Embracing Entrepreneurship: Breaking Free from Corporate America with Faith and Courage
I'm frequently approached by members of my sister circle seeking advice on leaving corporate America. Here's what I can say for sure: entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. Leaving the comfort of a six-figure salary and a world of employee benefits can be a daunting leap into the unknown. For many, it's a path fraught with uncertainty and anxiety. However, for women of faith, like myself, there comes a moment when you realize that the fear of the unknown can no longer confine you. This is my story of leaving corporate America to pursue entrepreneurship—a journey of faith, self-worth, relationship-building, and the unwavering determination to thrive as a woman of color in a space where my talents are truly appreciated.
1. Embracing the Uncertainty:
The decision to leave the security of a corporate job is not one to be taken lightly. The fear of financial instability and the loss of benefits can be paralyzing. Yet, as a woman of faith, I found the strength to step into the unknown. I believed there was a higher plan for me, one that required me to step out of my comfort zone and trust in God's path.
2. Believing in Self-Worth and Divine Plan:
Believing in oneself and trusting in the divine plan can be challenging. Self-doubt often creeps in, questioning whether we are worthy of success or if we are capable of fulfilling our dreams. However, as women, we must remind ourselves that the biases of others do not determine our worth. We are uniquely gifted, and we have a purpose. Embracing this truth was a pivotal moment in my entrepreneurial journey.
3. The Power of Relationship Building:
In the world of entrepreneurship, relationship building is not just a skill; it's a lifeline. Building a network of supportive individuals who share your vision can make all the difference. Whether mentors, fellow entrepreneurs, or customers, these connections provide guidance, opportunities, and emotional support on the challenging path to success.
4. Learning to Say No:
One invaluable skill I've acquired on this journey is the ability to say no. Chaos and toxicity can drain your energy and hinder your progress. As a woman pursuing entrepreneurship, protecting your well-being and vision is essential. Say no to chaotic people and situations that do not align with your goals and values. I had to be okay with being disappointed by people who lacked integrity, did not have my best interest at heart, or wanted to use me, my talent, and my connections for their own benefit without regard for helping me in return. It was a hard pill to swallow. However, it is a valuable lesson because I can easily recognize the behavior and pivot without pause.
5. Embracing Sacrifice and Financial Prudence:
Starting a business often means sacrificing the lifestyle you were accustomed to during your corporate career. Unstable cash flow, long hours, and limited resources can be challenging. It's vital to embrace financial prudence during this phase. Having a good accountant to help with tax obligations will spare you unnecessary headaches. I had to learn that the hard way. Remember, these sacrifices made today can pave the way for a brighter, more fulfilling future. Don't take the leap if you are unwilling to downsize, go without, and limit spending.
6. Empowering Your Voice:
As a Black woman, I've found a newfound sense of freedom in entrepreneurship. No longer constrained by the macro- and micro-aggressions that were emotionally abusive in my corporate career, I have the liberty to call out sexism and racism when I encounter them. Entrepreneurship allows us to stand up for our values and create a space where we are truly valued and appreciated for our talents.
Leaving corporate America to pursue entrepreneurship is not an easy decision, but for women, it can be a transformative journey of faith, self-discovery, and empowerment. It's a path where our worth is recognized, our voices are heard, and our dreams are realized. So, if you're a woman looking to break free from the confines of corporate America, remember that the unknown is a canvas waiting for you to paint your own success story. Embrace it with faith, courage, and the unwavering belief that you are destined for greatness.