I met up with my former client, Christina Heath, to talk about her journey from corporate layoff to project management entrepreneur. This week, we dive deep into the hardest parts of the w2 to entrepreneur transition, including revenge success, comments from others, relationship strains, and parenting woes, and explain how it’s all worth it in the end for the incredible experience of working for yourself.

In this episode, Christina and I cover:

  • Understanding Revenge Success and exactly how far it can take you
  • Navigating romantic relationships and parenting as an entrepreneur
  • Dealing with the reactions other people have to your entrepreneurship
  • Leaving the corporate world but not being able to leave everything from it behind
  • Answering former coworkers’ questions about your entrepreneurial journey 

Corporate job, entrepreneur dreams

After the birth of her daughter, Christina had to return to a w2 position in order to put her family in the safest and healthiest environment, with enough income and benefits to support them. Still, the urge never left Christina’s mind to work for herself. When she was laid off years later, there was nothing that could stop her from finally following these entrepreneurship dreams she’d been having, even when this decision shocked others. 

“Unbeknownst to me, I was comparing every role that came my way to the possibility of working for myself.”

Expectations from outsiders of you and your business

If you’re an entrepreneur, you already know that the people that love you most can say some of the most hurtful things about your business and about the risks you have had to take. Christina and I discuss the opinions that come up along the journey of entrepreneurship, from former coworkers to family members to friends, and how these are only a reflection of their fear of risk, not a reflection of your abilities as a business owner. 

“I have one friend who has been an entrepreneur for many years, she was very excited for me, but I think everyone else was very scared and panicked and wondered what I was on. “

Parenting like an entrepreneur

As mothers, Christina and I have discussed how our children have shaped our lives numerous times throughout our careers. For me and for her, a major part of that has been preparing our children for the world in a way where they can flourish and make their own decisions. Raising children of color to thrive, not just survive, is a beautiful opportunity that we have been able to give her daughter and my son through entrepreneurship. 

“I would rather be uncomfortable for two decades and have our children be flourishing, thriving, independent, free agent members of society, than make it easy for myself these first few years and have her struggle out there.“

Separating relationships and entrepreneurship

For Christina and for myself, it felt hard to not bring work home with us when we began working for ourselves. The place we saw it show up in the most strenuous ways? Our relationships. You want your partner to be supportive, and they absolutely should be. However, keep in mind that your business and your life are separate for a reason. Your partner’s role is not to only support your business, there has to be a balance reached. 

“And I actually think it’s brought us closer in the way that it’s taught me that I am my own person and my business is not me, it is separate.”

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Connect with Christina Heath on LinkedIn and on her website

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