Updated: Aug 6, 2021
So It's been about 8 months since I quit my job and dived head first into my life's passion- the culinary arts! I will dish the details of how I developed this passion for a different blog. What I will share is that it's been a lot of ups and downs already within this short amount of time. Before I even got to the point of resigning at my job I had a few symbolic dreams confirming my decision but one dream concerned me. I dreamt that I gave birth to a malnourished baby. I know. WEIRD! Because I am a deep thinker, I Google all my dreams, especially ones that alarm me. I wanted to know what it symbolized. My research concluded that the meaning of giving birth, means something new is going to happen or you will begin a new journey. The malnourished child meant that I was starting something new that was premature. So I was sitting there with all the doubts in the world that maybe I shouldn't have quit so soon. Maybe I should have waited? Am I making the wrong decision at the wrong time?? So many thoughts and questions!! Well I already made the decision and I refuse to turn back. Whether that dream is just a dream or symbolic of what is yet to come it doesn't matter because I have GOT to make it happen. I've waited over 10 years to get to this point and I don't want to wait any longer.
Although I would say I have been doing okay for someone who quit their job in the middle of a panoramic to chase their passion, imposter syndrome has creeped up on me more than once. As I navigate these entrepreneurial waters it is challenging to refrain from self doubt every step I take. Earlier this year I had a pretty big emotional breakdown. I sat on the living room floor crying my eyes out for what felt like 2 hours or more. I could blame it on Mercury being in retrograde or PMS right? Both pretty possible at the time. Regardless, I believe my feelings were still very valid considering this huge transition.
Those close to me in my support system truly helped me that day. They encouraged and spoke life into me when I couldn't do it on my own. Lawd knows I needed it! That week was very challenging. It was an uncomfortable moment and low key embarrassing. However, I really needed that emotional release. It was a build up of a multitude of things and I let myself just FEEL. I let myself stay in that moment for the time I needed. Looking back I see that it was necessary. Imposter syndrome is real.
Since that breakdown I have been trying to remind myself of all the things I have accomplished and why I am 100% that chic! Practicing gratitude, reciting affirmations, talking with people who understand, exercising/eating healthy, and listening to inspirational podcasts have been my saving grace on this journey. I am definitely a work in progress. Speaking of grace, that word has been my word for this year. I constantly give myself grace any time I am having an emotionally challenging moment. So good so far.
I shared all that to say that this entrepreneur life is NOT a piece of cake (pun intended). On social media it looks so happy and inspirational but that's only the polished version. It involves plenty of doubting, discouragement, tears, depressive episodes, disappointments, financial issues, spiritual challenges, hard lessons, bad business decisions, anxiety etc. However, when you are doing something that you are passionate about all those challenges turn into triumph because they produce growth. It would be nice not having to endure all that but as human beings we seem to learn the most and grow from our most trying times. While this year has been turbulent to say the least it has given me some clarity on the path I want to pursue for my life. For that I am eternally grateful. Before closing out this post I want to leave you with some nuggets I've learned, thus far, in my chefpreneur journey.
What I have learned since becoming a chefpreneur.
Comparison is the thief of happiness: you will never appreciate your own growth and worth if you keep peeping over at what everyone else is doing. If you are watching other people's work and journey use it as a source of inspiration and not envy. Actually reach out to them and ask how, when, where, why, etc!
Collaboration is essential: I cannot stress networking and engaging in conversation with others doing similar work ENOUGH! You will learn from them and vice versa. We were not meant to take this journey alone so do not overwhelm yourself thinking that you have to do this alone. You will be surprised by the amount of people who are also in your position that are open to work with you. In exchange, it will create visibility for you and them.
Create and/or lean on your support system: Mine has helped me a great deal! This journey would be extremely hard without their emotional and sometimes financial support. The entrepreneur life can be quite emotionally draining. Having an encouraging group of people rooting for you makes a huge impact on your longevity and mental health.
Surround yourself with like minded individuals: as the saying goes, "You are the company you keep". This is also in correlation with networking. Cultivate a group of people who are on a similar path as you or share the same interests. I even encourage you to create genuine relationships with people you admire whether they are on your level or at a level you aspire to be. Its encouraging and motivating to be in good company.
Take breaks: burn out is a real thing and you don't want to end the journey before it even starts. Learn how to chill out and I mean truly chill out. Use a day or two out of the week to enjoy doing the things that bring you joy. Sometimes you may need an even longer break. Binge a new tv show, watch a movie, go for a walk, catch up with your friends/family, meditate, pray, journal, take a bubble bath, cook a decadent meal or take out. Do whatever you need to recharge because you deserve it.
SHARE YOUR STORY: People, including myself, like to see themselves in other people's work. We like to read things that resonate with us. It is so refreshing to read someone's story and you can nod your head in agreement like, "omg yes! I feel that!". People want something or someone to connect with. This is why I am sharing mine because learning about others who I admire has encouraged me enough to want to do the same. Plus I truly enjoy the genuine human connection I receive from being vulnerable and transparent. It has been very emotionally rewarding.
Transparency is KEY: I cannot stress this enough. My entire blog has been about these two words. I need not say anymore. You get the point.
If you have made it this far, I truly appreciate you. This is a piece of my heart and a ton of my thoughts in digital form. It means a lot to me that you've read the entire blog. I hope you found this helpful. I hope it resonated
with you in one way or another. Lastly, I hope you find YOUR superpower as I have found mine. I look forward to sharing more of my story with you.
Sidenote: I love using GIFs to express myself lol. You can call me the "GIF Queen"!