A few days ago, a Facebook memory from four years ago popped up. It was this picture:
I was a 5th grade teacher then and this was a Halloween themed day where we had to dress up.
When I saw this picture, I felt so many emotions.
How different my life looks now.
I barely recognize the person in this picture.
I was unhappy, unmotivated, defeated, confused, exhausted, emotionally drained, feeling completely hopeless.
See, I had spent a lot of money and a lot of time going back to school to be a teacher. And now that I was, I was miserable.
And I felt like a failure.
How could I have been so wrong about my career choice?
What do I do now?
I had no idea.
The only thing I could think of was just to be a stay at home mom because I couldn’t do this job forever. There was no way.
I convinced myself that I must just not be cut out to work full time. So after that school year, I decided to stay home.
After about 1 month of having no job, I was going crazy. I needed something for my mind to do. I needed to feel like I was contributing to something. Turns out I didn’t hate working, I just hated doing something that gave me no joy. So I started obsessively looking for jobs.
I applied to probably hundreds of openings. Sent so many emails.
I went to a few interviews. And oh yeah, did I mention I was like 7 months pregnant going to all these interviews?
I had pretty much given up hope of finding a job considering how close I was to having a baby, and then I saw an ad for a job on Facebook.
It honestly couldn’t have been more opposite of what I needed. It was a part time job working afternoons/evenings and it was 25 minutes away from where we lived. It didn’t seem like a good fit at all, but I just had this feeling that it was the right move.
I decided to take the job.
Looking back, it all makes sense how everything happened. This job opened up the doors for me to run social media for businesses and start designing graphics. It’s also where I learned web design. The job was supposed to be front desk type work. And it turned into all this. A ton of what I utilize in my job today, I learned during this job.
The reasons I didn’t end up staying at this job are in this episode of my podcast.
So after that, I got a full time corporate job, which I loved, but it wasn’t fueling my creativity. I had started an Etsy shop making invitations, Christmas cards, Save the Dates, posters, etc. but I didn’t have much time to put into it since I was working 40 hours a week and then had two kids to take care of when I wasn’t at work.
When I got pregnant with my third baby and my husband got a new job that was going to require us to move, I decided to not stay at my Corporate job and look for something else.
I was not looking to work from home, but an opportunity came to me where I would be able to do the creative aspects and web design, plus the financial/backend stuff that I also enjoyed.
I decided to take the job and start a couple months after Camille was born.
This job ended up only being 5-10 hours per week. Even though I had three kids to keep me busy, I needed something else to keep my mind occupied.
I had more time to work on my Etsy shop, but I wanted to do more than that. At this same time, I was helping a friend get her local business started. She told me she wanted me to research local bloggers and invite them to her Grand Opening event. When I started doing this, I was like, “Oh my gosh, these are so my people. I could totally do this too.” After all, I loved writing. I had a blog way back when Chelsea was a baby and had a really good response to it then. And now, I could actually design the website myself because I had learned web design between then and now.
I started doing some research and became obsessed with learning everything there was to know about blogging and growing an audience on Instagram.
I got it wrong so many times. I made so many mistakes. I did so many embarrassing things. But you know what? I did it. Despite knowing people would talk about me behind my back. Despite knowing that it wasn’t perfect. Despite all those thoughts inside me telling me I couldn’t do it. I pushed past that and I launched my website, almost exactly one year ago. And I haven’t quit.
Since launching almost one year ago, I have gone through so many changes. When I first started, I was mainly focused on motherhood. I would sprinkle in fashion and beauty. Then I started doing a lot more makeup and skincare. Then I started to do a lot of fashion. Then I felt a strong urge to not just be doing this to make money with brands, but to help other women love themselves and practice self care. I wanted to make a difference beyond makeup and clothes. I shared all about that just a few months ago in this blog post. I had no idea what was to come shortly after this.
For a long time, I had thought I could teach, coach, mentor others in some way. I had so many other bloggers asking me questions and asking for help/advice. I kept thinking, “Once I make it big, I’ll start charging for these things.” Until I realized, “making it big” isn’t a thing.
“Making it big” could mean so many different things depending on who you talk to. I had knowledge. I had skills that other people wanted to learn. It didn’t matter how long I had been doing this or how many followers I had. I still had expertise that other people were charging for and I was giving out for free!
I had run social media accounts here and there since 2013. I had my own blog in 2014-2015. I had done web design for multiple websites, including building my own. I had run Facebook ads for multiple businesses. I grew my own Instagram account by more than 5,000 followers in less than a year. I have worked with dozens of brands in the last year.
Why was I holding myself back?
I am big on learning and bettering myself. This year I especially wanted to grow personally, professionally, emotionally and financially. I have been taking all kinds of free courses, paid courses, webinars, trainings, anything I could to learn and grow. I started realizing something the past several months: I already knew a lot of the things they were teaching. I literally had said these same things…
So I had the knowledge. I had the experience.
Then came the “Well, everyone is teaching that, so there’s no room for me. I could never be successful.”
Well then guess what happened? After secretly, quietly making a page on my website saying I was offering 1:1 coaching and graphics and web design and literally telling no one, I ended up being fired from my part time job I had been doing from home for the past year. (You can hear more about that in this podcast episode.) Talk about the kick in the pants I needed.
Well, that was that. I had no choice but to do this dang thing.
The next day after being fired, I went live on Instagram and announced in my pajamas trying to hold back tears, that I was going to start offering services.
I really expected to hear crickets. I didn’t know if anything would come from this or not. I was so nervous and anxious. But I did it. I had no choice.
Well, in two months, I made over FIVE TIMES what I had been making at the job I got fired from. I completely redid my website and had to raise my prices. I put out my first digital product. I am a legit LLC now and have an EIN and everything. This is actually coming true. Every single job, heartbreak, mishap had to happen for me to finally get my dream job. And I created it myself.
It’s honestly mind blowing to me to look back now at that girl who was miserable as a 5th grade teacher. If only I could tell her, “Just wait. Your dream job is coming. Your dream life is coming. And this will not be forever.” I’m sure I would’ve laughed and said, “Yeah right.”
Even telling the girl last year who was so nervous launching her blog that all this would happen, I don’t think I would’ve believed it.
But it is real. It is happening right before my eyes. And I just couldn’t be more grateful.
I’m so glad I finally started believing in myself and stepping out of my own way.
What are you doing today that is preparing you for your dream job? Your dream life? The very first step is believing in yourself, not focusing on what anyone else thinks, and just going for it.
If you’re new here (or not new!), I’m so glad to have you. You can learn more about the personalized services I offer here. My digital products (more coming soon) can be found here. That is also where my courses will be when they go live. Instagram Masterclass is first up, but I have plans for Pinterest, Canva, Email Marketing, LIKEtoKNOWit, etc. Super excited…isn’t it crazy how I’m getting to use my teaching degree now but in a totally different way?!?!
I recently closed my Etsy shop because I got way too busy with clients to try and keep up with posters and invitations, plus Etsy’s fees are ridiculous. However, please reach out to me if you still want to utilize those services. I don’t mind doing them every now and then! I sell my presets for photos right here on my site so check those out for super simple photo editing.
Even though fashion and beauty isn’t my main focus anymore, I still try to keep my links up to date, and I still have a few codes you can use for a discount. Check out my Shop With Me page for all those links and codes.
As my focus has shifted to entrepreneurship and mentoring, please know I never mind anyone asking me a question on where something is from or what I think of a product. I still love that aspect of this space! Feel free to send me a DM on Instagram anytime!
I realize that this is my first blog post in a long time (whoops, busy entrepreneur life!), but I do try and keep my email list up to date weekly, so please sign up for my email list below so you won’t miss anything.
I cannot thank my supporters enough for getting me to this point. Thank you to so many of you who have encouraged, motivated, and supported me in this journey. I can tell you one thing: I’m just getting started!