When I was in my 20s, it never crossed my mind that I would run my own business one day. In fact, two years ago, I did not imagine that I would leave my job or the ‘employment world’ to run my own company. I mean, I was schooled to believe making it in life (career-wise) was about attaining the big job title with a hefty monthly salary with all sorts of incentives to my package. I had sort of accepted that that’s what it was going to be despite hanging out with my entrepreneurial friends and family. Somehow I believed they were wired to do what they do, not me! Meanwhile, I was climbing up a ladder on what deep in my heart felt like ‘the wrong building’. I had to make a leap of Faith.
It is not even about the corporate world being bad. It’s actually great. Especially when you are part of solving big client and company problems and so to say ‘make life better’ for individuals or organisations. Problem solving became a large part of my career and I thrived on it……but something in me was not just fitting right. I still had a desire to do something different (or at least change the angles).
When my business partner and I started Konza almost two years ago, I still did not imagine I would leave my job. I just took it like a side gig that would help fund my lifestyle, LOL. Konza has been about fixing, solving problems or whatever is broken. Today, I am satisfied because I took that leap and continued solving problems. My decision to leave my job which I have held for the last 10 years came as an epiphany late 2017 early 2018.
The hardest part was the ideation process, that is, finding the ‘what am good at that can make me money?’ and ‘what can I do in the name of business?’. With absolutely no entrepreneurial experience, I set out to discover my gifts. Part of the process was to go back to school. When I picked MSc in Project Management, I thought “let me do something that cuts across all industries but can give me an edge”. Of course I was surprised by its contents but am so thrilled at how my thinking process has changed through the last 18 months of study and interaction with other scholars.
Going back to school literally made me think differently. I evolved. I was transformed. Each time I spent learning, I got more excited about how I would implement something for my future clients…how I would pitch my ideas and business process. Boy was I excited through and through. I had finally hit gold in my quest for my real purpose career-wise. There was now no room to negotiate my decision because I had finally settled on where I wanted to be as a professional. I could see it clearly!
Allow me to share a few points that helped me arrive at such resolve that freed me. Among other things, these factors fueled my journey.
- Discover what you are Good At
Everyone has something they are good at. For me, being a good listener and counselor in my everyday life among my friends made me realise I could use that gift to become a Management Consultant. My business partner played a role in bringing that out. It did not take a day or week; it was a journey of self-discovery. Our gifts CAN turn into our careers. Just be passionate.
- Choose to be Positive
You can learn to be optimistic. Start by listening to your own language. Listen to the way you talk inside your head. If you are given to complaints, regrets and self-depreciation, let the negativity go ‘coz it has gotten you nowhere so far! In my case, I had to listen to podcasts day in day out to flush out the pessimistic voices in my mind. The battle was real but I had to win it. I did it. You can too! I had to have faith my my ideas.
- Repackage Yourself
Learning never ends. In fact, sometimes we should unlearn what we learned to avoid getting stuck in the past. By exposing myself to people from diverse backgrounds, I realized change was inevitable. This called for changing my friends and taking criticism well rather than being set in my ways of doing things. It took boldness. Without such openness, I wouldn’t have transformed into a butterfly…
- It’s a Journey
Everyone evolves and for me this evolution has been a journey. With not everything totally figured out, I knew I had to decide, it was up to me. Not my husband or kids or friends. I had to dream a dream that scared even me in order to be transformed. That way, taking the leap became easier and my journey continues. In fact it has just began…..In my minds eye, I could see where I was at as well as where I wanted to be.
Do share with us if you have been through a similar journey or are planning to Make a BOLD jump!!!