When I quit my job as a writer and editor in February of 2016, it was thrilling, but terrifying. I had been unhappy for over a year, so I knew it was the right choice for my mental health. I had lined up a part-time customer service job, so I at least knew my husband and I could make ends meet. But I hadn’t even named my business yet, much less started selling anything. When I gave my notice, all I had really done so far was play with a dip pen for a few hours and spent many months dreaming. (Not planning, mind you — dreaming.)
This was scary, for both me and my husband. Max wanted me to be happy, and loved the idea of my business, and believed that I could do it — but we both had very reasonable concerns about the “doing” part of the equation.
Some of you might recall that I have been a chronic procrastinator since I was 12. Max and I have been together since we were 19, so he’s seen me hit some pretty low lows. He saw me fail classes, and barely pass the ones I took to make up for the failed ones. He saw me pull an all-nighter and write my entire conclusion the night before my year-long senior thesis was due. He saw me miss out on potential job opportunities because I just never got around to applying. He’s seen me do a lot of not-doing.
So we both had our reservations and fears, that we were trying mightily to quiet in the face of my exciting life change. But then I had an unexpected two weeks of free time between my last day at the old job and the first day at the new job, and very suddenly, I was the boss of me. There were no deadlines looming, no schedules to stick to, and no telling how I would handle this strange new challenge.
First, I decided that the best part of being my own boss was that I would now have time to go for a long walk every day. Walking (especially in nature) is my preferred therapy, and if I throw a podcast episode into the mix, I’ll feel like a superhuman version of myself by the time I get back home. On that first strange day of my pseudo-unemployment, I tried out a new podcast with a promising name: Being Boss.
*insert exploding noise*
^That was my brain. My mind was BLOWN.
Being Boss hosts Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon are smart, hilarious women who have rapidly built a massive community of people who want to be more boss. And from the very first episode I heard, I was a dedicated follower and a changed woman. Kathleen’s vulnerability and curiosity are incredibly compelling, and Emily’s confidence and take-no-shit attitude are super inspiring.
But what really rocked my world was this crazy theory that they were touting as the key to success. You ready for this? They actually suggested that I “do the work.”
Yeah. DO. THE. WORK.
Okay, so maybe this isn’t coming across on the page. Maybe you’re thinking, Um, yeah, isn’t that how you do work? By, like, doing the work?
To which I say, Oh how NICE for you that this has always been so obvious and easy!
Because for me, doing the work has sometimes felt impossible. Doing the work has felt like a commitment to achieving things I wasn’t sure I was could achieve. Doing the work has felt like a promise to be awesome, when I felt pretty doubtful that I was capable of awesomeness. Doing the work has felt like something only good, talented, capable people could do, and that I was better off not doing anything than revealing that I wasn’t one of those lucky few.
So when Emily Thompson cut through the bullshit and told me to do the work on my first day of being boss? It changed everything for me.
Emily, if you’re reading this, thank you. Your simple, sassy words of wisdom lit a spark in me that I am doing my damnedest to turn into a blazing fire. A year ago, I never would’ve felt capable of tackling a month-long daily blogging challenge, and here we are on day 24.
I am doing the damn work.
p.s. Here's a fun throwback: my first ever Instagram post was a quote from that Being Boss podcast!
p.p.s. Here's another time Being Boss was magical: I took their advice and tried the "Chalkboard Method" of goal setting, and THAT DAY was the day that I went to Wild Goose Creative and met both Megan Leigh Barnard and Sarah Harste!