Three Reasons I Have (Temporarily) Retired as a Full-Time Entrepreneur

  Niya Allen-Vatel Certified Resume Writer

I became a full-time entrepreneur by accident. After 2 years of side-hustling as a certified résumé writer and career coach, the company I was working for in my day job went bankrupt, and I was laid off January 8, 2016.

At the time, social media influencers and the girl/guy bosses of the world were making everyday 9-to-5ers like me fantasize about living the glamourous life I saw in Instagram posts and stories, so I promised myself at that moment that I wasn’t going back to work for someone else. I decided to double my productivity to ensure I could make that happen. Fast forward 2 years 9 months and counting, and I’ve kept that promise.

I sat at my desk for years wishing I could run my business full time, so I completely understand how daunting it is to think about going out on your own. Behind posts like this one, you’ll find blood, sweat, and tears. You have to pour every part of yourself into running a business, and it’s not for everyone.

I also believe that a culture of work shaming has been prevalent for a long time now, one that says working for someone else is passé, and that you should be ashamed of being an employee, which is ridiculous.

Luckily, I have kept up great relationships with my former colleagues, and every now and then I get inside intel about opportunities at the best companies. I receive text messages that say, “Hey, there’s an open position at my company, do you want me to refer you?”

I’ve always replied, “Thanks, but no thanks.” But this last time, my answer changed to, “Sure, why not?” I interviewed on a Friday and received an offer on Monday, and after some negotiation, I accepted. It was quick. Opportunities can’t tell time.

Over the past two years, I’ve been able to make a great living from my home computer, and I made the transition that many side hustlers long for. To be honest, the thought of going back to work and having someone else controlling my day brought tears to my eyes.

So, what’s changed?

Why would a successful entrepreneur return to work for someone else? Sounds crazy, right? Hopefully, by the end of this you’ll understand my logic.

Reason #1 | I CREATED A SUCCESSFUL JOB, NOT A BUSINESS

Believe it or not, there is a difference.

The bulk of my business is one-on-one consulting in résumé writing and/or brand coaching. I love working with clients on their brands and career goals. But that means when I’m on vacation, sick, or just want down time, Career Global shuts down for the most part. With a job, if you don’t show up, you don’t get paid. With a business, whether you’re there or not, it continues to operate and bring in revenue.

As a one-woman show who relies on automation for sanity, and after 2 years and 9 months of doing it all on my own, I know my model isn’t sustainable, and that it’s time to reconfigure my brand to help more people in less time.

I don’t want to find myself feeling stuck and handcuffed to my computer, unable to maneuver as I’d like, which sounds nuts since I created this company. Still, when you have to meet quarterly revenue goals, it’s not so easy doing it all yourself. By developing the gaps in my business while working full time, I’ll have the security and resources to build a more sustainable model.

Reason #2 | I NEED TO REINVEST IN MY BRAND

Reinvesting takes money, and I do not want to use business revenue to do it. Accelerating a new vision for my brand will take a significant amount of money to hire the right professionals, expand my team, and develop additional services and products. Reinvestment doesn’t mean just money. It’s also important to reinvest time in the parts of your business that have to be ignored while you’re running the day-to-day logistics.

Reason #3 | I NEED A BREAK

Running a 24/7 business alone will give you burnout. When I work with clients, I make sure my cape is on, with a big “S” on my chest, and that I’m ready to go above and beyond to make sure they understand the concepts and methods that will get them to their goals.

It may sound like an oxymoron to go back to full-time employment for a break, but that’s exactly what I’m doing. With the stability and income from a full-time job, I’ll be able to take reduce the number of clients I take on, write more for pleasure, fall back in love with my business, and spend more time with people I’ve missed while being an entrepreneur.

Almost everything I’ve learned about running a business I learned while working for someone else, either in a corporate setting or subcontracting as a freelancer. Before I transitioned to full-time employment, my business was a secret.

This time around, I have the flexibility to continue pursuing my business goals and serving my clients without the fear of being outed. I believe that one of the best parts of returning to full-time employment is knowing I’m there because I want to be, not because I have to. I will be able to increase my impact, and when I return to full-time entrepreneurship, I’ll be bigger and better than ever.