It probably sounds cheesy, but I really believe that I had that defining moment where I decided to completely change direction in my career.
I was working as a graphic designer in a studio I loved, but I always felt like I was missing a sense of satisfaction from my work. Part of me knew that while I loved design, I just didn’t feel like being a graphic designer was what I was meant to do for the rest of my life. Like most people in their mid-twenties, I was looking for something more.
Myself and my mother had discussed the idea of a gift box company for over a year – saying we were going to do it but never really having the opportunity to commit. Both my parents are entrepreneurs, so following in their footsteps and creating something that was my own was always an aspiration of mine.
It was autumn. I was on holiday, finally relaxing after feeling completely burnt out from work. I was reading the book Shoe Dog by Phil Knight – an inspiring memoir by the creator of NIKE, full of wisdom and insight about building a business from nothing, overcoming challenges, and how he made his mark on the world. Near the end of the book, I stumbled across this quote:
“I’d tell men and women in their midtwenties not to settle for a job or a profession or even a career. Seek a calling. Even if you don’t know what that means, seek it. If you’re following your calling, the fatigue will be easier to bear, the disappointments will be fuel, the highs will be like nothing you’ve ever felt.”Phil Knight, Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE
And that was it. Those words just triggered something inside me, and in that moment I made the decision to leave my job and become an entrepreneur.
Making the decision was exhilarating but also terrifying. ‘What if it didn’t work? What if I failed? Was I reckless to leave a good job?’ Yet I couldn’t help but feel excited. ‘What if it did work? What if I succeeded? Leaving my job could be the best decision I ever make!’
I can’t say that forging my own path in the business world has been easy, but it has given me a sense of achievement and passion that I could never have experienced working for someone else. I feel like I have found a calling, rather than just a career. It’s just as Phil Knight said – the fatigue is easier, the disappointments fuel me, and the highs are like nothing I’ve felt before.
There have been days where by inner saboteur has questioned if life would have been easier if I had never quit my job. And to be quite honest, it probably would have been – but where is the fun in that?!