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The Double Life of the Still Employed Entrepreneur

The challenges and opportunities of having a 9-5 and a business on the side

"Oh my God it's like I'm having an affair!"

It suddenly dawned on me as I was driving into work one day. The corporate career that I had invested so much time, effort, energy and at one time, love, was now feeling like an obligation. A ball and chain that served only to bungee me back, from the new love in my life: my business.

What started as a flirtation, an idea I could only dream of was starting to becoming so much more it was actually now ticking the boxes:

  • I’d retrained and qualified in a completely new field, first as a coach and then a therapist

  • I now had something to offer of significant value that people would buy (and people were actually paying me!!)

  • I was good at it! I was making a difference with the work that I was doing.

AND….

  • I was feeling bloomin’ amazing. Like the me I always was meant to be.

But at the same time I felt duplicitous.

Monday to Thursday I was keeping my ‘new love’ under wraps. Wishing away the hours until Friday came and then I was giddy with joy and excitement again. I was two different people! Irritable, frustrated, and ‘getting through it’ during the week and then come Thursday night woo hoo!

It wasn’t like my job was bad. On the contrary, once I was there I put in the work, possibly even worked harder!

In my heart of hearts though, I knew I was just going through the motions.

When I would tell people what I did for a job and about the company I worked for they would say ‘and you are planning on LEAVING’? Like this was the stupidest idea on the planet. “But they look after you so well, your job sounds amazing, I’d love a job like that, to work for a company like that”. Part of me felt ungrateful.

You see, where I had once been ignited and inspired, I was now lukewarm. The corporate rituals, routines and politics becoming more and more like the irritating habits of someone you’ve fallen out of love with every day. It wasn't Corporate World's fault...it was mine!

As the weeks and months went by I felt this split life and it’s associated discomfort becoming more and more amplified.

On one hand all of the signals that I was on the right path with my entrepreneurial life were becoming stronger, I felt inspired, creative and energised, clients kept coming and the results they were experiencing got better too and the more delighted I felt with myself and my life.

And at the same time...

The more I felt displaced, disconnected and deflated about still having to spend most of my time in Corporate World. It just wasn’t for me anymore.

This ‘double life’ was becoming a pretty uncomfortable place to be! Here’s where I was at:

I couldn’t leave yet, I had no real savings and debts from retraining.

A growing realisation that this situation was neither healthy or sustainable either.

And God knows how my husband was feeling with this slightly schizophrenic character with her highs and lows each week. Being in the same room as him but not really present.

I was compromising my life right now to live an ‘uncompromised life’ in the future.

The irony of this was not lost on me...and all the while my little boy was growing up and the time I vowed I would be spending with him when I had my own business was being eaten up in the journey to get there.

I was doing all of the things to try to move forward but failing to make the traction I wanted and all the while feeling the mounting pressures that being in two worlds, being multiple people were having on me.

As a therapist I knew that my words and thoughts create my reality, and I needed a way to BE in both Worlds and maintain integrity and wholeness in both.

So I challenged myself to think differently, and to apply everything all my experience in change, transformation and strengths coaching on myself to accelerate my business WHILST making the time I had left at work actually count and not compromising my life and relationships in the process.

So what was the answer? The one thing you can control my friends: mindset.

In this 5 part blog series I share the big 'aha's that all still Employed Entrepreneurs need to know, click continue for more.

P.S. Forward this to your talented friend who you know is wasted in their corporate job!

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