Vikings were intrepid, driven to explore what lay beyond the boundaries of their safe harbor. We live in an information age, but they didn’t, they left everything they knew to discover what they had never seen. This resonates with me, as I too left what I knew to explore the marketing world and relight my passion. When I realized that I had to let go of the safe harbor of my corporate track to find my place, I knew it required a leap of faith. I decided to be strategic, unyielding, and – above all else – creative. No one ever arrived in a new place by following a well-worn path on an archival map. I had to find my own way.
I started questioning my job and my life decisions
My journey started while listening to a podcast that discussed how our bodies need rest to survive and working without it leads to burn outs. Both of the ladies on the podcast had been where I stood – in the cross-roads of leaping into my own company or staying the corporate path. I immediately had a light bulb moment go off. The past year and a half I had been struggling so much between balancing relationships and work that I started to feel hopeless. I started questioning my job and my life decisions. I love marketing and what I do, but I hated waking up in the morning to head into my full-time position. Granted, there are plenty of reasons why, but I was just burnt out on the life I had manufactured for myself. I made really good money, built two departments, had clients that loved me, and I got to work in entertainment. How was I miserable?
Who says we need a map drawn out by men
As women, I believe we end up in situations and life circumstances that we think we’re supposed to be in. We’ve grown up with powerful and inspiring women who fought for careers while being moms. We see how hard they’ve worked and how far the generation before us has come in gender equality and feel like it’s our job to follow the same path and continue to push the limits of women ladder climbing to the top – the same way men have. I’ve faced plenty of patronizing behaviors from men due to my gender and age in my career, but all I can do is prove them wrong. Women are so much more than what other’s box us in as – we can make our own path and our own successes. Who says we need a map drawn out by men?
It was worth it
It’s harder as a single woman to make a leap, you’re confronted with questions around who will support you, banks not willing to invest in ‘hobbies’, and people looking at you as if you’re crazy for trying to make your own path. However, it’s not impossible. Marketing is not a hobby, my family and the amazing other girl bosses in my life support me, and I may be crazy, but I’m also much happier following my dreams and creating something in my own vision. When I finally decided to take the leap, it was a bit nerve racking, but it was worth it.
If you don’t know where you’re going, you won’t know when you’ve arrived (or if you’re even heading the right way). Being honest with myself and holding myself accountable is absolutely vital in making sure I’m going in the right direction. Starting an agency comes with a lot of responsibilities to my clients and employees. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be honest about my shortcomings and work to overcome them than hide from potential failure. If you walk away with even one tidbit from this article, it’s to be brave. Look at your life and ask if it’s what makes you happy or what you think you’re supposed to be doing – if it doesn’t maybe it’s time for a change.
By Nicole Woods
Owner, Viking Social Agency