**This post originally appeared in the June 2019 issue of the Little Leaf Newsletter.**
In a recent article, Haley Hoffman Smith notes, “There comes a time in the life of entrepreneurs when they realize they’re being called to take the quantum leap from their current job into their own venture. Whether this call results from unexpected circumstances or a persistent vision, it’s almost a rite of passage to consciously choose solopreneurship, then leave your job to pursue it.”
Although it’s been a little over eighteen months since I left my 9 – 5 and started freelancing full-time, these words still resonate with me. Just as Hoffman Smith explains, I’ve learned a lot about being a solopreneur. I’ve learned to allow things to move at their pace and not get freaked out when they don’t happen as quickly as I think they should. I’ve become a pro at keeping my own to-do lists. And, most importantly, I’ve grown personally and professionally and have realized that turns of events can lead to the most unexpected but worthwhile paths.
I’ve also become more cognizant of the decisions I make. As podcaster and writer Emily P. Freeman notes, decisions in and of themselves are rarely the point. In her own life, Freeman explains, “The point is the person I’m becoming. The point is how the decision-making process informs and shapes me in such a way that my instinctual choice is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The point is to understand that the habits in my life, the way I spend my time, the things I choose to focus on — these things are shaping me.”
Amen, sister. As I reflect on the decisions I’ve made over the last two years and even further back to my decision to go for my MFA, I see how each decision was a stepping stone to a new path, a new direction, and a new life. With every decision, I’m becoming someone who is more and more intentional about how she spends her time (and whom she allows to control that time). The choices I make and the tasks I complete are only a part of what defines me. In the end, they are not who I am. And so, as I continue to make decisions, I’m giving myself permission to be flexible. I’m giving myself permission to make different things a priority. I’m giving myself permission to be me.
How does this all affect you, those who have been reading my newsletters and blog posts? Well, I’m taking a step back to allow myself more intentional writing time. Those of you who have subscribed to my newsletter will still receive an email from me once a month. Those who follow me on my blog, Facebook, and Instagram will see posts from me a little less frequently but enough to keep you in the loop. In turn, I’ll be working on a few things for you to look forward to…several new free guides and items for an upcoming event this fall. And I’m going to make a huge effort to return to my novel so that I can share my creative ventures with you as well!
It may seem silly, but this decision took months to decide, probably longer than it actually needed to. For me, though, I needed to let the decision simmer and rest in the back of my mind, until I knew that it was just right. I had to allow my brain to catch up with my intuition and my heart. And isn’t that how giving yourself permission often works? As Emily P. Freeman quotes from writer Iris Murdoch, “At crucial moments of choice, most of the business of choosing is already over.”
You just have to give yourself permission to decide.