Over the last decade, I feel like I’ve been constantly searching and seeking. Not really for a place to fit in or friends – that’s actually been fairly easy. No, I’ve been job hunting for essentially 10 years. Or, if I’m not on the hunt, I’m hustling hard for my small business as an education consultant.
Frankly, I’m tired of the hunt and hustle routine. It’s flat out exhausting. And I’m ready to step back for a minute.
Why I’m Dropping Out of the Hustle
See, I started this military life as a new college graduate. I’d spent the previous 22 years of life planning my future: go to college, get a degree, find a job, get married, have kids and eventually retire. Somewhere along the way, that plan got hijacked. There wasn’t a clear shot from college to job.
Now, I don’t want you to think I’m complaining. I love this life, but it’s not what I planned. And adjusting has taken me, well, a decade.
At that first duty station, I jumped into a job that was semi-related, tangentially, kind of, maybe – okay, not at all. It was a nanny job, not a teaching job. But I snagged it up because I needed to do something, anything to fill my need to contribute to the family financially. Yes, even if it didn’t make me happy or added extra stress.
Constantly On The Hunt For Opportunity
Even while I was in the job, I was looking for the next thing, a job or an opportunity. This pattern just kept on repeating with every PCS: jump into a job, feel dissatisfied, keep looking for the next best thing out there – all while prepping to PCS in the back of my mind.
I hopped into jobs without ever giving myself a chance to really settle in or adjust. Instead of taking the time to actually finish the PCS, I was job hunting the second we got orders.
Being constantly on the hunt got really old. So I thought I’d switch things up and go into business for myself.
Different Title, Same Old Hustle
Starting my own business seemed like a great idea. I enrolled in courses, joined Facebook groups and tracked the big names. Everything in an attempt to learn how to do things “right” in the social media age. This was a different kind of business climate than when I had operated my tutoring business years earlier.
I tried, I really tried, to do all the things. Social media channels were up and running. I ran a blog with relevant, click-baity topics relevant to my target audience. Later, I added services and products.
But I was running myself ragged trying to do it all, to fit the mold, to hit the mark. It just wasn’t authentic and it was too much. I was constantly on the run, trying to find the next best way to do things.
At one point, I was on vacation in Bangkok with my kids and husband. Yes, we saw incredible and amazing things. But early mornings and late nights were spent creating social media content or another blog post, answering emails or networking. I was on vacation – except I was still working.
Which was exactly the opposite of my goal when starting by own business. I did this to escape the 24/7 work cycle of teaching.
Changing My Story of Hunt & Hustle
We just got orders again and I caught myself slipping back into my old habits of job hunting and hustling for my business. The stress was building and I started to wonder if running my life, this one shining opportunity for happiness, on someone else’s plans or even ceaselessly was worth it.
Was it valuable to spend my last moments in this location hustling? Did I need the stress of trying to coordinate a job with a house with good schools and a decent commute?
Short answer: No. Running myself ragged, either to fulfill my own business venture or someone else’s organization, is not worth it.
And so I’m done.
I’m done chasing someone else’s dreams, or even my own ventures, at the expense of my sanity and precious time with my family. From here on out, I’m doing what makes me happy, fulfilled and passionate.
So I’m going to write more, for organizations I love and with editors who support me. I’ll be running my business on my schedule, committing only to projects, products and engagement opportunities that I enjoy. And I’ll be continuing to feed my editorial side with content management work that makes me incredibly happy.
All of it will be on my schedule, as a busy mom of two who makes family the number one priority. I love the work I am lucky enough to do: helping writers build their craft, working with families to find success at school and working on my own writing.
And I’m not stopping, but I am going to make balancing work and life more important. It’s pure luck that military life, the same life that disrupted my career plans, grants me this chance to be so incredibly flexible for my family.
No more endless job hunts. There’s finally an end to the non-stop hustle of entrepreneurship. Whatever I do now or next, it’s all going to be on my terms.