From Corporate Confinement to Dream Pursuit: A Year of Self-Growth, Struggles, and Triumphs

Hey there, friends! Can you believe it? It’s been over a year since I took the leap and left the corporate world to pursue my dreams. And let me tell you, it’s been quite a journey. Today, I want to take a moment to reflect on the past year and share with you some of the highs, the lows, and everything in between.

First and foremost, this past year has been all about self-growth. I’ve had the time and space to focus on myself and my business. And let me tell you, transformation takes action. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it. I’ve learned so much about myself and what I’m capable of, and I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me next.

Achieving self-growth while working a 40-hour workweek was a challenge. You see, self-growth requires both time and energy and let’s face it, after being tied to a desk all week, finding those necessary resources was like trying to squeeze water from a stone!

I constantly juggled work deadlines, meetings, and responsibilities that drained me. And when I finally had some free time, I wanted to kick back and relax. Who could blame me? But here’s the thing: self-growth was essential to my happiness and business, and I realized that each day I delayed my exit from Corporate, the life I wanted. You can prioritize self-growth while working your day job, but what could take a year takes five because you’re still working on everything else.

Establishing a Fierce Marketing Plan: A Game-Changer for Scaling My Business

One of my significant accomplishments this year was developing a robust marketing strategy. I recognized the importance of leveraging all aspects of my business, including social media, to expand and grow. And that’s precisely what I did! But here’s why this is so extraordinary–years ago, the thought of marketing repulsed me—scared me. I stayed in Corporate for so long because I had to market my business.

Marketing requires networking to spread the word about my business and engaging in speaking engagements to establish credibility and trust. Additionally, I need to create compelling content for my blog and social media platforms. The thought of putting myself out there was quite intimidating. But with my marketing plan in place, I started chipping away at it, and the fear—networking–check–social media–blogging–check–social media–check.

Avoiding Costly Mistakes: Lessons Learned from Hiring a Marketing Firm & Virtual Assistant

And let’s talk about the mishap of hiring a marketing firm. Oh boy, did I get taken for a ride? It was quite a bitter pill to swallow, but every mistake is a lesson in disguise. Here is what I learned about myself and marketing in general.

  • Executing an entire marketing plan as a solopreneur is daunting, so the promise that someone else can take a whole leg of it off my hands was like angels coming to rescue me. My goal was to scale, but I wanted help more than anything. This created urgency and a blind spot.
  • You know the saying that you must kill the person you are to become the person you want to be? I may have taken it a bit too far. The new version of me didn’t tap into skills I honed in my past life–contract writing and negotiation, analytical analysis. Analytically, this firm’s proposal was impossible to fulfill within any given timeline.
  • Being new to marketing, I put too much trust in this firm, believing it was doing something remarkable and mysterious. No. There is nothing magical about marketing and no magic pill for building your client base. It all comes down to connecting with your audience; no one can do that for you.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, take the time to research thoroughly, don’t be shy to ask for references, and always trust your gut instincts. Walk away.

Now, let’s talk about hiring your first virtual assistant. Having a VA is a game-changer–my primary purpose was delegating out work associated with social media. At that point, I didn’t have a problem generating content, but breaking it down for social media took time, and I needed to free myself to work on other things. Here’s what I learned about myself and hiring in general.

  • I had a corporate HR mindset that didn’t fit my small business. I gave my VA too much freedom and time to adapt to my brand and the learning curve. I constantly gave her the benefit of the doubt, over and over again. While corporations may have the resources to be understanding and generous, it’s important to know when to set boundaries. Now, I’ve learned where my line is drawn.

It’s essential to do your due diligence and ensure you’re hiring the right person for the job, with the right skill set, and work closely with them initially.

Fostering Authentic Connections with Remarkable Results

Now, let’s fast forward to the present day. So, what am I up to now with all the valuable lessons I’ve learned? Well, my dear friends, I am filled with an unwavering determination to make this upcoming year even more remarkable than the last. With my acquired knowledge, I have fine-tuned my marketing strategy to perfection. My primary focus is fostering authentic connections with my audience, ensuring every interaction is infused with genuine value. And let me assure you, this approach is yielding remarkable results.

So here’s to the next year of growth, learning, and chasing our dreams. I can’t wait to see what the future holds. Thank you for being a part of this incredible journey with me.

About Angela Acosta & the Atelier

Based in New Jersey, Angela Acosta specializes in personal branding and portrait photography for women business owners and professionals in New York and the tri-state area. She expertly channels brand narratives through tailored images, offering insights on wardrobe and styling to ensure authenticity. With a deep commitment to capturing the essence of each client, Angela transforms branding with impactful photographs that resonate and inspire. Contact us to schedule your complimentary consultation.