I declare today to be Independence Day—my Independence Day. I’m very aware that I’m 11 days late for when most choose to celebrate this holiday, but this is a little more personal. There are two ways to look at it, really. I can either be celebrating my last day of working a desk job or my first day of being my own boss. Both are as exciting as they are scary, but since I like focusing on beginnings not endings, let’s go with celebrating the latter.
July 15th. It’s a date I first set two weeks ago with HR when I decided I was going to take the leap (hopefully not the plunge) to branch off and put my entire heart and soul into my own public relations firm, Bennis Inc. It was an arbitrary date at the time. As per handbook policy, I had to give two weeks notice to leave the Department and remain within good-standing and July 15th was a payday so I knew I wouldn’t have to wait around for my final pay check. It made sense. For the past two weeks, day by day, it became the light at the end of the tunnel. Some days I felt like there was so much to get done before then that I was being sucked in to a jet propeller. Other days I felt like time simply stopped moving altogether.
No matter what it felt like, it was 14 days, 336 hours, 20160 minutes. In those mere minutes, I grew up by at least seven years. For instance, I set up an IRA account and made my mom the sole beneficiary of my worldly savings (only because she answered the phone before my dad did). I started pounding the pavement, putting myself out there and finally telling people about this business I’ve been building from the ground up since college.
I also realized that I never did declare my independence as an entrepreneur and business owner, though I have been one for almost three years now. In those first years, I felt like I had to hide it or refer to it as a “side business” so as not to appear like a conflict of interest with my day job.
Well, that all stops today, July 15th. Today, I am officially open—open for business and open to praise, criticism, success and defeat. But it feels great. I feel like I’ve finally woken up and am taking my first deep breath of fresh air. I can’t wait to see where this (independence) day will lead….