Wednesday, April 24, 2019

The Truth about Being a Multi-hyphenate -- My Entrepreneurial Journey: Reflections & Q&A

"There's nothing wrong with taking a different route..."

This was the thought I mulled over constantly for several months prior to leaving my job. Studying psychology had been my dream. I wasn't done. Yes, I was a high school counselor. But, there was so much more space on the career ladder. Yet, I felt such a strong and compelling tug to pivot. This feeling coupled with the toxic environment that was my workplace contributed in my decision to take the final leap on April 16, 2018.

Last week, April 16, 2019, I quietly celebrated the one year anniversary of leaving my job, making a career pivot, and diving full force into what I considered a hobby for the past 5 and half years. Now, let's rewind and I'll briefly get into this "hobby" of mine.

The back-story

In 2013, my brand Beneath Your Beauty was born. This was an outlet I created for connecting with women, and helping them build self-esteem, courage, and develop their personal style. Soon after my first Beneath Your Beauty event, I was asked to take on clients for brand management. I wasn't sure what exactly this entailed, but I was willing to (and did) learn on the way. Fast forward to 2014 when I moved to London to earn my masters in Psychology. I was frustrated by the lack of opportunities my program provided for graduate students. So, I took matters into my own hands and sought out opportunities. I knew I loved helping naturally, my search included organizations that catered to this demographic. Not long after I began my search, I got my first gig in marketing as a Communications Manager (really, I was a glorified social media intern), for a lifestyle brand based in Milan, Italy. During my interview, I showed them the content I created for Beneath Your Beauty. They loved it and hired me on the spot. Excitedly, I jumped at the offer, not understanding this whole digital marketing thing (it was still very new back then), and desperately wanting money to pay the rent for my flat in London.

The pivot

After earning my masters in Psychology, I graduated, and moved back home to Los Angeles. Soon after, I started working as a high school counselor. I was so much closer to my dream of being a psychologist and providing therapy for teens and their families.

Concurrently, I ran annual Beneath Your Beauty events, created content for our blog; consistently took photos and wrote content for my personal brand (thank you for reading and keeping up with me!)....I did all this while working as a counselor full time, juggling a part time job as an ABA Therapist, and managing a small handful of clients for digital marketing (I was no longer working with the brand in Milan, but established clients of my own as a freelancer). As I type this, I realize that I did...the most. I started to get the feeling that I had to...choose. I'll admit that it did feel strange writing "Counselor by day, Marketing Strategist by Night" on my Instagram bio. So, I chose.

The chance

Just before I handed in my notice at work, I did my due diligence of applying to other jobs for the same role, as well as roles in fashion marketing. But, everything in me was nudging me towards taking a chance on myself. I wanted to find out if I could actually make it. So, I chose. I chose to step out fully and zero in on this hobby I just couldn't let go of despite my 14 hour work days and fully booked Saturdays. I never intentionally planned to be an entrepreneur or accepting that there was nothing wrong with taking a different route, I believe I willingly fell into it...



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