When you take the leap into turning your side hustle into a full-fledged start-up, an interesting phenomenon will almost always occur:
The unsolicited horror stories about people who have left full-time jobs for freelance work and failed.
The disapproving commentary packaged neatly under the guise of concern for your financial future.
The curious questions about how you plan on feeding yourself, paying rent, and having health insurance while you embark on your passion project.
Repeating back the same tired canned response can be draining, and quite honestly, a little bit disheartening. Here are some tried-and-true tactics to keep your mellow unharshed and the seeds of self-doubt away from your latest venture.
Humans can, and will, project their own insecurities on your current situation.
Even the most well-meaning people will make assumptions about your earning potential and the viability of your business through their own personal lens of perceived failures and financial anxiety. When I put it on blast that I was leaving my full-time office job to embark on Creative Enabler adventures, I heard my fair share of wildly inappropriate commentary and had to stay focused on the fact that at the end of the day, I am responsible for my financial future and the enjoyment of my success.
“I am not scared of any of this… But you’re scared. Oh, my god. You’re scared. Don’t worry about me. I am going to get to do everything you want for me. I going to be fine, Olive. I really am.” – Peggy Olson, Mad Men “My Old Kentucky Home” S3E3
Wear your bravery like a Girl Scout Badge o’ Honor.
Not everyone has the guts to up and leave what they perceive to be career stability to pursue the unknown. Creative entrepreneurs share a common thread of courage and tenacity that allows them to push forward and keep creating despite uncertainty or surprise setbacks. Many people are content to stay in jobs that stress them out, relationships that are not ideal, and haircuts that don’t work. You are not one of those people.
People will be ridiculous. Let ’em.
A recent exchange inspired this #JustTheTipTuesday for the week. I ran into a former colleague , and was greeted with, “You quit your job because it was killing you.”
My response was quick and less profane than what I wanted wanted to say: “I left my job because my passion for helping creative professionals was reinvigorated, and it’s going great.”
It’s not your job to defend your entrepreneurial mission to other humans or to change their minds about the circumstances under which you decided to make the leap. Your job is to nurture your passion in a meaningful way and to share that incredible creative energy that you bring to your work with the world.
Stay focused and committed to your vision.
You will have more than enough challenges on your creative path to overcome. The negativity of other human creatures should not be one of them. Maintain your perspective and adhere firmly to your passion and mission. Investing good and reassuring energy into yourself and your work is infinitely more beneficial for your health, wealth, and well-being in the long run.
Remember, the best way to shut up naysayers is to be wildly successful and steadfast in your mission. And you will be. Because you are those people.