As many of you are making plans for a busy, fun-filled or relaxing weekend, I hope what I share in this post will be in the back of your mind–especially when you return to work and your normal routine on Monday.
I will never forget June 29, 2015. It is and was a pivotal day in my life. It was the day I decided to DECLARE MY INDEPENDENCE. I have reached the end of an era and a season with my current career goals.
The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.
And that is the life changing decision I made yesterday. I have decided to “Declare My Independence” from the constrains of traditional employment.
I have always been the type of person that will contemplate, ponder, wonder, think about a decision for a while. But I do not move until God says move. And when He says move, I’m like…
For those of you who are not Christians, it is the same thing as having peace or your intuition telling you to do something.
Becoming “unemployable” has been a goal of mine since my coach Montina Portis re-defined this phrase. It simply means that you earn enough money through multiple streams of income that you no longer require employment outside of the revenue you generate. But yesterday there was a change–a shift. And I had to respond and make a declaration.
It started with an email I received from my supervisor. I really, really, really like my supervisors–for the first time in a long time. But this email rubbed me the wrong way. He was right, but I was still offended. And in that moment, I wondered what I was feeling. Shortly after, I went to a meeting with more supervisors and people from the community. And I didn’t say one word. Not. One. Word.
Why? Because I would have screamed, “This doesn’t make any sense!” And so I became even more irritated that I felt stifled and stymied. Like the walls were closing in around me. And again I said, “Lord, what’s up?”
I even posted about it online because I was so out of sorts. I didn’t know if I was having a meltdown, anxiety or what–but that “fight or flight” instinct was strong–especially the flight. I prayed for peace and kept it moving.
And then I went to a student event. And if you follow me any, you know how I love my babies. But even that was different. I was fully present–but distant at the same time. And that’s when I said, “Lord, we need to talk.” And as clear as a bell, He said, “It’s time.” And my response was, “Ok. Let’s do it.”
And when I say PEACE flooded my entire being!!!!! I have only had this experience 2 other times in my life.
When I decided to return to college: I decided to return to school in January during the Christmas break. My parents had been trying to convince me to return to school for YEARS and I was lackluster. School was almost shut down for the holidays, but I told the Admissions folk I needed to be in Orientation on January 3. I was.
When I left my former church: The Lord spoke to me during service and told me that was my last Sunday there. I had been toying with that decision for months. I praised, cried, danced and worshipped for all He used that body of Christ to do in my life–and never returned.
People always say that you will know. And I can honestly say that you will. Even if you do not believe in God, when you’re really self aware and in tune with yourself–you will know. So when I heard God’s voice on June 29, 2015–I knew.
Two ways you will know whether any decision is right for you at a particular time:
Having peace means that even if you do not know what the next step is, you are content. And as soon as I said, “Ok, let’s do it” all of the frustration, irritation and angst dissipated.
As soon as I told myself (and God) yes, confirmations came from several different sources. The reason it seems like you hear similar messages from multiple sources is because your heart and conscience may be a little ill-at-ease with such a major or life altering decision. Fear kicks in (false evidence appear real) and you need something to combat that. So seemingly out of the blue, you will hear something, see something or read something that confirms you are indeed on the right track. This quote from Paulo Coelho (and originally Ralph Waldo Emerson) helps explain it this way:
When you want something, all of the universe conspires to help you get it.
My confirmation came from three totally unrelated sources!
Nene Leakes announcing she wasn’t returning to Real Housewives of Atlanta for the 8th season. I know you’re like, “huh?” But that’s guaranteed, GOOD money for NeNe. But she is literally taking steps of faith into the unknown and expanding herself as an artist and as a brand. It takes courage and faith to step from the comfortable and the familiar into the unknown.
An amazing, late night Periscope message from Pastor Tim Findley, Jr. (@timfindleyjr). The Lord literally wouldn’t let him nor I fall asleep until he told me (and the other people on the broadcast I presume as well LOL) to not be afraid and to walk in that particular calling God has for me. I am glad I was laying down while I was watching Pastor Findley on Periscope because I would have fallen slam out!
UPDATE: Since I originally wrote this post something else happened! I GREATLY admire the Chancellor of the University I work for. I don’t agree with all of his decisions, but I respect the thoughtfulness he appears to give in making them. I’ve always quipped that if the Chancellor or my uber favorite Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs (who is also my Soror) left, it was my cue to exit. Welp, wouldn’t you know it. This morning an email comes out that my beloved Chancellor is stepping down in Summer, 2016.
Almost sounds like the beginning of a joke huh…a blogger, a reality TV star, a Chancellor and a Pastor go into a restaurant…LOL
But when I tell you that confirmation WILL come–it will. You just have to be open (in heart, mind and spirit) for the universe conspiring to make your dreams happen.
Just like the early days of the United States of America–wishing (and even declaring) “don’t make it so.” I know I have to have a plan and make sacrifices in order to be able to thrive and survive independently.
Leaving your current employment situation may not be your ultimate goal–but living your purpose should be. Here are some tips on how you can declare your personal independence day so you can fulfill your purpose!
Determine your why: My why is pretty simple–I want to be able to have the time and flexibility to be there for family. I have a godson I want to watch grow up. I want my own family. I want to have the ability and flexibility to take the best possible care of my parents as they age.
Determine the end results: One of the best and most visual ways to do that is with a vision board. I wrote a post about how to turn your vision board into an action board. You can also use a technique called scripting. Scripting is essentially writing a short story about what your ideal day, situation, job, event, etc. would look like. Be as detailed as you can and describe all sorts of elements such as looks, people, smells, decor, conversation, etc. I did this several years ago. I actually read it right before I started this post. Although it’s a bit different from I think I would want now–the entrepreneurial component is still the same. Be sure to add your “why” to the pictorial or storyline representation of the end results.
Determine what it takes to survive in order to obtain the end results: A lot of us would love to be Beyonce and Jay Z wealthy. And don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t mind it either. But the cost of my initial independence is simply the amount of my monthly expenses. Sure, I would love to make 6 figures before I leave full-time employment, but what if it takes years or decades to get there? For me, the prospect of having my time to myself and to literally create my own schedule–with no one’s permission or approval–is the ultimate goal. With my time being fully my own, I can create more opportunities that can and will create more wealth.
Determine what sacrifices you need to make in order to achieve the end results: You are totally kidding yourself if you believe that your purpose-filled goals will not require sacrifice. For me, the greatest sacrifice will be my time. Even as I am sitting here writing this, there is an event I should attend. But sharing my heart with you was way more important! I will also need to make financial sacrifices. But I would rather make those sacrifices now so I can enjoy myself in a very short amount of time. And at this point, I have only myself to be responsible for–therefore I am able to make the necessary sacrifice without guilt.
Determine the type of community you need to help you obtain the end results: My community consists of three types of warriors:
Prayer Warriors: TOP priority for me. My crew is fasting with me one day a week. I love them for it!
Process Warriors: These are the people in my life that help me think through things and put plans in motion. They range from attorneys to graphic designers.
Purpose Warriors: My cheerleaders. My support. My tribe. They help me move forward because they are part of my why.
Determine your schedule: Goes along with determining the sacrifices. You will have to minimize distractions and maximize opportunities. If this means working away from home, or using your lunch hour, or staying home on the weekends–you may have to do those things. But just think of what the end results can be! The accomplishment of your purpose!
Determine the conversations: Determine who you need to talk to so they are aware of what may be taking place in terms of your focus, your availability and your schedule. If you’re like me, you have likely spent a good deal of your time, energy and effort helping others accomplish their goals and dreams. I give you permission to now do it for yourself! You do not have to give all of the specifics–in fact it’s probably better you don’t. But if you have to ask your partner to cook one more day a week or pick up the kids, then by all means please do so. If you have to actually use your vacation or PTO time to do some work–take it!!!! If you don’t have a vacation planned, what better use of it than to create something that could give you the ability to vacation whenever and wherever you choose! I truly believe the ends will justify the means!
Determine your Independence Day: No use declaring it if you don’t set a date for it. I’ve set a date for mine (it will be a surprise). Create a page and use a countdown clock if you have to. Make a graphic with the date and use it as the wall paper on your phone.
I have made the major life changing decision that in order to get where I want to in life, I can’t stay where I am. What dream or goal do you have hidden in your heart that you want to accomplish? Will you make the choice today to not stay where you are–but pursue it? Declare your independence from fear of all that you can be–instead find freedom in it.