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What to do When the Cubicle’s Not for You

If I could trade the confinement of a 9-5 for the freedom to come and go as I please (without the burden of bills of course), I would do so immediately. And I have a gut feeling that I’m not the only person who feels that way. For as much as the road to traditional employment has been promoted, there’s a growing segment of people who just aren’t about that cubicle life. In fact, a Fortune study found that black women are the fastest growing segment in entrepreneurship.

I want to go on the record and say THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH WANTING MORE. In fact, that ambition is what drives the economy and creates a society that is rich in entrepreneurship. However, we have to take the necessary steps to get there. And if you’re like many of the countless women who are itching to break free from the confines of their cubicle, here are some of the steps that I’ve taken and I’m currently in the process of, that I think are universal when the cubicle’s not for you:

If you’re a creative, start creating!

Don’t wait until you’re out of that corporate job before you pick up that paint brush or start writing that book. Take at least an hour a day for your creative passion. You don’t want that unique spark in you to fade. I find that when I take time out of my day to write, I start feeling like myself again. It gives me hope as well; that I’m that much closer to my goal.

If you’re not a creative, learn to think outside the box!

If you’re reading this and you aren’t the creative type, chances are you still have an itch for freedom and independence in your personal life. Whatever it is that you are currently doing for a living may be going well, but you long for more. Think about your career and the aspects of your current job that you do like. Think in specific terms and try to envision yourself doing it as a small business. Don’t take the company you work for and try to do exactly what they do ( you could be breaking a contract and you want to start out small). Instead, think of an aspect of your industry that interests you and brainstorm about how you would turn that into a business.

Research like-minded people who have successfully turned their passion into a living.

One of the best ways to reach your goals in life is to watch someone who has already accomplished those goals. They can provide insight into how to go about making a living for yourself and also some of the pitfalls that come with your chosen path.

Create goals that are realistic!

I know it doesn’t seem politically correct to say that, but we’ve been force-fed this idea that the sky’s the limit when it comes to success. And while yes it is possible to realize your lifelong dream, it isn’t something that happens overnight. The saying: “you must crawl before you walk” is very true in life. We sometimes want to bypass all the hard work that it takes to realize a dream, but that work is necessary for the majority of us. Trust me, if you don’t have fame like Kylie Jenner where you can create a lip-gloss line that sells out in a day, you must work. This will probably be the only time that I will advise you to do what Rihanna says and work, work, work, work, work, work!

Come up with a business plan

For the artsy-fartsies in the building this sounds like a creative energy killer, but trust me, it’s a must. If you are serious about turning your talents into a business, you have to think like a business person. That means you may have to optimize your passion to fit more of a business service. For instance, I have decided to start providing writing services to other entrepreneurs for a fee. Although I am a creative writer at heart, I know that I can create a viable business for myself by outsourcing my talent. This doesn’t mean that I stopped creative writing altogether. Now, I can do both!

Don’t give in to distraction!

Our existence is filled with distractions in this new era of social media. We are constantly bombarded with “things” that really don’t mean anything at the end of the day. The sad part about it is that they are MEANT to distract you; keep you from realizing your full potential and becoming a positive contributor to society. Don’t let it. When you’re roaming through Instagram, just remember that. Don’t allow what everyone else is doing keep you from doing what YOU are meant to be doing. I see so many people nowadays who look like replicas of each other. Even down to the makeup. How can you expect to stand out from the crowd if you’re too busy being like the rest? I mean there are a million and one beauty bloggers out there, but who’s going to pay for the status quo? The successful ones are going against the grain and aren’t distracted by the rest. They are creating their own brand unique to them. Learn from the ones that have realized success. I am willing to bet that they all had a unique spin on the industry of their choosing.

Now, go forth and start changing your world!

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