The first career I ever wanted was a children’s book author. I declared my intentions in scrawly letters to my fifth-grade teacher. I wrote that I wanted to be “awesome” like R.L. Stine or Judy Blume, so I could make a lot of money and travel the world like Carmen Sandiego. I still have that letter sitting in a box at my parents’ house.
Soon, authoring books gave way to caring for animals. The typical phase of wanting to become a veterinarian hit me hard in middle school. After I accidentally stepped on my cat’s tail, I “nursed” him back to health by making a cast for him out of masking tape. He was not pleased.
I spent my high school years wanting to be a dermatologist. Why? I wanted to find the cure for my pimples. Yes, really. Wait, it get worse. And for some reason, I thought dermatology required the least amount of math out of all the medical disciplines. This dream did not make it past high school graduation.
When I made it to college, I felt so at home in the liberal arts academic environment. This. This is where I want to be. I graduated with one degree, went back for another, and never really left the academic environment. Though I’m going on my second semester of not teaching, I still circle the fringes of it, continuing to work on campus in a different capacity.
While I love what I do, I felt there was something more for me. I don’t want to become complacent and as someone used to a full schedule of classes and extracurriculars, I was itching for a challenge. And of course, I probably picked the biggest one there is.
I’m starting my own side business.
Not a traditional brick-and-mortar store, but something that combines online entrepreneurship and my interests and talents. I’m currently finessing a business and marketing plan, and working on building a website. I’ve been doing a lot of behind-the-scenes work on nights and weekends, and it’s about time I make it known to the world that I’m doing this.
Because dreams don’t become real without accountability, right?
So this is me becoming accountable. I’m telling people what I’m doing. I’m setting deadlines. I’m working my ass off to make this a reality. It’s so freeing/scary as hell to admit your dreams out loud. It’s like I’ve suddenly switched on the lights in my dark home office where I work for hours on my business by just the glow of my laptop screen, and not only that, I’m inviting the whole wide world over to my place to see my progress (or gulp, my failures).
Okay, deep breath. I’m plunging in. I’m really doing this.
The emotions I’m feeling remind me of when I first started teaching. I felt this weird mix of excitement and anxiety, a concoction that made me feel both perplexed and inspired by my own enthusiasm. It’s something new. It’s something I’m not ready for, but I’m going to try so. freakin’. hard. to make work. I’ve made crazy situations (Me? Teach college kids? What?!) work before. I can do anything after teaching college kids.
One final note– I ask you, dear readers, are you curious on hearing about my process of building my side biz? I would be more than happy to share my thoughts with you on going from academia to the business world. Let me know what specifically want me to write about, and I’ll try to touch on it. As always, continue the conversation with me on Facebook or Twitter.
In the meantime, cheers to new adventures!