“Effective immediately, I quit!”
“Effective immediately, I quit!”
Words I used to leave a part time job at a retail store I actually really loved. I had been trying to leave for weeks but my loyalty to the people I grew to love, just kept me hinged on trying to make it last. What I didn’t realize was that this was a sinking ship and I felt tied to the anchor. The thing was despite my love for my co-workers, the ability to practice marketing and community outreach and of course the discount my husband enjoyed - it just wasn’t enough to keep me going.
I took this job when things in my practice got rough. And by the way, if anyone tells you as an entrepreneur you don’t have rough spots - they are flat out lying! Anyways, I took it because almost two-thirds of my client roster happen to be rolling off and the efforts I was taking to try to make things happen were just draining me more than ever.
Not my proudest moment, but you do what you gotta do to help meet your financial needs.
While this wasn’t something I really wanted to do, the experience really brought me a lot of clarity. For one, it made me realize that I’d much rather be making this kind of effort working for myself than for this company. I realized that I really did need a community of friends and being a solopreneur meant you often felt really lonely. The opportunity at this store also showed me that what I was doing as a Shamanic Success Coach, wasn’t exactly the path I wanted to take in my own business.
So I can honestly say I am really grateful for the time I spent there. But those things I mentioned aren’t the only things I realized. I must confess my co-workers really taught me a lot about myself and what’s really important in life.
Here are some of those lessons or more like confessions of a retail employee I learned:
Use your voice
Just because you work for someone doesn’t mean you have to agree to their every request. I watched people sacrifice their time with their families or their own well being out of fear they might get fired.
It’s time to speak up for yourself. Use your voice to speak up, even if you don’t agree or can’t fulfill a request. Because really at the end of the day, if they were going to fire you - they would. And it might be tough, but you could find another part time gig.
You’re better than you give yourself credit
You really never know the walks of life of the people you meet. When working at this store, there were lots of employees that had experienced long lasting successful careers. Careers in car racing, hotel restaurant management, law enforcement and much more. Often times at these part time gigs, management and other employees really don’t know what your background is, unless you tell them.
Here’s the thing, you are better than you give yourself credit. You know how I know? Make a list of all the jobs you’ve had, go through your own tax records and looks at all the earned income you’ve had over the years - yeah, that’s right you’ve accomplished a lot.
No need to inflate your ego, you are significant
One of the reasons I left was I felt managers abused their power and used threats to make themselves feel significant. I would watch management walk around, bark orders and make comments about how people could be replaced.
Here’s the thing - attitudes like that will get you nowhere. Nowhere in business, with others and certainly does not prove anything to anyone.
Having power doesn’t mean you are empowered. Empowered has a vulnerable feel to it. Being empowered feels clean, shiny and uniquely you. When you can stand confidently without this inflated ego, others will follow and you’ll see that you really are significant in this world. You can always be a better leader than the ones in the actual position when you step into this type of power.
There’s an opportunity under every frustrating moment
This was one of those big ah-has I mentioned earlier. There was definitely feelings of failure when I took this part time gig. I was able to spend a lot of time outside my own little world of coaching and beating myself up for the lack of clientele. I actually realized that this opportunity was my tough love moment of clarity.
It helped me realize that I was acting more like a business coach, than the healer I had invested in and trained to become. By working for someone else this was keeping me from making a greater impact in the world. So as shameful as I might have felt, this frustrating moment gave me an opportunity of clarity and direction.
You always have a choice
I completely felt the need and the “have to” when I started this job. And when I was ready to leave, so many people were asking me to stay. My co-workers, my husband and even a small part of me. I felt I had no choice and I had to stay because I would be letting others down.
The thing is, you always have a choice. And sometimes the choice you want to make - doesn’t align with others desires. Don’t let that keep you from what you want. Being able to really choose for yourself without any other noise impacting that decision, can be really challenging. You have to be able to trust yourself and know yourself pretty intimately.
To do this, takes time and inner work. One of the things I have found helpful in clearing the clutter of others influences is using flower essences. If you want to get started, you can check this out.
What difference do you want to make in the world?
The more time I spent heading into work, the more I began to realize, this was not what I wanted to be doing in the world. By being around the general public, It also became clear to me that society is really disconnected from themselves, others, what they do and how they value things on this Earth. At the core, the respect for it all is just dwindling away.
I would ask myself this question every morning I got ready for work. I knew what I didn’t want to be doing and this helped me see what it was that I wanted.
I wanted to be at home. I wanted to be creating things. I wanted to build a community that valued deeper awareness and consciousness. I wanted to be collaborating with real impactful companies that were invested in our planet.
And I was not going to find this here.
Befriend the one you least expect
I’ve always been told, “don’t judge a book by it’s cover,” and sometimes this is easier said than done. At the store, there was this really hard working but cranking guy. He always started his conversations with a complaint. It was annoying and really no one wanted to be around him - for obvious reasons.
However, I began to see through that cover of a crankiness and saw a young man that was really subject to a lot of past parental control and lack of self-worth. Whenever he would come up to me and start his usual rant, I would stop him and ask him to please start this conversation with at least one positive statement. This little trick started a humorous relationship between the two of us - later he was a big help to me in getting the events cleaned up and making some sales goals.
By becoming friends with him and changing a little of his own mindset, we had become friends that had a mutual respect and supported each other.
Well, there you have it. I’m sure there’s a few more confessions I may have along the way. In the meantime I hope that if you have a part time gig, or maybe a frustrating job, these little lessons will be helpful for making it through the day.
Or better yet, they help you discover what or where you need to be in order to make your impact in this world.