Welcome to Out on Their Own, where brave women share the nitty gritty stories of how they kicked their 9-5 jobs to the curb and began living the One Woman Shop lifestyle. If you want to share your story, email us!
Meet Alisha Byrd. She is the owner of the handmade accessory brand Eclectic Star where she creates one of a kind bohemian inspired bracelets and necklaces. She is also a lifestyle blogger over at TheAlishaNicole.com, a platform she uses to inspire, vent and document her journey as a new entrepreneur. On any given day she can be found playing with her pups, feeding her social media obsession or reading a good book.
So, what prompted you to quit your job? Was it one moment or was it simmering for awhile?
Oh it definitely had been simmering for a while! I always felt like I was supposed to work for myself because I’m a little rebellious and having to listen to authority always got up under my skin. I worked in a center and was literally cursed out by customers on a daily basis. One day a customer took it a little too far and I knew I had had enough. I was already spending any extra time I had on Eclectic Star so after that incident I decided to quit and pursue my business full-time.
What (if anything) did you do to prepare for the transition out of your 9-5?
I didn’t do much as far as planning, I sort of decided one day and put in my two weeks notice the next. Thankfully I had been saving money for a vacation so that extra cushion helped out a lot.
Let’s get real: how did you feel the day you quit? Liberated, scared sh*tless, nauseous?
My last day I had butterflies in my stomach the entire 8 hours (and I did little to no work that day) and when I walked out it felt like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. I seriously wanted to cry because I felt so free. It was AMAZING! It wasn’t until a week or so afterwards when it really hit me and I was like “oh crap, I’m really doing this."
Tell us about the days and months following quitting your job- were you overwhelmed with work? Eating Ramen? Networking your butt off?
The first few weeks I can’t lie, I was definitely in the “honey-moon” stage. I’d wake up when I wanted and took breaks whenever I felt one was needed. But I quickly realized that I NEEDED to be doing a lot more and that’s when it became overwhelming. I had to cut back on a lot of my luxuries in order to put more back into my business which included eating out and going out with friends. I have never cooked so much in my life! I also stocked up on business books. Since I’m my only employee I wanted to know the ins and outs of running a successful business.
How do you feel now? Do you wish you transitioned earlier? Do you wish you didn’t go out on your own at all?
I’m finally at a point now where I can think straight and have become very comfortable with my decision. At first I did have my days where I thought about going back into the working world but I honestly couldn’t be happier with my decision. The only thing I would change is I wish I would have prepared a little more as far as setting up my business, figuring out my target audience and branding. I’ve changed my logo three times in the brief time I’ve been in business and that all could have been prevented if I would have planned it out.
Do you have any advice for others considering going out on their own? Words of warning? Caveats?
The best advice I have ever gotten is to “Do whatever makes you happy” and I try to live by that daily. I would also say that it is NOT an easy process and you will work harder than you have ever worked at your 9 to 5, you will be exhausted, confused and you will probably cry a lot more than normal, but trust me it is truly a rewarding experience. Going into business for yourself is really an all or nothing situation. Also never stop learning, there is so much that goes into starting a business and even more to keep it running.