I Quit My Job, Moved to Paris With Less Than $500, and Started a Business
I wasn’t always super savvy business owner. In fact, I was stuck being an administrative assistant at a dental office...with my mom.
I verified dental insurance and made appointments for 9 hours a day. During the four years at this job, I started to become VERY depressed. I wasn’t happy to wake up in the morning and I dreaded the day before it had even started. Shortly after I arrived at work, I would go to the hall bathroom and just breakdown. I would breakdown because I knew that this wasn’t what I was suppose to be doing. I knew that I was meant for something greater than just verifying dental insurance in a small office.
I got fed up. I had to do something about it.
So what did I do? I did what any young girl would do in a desperate situation. I packed my bags, took what little money I had (which at the time was less than $500) and went to Paris to become an Au Pair.
That didn’t exactly work out as planned. Because while I was in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, I found that I was still in the same situation. I was working for a french family who only paid me 400 Euros a month. Although they gave a tiny “studio,” and food, I was making EVEN LESS than I was making in the states. I sat in my tiny studio, overlooking the Eiffel Tower and cried every night I was there, because I knew that I still wasn’t doing what I was meant to do.
I sat in the window seal one night and in that moment, when the Eiffel started it’s hourly majestic sparkle show, I vowed that when I returned to the states, I would never work for anyone ever again.
And so, I came back home still broke and now jobless with a pocket full of dreams.
I received a lot of pressure from my family to go back to school and get a job, and I almost came close to doing just that. But I knew I couldn’t fall into that trap again. So, I sucked it up, told myself that success was the only option, and started my business.
That is the short version behind how my business came to be.
Now, let me share with you 3 important lessons i’ve learned from quitting my job, moving to a foreign country, and starting a successful business in less than 6 months.
1) You can’t run away from your mind or your problems.
Listen, take it from someone who’s been there and done that. I literally went to the other side of the world to make a fresh start for myself. And while no one knew who I was, I knew who I was. The problems I has in the U.S. were still the problems I had in Paris. So before you decide to move and escape your problems, just remember that it’s easy to run away from them. But, facing them head on, that takes real courage and strength.
2) Failure is a prerequisite for success
A big part of the reason why my business is so successful is because I trained myself to not fear failure. When did society first subscribe to the notion that failing is bad? If Thomas Edison hadn’t failed 10,000 times, we might still be eating family meals with candelabras on the dining table. If you have lofty dreams and ambitious life goals, failure is simply inevitable. Try to reframe the notion that failure moves you away from what you want and turn it into something positive. Failure is just the foundation to to a new, better level of living.
3 If you don’t like something, change it
A Lot of people choose to stay in a less than desirable situation. It could be for various reasons but the most common I hear is that they either feel stuck or they are scared. Change scares us. We have been taught to fear change and, to accept suffering and be conformists. I too feared, change. I was scared beyond belief to quit my job and travel across the globe by myself with less than $500. But I decided that not doing anything was scarier than actually taking control of my life. If you can identify the problem you have, that means you can challenge it or move it forward. You, and only you can choose to take a purposeful, fulfilling action to better your life.
4) Have a crystal clear vision for your life
After I returned from Paris, I hit this major roadblock and was stuck in limbo trying to figure out if I was going to go back into the workforce or start my own company. During this confusing time, I wrote down a detailed list of what I wanted my life to be like in 3 years. I wrote down everything from the kind of person I wanted to be to the type of friends I was going to have to the color of the rims on my car. This forced me reassess my daily and intentional activities and align them with my vision. Your vision gives you an anchor for your life and keeps you striving for greatness. Without it, you might become uncertain what on your next steps will be in life.
Although, Paris didn’t work out as planned, it was the best thing that could’ve happened to me. From the experience, I’ve learned to be brave in the pursuit of happiness and started a thriving branding and marketing biz. I can only hope that by you reading this article, you become relentless in your pursuit of excellence.