Vicious Cycle

I opened a Graphic Design business over a year ago with 5 friends from college. I was sick of my job, the miserable wage and had just quit to embark on a 1-month long trip with my current boyfriend. To be completely honest, sometimes many times I make decisions out of impulsivity (what a surprise, huh? coming from an emotional eater). Opening a business was one of those things.

I have no accurate recollection of when, why or how I agreed to start a business, sign papers and commit to a “marriage” with 5 other people. Yes, they are my friends but did I want to sign those papers? On the moment, I thought I did. Did I know what I was doing? Certainly not.

Fast forward one year, 3 and a half months later. I am writing a post at 2:02 am on an attempt to understand how I got myself into a situation I can’t seem to get out of. You see, starting a business is not like eating half a box of cookies and then deciding to barf them or to go for a run on the treadmill to avoid a guilt trip afterwards. Eating half a box of cookies is a lousy decision, an impulsive decision, especially when the thing you dread the most is gaining weight. But, even with that dread in mind I have eaten half a box of cookies, hell I have eaten much more than that in a matter of minutes for a LONG time. Making irresponsible decisions and then “erasing” them by fooling everybody (myself included) became a sport. I chose to make the mistakes but desperately tried to avoid the consequences. I got used to it, to “eat whatever I wanted” and still lose the 4 pounds my nutritionist expected me to after giving me a no carbs, no sugar diet. I even realised that by barfing before I went to visit him, my body fat appeared to reduce a large percentage. I was the perfect patient. But the biggest scam was on myself.

So, back to the business part. I decided this week I am definitely not happy working with my friends, working independently. I have had that epiphany many, many times before, maybe even more times than you’ve heard Rihanna’s “We found love” on the radio. I feel like we’re not disciplined, not committed and not hungry enough to make this business a successful one. At first I thought I was being pessimistic but after a year and a half, I know I don’t have yet what it takes to make this business successful. My heart’s not in it, my mind’s not in it and I feel blocked, stuck, frustrated.

On an attempt to save the business, last month I attended some entrepreneurship conferences. I LOVED them and became inspired. On a specific one, I entered a contest to win a scholarship of Professional Assessment for Small Businesses. It turns out I won the scholarship and a consultant visited us today. He interviewed us all and asked us, amongst other things, why we wanted the Assessment, what were our goals, our weaknesses, our strengths, etc. As he kept asking, I kept thinking how much I don’t want to be there, how afraid I am to say it out loud but mainly, how much I don’t know what I want or what I would do instead. My main fear to coming clean to my partners is crushing them and not knowing what I wanna do instead. There is this little voice inside me saying that I shouldn’t keep working there, it has been there the whole time but I have ignored it because I feel the decision will bring pain and conflict.

I also think that in order to change my life drastically and turn it around, I must change my surroundings, my friends, my habits, my current situation. I don’t feel I’m where I’m supposed to be in order to break through. I believe we become the average of the 5 people we spend most time with and I definitely wouldn’t want to turn into any one of my partners.

The fear to tell this to my partners has been paralyzing me but the biggest fear is not knowing what I wanna do with my life next!

I don’t wanna make any impulsive decisions anymore so I have to really think what I want and stop thinking about what everybody else wants.

Gotta go to sleep, it’s 3am now. Thanks for reading!!!

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9 thoughts on “Vicious Cycle

  1. Erika, I can really relate to your situation since I have had to make some hard decisions in the past (like emigrating!). For me changing my surroundings was life saving but also soooo very hard. You have more strength than you realize though, never forget that
    A good option might be to start “window shopping”. Look around you at what opportunities are there. What other jobs are opening. Where else you might want to go. Sometimes we are meant to end up somewhere completely different but don’t know unless we take the risk.
    Another thing is, it’s not fair on your partners! If you heart is not into it, it’s not fair on them and the business. Change is scary, but if you plan it carefully you will be fine. So do your best with your job now while you look for the next opportunity. And when the time come you will feel confident of your choice.
    And congrats on getting that grant!

  2. Sometimes it is best to get out of what you’re not happy with and then DO NOTHING. If you’ve been always doing something, that means you have never just BEEN. You’re always chasing the next goal, dream, step. Know this restless feeling from myself. Trust me it is much better to do nothing, until you know what life wants from you. hugs 🙂

    • Thanks a lot for this advice! Sometimes I also feel like I am the one with an issue because on my previous job I wasn’t happy either, and now this. So, I don’t know what I want for sure! It’s a scary and crappy place to be at.

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