons why running a business (that you love) is actually far SAFER than remaining in a job (you hate):
1) Improved health
When we love what we do, we’re more passionate and filled with energy. This invigorates our body. It's been proven that the happier we are the healthier we are. Did you know that more people have a heart attack at 9am on a Monday morning than any other time of the week? Coincidence? I think not.
2) Earning potential
Money: the area that freaks people out the most when thinking about running a business.
I want to reassure you that with the right mindset and business structures in place, you can actually earn a lot more as an entrepreneur than in your 'secure’ job. I get paid more in 1 hour working with a client than I used to in a whole day as a teacher. There is no ceiling to how much you can make when you’re the boss, unlike many industries that are capped even if you make it to the top.
3) No sudden redundancies
If your workplace makes cuts there's no guarantee that your hard work will help you stay.
4) Better work-life balance
Once you’ve established your business, you can take time off when you want/need to. No more asking permission to take a holiday or go to the dentist.
5) Better relationships
Nobody wants to come home from a hard day at work and be a grouch to those they love.
As Charles Handy said: "We have a chance to shape our work to suit the way we live instead of our lives to fit our work...We would be mad to miss the chance.”
I now help other women to make their dream of running a business a reality.
I hope my story gives you - the woman who has BIG dreams of running a business - the motivation to get out there and make it happen.
Permission to get paid to do what you love...GRANTED!
Emma Ward is a success coach with a track record of moving fledgling and established businesses forward, enabling them to thrive. Feeling exhausted and demoralised in her job as a teacher, she realised her ambition and started a business, initially as an image consultant. If you're ready to go from employee to entrepreneur, download her free workbook: Business Dream to Reality. The 9 steps I took to go from burnt-out in my job to getting paid to do what I love.