I quit my job! Making the decision to become self-employed

Originally published 1st October 2015

Today was my last day at work! Four weeks ago I resigned from my regular job to make the transition to O2wear full-time – such a good feeling! It’s been four years in the making, I was working full-time when I started O2wear in August 2011 and it’s been my “side business” ever since. It had always been my intention to grow the business to a point that I could make a living from it, albeit a modest one :)

There were several times over the last four years when I thought I would go ‘full-time’ with O2wear. The first being when I dreamt up this crazy idea of starting my own business with zero experience. I pictured hitting publish on my website for the first time and being inundated with orders, unable to keep up with demand I’d be working 24/7. Reality check, turns out it doesn’t always work like that. Then a couple of years later and pregnant with my daughter I pictured myself taking maternity leave and then transitioning full-time to my business, perfect child playing quietly beside me while I taped away on my computer and packed orders. There were so many things wrong with this picture I don’t know where to begin, reality check number 2! I ended up returning to my day job part-time, just to get out of the house and return to the adult world for a couple of days a week.

So I can’t say exactly when or why I decided now was the right time, but it was certainly becoming a juggling act managing everything. Perhaps it was August 2015 fast approaching, O2wear’s fourth birthday which felt like a bit of a milestone. But I think there comes a time in any small business (or life) when you realise there might not ever be the perfect time, you have to make the perfect time. Nothing ups the stakes quite like walking away from a regular income to make it on your own. For me, having the safety net of a regular job took the pressure of my business and allowed it to grow organically, it certainly appealed to my risk averse nature when starting up. Conversely it has meant I’ve never been all-in, and increasingly I’ve felt that this is holding me back, like a dampener on my motivation preventing me from finding out where I can take it. So this is it, goodbye security, paid holidays and sick leave, hello possibilities!

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