Join me for this very big announcement, where I say goodbye to The Consistent Coach and introduce Something Even Better.
The biggest lesson: Don’t let your attachment to your vision block something even better for you.
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Read it on the blog here: https://www.staciemitchell.com/blog/quit-coaching-business
I bet I have some of you double-checking your phones right now: “Wait, what happened to The Consistent Coach podcast?” I know, I know. To some of you, I’ve been flakier than a Pilsbury crescent roll. But what you call flaky, I call being the Goldilocks of my own career. I pay close attention to my feelings and my intuition and they guide me to what’s just right for me and my life.
Many of you probably already know this, but I have a pretty big announcement: I took a full time job! I’ll be serving as a Coach for Systems Saved Me in their Done in a Day program, helping service based entrepreneurs break free from the burnout cycle by creating high ticket VIP days.
If you don’t know Systems Saved Me and its founder Jordan Gill, you are seriously missing out! Jordan is an amazing leader, full of integrity, and the job itself is everything I wanted from entrepreneurship - freedom and flexibility - without the stress and worry of doing it all on my own. And I get to coach entrepreneurs, which I am so freaking excited that I get to keep doing!
And this is where I want to get real with you. There are plenty of things that no one tells you about entrepreneurship. Behind the pretty photos of entrepreneurs in their fancy kitchens or on their luxury vacations, telling you they hardly work at all or that they’ve never felt so free, for some of us, there lies loneliness, anxiety, and a feeling of “wait, this is what I’ve been working so hard for?” Full-time entrepreneurship sometimes isn’t the best answer for all of us, though it feels like everyone makes it out to be THE only way to be truly successful. There’s this idea that doing it on the side isn’t legit, and that’s just not true at all.
And I want to be super clear: I love entrepreneurship. And I’m not quitting entrepreneurship, this podcast will keep going and I’ll continue to work with a very, very limited number of coaching clients, but full-time entrepreneurship just isn’t for everyone at every time in their lives. I’m also super excited that I get to stay in the online business world through my job. So I’m definitely not leaving the world of entrepreneurship.
But what so many folks don’t talk about is the privilege of being able to quit your job and take big risks by becoming a full-time entrepreneur. After working with loads of entrepreneurs and making close friends with them too, you begin to see the bigger picture. You can read between the lines as you get more information from folks.
You start to realize that there are many, many folks who can take these risks because their partners make enough money to pay their bills even when their businesses don’t make enough. There are some that have large savings, or families that can step in to help, or that own houses and have zero debt and are okay with making less money as they grow. There are many, many folks with part time or full time jobs they never talk about. The bottom line: Many full-time entrepreneurs have some sort of safety net that not all of us have at the moment.
And even though I had a safety net with some savings, I never got super comfortable with even the idea of not being able to pay myself enough every single month. And I’ve never been in a situation where I didn’t need to bring in money every month to pay bills, which I know many of you understand.
For those of you who are well versed in enneagram, I’m an enneagram 3 self preservation type, which basically means that I love me some safety and security. Now, I’m not using that as some kind of excuse. People can work through their personality preferences, but to be honest, I didn’t really want to work through this one.
Because by becoming a full-time entrepreneur, I realized that I missed having a more secure safety net, which allowed me to create for the joy of creating, coach folks I loved coaching without worries about turning not-so-great-fit clients away (which to be clear, I always did, but it was always hard), and to follow my intuition in my business without fear that I’d have to dip way into our savings because I wouldn’t get paid that month.
I struggle to talk about this so openly because I really don’t want to discourage anyone. I’ll be honest, I’ve had a lot of success in my business really early on. But I think what tends to be missed in a lot of the “just quit your job!” rhetoric, even when you’re making $5k months, depending on your business and your margin, most entrepreneurs only get to keep about 60% of that. Because you have to pay for systems, and for people to help you, and you have to pay taxes. So even if you’re making $5k a month, you may only be able to pay yourself $3k of that. And if you live in the US, you have to pay your health insurance from that money too. And right now, that’s a lot of money.
I say all this because I just want to be really open about it; I want to be really transparent for you all. I think entrepreneurship is a great path, and I really, really, really don’t want to discourage anyone from it.
I wouldn’t have the job I have now, known it existed, or been such a perfect fit for it had I not followed this journey I’ve had. I wouldn’t take a single decision back. All of it brought me to exactly where I’m supposed to be. It wasn’t the plan, but I couldn’t have planned it better if I’d tried.
Now you might be wondering, “But how did you make this decision?” And it was a tough one to be sure! But it really came from noticing my own feelings.
I first recognized something months ago, while recording a podcast back in June with my own coach Marisa, who took a full time job to supplement her coaching business. If you want to listen to that, you can go back and listen to Putting Your Joy First with Marisa Bailey.
But during my interview with Marisa, I found myself feeling a bit emotional, even envious, of what it would feel like to release the pressure valve I was feeling in my own business.
And then more and more entrepreneur friends of mine announced getting full-time jobs and keeping their businesses on the side. And I felt more envy. And instead of forcing those emotions away, I decided to explore them.
What would it mean to take a job? What would it allow me to do differently in my life and business? What would my non-negotiables be for that job?
A few years ago, I was in an online career coaching program, where I ultimately created a list of everything I wanted from my work. At the time the coach asked me, “Are you open to entrepreneurship?” because even just a few years ago, there weren’t as many options for creating a life and a career that was a perfect fit outside of creating it all on my own as an entrepreneur.
I remember that I wanted to wear whatever I wanted, to dye my hair purple if I wanted, to work from home, coach people, be creative, have unlimited vacation, and lots of time off for the holidays...it was definitely a dream kind of situation that was hard to imagine outside of entrepreneurship, so that’s really why I began to go after it with gusto.
But this year, I made a new list, of many of the same items by the way, and started to search for this dream job. And lo and behold, it existed. And even more amazingly, I got that job!
And the most important lesson I’ve learned is that when you’re brave enough to let go of old dreams and what’s no longer aligned, you make room for something even better.
And that brings us to this new direction for the podcast: Something Even Better, a podcast about letting go of old dreams, so you can make room for something even better, where we explore the many unexpected twists we all go through to find our way to aligned and meaningful lives.
There are so many hundreds, probably thousands of ways to get what you want from your work and your life. There’s no one right answer. And following your biggest dreams doesn’t necessarily mean being an entrepreneur. Or getting a new job, or any huge life shifts. It could just mean taking a creative writing class to start writing your book in your spare time. It could mean starting a podcast because you want to help others tell their stories. It could mean taking up yoga, or reading more, or getting off social media or any other number of things that might help you create a more meaningful life for yourself.
We tend to think that we have to take these big, scary leaps of faith to show that we are serious about what we want. I’ve seen more examples of “burning the boats” than make me comfortable: deleting resumes completely, swearing off jobs forever….but in my own research on entrepreneur burnout, there’s studies that show that this kind of “all-in, there are no other options” mindset sets us up to burn out. If we know that we can create what we want, without getting stuck on the exact details of how, we open ourselves up to a much richer, more fulfilling life.
And honestly this work, of creating the work and the life that’s meant for you, has been the focus of the majority of my adult life and even before that.
I’ve been obsessed with answering the question of “What should I do with my life?” since I was a freshman in college trying to choose my major. It’s a big reason why I became a career coach in the first place.
I find it fascinating that we make these big decisions before we’ve had enough life experiences to know what we want and what we enjoy doing. And I was incredibly conscious of how important it was to follow your own nudges and make yourself open to new opportunities so you don’t accidentally get put inside a box that felt very hard to escape from later.
And because you’re probably wondering what I mean, here’s an example. I struggled really hard to decide what to major in and what to go to graduate school for. I ultimately landed on psychology in undergrad because I freaking loved the subject, and because it gave me the most options. I knew I wanted to work with people somehow, but I thought about teaching, social work, and so many other directions I won’t even bore you with; I think I ended up with a potential of three different minors! But through all my research, I knew that studying psychology could take me in many different directions, and I wanted the flexibility.
And with graduate school, I actually applied and was accepted to School Psychology programs. I spent time shadowing a School Psychologist in a school, doing research on ADHD in a school, but again, I just wasn’t 100% sure I wanted to do that work life.
I wanted something more flexible, which is why I ultimately studied Counseling instead - because I knew I could take many different directions with it, and I have! I’m a Certified Global Career Development Facilitator, I’ve coached hundreds of people on their careers or businesses, and I continue to be fascinated with all of it.
But this direction came from deep research online and even in published scientific journals about career satisfaction. Yes, I have always been that nerdy, even in my 20s. I’ve always been interested in how we create a career that feels good for our lifetime, not just right after school or in 20 years, but throughout our lives.
I wanted to know how people make these really big decisions that impact 30% of our lives. That’s right, we spend roughly 90,000 hours of our lives working, so how do we choose what kind of work we want to do and then, how do we create opportunities to do that work?
When I look back at all the different niches I’ve had and positions I’ve held, there’s a red thread - something that brings them all together:
There are so many ways to create meaningful work and meaningful lives. And many times, it requires being open to change. To let go of what’s no longer aligned to make room for something even better to show up.
And this is what this podcast will be about: How do we figure this out? How do we predict what will make us happy -- which by the way is incredibly, incredibly hard for us humans to do? How do we work against the “old school norms” to find organizations we actually want to work for or how can we stay where we are but make changes for the better? Do we quit our jobs, our businesses? Do we start new businesses? Do we go back to school? What does research say about it all? And what real-life stories can we learn from to make this process easier for us all?
This is what Something Even Better will be about. It will be a mix of what I’ve seen and learned as a Career and Business Coach, and what others have learned through their own experiences of creating meaningful work for themselves.
Because if we have to spend ⅓ of our lives working, it might as well be something we love, right?
Until next time, please share this podcast with your friends, your family, and anyone else who you think needs it. This is the best way to grow the podcast, and I really appreciate it! And if you’re excited about this shift, take a screenshot on your phone right now and share it in your stories on Instagram, tagging me @staciemitchell. I can’t wait to hear from you!
Until next time!