If you've been around these parts lately, you'll notice that on my blog, I talk a ton about building a business and a community, but not a ton about myself.
Which is a dang shame, because I want to talk more about personal stories on this blog than just straight business advice.
Because COMMUNITY BUILDING! That's my whole thing!
I posted yesterday on Instagram about how, less than a year ago, I was in a big shit-storm. I was making fear-based decisions instead of decisions that I knew would help me grow to a level that I wanted, and I was miserable.
You know how sometimes you look for happiness in other people? You try to tell your significant other that they're not doing enough FOR YOU and your clients are doing anything FOR YOU and your friends aren't inviting YOU places?
Yea, that was me. A big old mess.
And then I made a really hard, but really good decision.
I decided to commit.
What did committing look like?
About a year ago, I was ready to leave Montana. I wanted so badly to move back to the east coast because I felt like nothing "mattered" here. I thought I wasn't good enough unless I was living in New York City. I felt like my work didn't matter because I was only doing it in Montana. I would never make anything out of myself from a cow town.
So I ached to leave. I convinced my then-boyfriend to move with me, and we settled on...North Carolina (why? I don't know. Seriously, we were blindly looking at maps and thought Charlotte was a good idea).
Do you know why I wanted to leave so badly?
Because I was afraid of what it would have meant if I stayed. Staying meant digging deeply within myself to commit to an event planning business which, by the way, I had no idea what it would look like. It meant that I couldn't run into the safety of a corporate job because, well, there ain't no corporate jobs in Montana.
Staying meant that I had to do my own work, to find my own happiness. Running away, changing careers, changing jobs, finding new towns...to me? That seemed way easier! Everything is fun and new and fresh! You can make up a new story about yourself, flirt with new men at new restaurants, meet new vendors in new locations.
How did I commit?
I broke up with the boyfriend that wasn't serving me anymore. I started telling people I was an event planner instead of a copywriter. I reached out to new vendors to ask for coffee dates.
And all these weird things started happening. As soon as I made the decision to move out of our house, I had someone call me to tell me that they wanted to break their lease on a gorgeous, turn-of-the-century one-bedroom apartment on the second floor of a downtown apartment building, and would I take it off their hands?
Apartment of my dreams, at a price I couldn't afford (but can now!) in the exact place I wanted?
And then, people started asking me to help them plan events. And people started asking me out to drinks. And people started wanting to be around me. Coffee dates turned into partnerships turned into friendships.
It was as if I had been holding onto something so horrible that I didn't want everyone to know about. But when I let them know, I set it free and all the amazing things came flooding in.
What happened when I committed?
Well, the first thing was that every single person I knew rallied around me. Friends came out of the woodwork to move me at 6am in the morning on a busy weekend. I had more meals cooked for me, movies watched next to me, and glasses of wine fed to me than I ever had in my life.
It was surreal. I had no idea that I could be loved so much, and it changed my life.
July, August, and September of 2014 were the three hardest months that I can remember in a long time.But when I came out of it in October, I knew that I needed to create that same feeling for women business owners.
I wouldn't have gotten through my "dip" (if you don't know what a 'Dip' is, read this) without this community. And I would have quit. I was this close *insert wee fingers* to quitting and because I realized that there were people who would rally around me and support me, I realized that quitting would have been taking the easy way out.
This is why I believe so much in the power of a local community. I know, I run an online business so, what the hell am I talking about?
But without my mentors, my friends, my accountability partners, I would have given up. And I wouldn't have gotten to write this sweet blog post, appreciating everything that happened so that I could get here.
Have you ever almost quit? What happened and how did you change direction?