Choosing to be an entrepreneur, in my opinion, is one of the most difficult positions to decide to put oneself in. I love it, but it typically means you need to also be a leader—someone who can fundraise and grow a business—not someone who stops to focus on their individual personal needs. And it wasn’t until 15 years in that I realized this and no longer wanted to be defined by my business. I wanted to live my own life. I wanted to explore, have my own voice and do things for me and my family. I was no longer afraid of time or the unknown. Instead, I craved it.
It wasn’t until today, though, that I realized I was living another full circle type of moment (I seem to be having these a lot lately—read about my last one here). You see, on July 27, 2017, I spoke on a panel at the Fear Paradox Summit alongside Alex Batdorf, one of the co-founders of ZipFit Denim. I was immediately drawn to her but had no idea the profound effect she would have on me over a year later.
So here Alex and I were, sitting on this panel in positions of leadership and speaking at a conference about fighting your fears when we were actually riddled with anxiety and our own struggles with fear. I wish I would have had the foresight at that time to connect with her on a deeper level and work through some of those fears together. Maybe we weren’t supposed to because we had to figure those things out for ourselves, but this morning I stumbled across an article on Forbes that profiled Alex and her journey with her business.
The best way I know how to express my feelings while reading this article is I felt like I was reading something I wrote. So many of her words resonated very deeply with me. This is the sentence that really, really got to me: ‘At some point in 2017 it started really hitting me,’ she said, ‘when Mondays started feeling like Mondays.’
If you’re a business owner, you know exactly what she means by this. When you start something, you do it out of passion and love and you rely on those feelings to carry you through those harder days. But when all of that starts to wear on you and the ‘Mondays start to feel like Mondays,’ you have to recognize it within yourself and start to develop an exit plan. This is scary as shit because it’s something that no one wants to do, but it’s the exact situation I found myself in earlier this year.
Another quote that really resonated with me from Alex’s article is, ‘I had to learn companies don’t make us who we are – it’s just an output or a product of who we are – but sometimes it becomes the reverse.’ This was my life to a tee. I was eDrop-Off. When you heard Corri McFadden, you thought of eDrop-Off and vice versa. But I am so much more than my business. It’s only a small piece of who I am (or was) and who I want to be.
Anyway, I admired Alex before reading this article, but I have a full-on girl crush on her now because she’s really inspired me to want to continue being honest about the journey I’m on. I’ve started sharing about this in recent posts, but now that I have completely stepped away from the path I was once walking, I just feel like I’m going to be able to be open, raw and honest in ways I’ve never been before.
When I announced the closing of my business there was so much confusion and I even received letters from people who appeared to be more sad about the closing than I was. To be honest, I wasn’t even sad. Emotionally, I was ready to move on. I was ready to step away and I want others to know that. It’s important to me to express this because I think sometimes we let others guide our emotions. But really, who cares what other people think?!
All of this to say, I want everyone to know I am OK! I absolutely do not have all the answers, but that’s part of the beauty of where I’m at in my life right now. I’m embracing the unknown and I have to say, I’m pretty into it. I’m loving TIME!
If you’re also going through rapid, but amazing change in your life or business, I think there are five steps we all kind of need to live through to get to that point where we no longer find ourselves afraid of time and the unknown. Here they are:
1. Make the Decision for You and Your Family (If Applicable)—Turn Off the Noise
This first step is all about taking time to reflect and think. I had to shut out all the external things happening and truly focus on what I thought would make me the best partner and mother. What would make me feel like I was living my best life? The conclusion I came to? Closing my business and learning to be present.
2. Make a Conscious Effort to Break Patterns of Living
Over the last four months, I’ve really had to concentrate on starting and developing new patterns and routines. For years, I would go to bed completely exhausted and stressed, but I’ve learned in these last few months that I don’t always have to feel that way. It’s OK to breathe, to sit, listen and read. It’s OK to slow down! It’s been a very intentional effort so far, but I’m hoping it will start to come more naturally with time.
3. Reflection is Key
As I start living this new journey, I’ve really been trying to set aside time to reflect every day. I’m putting a lot of thought into the tone I speak with, the way I process things and showing patience. Taking this time to grow and reflect not only on yourself but on podcasts you listen to, articles you read, etc. will also help you grow on a personal level.
4. You Don’t Owe Anyone an Explanation, Not Even Yourself
Once you make a decision, don’t guilt trip yourself every day or trick yourself into thinking you need to be “onto the next”. Just sit back for a minute, breathe, and let the universe bring you something. Because let me tell you, since I made the decision to let go of something I held onto so tightly for 15 years, the universe has brought me some amazing opportunities! From job offers to insane collaborations—if you just let go, the universe will deliver. You don’t owe anyone anything—just be present for yourself and your family and positive things will happen for you.
When I say live, I don’t mean do something crazy like jump out of a plane. I mean be present. Soak up important moments. Challenge yourself to try to truly live and be present. At the end of the day, as cliche as it sounds, tomorrow isn’t a guarantee.
If someone would have come to me a year ago when I was on that panel with Alex Batdorf, spouting what I’m saying now, I would have never believed them. Not in a million years. And I would never believe that I’d be where I’m currently at. But what this whole experience has taught me is that what’s most important in life are the simple things. It’s just a matter of figuring out how to get them and fighting like hell for them!
Photos by Hallie Duesenberg