Career Change

Hi friends!  While I know you are typically used to me sharing recipes, motherhood tips or fashion, today I am going to switch things up.  I’m going to get very real with you.  My hope is that I can shed light on what many of us throughout the world are experiencing since COVID.  If you find yourself rebuilding your career, know you are not alone.  My intent is not to gain pity, but to let you in on the current changes in my career and how I’m navigating.

For those of you who don’t know, Brian and I moved to Tennessee 3 years ago.  I had two goals in mind. First to expand our family business, Driven Fence, into a new state and second to build my hobby business, Epic Rain Boutique.  From the moment we landed in Tennessee I hit the ground running.  Marketing, networking and building both brands.  Today Epic Rain Boutique is a well known Nashville brand worn by the women of music.  Driven Fence was slowly making its mark.  Driven did big local events like the Pilgrimage Festival and Music City’s “Let Freedom Sing” July 4th event.  Also, for the first time ever we had our name in the hat for Bonnaroo 2020, which would have been my biggest win for Driven to date.  I took great pride in everything I accomplished and the momentum we were building.

Unfortunately, the world wide pandemic completely crushed everything I spent the last few years building.  We did construction and permanent fencing, but special events really lead the business in Tennessee.  With all special events canceled, our Tennessee location couldn’t sustain itself.  After a few months of seeing the writing on the wall, we made the decision to close.  I am happy to share, however, Driven Chicago and Driven Demolition have survived.  Once we closed Tennessee I decided it was best to resign from my position as VP.  I didn’t feel it was right to have my parents pay me a salary when I couldn’t do much for the company from another state.  This was hard as I always expected Driven to be my lifelong career.  Processing the change was not easy for me.  To me, Driven wasn’t just a job, it’s our family legacy.  The feeling of failure was overwhelming.  This sudden change in my career caused a lot of anxiety and sleepless nights.  I had to accept that sometimes, failure is out of your control and everything happens for a reason. As the old saying goes, one door closes for another one to open.  I truly feel this was God’s way of pushing me towards accomplishing my other passions.  I made the decision to fully embrace the change and immediately started building the foundation to my next journey.

First and foremost, my number one job is being a mom to Meadow.  I knew whatever I was going to do next had to give me the flexibility to have her by my side.  I am very blessed.  My husband Brian is a wonderful provider, super supportive and my biggest cheerleader.  For that , I am beyond thankful.  If I wanted, I technically could only be a stay at home mom, but I know within my soul I wouldn’t feel fulfilled.  I feel it’s extremely important that I have my own career outside of motherhood.  This allows me to have an outlet and most importantly I want Meadow to grow up watching me accomplish goals.  I want her to see good work ethic and be the role model she deserves.  My hope is that she grows up and is empowered to take on whatever she sets her mind to.  I have a fire for wanting to be successful and it’s always burning.  I don’t think I have ever been more determined than I am today.  I refuse to let this one failure define me.

For the last few years I put a focus on building my Epically Stylish blog.  Creating content and sharing my lifestyle brings me great joy. Now with the extra time on my hands, it’s become very clear to me that I want to give building my brand and influencing everything I’ve got by going full time with it.  I also recently got my Tennessee real estate license and I am excited to help others find the home of their dreams.  Between the two I believe I can contribute to our family and truly feel fulfilled.  I promised myself as I go down this new path I would do it the right way.  I will always share the good and the bad.  I will grow organically.  I will always be authentic and true to who I am.  Starting over is never easy.  It takes a lot of courage and self reflection.  If you find yourself in a similar situation I hope you know you are not alone.  Soul search and jump into doing whatever makes you happy.  I recently read this quote and it struck a cord with me, “It is only after we lose everything that we are free to do anything. Redesign, Rebuild, Reclaim.”  Anything is possible when you put your mind to it.  Thank you for taking the time to read.  Thank you for following.  Thank you for supporting.

Xo,
Joelle

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