People think that I stopped working intentionally to go into business. This is not true.
I quit my permanent job with intention to split my focus between independent contracts and my creative business. This decision was mandated by circumstances I found myself in as my family structure changed, had to take on more family responsibilities as my parents passed away.
I was not ready to quit corporate world completely, I just could not focus solely on the job because of the demands of my chosen career path. I needed flexibility which a permanent job could not offer me.
Initially this split proposition seemed viable, I had a few independent contracts that worked out well. The last contract I had ended in 2019, I have not been able to secure another one since then.
I spent more time looking for contract work than I spent growing my business. This was so disheartening because gigs would seem within reach as I applied, or often being contacted my recruitment agencies only to be disappointed when they vanish into thin air with no positive feedback.
Frustration became a critical stressor that threatened to pull back into a depression as family and friends asked about my employment status, hoping I will go back to work and abandon my business. What they did not know was that I also wished for same, but work was not coming forth and I had to do something with my time, hence redirecting my energy into the business.
This went on until July 2021 when I recorded a video clip, told my family and friends that I am officially giving up on looking for work to focus on growing my business. This was aggravated by the disappointments I was experiencing and realisation that I need to shift my mindset into this business that was slowly growing despite half-hearted efforts from my side. I went ahead and deleted my Pnet job-seeking profile.
I applied for business funding to realise my lifelong dream of having in-house clothing manufacturing and a physical retail store. To my surprise, this funding was approved in March 2022. Simulteneously, shortly after recreating a new Pnet profile, I finally found, signed an independent contract with a big client and the universe seemed to be finally remembering me too!
This hope was dampened today by the realisation that this contract will not be taking off for me either. I had been focused on getting the business ready for this new manufacturing chapter while waiting to commence work with the corporate client.
As I type here now, I realise that corporate work is really elluding me!
I am so grateful I put my time to good use through starting, growing my business despite employment and financial challenges I have experienced in the last 5 years.
I have hope, work to do, I contribute to the economy through the work opportunities this business creates in my immediate environment.
So, I would like to encourage you all to start that passion hustle. You never know, it might just save you from being homeless, unemployed, depressed and hungry.
If you had asked me a few years ago, being this educated and experienced change master, what I will be doing in my forties, the answer would not have been “I will be running my creative business with a shoestring budget and my household contents trying to make ends meet and feel useful in life”.
Such is life isn’t it?
It never hurts to have a PLAN B.