2 years in, a lifetime to go

I remember the moment vividly.

I sat at the front desk of my day job sending instant messages to my boyfriend, double-checking that he indeed meant what he said about it being ok. Then I took a deep breath + called my boss into the closest conference room. My tears started almost immediately as I choked out the words that I was quitting to start my business full-time.
It was no secret to anyone at the company, I had been reducing my hours down to part-time for a while as my freelancing workload grew bigger. but the actual leap into full-time self-employment both terrified + thrilled me.

I gave 5 weeks notice {yes, the leap was in fact that scary} + started preparing myself for what was about to happen.

The first day, 2 years ago, didn’t feel that different since I had been freelancing for years + working part-time during the day in my office for over a year. The occasional text, Facebook message + email check-in made it a bit more celebratory, but I still dove into what I was doing, spent time with Brutus and wore comfy clothes like I had been for months.
To be perfectly honest, I don’t remember when reality hit. If it was the first month when I made a mere $1,135 {my half of the rent was $700 and my car payment was $330} or listing my own business as my employer on my health insurance paperwork. It seemed gradual though, much like my shift to full-time. Calculated, planned, researched + careful.
But then things kept going. Before my first year was up, Jeff + I were building a house, I had my first $10,000 month and I really felt like me. It’s hard to explain, but I think I avoided this shock of “holy fuck, I’m self-employed” because it was what I was made to do.

And now, 2 years in, I honestly could not imagine working as an employee ever again.

Last month I had thought about shutting my business down. After 3 months of never-ending tension headaches/migraines, I thought that the stress of being an entrepreneur was the only thing keeping me from being pain-free. So to say I haven’t thought about “going back” would be a lie. But I know, as hard as some days are, the reward is worth it 100 times over. Like everyone says, there are ups + downs to self-employment. It’s painfully true. The feast or famine cycle is real. And the pajama days outweigh the professional clothing days by a landslide.
And as I look back on the lightning fast 2 years, I realize that this is how the rest of my life will go. Sure, there may be changes in my responsibilities + there may be time off to be a parent {years down the road}. But I am 100% unemployable at this point in my life. I accept that, but more importantly, I embrace it.
This journey has taught me more than I ever imagined I could learn + it’s just the tip of the iceberg. From isolation to support from “competitors” to being asked to take over my mentor’s business for a few months, I NEVER in my wildest dreams pictured this life when I bought tinyblueorange.com in 2007.
And I know there is no way to know what my life or business will look like in 2016, but if it’s anything like the last 2 years, I can’t wait. Hardships + tears just make the victories + smiles that much more worth it.
I’ll be celebrating the 2 year anniversary of my self-employment status during a weekend in Las Vegas, but have spent the last few days reflecting + saying silent thank yous to the universe and my support team for this. and now is my chance to say a few of those outloud.
10245356_961289837418_3245009064409264766_nJeff, thank you seems so small compared to what you deserve. everyone relies on duct tape to keep things together, but I have relied on you. Thank you for telling me it was ok + that I could do this. Without it, this 2 year anniversary wouldn’t exist.

photoDad, looking up to you was one of the best things I’ve ever done. Seeing you do what you love every day made me hungry for the same life for myself. Being successful while doing what you love set the bar high + I wouldn’t have such big goals otherwise.
photoMom, thank you for giving me such grounded + realistic views about money, finances and more. Success is about skill, but without the smart decisions behind it, it can’t last. And thank you for being my biggest cheerleader in the world.

34149_1529569277380_7816889_nSister, your over-the-phone + text message emotional support is more appreciated than you know and will never be forgotten. Even though you are short, I look up to you + have for many, many years. You inspire me.
There are so many more to thank, but I have many anniversaries to go, so I’ll save a few for then. And with that, I close the door on my first 2 years in business all while focusing on the next 20 years + more.

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