Two Years In… Real Talk on Quitting Your Desk Job and Starting a Business

Warning: this post is a little sappy. 

On this day, two years ago, I quit my job.

While it was something I’d thought about for a LONG time, it wasn’t something I was ever really prepared to do. Honestly, even Drew didn’t know I planned to do it when I did. He was surprised and, totally understandably, a little pissed. I had quit a pretty cush job where, at the time, I had a lot of flexibility, a very stable paycheck (key when you’re trying to afford three small humans) and not a ton of pressure. But it was time.

I was bored, uninspired, unhappy and felt stagnant. It was as if I’d been swimming in place and I’d be stuck in that aquarium for years if I didn’t do something about it. All that being said, I don’t think I would have ever reached the point of jumping into the unknown if I didn’t have someone next to me jumping too. Lynsey, my now-business partner, then-colleague, and I knew we needed to get out. We’d thought about it, talked about it ad nauseum, brainstormed and planned. It was time to go.

Leaving a place I’d helped grow was tough. Leaving a boss I’d worked with for most of my adult life was even tougher. Letting go of the security of a steady income was the toughest. But two years in, I’ve never been happier in my career. I’ve never been more fulfilled and I’ve never been more excited about the future.

We started Lemonade PR on a whim. We figured that if, in a year, it didn’t work, we could find new jobs. Go back to the grind. Thankfully, two years in and neither of us is job hunting.

I don’t write this to brag. Or to toot my own horn. I’m writing this in hopes that inspires someone else to take the leap. To jump into that unknown. There is never going to be a perfect time. The stars will probably never line up into some picture perfect alignment where you have all your shit together and are totally ready. Lord knows I didn’t when we started and I still don’t now.

I’ve made countless mistakes on trying to do it all between work and home. I’ve disappointed people (including myself), worked long hours, worked in unglamourous situations (last summer we basically worked out of a closet in our building while waiting for our current space), worked on vacations, weekends and every waking moment in between. But it’s been fun.

Instagram vs. Reality
Of starting your own business 

Talbots Lemon Tee | Gingham Skirt 
Gimme all the Lemons

Beyond having a good time, it’s been a rewarding and huge learning experience (legit everything is a learning experience). I’ve figured out what I am good at doing and more importantly, what I am TERRIBLE at doing. Once I figured out the latter, I made sure to delegate those things to much more capable people.

I’m also hoping to take a little of the instagram-shine off of the whole “being your own boss” thing. It’s certainly not all late-morning lattes, flexible schedules and fancy desk setups. Not a lot of people, myself included, are throwing up pictures of the shitty side of things. And there are plenty of those moments. The moments you want to throw your computer and phone out the window, the moments you want to pack it up and hide from your emails for a day, the moments you’re not sure you’re going to be able to make it all work. I’ve had my fair share of each. I still get an anxiety stomach whenever I get a piece of mail from the IRS, even if it’s just them confirming an address change.

What it all comes down to though, is I have a job now that I’m proud of and that I’m proud to build with someone else. Lynsey and I have created something that I’m excited to tell my kids about now, when they don’t really understand it (they think we sell a delicious, sweet drink); and later, when hopefully they’ll know more about what goes into a business.

I’m also proud to be a woman-owned business at a time when more women have more opportunities than ever but are also increasingly more pressure. As well as a time when it’s important for women to continue sharing their viewpoints, voices  and rights, less our states and country take them away.

I won’t end this on a political note though, rather one of thankfulness and gratitude (even though I legit loathe that word now thanks to people on the interwebs using it so much, feels so fake lately) for everyone who supported this endeavor in the last two years, even if you didn’t know you were. Every kind comment, like, thumbs-up emoji, referral and share, or just continuing to swing by here on the blog has helped get to this point. So thank you.

Now go start something fabulous and then come back and tell me all about it.

3 Comments

  1. Reply

    Erica Albrecht

    May 31, 2019

    Great post!
    I also took a jump in my career a few years ago and it’s been a wild but also rewarding ride.
    Cheers to all of the women around us inspiring us to chase our dreams!

  2. Reply

    Lauren Whitsell

    June 1, 2019

    “I still get an anxiety stomach whenever I get a piece of mail from the IRS, even if it’s just them confirming an address change.” — I am so glad it is not me. One of the worst parts of the owning a business is all of the busywork and paperwork and risk that has nothing to do with the actual business!

    Good for you! Keep growing!

    • Reply

      Danielle

      June 3, 2019

      I’m glad it’s not just ME!

      All the paperwork is some of the more nerve wracking. Thank you so much for the note and BTW – You are killing it and I am super inspired by what you’re doing with Frenchies!

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