When I graduated from college with a communications degree, I was like a lot of recent grads. I had no idea what I really wanted to do at all. I just knew I loved to write and was a good storyteller.
In the end, I figured I would land where I was meant to be. I got married and promptly moved to a small town in far western Kentucky, population of approximately 10,000.
There weren’t a lot of job opportunities, but it was where my husband was from, and he had a decent job at the time, so it made sense to be there. I was able to snag a coveted position at the local electric company, so I figured I was all set.
Fast forward several years, and I was fortunate enough to have been promoted a few times within the company. I was doing a good job, and I was making a fine living. I loved everyone I worked with, and my life was going well.
However, in time, as things got busier in life and as work got more demanding, I started experiencing extreme overwhelm.
Despite feeling like I was drowning in work and in life as a mother and wife, I stayed and kept trucking along. As time kept passing, the stress continued mounting to the point that I suffered a mini-stroke at the age of 29.
It was at that terrifying point in my life that I realized that I was not living the life I was called to live. Still, I didn’t know what I could do. I knew I had to do something, but the answers were not clear to me at that time.
I Needed to Find a Way Out of My Stressful Job
While I was not at a point where I could actually leave my job yet, I did start to realize inside that my passion and love to create and make things pretty were becoming more and more prominent in my life.
I began to have more of a yearning and desire to create things and turn old into new. I began doing more of those things that I loved, and as I did them, I began to share pictures of my creations online. I shared small furniture makeovers, home renovations, decorating ideas, and more, and the response I received started making me realize that I actually had a talent and knack for doing that type of work.
The encouragement from friends and family online gave me the confidence to start pursuing a business with my passions. While I never in a million years knew what laid ahead, I knew that God had placed these desires in me to live this out and live a life filled with purpose and intention, and I was going to follow that path and give it my all.
Nothing happened overnight. I started my blog and social media presence at zero like everyone else, and I worked so hard day in and out, staying up until all hours to learn and research and do what I had to do to make things work.
I did eventually leave my job after 6 months of having my blog, but at that point, I had no safety net or income. Slowly, my blog started to take off.
Now? I run not one, but two 7-figure online businesses. And while it took some time to get there and to get everything where it needed to be as far as set up, implementation, growth, hiring, etc., most of what I need to do now on a day-to-day basis can be done from a smartphone.
Please don’t think I am saying that life is not insanely busy and crazy and that I am not stressed to the max sometimes. But what I am saying is that when you have everything in place the way it needs to be, you can have a much easier time balancing it all.
Here are 3 Steps to Discover (And Monetize) Your Talent
Make two lists. List one is for things that you are good at, and list two is things you are passionate about. Where do the two intersect?
It seems elementary but digging deep fundamentally might spark an idea as to what type of business you could build.
2. Find a Mentor.
A study from Kabbage found that 92% of small business owners found having a mentor to be vital to their success. Where can you find a mentor?
Join your local chamber of commerce or find an online business group within your realm of business for networking purposes. Being a part of a networking group will not only give you fantastic insight into what is working for other entrepreneurs, but it will also give you the insight to really start to imagine how your business can become a reality.
3. Be Ready to Start Before You Are Ready.
The next big step is getting started. You will never 100% think you are ready, but you just have to take that first step. Maybe you start small with a side hustle just to take that leap, but whatever it is, just start.
If your dream is to be an entrepreneur and be your own boss, you are going to have to take a risk to ever be successful. There is definitely always the fear of failure. That is natural, but nothing worth having comes easy.
And hey, what is the worst-case scenario? So many times we learn the most from what we would consider failure, and it only propels us to move even farther in the future!
Brooke Riley is the CEO and Founder of Re-Fabbed, a hybrid DIY decorating, travel and lifestyle blog. She also owns the Re-Fabbed online boutique and offers business coaching to help other entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners grow and maximize their presence in the online space. Re-Fabbed has been featured online in Success, Forbes Next1000, Country Living, Huffington Post, House Beautiful, Pioneer Woman, and Good Housekeeping. Connect with Brooke on Facebook @refabbedbybrooke