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Updated: Nov 17, 2021

We are living in a time where job satisfaction is at an all time low (and that is saying a lot considering some of the jobs out there historically… A quick google search of worst jobs in history shows you that ancient Romans had vomit collectors in rooms at feasts where attendees would go empty their stomachs by throwing up so they could go back to the party and eat more or there was the Groom of the Stool job which was actually considered a prestigious position wiping Royalty’s asses… so basically what I am trying to say is that when we say all time low… that’s low.) People wake up despairing that they have to go in to work. Again. There are memes everywhere of people shopping, surfing the net, basically doing ANYTHING other than actual work while at their job. And you know what? You probably feel the EXACT SAME WAY because oh god the idea of having to go into that shitty job today… ugh it’s just too much… too much. Sigh.

A few years ago, I was in the exact same position as you are. I was working in a high-pressure high-stress industry. I was being paid more than I ever expected and succeeding. There were opportunities for growth and a constant pressure to continue to move up… but I wasn’t fulfilled. The money wasn’t enough. I was depressed, unhappy and became reclusive. But I stayed in my job. Who in their right mind would leave such a high paying job? Even if it made you hate your life. Because everyone hates their life, right? RIGHT?

There was a time I had pursued my passion. I finished a university degree in the fine arts and I loved it. However, halfway through doing my master’s degree at an expensive overseas school, I was quickly racking up a massive amount of debt. I talked myself into dropping out halfway through, hearing and believing the voice in my head asking, ‘how will you ever be able to pay off this much debt as an artist?’

As a fine arts dropout, my career options seemed limited. So, I moved home to oil and gas country. I started at the bottom and worked my way up. My first job was a laborer that shovelled and picked garbage, from there I moved to heavy equipment operation, from there I rose to supervisor and then into senior management.

I was doing well on paper and looked happy. On the inside? I was a disaster. My values, creativity and open-mindedness clashed constantly with the conservative nature of the industry. I could not authentically be myself and it wasn't what I wanted in a career.

Occasionally, my sister and I would throw around business ideas but none of them seemed to stick or motivate us enough to actually start the project. It came to a head in the Spring of 2018, when I just could not continue on avoidance auto pilot. I needed an authentic purpose. I didn't want to continue just showing up, doing the bare minimum, then using alcohol, drugs, social media and overeating as coping mechanisms to deal with my FML victim mentality. This was not enough anymore. It took me a while to accept that it was MY choices and actions that put me in my job and place in life and it was up to me to make the choice to change the situation. There was no one to blame but myself. It was time to take a risk.

The thing about risks; they are terrifying. Sitting in a shitty job and hating your life is awful. But comfortable. The idea of trying something out and failing or having no idea what the outcome of the venture is going to be, makes you believe that it is just easier to stay in the known discomfort of a job you hate. Because what if your situation actually gets worse than it is at the present moment? What if you lose money? What if….. But what if it didn’t… What if it actually did work out? What if life actually can get better?

I committed to changing my situation by starting a side business while continuing to work my corporate job. My sister and I started to talk seriously about it. We made a plan. The more we talked about it, the more our plan evolved and changed. We committed to the core values that our products would have. We made long term goals.

Our vision was to make products that we wanted to buy but could not find in retail stores. I combined my love of animals with my fine arts background and designed unique edgy pet toys. After A LOT of research, we chose our overseas manufacturing partners to deliver us the best product at value.

And with that, our company Lucky Bubs was born. (Please note, businesses being born are just like babies being born. It is messy, can hurt, you will probably be in labour for a MASSIVELY long time and you will have a lot of sleepless nights. But just like those mom groups say, “It is SO worth it, girl!” *repeat* this mantra while you are pulling a Moira Schitt and sitting in the closet crying… As a side note, I have never actually given birth, but it looks horrifying to me so the above still applies. But I do follow mom groups … what?? Look, I had a lot of time on my hands sitting on the couch doing nothing before we started our company. Sometimes the kitten videos were just not enough and also, I have an anxious fascination with childbirth. I just cannot get over how an object the size of a watermelon is literally RIPPING through a hole the size of a lemon. Ya right women are the weaker sex. Anyways.)

Here's how you can start living the life you deserve:

First, reject the notion that hating your job is your fault. Maybe the job you are in does not align with who you fundamentally are. Maybe it does not challenge you. Maybe your career was picked for you by well-meaning but overbearing parents who didn't see who you really are as a person. Or maybe your company stopped recognizing the value of its employees and paid more attention to recognizing the value of its investors and you are rightfully feeling more and more overlooked, overworked, underpaid and ultimately uninspired to perform. You don't need to be doomed to everlasting shitty beige-carpeted-open-office-floorplan unhappiness. (Note to corporations, EVERYONE hates open floorplans. Seriously, everyone. In terms you will understand, the distractions cause massive productivity loss.)

Next, start being an active participant in your life. Make a plan for how to make the way you make money more meaningful to you. It will change your life. We are not on this earth to go to a job we hate, go home, binge Netflix, binge social media and then go to sleep. (Ok, some days, this can be self-care. But everyday? Sorry, probably not.)

Then, scrap any plan that relies on you winning the lottery or being saved by Prince Charming. (I mean, if you do win the lottery, then CONGRATS! Please go on HGTV's My Lottery Dream Home, so you can meet David and we can judge you on the house you bought with your winnings!) You don't need magical thinking to put a plan into motion to actually start living (and liking) your life. Because shockingly, there probably is a job or career out there that you would love. Believe me, this was a shock to me too.

Be openminded. Like Seth Macfarlane’s “A Million Ways to Die in the West”, there are a million ways to make a side business (without dying of course, but please be careful if your business is in the venom extraction category) and it doesn’t necessarily need to be just selling tangible retail products (hence venom extraction). People will pay money for anything to be made or any service to be done, you just have to figure out what suits your natural talents or what fills you with a sense of purpose.

Research your ideas and then research even more. We are so unbelievably lucky that we live in a time where so much information is at our fingertips. It is so easy to start a business right now, literally anyone can do it. ANYONE. Can you imagine how hard it would have been starting a business before the internet? Or even before automobiles were invented? It is mind boggling to think about having to do everything manually. Can you imagine shipping something by horse and wagon in 1882? Your shipping confirmation telegram would read: ‘Your package will arrive in approximately 11 years and 6 days’… to the next town over (Yes I realise 11 years for a horse and wagon to go to the next town is an exaggeration… but you need to factor in breakdowns like the wooden wheel falling off the wagon with no spare and only a dull knife to whittle a new one. Plus, dysentery equals lots of bathroom breaks, it was a definite problem. Refer back to “A Million Ways to Die in the West” for other equally important/gruesome delays that could occur.)

Get rid of excuses. You do have the time to start a business, even though you are still working at your main paying job. Believe me. You literally watched kitten videos for 3 hours on TikTok today. You have the time. So basically, what I am trying to say is if you have an idea for a business, there is no excuse in our day and age not to get it started. You can’t even use the excuse of not having money for it. That is what Kickstarter was made for, find your investors.

Once you have made your goal you have created a light at the end of the tunnel. You can actually start to wake up at least a bit more excited and motivated in the morning (again, as someone who has lived vicariously through Instagram influencers for years from the comfort of my couch, also mind blowing to me).

So, TAKE. THE. RISK. (and by this I don’t mean walk into work tomorrow and tell your boss to go fuck themselves with a banner and a marching band… unless you have the financial ability to support yourself and a new business for an extended amount of time (and have access to a marching band). If you do, then have at er’. If you don’t, consider this just a ‘side business’ to get you started and give yourself a light at the end of the beige-carpeted-open-floorplan tunnel.)

But this needs to be said because being an Entrepreneur or small business in today's society that caters to massive corporations is difficult... but still doable. Always keep in mind that even if your particular risk or business idea didn’t pay off or wasn’t successful, know that it will lead you down a path to something that will be. Consider it a starting point to getting you out of a job you hate and into a life that works for who you are as a person. We need to learn how to embrace mistakes and know that failure is needed in order to grow as a human being. Even if your business or product idea does fail, the experience will lead you to new ideas, new products or even a new career path. Failure and mistakes are essential to learning, otherwise how would you know?

So lets talk about this, give us the gossip below on when you decided to throw in the towel, start a new career, or any tips on your businesses!


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