Fast-forward to the dawn of 2014 and I feel passionate and inspired, not to mention healthier and less stressed. After months of navel-gazing, learning, downloading and exploring, I have figured out where my passions lay and am in the process of creating my dream life.
From corporate executive to heart-led business owner
Along the way, I have learnt a number of lessons about the transition from corporate executive to heart-led business owner. Here are five that I wish I’d known at the outset:
- Don’t let your self-worth be governed by the size of your inbox. As a busy director, I was used to receiving and dealing with dozens of emails daily. Suddenly my inbox was completely empty – I had answered everything and was waiting impatiently for the next message to arrive. Obviously it was great to be on top of everything but, during this lull before my business started taking off, I definitely had days of feeling lonely and unloved. It took a while to realise that the only person now relying on me to resolve their issues was me, and I wasn’t going to start sending myself emails!
- Signing up to newsletters isn’t a substitute for developing your business. I’ve always loved learning, and one of the ways I’ve done this over the past year is to sign up for all sorts of newsletters from other online business owners. This was great in terms of idea generation and seeing how it was done, and also helped prevent the issue of having an empty inbox! The only problem was, I soon realised that I was spending hours each day reading everyone else’s tips on x ways to do y, but that I wasn’t actually spending enough time on growing my own business. Now the priority is sorting out my own newsletters, with a short look through others at the end of the day.
- Human interactions keep you sane. If you’re used to being in an office with colleagues around you to talk to about both work and life, then the transition to being home alone can be somewhat traumatic. I would have days where I didn’t speak to a living soul and would then get verbal diarrhoea when I finally interacted with another human being. Try and get outside everyday and meet real people, even if it’s just a visit to the shops. Alternatively, there are loads of supportive Facebook groups that you can join to bounce ideas off people and get feedback on your work.
- Take time to get the balance right. This is your new life and you can structure it any way you want, but you do need to have a plan. Whether you decide to schedule a yoga class for mid morning or want to do all your work between 6 and 11am, this is your chance to create your perfect balance of work and play. Don’t get stuck in the rut of thinking you have to work between 9am and 5pm, unless of course you want to.
- Don’t be surprised if your friends don’t get it. Responses have ranged from exclamations of how lucky I am, to being told to get a job or that I won’t last a month. For the record, it’s not luck, it’s years of planning and organising my life to be able to do this, along with a good dollop of bravery and self-belief! Try to be very patient with friends – most are either jealous that you’ve managed to get off the corporate merry-go-round, or are just interested in what you are now doing, but don’t know how to ask you about it.
[themecolor]Angela Bryant is a one-time stressed-out corporate director, who now works as a holistic health and lifestyle coach, helping female highfliers go from coffee guzzlers who grab food on the run, to balanced high-energy whirlwinds. If you’d like to know more about how she can help you achieve your health and wellbeing goals, go to www.angelasbryant.com and sign up for your free initial consultation.[/themecolor]