Quit While You’re Ahead

If there’s one thing launching a business has taught me, it’s to listen to my damn gut.

It’s something everyone and their grandma tells us to do. We know it’s an evolutionary trait, designed to stop us from getting into dangerous situations. And yet, we resist. We ignore. We say “oh, it’ll be fine.”

Well guess what: we’re idiots.

Trusting my gut has gotten me out of a lot of horrible situations. I’ve bailed on things at the last minute, called in sick or moved my chair that little bit further away. I won’t go into details, but I think you get the picture.

There are humans out there who truly suck, so we need to learn how to spot them. And then avoid those fuckers like the plague.

A lot of you may not know, but Rust is still very much a side business. We launched in March 2018 and have slowly but surely been working on building the brand in the background all year.

In November, I quit the day job that was supporting my Rust dreams. This was for an abundance of reasons, but mostly, it just sucked. I didn’t have a good manager, and my skill set was often undervalued and overlooked. I couldn’t reach my potential at a job that was ‘good on paper’. So after a year and a half, I quit.

I’m almost ready to run Rust full time. I’ve made a lot of little mistakes in business (and life, let’s be real) but I’m determined not to screw Rust up. A good starting point for that is banking some serious savings and locking in a few more rad clients before taking the leap.

Whilst I work my butt off on Rust, I’ve returned to retail to pay the rent. It’s not a glamorous sentence to write, but it’s a hell of a lot better than “I work in a job that I hate and regularly cry about to pay my rent”.

I think a lot of you will be able to relate to that. We’re conditioned to stay in shitty jobs because they’re ‘a good opportunity’ or they pay well, even though they give us adult acne and our cortisol levels are through the freaking roof. We count down to Friday like our lives depend on it, and watch the dark clouds settle in as another Monday rolls around.

For a good while, I very much had a Devil Wears Prada mentality. “Just one year” I would say, as I embarked on another job that wouldn’t help my career but would revive my wallet. “Just one year, so it looks good on my resume.”

A year would pass and I would still be there. Waiting tables, cleaning houses, cutting fabric, answering phones. Going through the monotony of clocking in, running around like a madwoman and clocking out feeling exhausted, uninspired and just plain drained.

When you have your own business, it changes that. There’s something to look forward to in between the noise, but also something that can very easily get neglected if you’re not careful.

There have been plenty of days where I’ve ignored my massive Rust to-do list because my brain was mush. I’ve neglected emails because I couldn’t string the right words together. I’ve avoided blog posts because everything I typed sounded like a tangled ball of string. But that’s okay too. We can’t be brilliant all the time.

I wanted to write this post as a gentle reminder, to both myself and you, that it’s okay not to have everything sorted out right away. Building something from nothing takes time, and patience and a whole lotta love. I often criticise myself for Rust not taking off as quickly as I’d planned.

You know how it goes. “Such and such went full time after only four months in business, why can’t you?” “Maybe if you sacrificed more of your free time your business would actually make more money.” “You forgot to post on Instagram, do you want the algorithm to make you irrelevant?”

We all have demons that like to chatter in our quiet moments. It’s just learning how to listen to your body and not them, that really is the trick.

All the best,

 

Viv

 

Photo by Jack Antal on Unsplash

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