Here’s a list of 7 things I wish I knew before creating my DREAM JOB. If I had, I think I would’ve run things differently, and maybe the outcome would have been greater, or I would have stayed loving it a lot longer.
The internet is full of blogs and online programs to help you to FIND & FOLLOWING YOUR PASSION to creating your DREAM JOB.
But remember and be aware… that it is still a job.
I had my dream job… & I left it! No, I ran away from it!
I created a job from what I was PASSIONATE about and did it for 20+ years. Most of that time, I loved it. Really loved it! And I made a very nice living doing it!
But things changed as we grew. My dream job was running me and I no longer did the things I loved to do.
Let me explain…
My dream job was as an Interior Designer. Creating and designing spaces for people’s homes and businesses was so much fun, creative and fulfilling. I adore working with my clients and staff to make these creations a reality. The feeling and the synergy that happens when creating something BEAUTIFUL together is absolutely incredible!
… That is when everything is running smoothly. And when it wasn’t… it’s agonizing.
Not having your business function well … because you’re made mistakes you-didn’t-even-know you were making is a frustrating place to find yourself.
Here are seven important things I wish I had known before I created my Dream Job.
Number one: There’s no such thing as work-life balance when you’re running your own business.
There are plenty of days when my personal life suffered to get a project finished. Not only to complete the project but to rest and recuperate once it was done. My personal life was on “hold” most of the time.
And then there were those days when my business suffered because I had to be elsewhere and not man-the-ship.
But mainly I suffered from thinking I was not enough or that I wasn’t doing enough. (Common ailment for most entrepreneurs.)
Learn to be okay when you cannot be in two places at one time is important because… it’s impossible. As long as you can check in and be available for something big, you should feel that you’ve done your best. AND you might want to consider how you can delegate.
Number two: Sometimes when your company grows, you find yourself not doing the things you love just so you can survive.
Moving away from what you initially loved about your dream job is a soul killer. I hear this all the time from people who have their own businesses.
Honestly once I realized this was happening to me I was already in burnout mode. How can anyone have the energy to run a business if they’re no longer do the job they signed on for?
Know that… if you grow your company, your real job (in a big part) will be constantly promoting your business’s brand, and dealing with all other aspects of the business, accounting, billing, payroll and keeping employees & vendors motivated.
If that is exciting for you, then charge on!
If not, don’t be afraid to slow down the growth of your company until you’re ready or have enough money to hire or contract with subcontractor the parts out you don’t like.
Number three: It’s okay to walk away from clients or projects if you feel that they or their business no longer serves you well.
This is a difficult one because of course, we all want to pay our bills and have work.
Remember clients don’t have the right to be abusive. If they don’t respect what you or your employees do, then it really is time for them to go. I found that when I walked away from clients that didn’t respect me or an employee all I was doing it created space for the right customer to walk in.
“To serve you” also means you personally, your health and your wellbeing.
There was a project I turned away, from an excellent client, because I didn’t feel that we had the staff or the manpower to do the project properly without working crazy hours. I ended up getting the respect of the client and my employees by doing that. Years later the customer returned. She knew her project would be given our full attention if we took it and it would not be jeopardized by us trying to take on too much.
Number four: Learn to feel comfortable and run towards things that make you fearful and uncertain.
This is a big one. Since learning to do this, I have become a “better me.” Personally and professionally. Making me more courageous and able to move forward on many of my deepest desires. (I talk about capturing this in Emotions Journaling.)
Being able to embrace those feelings creates that sustainability, needed by an entrepreneur. Enabling you to run a successful business for the long haul.
Number five: Being friends with employees and vendors.
This is a challenge for anyone who enjoys having that level of casual friendliness with everyone. In business, I believe this only confuses the relationship. Actually, I have found it to be most effective if you keep a professional distance and don’t ask people what they want… but tell them what you need for them to do.
The clearer you can be about expectations and goals the easier the relationships become, not only with employee/ employer relationships but with the clients and hired vendors.
It’s so much more appropriate NOT go after making everyone “liking you” but to have everyone respect you.
Number Six: Hiring is as important as firing, and I believe both really let you know what kind of employer you are.
Even before you decide to it, it’s been my experience… that you need to carefully analyze if it is a sustainable position that you’re creating. Doing this will help you and the new employee be clear of their job their responsibilities.
(In the beginning, starting off with subcontractors can in many ways be a better choice. )
Another thing I learned by hiring people & contractors is to be very careful with how you advertise the position. What you say or don’t say is what you will get.
For example, I was in the design industry, and I advertise for subcontracting people who could work their own hours and when they wanted to as long as they made their deadlines. They could have their own schedules/ lives as long as they produce what we agreed upon in our contracts. I ended up attracting a lot of people who had no clue how to manage their time, who focused too much on the part of “do-what-they-want, when-they-want” in the advert. This put me in the position of being a time manager or a parent renegotiating deadlines and constantly creating new incentives for them to comply with their contracts.
Not to say I didn’t eventually find the right people after tweaking my solicitation. But dealing with those bad subcontractors was an energy and money killer.
And finally number seven. People who do the same things are not automatically in competition with you.
Too many times women, in particular, are told that competing with each other is not a good thing. Play nice. Also, we are inclined to feelings of jealousy and fear rather than seeing that other person.. as a comrade (notice I didn’t jump to the word friend.)
I saw everyone as a competitor. That included others in my industry as well as among my employees. It caused me not to hiring some of the best talents in the business. I was fearful that I would lose control of the company I worked so hard to make. This ended up costing me BIG when I was growing my business and trying to find someone to take my place.
All this to say, find your passion and if you want to turn it into your dream job make sure you enter into it with at least thinking a little about how your dream product will reach your lucky consumer. NOW GO ON AND BE AWESOME!
Are there other things or questions about making your Dream Job a reality you would like to ask about or share?
I would love to know.