WHAT WORKING DAY JOB(S) TAUGHT ME ABOUT BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR
Arame Fall and Dee Silkie on Melrose Ave

LEAVING A JOB YOU KNOW IS NOT RIGHT FOR YOU.
 

By the time I left a well established watering hole in 2012 I KNEW with every fiber of my being that it was time for me to leave. Working at that job for three years was the worst job of my life. Everyone on staff was sleeping with each other, back stabbing each other, and basically out to get one another. Everyone was FILLED with paranoia, anger, hurt feelings, drugs and alcohol. Working at a job that I loathed that much started to turn me into a really bitter person and the anger I experienced throughout the day with customers and co-workers started to spill into my personal life. I started gaining weight rapidly, drinking A LOT, and hating everyone and everything around me. 

I would sit in the cash out room after my shift and call my parents telling them I was going to quit even though I had nothing lined up. My mom would talk me out of it every single time (security and a health plan is really important to a mother - who knew!) Finally I started interning for another small business (which was also a crazy experience but I will save that story for another blog post) and then I landed a job at the job I am currently at now - an IT company focused on e-learning. 

I have worked at my current job for 4 years, 2 months, and 14 days. I have been privileged enough to make a good living for myself, work a cushy Monday to Friday 9-5 schedule, and put a little bit of money in the bank. I have worked with some good people, and some not so good people. I have experienced work place bullying, gone on multiple trips around the world, and have learned a lot about myself. 

YOU HAVE TO TUNE OTHERS OUT.

Working in a sales role means that I work with some highly competitive, loud, and opinionated people. People here often mean well, but sometimes they overstep their boundaries and say things that offend me (granted I am not perfect either, and perhaps I was offended because I took things the wrong way, or was overly sensitive.) People here have a say about EVERYTHING whether it's what your wearing, what you are eating for lunch, who your friends are, or how you are doing your job. 

After two years here I realized that I didn't want to listen to these people anymore. I put my head down, got to work, and started working on living MY best life. When I did this, something crazy happened. 

STOP LOOKING FOR PEOPLES APPROVAL.

When I stopped caring about what other people thought of me, and frankly I stopped listening (podcasts and earphones are a girls best friend when you want to tune out your co-workers and work place drama) people started to think that the choices I was making and the decisions I were making were really cool. People started to respect me more and became interested in what I was doing. Things that others often laughed at me for or ridiculed me for started to become things that others were invested in. My co-workers started to become curious in what I was doing, and made fun of/questioned me less.

At first, this was a welcomed change but once people started taking an interest in what I was doing, again more people started to have opinions on what I was doing. I do welcome others opinions when it comes to my business because I am a firm believer that two heads are better than one. At the end of the day however, the decisions I make are mine to make and I have to trust my gut.

TRUST YOUR GUT.

If there is one thing working a day job in both the service industry and a corporate industry have taught me, it is to TRUST. MY. GUT. I am not God so I will never see the whole picture right up front. My learning disability also gets in the way sometimes when it comes to putting things in order and working out logic. My gut however rarely steers me wrong. If there is a person or situation I feel uncomfortable about I have learned that I need to listen to that even if I don't understand it. Time will always reveal the truth.

WORK HARD.

Whether you work for yourself or for someone else, work is work. The harder you work the better you will do. I don't subscribe to this bullshit philosophy of "why work harder when you can work smarter?" There is absolutely better ways to do things, but just think of what you could get done if you work hard AND smart.

When I want to stop working hard, THAT is the number one indicator that something is wrong and it is time to reevaluate my current work situation. Work is like a relationship. When you don't care enough to fight anymore or try anymore, THAT is when you know there is a real problem.

I would LOVE to hear from you fellow entrepreneurs! Has a day job taught you anything about following your dreams and staying true to your vision?

D.W.

PHOTOGRAPHY: STEPHANIE LANE
MODEL: ARAME FALL
SILK/STYLING: DEE SILKIE