This post is long overdue.
I’ve wanted to write this since the moment I quit my full-time job, but the timing just never felt right. The other day, though, I felt like it was finally time. Part of me was putting it off because I don’t know what else to say other than, “I quit my job and am now officially working for myself full-time.” The other part of me was putting it off because I knew there actually was so much to say surrounding it – so much that I didn’t know where to begin.
I worked as the full-time personal assistant/Director of Operations & Partnerships/ right-hand woman to Jordan at The Balanced Blonde for what felt like forever, because it felt like “home,” and it was absolutely my dream position. It was really only my official job for 3-4 months, though. We did a lot in those few months, and honestly probably got more work done than most people do in a year. It also felt much longer than just a few months because I interned for Jordan previously, as well. I was her intern for 7-8 months about a year and a half ago, quit for a bit when I got too overwhelmed with school, worked for her part-time at the end of college, and then started to work for her full-time / as a real employee the moment I finished college. It never really felt like there was a break in between because Jordan always was, and always will be, a part of my life.
Working as a personal assistant, especially to a lifestyle blogger, is very different than most other jobs. It’s much more than just a job. Jordan is like family to me. As a lifestyle/health & wellness blogger, her business is, quite literally, her life. That means that my job is her life, too. Because of that, nothing is ever just “business,” and we got really close. She’s truly like a sister to me. We know everything about each other, have a fierce trust in each other, and our lives kind of…revolve around each other, to an extent.
Beyond being extremely close with my boss, working for a lifestyle blogger is also different than other jobs because there are no typical hours and there is no set schedule. You’re kind of always working, and also kind of always not. Every day is different. The schedule is flexible, but you also always have to be ready to go in case something comes up. Some weekdays, there’s nothing to do. Some weekends, you’re working the whole time. Sometimes daytime is time for errands and cleaning and random things on your to-do list, but nighttime is when it’s best to work. It kind of means never really being able to make 100% solid plans because things could always be cancelled last-minute.
It also means that my responsibilities were atypical of a “normal” job. My responsibilities included both “work” items and “life” items. I did things like writing contracts, handling partnerships, editing videos, and doing admin work, but also did “personal assistant-y” things to make Jordan’s life easier – errands, meal prep, house-sitting whenever she went out of town. It basically means life is integrated with “work,” and there are never any clear boundaries between the two.
As someone who thrives off of order, schedule, and consistency, it was a huge learning experience for me. I’m the type of person who schedules out every second of every day, and Jordan is the type of person who goes with the flow and keeps her schedule as open as possible. We both learned a lot from each other. I taught her the value of adding a bit more structure to her schedule, but she taught me to be more flexible, to roll with the punches, and to make “work” a lifestyle, not just a job. She started breaking down my type A barriers, which I will forever be grateful for.
I’m also always the type of person who has too much on my plate. I blame it on my mother, who I always admired, and still do, for her hustle. She taught me the value of hard work, but she also got me caught in the trap of thinking that if I wasn’t overworking, I wasn’t working hard enough. The glorification of being busy. I am going to write a post on that, very soon.
After I finished college, I got overly excited and ambitious. I assumed I would have oodles and oodles of spare time, and that I would finally have time to sleep and be a normal human. It didn’t really happen like that, though.
I went for everything I wanted all at once. I immediately started my full-time job with Jordan. I signed up for NASM to become a certified personal trainer, and then I signed up for my health coaching program to become a certified Primal Health Coach. I also launched my health coaching business, and I started seeing clients. At the same time, I was still working on my blog and Actually Adultish podcast, both of which could easily be full-time jobs. And I always have my Beautycounter and doTERRA businesses. Plus, there are all of the other things that take time out of everyone’s day. Being a person – errands, cooking, cleaning, working out, etc.
I didn’t fully realize everything I had signed up for. I loved everything I was doing, so how could I drop any of it? I figured I would somehow make time for it all, especially with my excellent scheduling skills. Each day, though, my stress built up. My to-do lists were miles long. More than ever before, I felt like there wasn’t enough time in a day. I “worked” in some capacity from the second I got up to the second I hit the sheets. I had zero social life, and all of my friends and family kind of knew not to bother trying to spend time seeing me or calling me. I wasn’t getting enough sleep. I would work on TBB during the day, and then I would try to tackle all of my personal endeavors at night. Usually, through the night.
It was a dangerous cycle, and I always felt like I was against the clock. I also felt like something was constantly hanging over my head. There was always something else to do. If there wasn’t something to do immediately, I was always ready for something to come up. My inbox and texts and messages were getting out of control. My brain couldn’t handle it. I was overly stimulated, and I felt like I was being dragged in every direction. Even my best organization tactics couldn’t create more hours in a day, as hard as I tried.
I was disappointed because I felt like I had become a 22-year-old workaholic. Now is the time when I should be selfish and enjoying myself. I could feel my mood dropping. I felt guilty because I was snapping at everyone, and I was generally just becoming an unhappy person, even though I had nothing to be unhappy about. I was stressed. I felt like a broken record, because my response to pretty much everything was, “I DON’T HAVE TIME!”
I constantly had to put things off and “deal with them later”, and I felt perpetually behind. Because of that, I also felt like I was failing. Constantly. Even though I wasn’t.
I started getting nervous because I felt as though I was drowning in all of my commitments, but the most important commitment to me hadn’t even started yet. My NTP program starts in September, and that will be my #1 priority. If I couldn’t handle all of this now, how would I handle adding yet another thing to my plate?
Meanwhile, I got some test results back that really put things into perspective for me. After getting my hormones tested, I had a piece of paper in front of my face showing me how high my cortisol levels were. I’ve talked about this many many times before, but managing cortisol is extremely important in every aspect of health, and too many people just shrug it off. My high cortisol levels could be what is preventing my gut from fully healing, and it’s also contributing to other more serious hormonal imbalances in my body that I need to get in check. My body is using all of its “oomph” to produce cortisol, at the expense of everything else running smoothly.
I took a long, hard look at myself and realized, This has to stop. I have to reduce my cortisol levels. I have to make big lifestyle changes that might be uncomfortable at first. At the end of the day, though, I am not going to destroy my health at 22 years old because I’m being a workaholic, for no reason. I don’t need to be a workaholic, but I put an insane amount of pressure on myself because of my personality. I realized this absolutely could not continue anymore. I. Was. Drowning.
I spent a weekend totally reflecting. Figuring out what I wanted to do. My first instinct was that I needed to quit my podcast and blog because they don’t bring in my income, but the thought of that made me extremely depressed. The blog and podcast fuel my soul.
At the end of the day, I realized I was unhappy because I needed to focus on myself. It was finally my time to pursue my own passions, but I never gave myself the chance to. I was doing what I thought I was supposed to do. Like, the “right” thing to do is to get yourself a full-time job right out of college, because it’s atypical to be your own boss at 22. The truth is, though, there are no rules. There is no age requirement. I realized that I was unhappy because once again, I found myself in a situation where the thing I truly wanted to focus most of my time on was still just a side gig that I fit in when I had time. Working with clients 1 on 1, helping them transform their lifestyles and overall health – that’s what fills me up. It’s all I want to do. It killed me that it was right there in front of me, but I couldn’t go all the way in.
I found myself in a position where I had to choose between taking a risk and 100% going after my own business, or dropping my passions but staying with a stable, great job for someone I loved dearly. How do you choose between those things?
Definitely not a quick decision.
I learned more than I can tell you from working with Jordan. About business, yes, but also about life. One of the most important things she taught me was to follow my heart and to do what makes me happy. She taught me that being selfish can be a good thing, because we all deserve to put ourselves first sometimes. She taught me to never apologize for doing what I need to do for my happiness and sanity, and to never care what anybody else thinks.
So, ironically, I decided to quit my full-time job. It was obviously very difficult. It wasn’t just a job. It was my life. My life was intertwined with my job, and my life was intertwined with Jordan’s. It had been for a long time. Plus, it was never just a job. Jordan is family to me, and the thought of leaving her killed me. TBB is Jordan’s baby, but I’m the overly invested aunt. TBB is also like a child to me, and I will always love the brand more than anything.
As soon as I made the decision, though, I felt an immediate sense of relief. I knew it was the right thing to do. Something had to leave my plate, and while none of the options were ideal, it was the one that made the most sense to me. And I would finally have the opportunity to throw myself into my own business, 100%.
Anyone who has pursued their own business knows how scary that is. Will I be able to make it? Can I actually do this? I didn’t know, but I definitely wouldn’t be able to if I didn’t even give myself a chance! The truth is, I’m confident in myself, but I don’t allow myself to be, because most people my age aren’t. Hell, most people in general are not. My plan has always been to act as a nutritionist and coach people full-time, acting as my own boss, but I always assumed it wouldn’t actually happen for a few years. Not immediately. But why not?
I think the universe pushed me to this decision. I instantly had a newfound sense of energy and excitement for life. Everything I had on my “dream” to-do list, or everything I wanted to get done “someday when I had time”, I could finally start doing now. I could finally catch up on all of the things that I pushed off while I was drowning in other responsibilities. Now, instead of working all night long, I could sleep. I was hopeful that my gut would finally heal, and maybe sometimes I could actually hang out with friends. I would be able to dedicate the time and energy to school that I wanted to.
Everyone always asks me how Jordan responded. She was obviously more than supportive and understanding. I think I took it harder than she did.. haha! She knew it was coming, partially because she is actually psychic, and partially because she knew how much I was struggling. Like I said, I tell her everything. She knew how stressed I was, how worried I was about my health, and how I was having a hard time balancing everything I wanted to do at once. She agreed that leaving was the best thing for me and was what I needed to do. We both were totally on the same page, and although it was sad for both of us, we both always believe in prioritizing our health. She gets it.
I took a little vacation, a real vacation, for the first time in years. I think I’ve “worked” during every break or vacation I’ve ever had since I was 16. It was strange having no one to answer to but myself. I quickly realized that I was insane for doing everything I was doing before. After finally getting a few nights of normal sleep, I vowed to never pull all-nighters again. My days are jam-packed now as is, so I have no idea how I was doing all of this while working my full-time job just a month ago. Scary how that happens.
So, what am I up to now? Right now I’m working on launching my new website that is solely dedicated to health coaching. I’m seeing clients full-time now, and I’ve never been happier. (If you’re interested in working together, email me! Sessions can be done from anywhere in the world!) I’m still working on my blog and the Actually Adultish podcast. Meanwhile, I have 4 other secret projects that you’ll be finding out about slowly within the next few months. One this week, actually! I’m also currently studying to become a certified personal trainer, and hoping to have completed that within the next few months. Kinda got put on the back burner while I was drowning. My NTA program officially starts in 2 weeks, so I’m prepping for that. I’m beyond excited.
Everything has fallen into place. Being my own boss has been an interesting experience. Honestly, I’m pretty good at it. That’s the upside of being very organized and self-motivated. I’ve learned a lot about the stigmas surrounding it, though, which I’m sure I’ll address in the future!
Quitting my job was the biggest, most obvious life change I’ve made recently, but it was really just the launchpad for all of the other changes I’ve made to focus on myself, my mind, and my body. If I don’t take the time to do what I need to do to heal and be there for myself, then how can I be there for others? Most of it comes down to little things I’m doing, unapologetically, to reduce my stress levels. Walks outside. A calming morning routine. A night routine. Social media limits. Never doing anything I don’t want to do. Treating myself. Not answering all of my DMs all the time. Turning off notifications. Being more mindful. Spending more time with friends. Making trips to visit people I want to see. Slowing. Down.
I’m learning every day what it means to slow down. So many of my friends have told me that I’m like a completely different person since making all of these changes. I’m happier and more energetic. I’ve been told I have a glow. I don’t know if that’s true, but I feel a glow.
I feel extremely lucky that I’m currently in a position where I am doing everything I love to do. I have been able to dedicate more time to relationships, which has made me a much happier human. I’ve been able to really work on my business, and I am so excited to officially be launching a new brand very very soon. I can finally dedicate much more time to clients, which is what I wanted most. I have more time in the evenings to dedicate to school and studying. I thought I was going to have to drop my PT certification, but I think I can make it work now. Things fell into place. I’m busy, but I’m learning to set boundaries. I can tell that the lifestyle changes I’ve been making are already making a huge difference, and I am genuinely excited every day when I wake up.
I feel like I’m living in a dream world because I am so happy. I don’t remember the last time I was this happy. Autonomy fills me up, and there is nothing more exciting than feeling like I am finally doing exactly what I was put on this earth to do. This sounds very corny, but I don’t care. I spent most of my life feeling depressed and stressed out, and now that I am so utterly happy, I am going to bask in it and truly appreciate it.
I’m sharing all of this because sometimes it’s scary to believe in ourselves. Sometimes it’s scary to take a risk or to make a big change, but it can be completely worth it. I realized I was standing in my own way of doing exactly what I wanted – I just had to take a leap of faith. Beyond that, I took the steps necessary to take control of my health. Steps that were really hard. Quitting my job to heal my adrenals was something I never imagined I would do, but I did it. Most people wouldn’t. It was the right decision, though. To see big changes, you have to make big changes.
I have a lot more to say about all of this. The takeaways, though, are that I quit my job, and I am FINALLY slowing down. I’m proud that I already have my own business, and I’m excited for everything to come in the future. I feel lucky to know what I’m so passionate about and to be able to pursue it. Not everyone is able to do that. All of these life changes have made me so happy. I can’t wait to show you the things I’ve been working on, and I can’t wait to be able to help so many more people individually now that this is my full-time gig. Welcome to my new life!