"You want to be a nurse?"
I remember my mom saying this when I told her in high school I wanted to be a nurse. My whole life I had been heavily interested in crafting, reading, activism, story-telling, history, spirituality, philosophy, geography... but I chose to go to school and study nursing.
I wasn't one of those people who knew from the moment they came out of the womb what they wanted to do. All I knew was I wanted a job where I didn't have to sit in a cubicle all day. So at some point in high school, I decided nursing was a great route for me to go. My mom was a nurse so I was familiar with the profession and wanted to help people and make some type of difference in world, and this was the best thing I could think of.
So for the past 7 years I have worked in healthcare, and I assumed that this is what I would do for the rest of my life. Never asked any questions about it. Also being a child of immigrants, I also always had the the mindset that it is very important to "work hard and have security", which is something that nursing always gave me. The only thing that always made me a little sad was I never got to be creative at all.
That brings me to Tarot.
After a break-up with my first love, I started reading tarot. I had a few "spiritual breakdowns", but through it all Tarot and I have always come back to each other. After a push from a fellow reader to start reading publicly and then joining a mentoring program, I started my own tarot business. In the beginning I thought I would just do it to make some money on the side and pay off some loans. But once I started really getting into it, I found that this business started to change me and I started to realize this joy I felt from tarot could actually be my life. So here are some of the things that this business has done to me and that will probably change you:
You get to be yourself- I have had jobs where I get asked to take out my nose ring, cover my tattoos and "do something with that hair". I always despised doing it, not because I can't listen to others or follow rules, but because these things were just part of who I was and I wanted to express that. Owning your own business means you get to be yourself through and through and there is nothing better than that.
You get to do all kinds of stuff- I get to go to places I've never been before and meet so many awesome new people. I get to network and talk to people who have the same interests as me. I get to go to conventions and learn more about things I love and have fun doing it. Having your own business means you get to educate yourself when you want and are interested and not have to take boring classes where you feel like your falling asleep.
You become super organized- I have become obsessed with spreadsheets. OBSESSED. I have records and receipts and starting your own business means you must keep meticulous records. Because of this you will realize you start organizing everything in your life a bit better, which is never a bad thing.
You get so much better at managing your money- Remember with any business, you may not make a profit the first year. So you will get very good at managing a budget. You hate paying taxes, but you understand that the IRS are the original gangsters and ain't no one trying to mess with them. That's spills into the rest of your life: I started a retirement fund, started saving more and started cutting out unnecessary expenses.
I make my own rules- With my nursing job, I have to wake up at 6am. Don't get to work on time, you may get written up. You may not get a lunch break. You can't pee when you need to pee. It's up to my boss what days I get off. Having your own business means you get to wake up when you want, structure your own day and make your own schedule.
I'm not only motivated by a paycheck- At my nursing job, I'm just a body. If I'm not there, they can find any other nurse to do my job. The job can be very robotic at times and I like my patients, but I feel I'm there because I need to just make a paycheck. With my Tarot business, I am passionate about my readings and know that everyday will be a bit different. When I mess up, I get upset. Not because of a lack of confidence, but because running my own business makes me want to be the best that I can be. It makes me want to be a better person and a responsible business owner.
I no longer feel stuck- My only option in my career to advance is to go back to school and get a masters degree. I thought about doing that for a long time. But the longer I was in school, the more getting a masters degree just meant being in more debt and wasting my time studying things I wasn't particularly interested in. With the exception of becoming a manager (something I never wanted either) I had come to the conclusion that unless I took a pay cut, being a floor nurse was all I would ever do and the thought of that was a bit to much for me. Having my own business gives me options. Now I have a plan and hopefully within the 2 years I will be able to be a full-time Tarot Reader and a per-diem (as needed) nurse. Don't listen to the people who tell you "you can never earn a living that way" and do what you have to do to make your dreams come true. Now I know there is more than one way to make a living.
I've realized I'm much more capable than I once believed I was- If you had told me 6 years ago I would be starting my own business, let alone my own TAROT business, I would have looked at you crazy. I just always assumed I wasn't smart enough, organized enough, or responsible enough to handle that. One thing my mentor has said many a time is "Self-employment is a giant headgame". That it really is. Your are only going to be as successful as you allow yourself to be. This new found revelation has lead me to realize I can change a lot of things in my personal life as well as my professional. As a corny as it sounds, once you really start believing in yourself, you can accomplish so many amazing things that you never thought you could.
I stopped blaming my circumstances- I still work full-time as a nurse. I didn't quit my job yet but that's because I know the bills have to get paid. But the step I took was to stop complaining about how "it's not the right time" or "I don't think I can because of blah blah blah" and just jumped in. Let me let you in on a little secret... It's never going to be the right time. Ever. There is always going to be bills to pay and work to be done outside your business. Sometimes you've got to just work extra hard when you want something and you will figure it out along the way. Things will fall into place after that.
I'm truly proud of myself- I have never been more confident in my life. Starting my own business has been one of the hardest thing I've ever had to do, and it's happening and it's working. It's definitely no walk in the park and I am sometimes working 60+ hours a week! But I'm doing it, and that's the important part. You will be so proud to see what you have created once you venture out on your own.
Not everyone was born to be an entreprenuer, but if you find yourself working 40 hours a week at a job that doesn't feed your soul, it's time for a change. And while it definitely isn't easy, self-employment is never something I've heard anyone regret. If you have the idea and you know that this is something you want to do, go for it.