WHY I QUIT MY SIDE HUSTLE
So, it’s been over six years that I’ve been running Couture Diva, my online shop selling women’s clothing and accessories. It kinda sounds weird hearing this out loud, because even though there were countless late nights and early mornings “getting it done” in between ‘momming’ and working a full time job, it still doesn’t feel like it began that long ago!
I loved everything about being a part time entrepreneur. It has been exciting taking an idea from nothing, and watching it blossom into something that I can be proud of all these years later. The beginnings were very humble. In fact, it started with just a $1,000 investment, and an amateur garage photoshoot that still has me rolling on the floor with laughter to this day! Shortly after getting started, I got laid off from a cushy job that was specifically created for me (reader, beware of these), and so I had the time to learn Photoshop. I spent my days painstakingly editing subpar product images and perfecting them for the website. I got familiar with HTML, did most of the backend updates (before I could afford to pay someone to do it), and became the CEO, CFO, buyer, photographer, marketing department, and customer service rep. I was wearing all of these hats! I was also a fashion industry insider. I got the chance to see all the ready-to-wear trends from brands six months before they ended up on store shelves. It was very sexy….until it wasn’t.
Late last year I started experiencing a major burnout. I now know that’s what it was, but back then I’m sure I wasn’t the funnest person to be around. I was seriously unmotivated and I began to question everything I had been doing up until that point. Was it still worth it? During that time, I started receiving invites to trade shows for the upcoming fashion season. I decided I should attend at least one of them and began looking for a deal on an Amtrak ticket to New York. But when I found it, I physically couldn’t purchase the ticket. Something inside me wouldn’t let me. And I decided to go with my gut.
I spent the next few months enjoying my new found free time with my family and taking a couple of vacations, all while marginally keeping an eye on Couture Diva. The thing is, I didn’t miss it! I had lost the fire in my belly, and I really no longer wanted to do this.
At first I had to get over feeling guilty for quitting, and not seeing my dream through to the end. Plus, what would people think of me if I gave up? But that’s when I realized it’s OK to change your mind, and that sometimes you may not want the same things you wanted ten years ago. I now wanted to be more present for my family, and giving up this one thing helps me do that in the way that I need to be. And I’m A-OK with that!
Have you ever felt like you needed to give yourself permission to quit something you started? Let me hear about it in the comments below.