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10 Lessons I've Learned Since Leaving the Corporate World

Updated: Jun 20, 2019

And the messages I want to share with all of you.

At the end of last year, I made the awkward decision to leave the world that had given so much to me, to pursue something that wasn't well defined, yet oddly was clearly the right path for me to take.

After 6 months in my new life as an entrepreneur, I've learned so much. That was actually one of the main reasons I left - to continue to learn on an exponential level.

The things that have surprised me most are the things I didn't know I didn't know - things that are so much less tangible than learning how to write blogs or host a podcast.

I want to share those intangible lessons with you, in hopes that you'll start to think more about these things that you also may not know you don't know.

10. You can toggle between being an extrovert and an introvert.

I am a self-proclaimed extrovert. I can literally feel the beams of energy that I get when I interact with people.

So it's been really surprising to me how much I love - even yearn - for my own time to create, write, have white-space. I thought this would be my biggest challenge, yet I've found I was missing this so much in my previous life.

If you haven't had time to get quiet with yourself, you MUST. Whether that's taking a day off from work just for yourself, blocking your calendar at work for a few hours, or taking a full-on break from the working world for a few months - it's absolutely critical to your mind, body, and soul.

9. Anxiety can be a hidden disease.

I've never thought of myself as an "anxious" person. When others would describe their challenges with anxiety, I would think, I'm so lucky I don't have that problem.

It wasn't until I left my corporate job - the one that had me running to 6-12 meetings a day, commuting most days, traveling...always on - that I realized I'd lived with anxiety for many years.

It had simply become part of my normal. I thought it was normal to always have a flutter in your stomach, worried that you were late for something, not working hard enough, or doing three things at once.

It's important to do all you can to remove anything that feels like anxiety from your life

As I work in my new "normal," I now realize that the most precious gift I've given myself is removal (mostly) of that flutter. I now work hard, but when I'm not working, I feel zero guilt, zero anxiety. I don't know quite how to describe it other than I now have this entirely new internal aura.

Pay close attention to how you feel as you go about your day. Don't let others over-run your schedule, your priorities, or your life. It is possible to make an impact in your job without being a nonstop buzzing bee. Remove guilt wherever possible. Take deep breaths often.

8. People assume that when a woman exits her corporate job, she is doing it to be with her children.

This has been interesting yet not totally unexpected. It's just another bias that I am learning we all need to be aware of and fight through.

Yes, spending more time with my children was one of the reasons I left Corporate America. But it was one of many. I wanted more "breathing room" with my kids, but I didn't want all the time in the world with them.

Sound harsh? It's just the God's honest truth. I love them to high heaven, but I am also fueled by working and having my own time and space.

Moms - it's ok to make a change and not declare it's for the children. It's ok to have huge goals and dreams that require you to still send your kids to daycare or have a nanny.

Others - don't assume a break means a woman is going home to lead the PTO and knit sweaters. Ask them thoughtful questions about their dreams, what they're seeking, what impact they're looking to make. Assume nothing.

7. It's important to understand why you eat and/or exercise.

Random. I know. I didn't leave my job to lose weight. But this has been a wonderful unintended consequence. Yes, some of it I contribute to the fact that I can now run at 6 am instead of 5 am.

I had an epiphany one day. I was working on a million things, and it was about 3:00 and I realized I hadn't eaten since early that morning. (I NEVER miss a meal). And then, I realized that I was ok. I was happy.

I realized that I eat as a reward.

So often it was not even noon in my old days, and I was [supposedly] starving. I then ate a lunch typically followed by eating a handful of York Peppermint Patties (sometimes gasping at the unexpected number of wrappers in my garbage).

It's important to understand what barriers you have to improving your health.

I rarely do this anymore. Why? Because working is now not a chore. I don't have to offset that with food as a reward. I eat less, I workout more and voila, I've lost a bunch of weight.

Be sure to get really quiet with yourself and understand why you eat. Or why you don't workout.

What are your motivators and your barriers? What can you change in your life to turn those around?

6. Investment in learning is one of the things that set people apart from the pack. And it's easier to do than you might think.

When I started b Authentic inc, I assumed that my biggest costs would be a) lawyers (true), and b) software.

What I didn't realize is that there are so many incredible investment opportunities to increase your knowledge. Whether it's through podcasts, online courses, or coaches - you can significantly fast-forward yourself by leveraging the abundance of programs and information out there.

So that may sound like duh, but there's more.

What I've also learned is that by investing in even the few online courses I've taken, the knowledge is great, but the network is magic. I've been able to meet, interact, and share with a whole new community, without even leaving my home.

Invest in yourself. Sometimes that should be in ways that others may not be doing. Don't just wait for your company to give you the training you need. It's rarely going to set you apart or take you places you never imagined. Be the person that takes risks - invest in something new and watch it propel you forward.

5. Your children learn more by observing you than what you're doing for them.

So often, especially us mom-types, we feel so guilty about the amount of time we spend - or don't spend - with our children.

We forget that our primary role isn't to do for them. It's to inspire them. And often, the inspiration doesn't come immediately. It may not even come for several years.