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I think it’s fair to say that Covid-19 have given a lot of us time to think and reflect. I found myself stuck at home for 12 weeks not working. I’m not going to lie I loved my time off of work. I don’t enjoy my job, it makes me miserable so it was nice to have 12 weeks away from it. I spent so much time thinking and reflecting on what the heck I’m actually doing with my life.
I’ve always been a very strong believer that there’s more to life than working a boring and mundane 9-5 job that makes us miserable. Surely we were put on this planet to do more than be miserable?
For years I’ve dreamt of starting my own business, but I had no idea what I wanted to do. I have a degree in Graphic Design and I’ve always wanted to do something creative, but I was never sure what.
One thing I noticed during my time in lockdown is that often we have these hopes and dreams but we do nothing to actually make them happen! The number of times I’ve spoken to my partner about wanting to be self-employed, but I’ve never done much to actually make it happen. The main thing I’ve learnt during my time reflecting is that my dreams will never become a reality unless I actually try.
I feel like I’m on track now. I’m working towards something and I have a plan in place that I’m really excited about. I thought I would share with you 5 ways that I’m starting to take control of my life and my happiness. I’m aiming this post towards people who are unhappy with their career, but you could use these tips for other areas of your life as well.
#1 Identifying the problem areas
It’s so important to identify what the issue actually is and then dig a little deeper. For example, for me, I don’t like my job but then I need to consider what it is that I don’t like about my job. Yes, it’s boring and mundane but there’s more to the issue than that. Here are some of the issues I identified:
- I hate wasting about an hour of my day sitting in traffic commuting to and from work
- I don’t enjoy working 10 hour days
- My job is not flexible. I work set days and times. Now don’t get me wrong, I like the fact that I work Mon-Fri but I would prefer to be in charge of my time and pick what days and time I’m going to work.
- The pay isn’t great
When you’ve identified what the issue is, then make sure you break it down further and dig a little deeper as I have above.
#2 Realise that you’re in control
This has been a massive one for me. Once you’ve identified the problems you need to understand that you’re in control of a lot of areas of your life. Obviously we can’t control everything. There are certain things which are totally out of our control, but you need to identify what you can control.
For me, I realised that I want to start my own business and the only way that it will happen is if I work hard for it. I can control my career. It’s up to me to work hard and use my time wisely to make my dreams happen. As I mentioned above, you won’t achieve anything unless you spend time working on it.
#3 Brainstorm and research
For years I’ve wanted to start my own business but I had no idea what I wanted to do… and I can tell you from experience it’s really hard trying to figure it out. I’ve spent about the last 3 years bouncing around with different ideas. I wanted to be a full-time blogger, then I wanted to be a YouTuber, I wanted to make and sell handmade cards, I wanted to design wedding invites and birthday invites. I really have been around the houses with it! One thing I definitely recommend is to think back to your childhood and what you enjoyed doing then. A lot of the time our passions are often connected to things we liked as children. I was a creative kid and the route I’m taking now is a creative one.
I’d also recommend listening to a podcast called Don’t Keep Your Day Job by Cathy Heller. This has hugely helped me! It focuses on finding your passion and purpose in life and will provide you with so many helpful tips and resources.
YouTube is also another great place for research. I discovered a YouTube Channel called EvaKnows and this is what really helped me realise what I could do and it’s helped set me on the right path.
You may also like – 10 journal prompts to help you find your passion and purpose
#4 Envision your dream life
This is a really fun one! Once you’ve had a good think about how you want to change your life then take the time to envision your dream life. Create a mood board or write down in a notebook how you want your life to be. Where will you be working? What will you be doing? What hours will you work? Will your job have flexible hours? How much money will you be earning? What will your lifestyle be like?
Trust me, once you start to envision how your life could be in a years time it really helps to give you the motivation to work hard and keep going. I’m currently trying to start a business at the same time as working my full-time job to pay the bills. It’s hard work and tiring, but having an end goal in sight is really helping to keep me working hard.
#5 Invest in yourself
I had no issues with dropping £9,000 on going to University. Yet when it came to the possibility of starting my own business I had this real mental block about investing money. I guess a lot of it is through fear of failure, but I will never know unless I try. Now I’m not saying go out and spend thousands of pounds on things because the reality is that most people can’t afford that. However, it is important that you do lot’s of research and identify what could help you on your journey.
The route I’ve decided to take is to create an art printable shop, after doing a lot of research I invested in a course which is all about creating an art printable shop on Etsy. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I have learnt from this course already! Yes, I probably could have spent tonnes of time researching and finding all of the information myself for free. However, sometimes it makes a lot more sense to invest in something that will guide you.
Investing in yourself isn’t just about money though! What about all the time and effort that you need to put into it? I’m having to sacrifice other areas of my life at the moment to give myself the time that I need to work on my business. It’s so important to prioritise what is important in your life and invest your time wisely in these areas.
My last little piece of advice is to enjoy the process. There’s no point in trying to make changes in your life that are just going to stress you out. I’m motivated and passionate about what I’ve chosen to do. Most importantly I’m having so much fun working my way through the course and creating my printables.
Who knows, maybe the whole thing will fail. But at least I can look back and say that I tried!