FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)
After being pregnant three years in a row and having only one successful pregnancy, it is understandable why I am so in love with my son. I didn't want to leave his side after he was born. I had an extra long maternity leave, and I boohooed the entire first week I took him to daycare, upon my return to work. People said those feelings would subside. They were correct, in a way. The emotional eruptions subsided, but the feeling of missing out on my baby growing up never went away. What if he gets sick while I'm not there? What if he takes his first steps while I'm not there? What if he says his first words while I'm not there? I suffered from an extreme case of FOMO.
Every day I drug myself to work and begrudgingly went through my day. Although I have been out of the traditional workforce for almost four years, I can still pinpoint the exact moment I knew it was time for me to become an entrepreneur full time. I've always had a strong work ethic. Even though I hated going into work after I had my son, I still worked hard and produced stellar results. One day, my manager had a meeting with our team to advise that our best wasn't good enough, according to his superior. Let's call her Ms. Exec. To sum up the meeting, we were doing everything we were supposed to do, but Ms. Exec wanted us to do it her way. Because we were not doing the work the exact way Ms. Exec wanted us to, it was wrong. If we did not change this, then Ms. Exec would resort to corrective actions.
I was confused, disheartened, discouraged and outraged all at the same time. How could she belittle my performance because it wasn't done the way she said it should. I was hitting all the metrics. I was meeting, and most times exceeding, the expectations the company required of me. I even received high rated performance reviews that my manager and Ms. Exec both signed. I gave my all every day! Most of all, I was giving attention and energy to a job that did not appreciate my hard work. All the while, I'm missing out on precious time with my child. To say the least, that pissed me off. That was my lightbulb moment. I had my "why".
You Know What You're Good At! What's Next?
There are many reasons why moms make the best entrepreneurs. [Checkout 7 Reasons Why Being A Mom Makes You A Great Entrepreneur] Moms are able to cultivate and master the skills needed to be successful entrepreneurs. You, as a mom, practice these skills every day in motherhood. You know what you do well. So what's next? How do you get started? Most new entrepreneurs have the same questions. The answer is simple. Your next step is to define your "why". Bestselling author and marketing guru, Simon Sinek preaches this! He says, "People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it." He expresses the importance of understanding your "why". He also explains how businesses who are able to articulate their why are more successful. Many businesses we all know and love use this strategy, such as Apple, Hubspot, Fitbit, Beachbody, Hostgator, among others.
What's Your Why?
As a serial entrepreneur, I've started many businesses. I've also had many businesses fail because my focus was on the "how" or the "what", and my "why" was simply to make money. These business ventures left me drained, unfulfilled and longing for something different. I had to use my 3 R's - review, revise, and retry - to figure out why I felt this way. It all brought me back to my "why". Why did I quit my corporate job? Why did I not feel fulfilled in the ventures I had chosen? Why do I want to be an entrepreneur? Once I answered those questions honestly, I was able to start doing more of what I love. I mean what's the point of being an entrepreneur if you can't do what you love? You can work on someone else's job and be unhappy.
It's your turn. What's your why? Why do you want to be an entrepreneur? Why do you want to take this step? Once you're able to answer your why questions, you can then move on to "what". What are your passions? What do you want to do? What do you want to offer/sell? What skill sets can you leverage to make it happen? What is your industry?
But remember, it all starts with a why.
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