How I knew it was time to leave my 9-5

If you follow me on Instagram, you heard my big news: I will be working for LISH creative full-time! I am thrilled for this new adventure, but one of the first questions that people have been asking me is "how did you possibly know it was time?!" Well - there were 6 factors really, and I am outlining them here:

How I knew it was time to leave my 9-5

1. I was burnt out  
In the beginning, I was working 50+ hours per week at my advertising agency job and producing content on the nights and weekends. At first it was my creative escape, and although I continued to love the work I did outside of the 9-6 working hours, it started to wear on my physical and emotional well-being. I would fall asleep at the desk in my studio every night around 1am, I was skipping workouts, and I was definitely not eating all of my fruits and veggies - sorry mom.

2. I was turning down projects
Aside from being maxed out on the nights & weekends, I was also passing up a lot of opportunities for work that could only be completed during the work day because of tight deadlines or scheduling conflicts. There is only so much natural light for photo shoots! And it was extremely hard to schedule times to meet or chat with new and current clients. My 7am-7pm was booked every M-F.

3. I was looking for more flexibility
When Graham moved to Southern California in August, I knew that I wouldn't want to be long distance forever, or at least, I wanted to be able to visit often. I booked long weekend trips with my corporate PTO time, but there always seemed to be something getting in the way. I was looking to create a sustainable income for myself that could be maintained from anywhere. I'll now be spending one week per month in California to start. 

4. I had built an online community
When I started to think about the feasibility of leaving a stable income, my online community became a huge asset. Not only was it a selling point with potential clients, it was also a built in network that put me 10 steps ahead of traditional businesses who were trying to get out there and drum up connections. Although it was still nerve-wrecking for me to put myself out there and proclaim my self-employment to the world (...omg what if I fail..?!), I ultimately knew that there was an enthusiastic crew of 12.5k who had my back. Engagement is real, people. 

5. I had a plan
Putting the pen to paper and figuring out finances was also a useful thing to do. Yes I majored in business, but no, I do not like accounting! I sat down and determined how many clients & projects I would need to get by (income wise) in my first year. When I had my first few months of 2016 covered, I felt more comfortable taking that leap. Reaching out to a few new clients and building that foundation before leaving was key. I was more sure of myself. I had a clarity call with Reina of Reina + Co in the months before leaving and she was instrumental in adding this step. It sounds crazy, but when I broke it down and laid it all out, those income goals didn't seem so big, hairy, and scary.

6. I was following a life-long dream
I truly believe that full-time entrepreneurship is a mind-set. I was raised by a family of entrepreneurs, so business ownership never seemed out of reach. It was always my dream and I was just waiting for the right time. Having that thought process was key. I knew it wasn't going to fall into my lap or happen naturally - it was something that was always in the back of my brain. And although my growth on Instagram acted as a catalyst towards my business, it had always, always been on my mind.