In November I quit my job to join Josh in his firm, Joshua Best Studio. I did this as a total leap of faith. Leaps of faith are harder to come by in this economy. Safety, security, and knowing what's coming next--that's what people want. Probably half of Josh's friends and acquaintances have lost their jobs in the last two years. If they didn't lose a job they certainly lost income, bonuses, and other benefits.
When no other job was forthcoming, Josh struck out on his own. For about six to eight months, this consisted of nothing more promising than another lunch with another contact trying to sell himself and his skills. We had to accept help from our families to keep us afloat.
When this caused me too much shame and embarrassment, I went to the Department of Family Services to apply for food stamps and daycare assistance. I figured that it would be less shameful to stand on our own by any means necessary than to have our parents pay our bills. When this didn't work we talked about selling our house--another dead end. We exhausted lots of of other possibilities until finally, work started trickling in. Then it started pouring in.
Josh became not just busy, but too busy. All of the sudden he was the breadwinner again and he needed help. So that's where I took this leap of faith--to join him to try and grow this business.
I think there are few people who are close to us who don't question this choice. Or at least worry about it. I didn't take this leap knowing we have years of financial security ahead of us--more like 5-6 months. The rest is up to us--how hard we're willing to work, how many opportunities are out there in this strapped economy, and how much personal fear and stress we can stand.
It kind of feels like an extreme sport--an adrenaline rush every day to where by 3pm, I can count on either feeling like I'm going to pass out from exhaustion or puke from the anxiety. It's pretty exhilarating.
I've wanted to be business owner for a long time. I feel that dream starting to take shape as I see opportunities develop in this new endeavor. Maybe by the summer time it will be a complete failure and we'll have to go back to being employees. But I've already lived out my worst fear--not having money; seriously considering moving into my parents' basement; giving up things that I "want" in place of things that I "need."
I've also seen what no options and very little hope can do to my marriage, my mental well being, and my joy for life. It makes me want to take control and take chances I wasn't willing to take before. It's really lousy and wonderful at the same time. We didn't ask for any of this to happen to us but it was the hand we were dealt, as the old saying goes. So rather than be passive and make choices from fear, I'm taking chances and eliminating regrets. In the meantime, I'm trying not to puke.