The coolest part about right now, our current environment, is that anyone can start their own company. I left my corporate job and decided to try my hand at freelancing/consulting/creating without much of an idea of what I was doing. But I knew it was possible, because so many other people out there on Instagram had done it. How hard could it be, right?
What people didn’t really tell me, or maybe I just wasn’t listening, is that actually, it is really hard. I remember walking down the street the week after I left my job, feeling like the umbilical cord had just been cut and I couldn’t find any air to breath. At one point I was practically shaking out of fear. Nobody told me about that part.
If you’re anything like me, there’s a lot of pressure to succeed. I didn’t start off Day 1 with five clients, even though I felt like I should. In fact, one of the best pieces of advice I got (that I didn’t listen to) was to start with just one, for a while. So instead I panicked and picked up as many clients as I could, which made the whole process so much harder.
I wish I had written down how I was feeling during those first few months. It was a surreal experience, one that, at first, wasn’t very pleasant. Luckily, I found a friend in the neighborhood who had also recently gone out on her own and was going through a lot of similar ups and downs. Christina and I got each other through that especially rough beginning phase. One of my biggest pieces of advice, is to find someone to talk to (who isn’t your significant other, or friend who has a full-time job, or your retired parent). They’ll empathize with you, you’ll empathize with them, and you’ll have someone to get a glass of wine with you at 4pm.
(Note: Another piece of advice is to not be too hard on yourself. Be like Pierre, this super cool French guy I know, who also has a little agency and seems to not take anything too hard. That wasn’t realistic for me because I actually have a Masters degree in being too hard on myself, but maybe that’ll be of help for you.)
Before things got better, they got a little worse. After about 6 months, I started to get the hang of things. I had a handful of amazing clients, had filled out all the forms and set up all the bank accounts, and was getting in my groove. But as time went on, I felt like something was missing. This wasn’t it. This wasn’t my mission. Yep. I had left my job and started a company and wasn’t even sure if it was 100% right. Well, shit.
In retrospect I wish I had been checking in with myself more during those first 6 months, or even taken some time off. I think I would have had a better sense of what my soul wanted if I had been more in touch. Instead, I was just doing, doing, doing. Luckily, I’m pretty fearless, so I wasn’t afraid to keep looking and to make changes, I just wasn’t sure what I was looking for. I didn’t want to add more to my plate if it wasn’t the right thing. So I decided to rearrange my new workload and give myself room to think. I started meditating every day, I journaled every morning, and I asked for help from the universe.
And then I walked into Haven’s Kitchen for a cup of coffee and ran into Anthony Anderson, my meditation teacher.
Now, I hadn’t seen Anthony in say, 4 years. But there he was. Some people would call this serendipitous, others (myself included) would call it synchronistic. We started talking and it turns out that in addition to being a meditation coach, he also coaches people with work. I knew I needed someone else’s opinion and guidance, because I wasn’t able to see what I needed to do and I knew it. So we agreed to work together for a while, meeting every other week or so. Over the next few months, with Anthony’s help, I managed to work through my list of goals, hire a full-time person, and develop an idea of what I really wanted to do. It felt like fate.
Once I allowed everything time to breathe, I felt the universe moving mountains to bring people, places, and things into my life. When I listened to myself, I got into the flow. We all know when we’re in the flow; it feels like you’re floating in a river, allowing yourself to be pulled wherever you’re meant to go. But when you’re not in it, it feels like you’re banging your head against a wall. When I finally got into that flow space and really listened, everything started to come together so quickly, I could barely keep up.
When people ask me how I got The Moment’s website up so fast, I say that it wasn’t just me who did it… Because it wasn’t. From running into Anthony, to meeting Amanda and Kendall, to all of the amazing support from PRs, artists, and so many friends, I have had a lot of help. Huge shout out to :: Pierre at Do Things., Tara for shooting our first videos, Sally for being our amazing photographer, Autumn PR who was the first PR agency to send us samples, Domino for being the first site to feature our content, and Sakara Life, The Glitter Guide, and Clinique for being our first pieces of press.
In conclusion, I’m still figuring out what it’s like to have my own company and my own site. Every day is a puzzle. But, if there’s anyone else out there starting their own company and looking for advice, I’d love to hear from you, for we are nothing without the support from our family, friends, and the universe. Feel free to email or DM me any time. firstname.lastname@example.org @laneycrowell.
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