The journey is the reward – Chinese Proverb

In a way, I think of myself as a warrior….My last day as a full-time employee was the day before Thanksgiving 2008. Thanksgiving last year was a pretty emotional day. Part of me wondered if I had lost my mind, after all I had “given up” a very well-paying full-time job to pursue a dream I had set on a shelf. I never dreamed I’d be a Virtual Assistant, rather I had always dreamed of owning my own business and being able to help many others.

“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.”  – Alan Cohen

When I had told my employers in March to find a replacement by Thanksgiving I really had no idea what I would do and it wasn’t until July that I had decided to pursue my dream of being a small business owner. After all I was tired of driving 198 miles each day to Milwaukee and back home to Neenah, WI and I realized that soon my son would be out of the house and I’d regret all the 12 hour days.

What I have learned this past year in business has been invaluable and things I once would have imagined “impossible” are now a routine part of my business.

  • Due to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn I now provide virtual services to clients in eleven different states.
  • I’ve met some amazing people online who have become irreplaceable friends
  • As a result of all the sleepless nights and “worrying” I discovered I was more resilient and creative than I ever realized and despite the uncertainty I can’t imagine ever, ever going back to a 9 to 5 job
  • When resources indicated at least 30% of my time would be spent on administrative duties I laughed and thought they were crazy – now I realize I was the crazy one

Although my days are longer than I ever initially imagined it somehow is different when I can stop at 4 pm to make dinner for my son and then go back to “work”. I always smile to myself when I say, “OK, Jordan, I’m getting back to work” and he replies, “Good, go make some money!”

Owning my own business, though filled with its own ups and downs, is one of the most empowering and rewarding challenges I have ever pursued. I enter this “new year” with a renewed sense of purpose, a greater self-esteem and deep appreciation for all the software, technology and individuals who have enriched my first year in business.

“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe”. -Anatole France

I dreamt…I acted and I still believe in all the greatness that lies ahead in the upcoming weeks, months and years.

Thank you for being a part of my journey.

This post was created as part of a global groundswell of gratitude called TweetsGiving. The celebration, created by US nonprofit Epic Change, is an experiment in social innovation that seeks to change the world through the power of gratitude. I hope you’ll visit the TweetsGiving site to learn more, and to bring your grateful heart to the party by sharing your gratitude, and giving in honor of that for which you’re most thankful.