When I started my writing business three years ago, I was certain that I knew exactly what I wanted. After all, I’d been a writer for most of my life. Leaving the corporate world to become a freelance writer seemed like a natural extension. What I didn’t anticipate was that though I’d read business books, joined business organizations and went to business meetings, I had no idea how it would feel to be in business. I didn’t realize that my multitasking skills (honed in the world of corporate IT) would be stretched to the limit. I didn’t know that I’d become bored with being alone as I worked long hours from my home office.
Three years after going into freelance writing, I found a reason to get excited again when I started a coaching practice. Inspired by the prospect of being able to support and motivate others, I signed up for coach training. The unexpected benefit of the training has been that I’ve connected more with my real desires. The clarity I’ve gained has shown me that there are no limits to what I can do or how far I can go.
One thing I’ve finally accepted is that I am an entrepreneur. Yes, I know that’s something that should have been obvious since I’ve started two businesses. I’d just never known that being an entrepreneur was deep within me all along. Through all those years in corporate life, I hadn’t understood why I’d been so restless. Now I know, and I am embracing it fully for the first time.
Have you ever found yourself at a crossroads? If you’re wondering if you should go in a new direction, consider this:
- Has your dream become a disappointment? Write down the things you love about your business. Then write down the things you don’t like. Consider both lists and make an honest assessment in order to find out if you’re just in a slump, or if it’s time to make some major changes.
- Do you want to start a new business or add a new service, but you’re afraid of making a change? Listen to that “small voice” within. It may lead you to new opportunities if you trust it.
- Entrepreneurs dislike being bogged down in details. If you can delegate or outsource some of the work that you dislike (for instance, administrative or bookkeeping work) you may find yourself with more time to focus on your business – and reignite your passion.
Recently I bought a camera, and I’ve been rediscovering my love for photography. Perhaps I can find a way to put all of my interests together into yet another business.
At first I was reluctant to release the past, or to change direction. I had to remind myself that I left the corporate world because I didn’t want to stay confined within a box – or a cubicle. The best advice I can give is to dream big and to continue to walk through those open doors.
Deborah A. Bailey is author of two non-fiction books including, “Think Like an Entrepreneur: Transforming Your Career and Taking Charge of Your Life .” She's also the creator and host of Women Entrepreneurs Radio, a weekly internet talk show. Her fiction work includes a short story collection and a novel, available on Amazon.com.
For more information, visit http://www.BrightStreetBooks.com.This post originally appeared in Women&Biz magazine.