So there I was, almost 4 ½ years ago, sitting across from my boss about to ask for a raise.
I had mustered up the courage to ask for a raise before, so I knew I could do it again.
And as terrifying as that conversation can be, you will never know unless you ask, right?
So I did it.
Sweaty palms, racing heartbeat and all.
I let them know where my head was at in terms of how my job had transformed over the past year and what I believed was a very fair salary.
And guess what happened?
We were NOT on the same page.
For a second, my heart sank.
I remember going home that night after the talk feeling defeated at first.
I mean, no one actually LIKES to be told no after all!
But it was that “no” that changed everything for me, and to this day, I am so grateful for that door closing so an incredible one could open.
It was then that it hit me big time –
How much longer am I going to keep negotiating my way up?
How much longer am I going to allow my livelihood to be controlled by someone else?
How much longer am I going to keep waiting on that next promotion, and that little pay increase?
I had big dreams – bigger than that job.
I wanted to travel abroad and experience this beautiful world beyond what a few small trips would allow.
I wanted to design my days and months and years in a way that felt aligned with values and goals.
I wanted to be able to live anywhere in the world my heart desired.
I wanted to shut work off at 2pm if it felt right. Or maybe not start until after noon sometimes.
I wanted more time in my life for more important things.
I wanted to create something that was MINE.
I wanted to build my own dream instead of being hired to build someone else’s.
And I wanted to make a lot of money along the way.
To some that might sound bad to admit –
but there is NOTHING wrong with wanting to be wealthy.
While we know money can’t buy us happiness it can buy us freedom and more options.
After hustling my way for pretty much my entire life thus far – I was tired.
Tired of having to have side jobs.
Tired of accepting I’d just be making the minimum student loan payments for a long ass time.
Tired of feeling guilty about shopping.
Tired of barely making ends meet on my own. Tired of telling myself I couldn’t afford to buy things or travel to certain places.
I was ready to break that mold and create a life where I no longer had to worry about money.
And hey – business class flights aren’t too shabby either.
Dreaming about all these things made me feel SO energized and alive.
But here’s the thing…
WANTING things and DREAMING about things will get you nowhere.
It’s just simply not enough.
It’s the actions you take that really matter.
I knew allowing someone else to be in control of my career and income was not going to get me the life I was imagining.
And I knew what I had to do next-
I had to have yet again, another slightly terrifying conversation with my boss about where my mind was at now. I get so nervous with talks like that – any time of conversation that could lead to even the slightest confrontation gets my blood boiling.
But it had to be done.
So I closed my eyes, and counted down backward from 5 in my head and sent the email letting her know I needed to talk.
Sitting on the couch with her a few days later I counted down backward from 5 again in my head and told her I didn’t want to work in an office anymore.
If you’ve read The 5 Second Rule book by Mel Robbins you’ll get the whole counting down thing. If you haven’t read that book – READ IT NOW. Actually the audio book is way better because Mel is so fun to listen to. It’s all about how to get out of your head so you can start doing the think you need to do to be the person you are meant to be.
At first my boss was a little confused about what I was talking about.
And honestly I was still a little confused too because I had no plan.
I didn’t know how it was all going to work from that moment on.
But from then on, everything changed.
The next month I went from full-time employee to freelance designer.
I registered an official LLC and set-up a business bank account.
From that point on, I was technically my own boss – and it felt fantastic.
It wasn’t the end goal yet – but it was a major first step.
That moment was me telling the universe HEY YOU.
See me over here?
I am ready to do what it takes to create a life beyond what I can even think is possible.
Over the next few months I moved out of my apartment.
I got rid of all of my furniture and 60% of the random stuff I didn’t need.
I took at least 6 large trash bags filled clothes I never wore or didn’t even like to Goodwill.
And I boarded a plane to Europe to travel and work remotely for a few months straight.
I had no idea what would happen when I got back – but I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be.
Fast forward to today – and I’m recording this episode from my little home office in Australia – just a bike ride from the beach.
I no longer set an alarm to wake up in the morning.
There’s no more commuting.
No more having to be in an office at a certain time.
No more following someone else’s rules.
No more waiting until that next review to be able to earn more money.
I can sleep in if I want – although I still tend to be wake up early anyway.
The morning commute is now the walk from the kitchen with my coffee to the first bedroom in our house.
The day’s schedule is up to me – and sometimes that means taking the dog to the beach in the middle of the day.
Sometimes it means not working at all if Stephen happens to be off during the week.
Since making the decision to be done working a 9-5 forever I’ve almost doubled my income.
DOUBLED people. And this just still the beginning.
Now I am no way saying this from a place of bragging.
I’m sharing this as a way to show you what is possible when you decide to get out of the rat race. When you stop believing that the traditional and safe route is the only route.
And when you really go pursue your own dreams.
Are things perfect now – of course not. If you make a “perfect life” one of your goals you will be forever fighting a losing battle.
No matter what situation your in – there is always good with the bad.
It’s just how life works.
But the good news is you can CHOOSE the good stuff.
YOU are 100% in control of your own destiny.
So what are you going to do able it?
I want to know if any of you have taken this same leap of faith into the unknown? If you’ve left a job to pursue your dreams on your own – or if you are just dreaming of doing it – let’s connect! Come say hello and share your story with me on Instagram @girlbossdesigner.
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