I want to share a story about a very anxious and uncomfortable time in my life. As you are reading keep in mind these two things…
- Be true to yourself.
- Never be afraid (or think you are too old, too good or don’t have time) to start all over again.
This story has a happy ending but had I written it in 2011 or 2012, it would have been rather doom and gloom.
In 2010, my husband walked away from a job that paid $382,103.00 with full benefits. To say he had gone batsh!t crazy was putting it politely.
He didn’t like what he was doing? Nope because he’s still doing the same thing today! Bad boss? His former boss has actually become one of our best friends and we even go on vacations together! So WTF right?!!?
He called it freeing himself from the “golden handcuffs”.
In a nut(case)shell, it meant leaving behind his executive position at an ad network to pursue his dream of becoming his own boss. The draw was making his own hours, hiring his own team, choosing his own clients and heck if he wanted to take his work on the road for 8 months, so be it. Which we actually did in 2012, creating a temporary home and office in San Francisco and Hong Kong.
With a handful of contracted media buyers and one lonely account (coming from having managed over 150!), Adfluent Media was founded late 2010 in the second bedroom of our downtown condo.
Spring, summer and fall came and went. Then it was Adfluent’s first anniversary and hubby closed off the year with barely $60K. Our family and accountant was like “what happened?!?” I was like so embarrassed!!!
In his second year, he made a little bit more. If it bothered him he sure didn’t show it and kept pressing on. Rise & Grind… each morning he had to “hire myself all over again”. He also wore many hats: the accountant, web guy, biz dev.
If it was anyone who complained and worried, it was me. I was never a big spender but 2012 was going to be the year we start family planning and we all know how much kids cost!
His rebuttal was “I may not be making money but at least I’m not losing any!” To his credit, this was true since our business was digital and we had minimal expenses.
For the first 3 years it seemed like every step forward meant taking two steps back. Our life was fast and unpredictable. The struggle was real and I turned into “that nagging wife”.
I was afraid for him to start again. It meant stepping into the unknown. We had ambitious goals to check off by 35 and this was a massive setback to achieving them. But I eventually started worrying less, doing more and trusting him.
If he did it once, eventually he would do it again. If you truly are a master at your craft, then it really doesn’t make a difference if you switch companies or start one up yourself right? I betted on the horse and not the race.
2013 our darling son was born. To help out financially, I took 5 months of mat leave then returned part-time to work. I also continued blogging and teaching marketing workshops to bring in side income. We made diaper duty work by taking shifts. Often we would meet halfway on the street and he’ll hand over the stroller to go to a meeting, and I would push CJ back so I could continuing working from home. There was a lot of poop, sweat and tears.
Fast forward to today. Our accountant just finished 2016 financial statements. Adfluent has been a Google Partner since 2015 and we hit our one million dollar goal. This year we also look forward to opening an office in the US.
My husband tells me if none of this happened, how boring our life story would be. Just like the time when we moved to NYC and he convinced me to sleep in a U-haul to save $ on a hotel! (A story for next time.) It’s not the destination but the journey.
As for myself, I recently closed a very important chapter in my life… Hip Urban Girl, a lifestyle blog that I co-founded in 2010. Lisa and I wrote post number 2438. Our last one.
It’s bittersweet. I am nervous and excited. I am starting all over again.
So my friends, I encourage you this year to get uncomfortable, embrace change, create stories and keep moving. Start all over again if you need to. And of course, be kind to each other along the way.